Home office must haves

2:18 PM

The room I spend a fair chunk of my day in is our study/spare room, or the "office" as I like to call it. It got a big makeover last year when I became the lucky winner of 20k voucher for Urban Ladder.

This room is where the blog happens, where a lot of my art and crafts project come to life. The place where I pick up new skills and pretty much plan and organise the running of the household. My desk is my command center and the room is the HQ for all things important. Important papers, projects, notes, appointments, electronic device storage, it's all in the office.

When it is not used as Home Cyn Home and Household HQ, it means it has been handed over to overnight guests. Space constraint oblige, this room has to do double duty.

With me, or DH for that matter spending that much time in this room, I thought I'll let you in on my "Must haves" for a great study/home office.

Are you ready to dive in? Alright! let's do it!

A great home office means you have enough storage for all your pens and art supplies at your desk.

A functional/practical pen and pencil holder

I have dabbled with many a solution for my ever expending collection of fineliners, markers and pencils. Once upon a time I even decorated old jars with Washi tape. It worked for a while, but soon enough the jars became way too small and they multiplied on the window ledger. 

I featured this pretty turquoise tin box in my September Shopping guide last year. If there is one product I can about 10000000% recommend on Amazon it's this one. I bought one for myself, then another one for Ishita as a Christmas gift to hold all of her supplies and it ended catching the eye of my SIL as well, so I ordered one for her as well when they were visiting last Christmas. 
It's big, sturdy, stable and can hold a lot of different things in it's compartment. 
Plus it is in my almost signature home decor color

simply put, the best way to stay organized...your way!

A bullet journal or planner

I've done both over the years. I even walked you through my planning process for both a regular planner and the bullet journal I am keeping this year. 
So far I am in love with the flexibility of the bullet journal and how easy it is to keep on top of my to-do lists and appointments with it. 

But that set aside, my planner is pretty much rooted to my desk. I rarely take it outside the home, I have a small traveler's notebook for that. 

Between the Calendar pages on my kitchen door and the bullet journal there is no excuses for not knowing what's happening in our family life and what's coming on the blog. 
Blame it on my Swiss genes, or upbringing. Like all kids in my homeland, I was drilled in the art of keeping a planner in school. From grade 2 onwards, we were made to copy the entire homework schedule for the week to come in a special department of education issued "Homework log diary". As we grew older and out of elementary school, the burden of figuring out which planner to use for homework and test logging was up to us and from age 12 onwards, our planners had to list the class schedule, tests, quiz, and homework given to us by each topic teachers. If we failed to complete an assignment or homework, it was our own doing no ifs no buts. 

Needless to say that kind of planning leaves an impression one way or another. 

A cat is a must have in a creative's studio,they are good at guarding laptops and keeping you calm

A desk cat

Yes, perfectly! A desk cat! 

History is filled with records of creatives and some of the brightest mind having a cat in their study so why shouldn't I embrace it? 
I didn't even have to train Mittens to be one, it seems that cats are as instinctively attracted to laptops and desks as they are to boxes. They also seem to have a special gift to detect when your creative juice is at it's best and will hop on the desk to be as close to you as possible in that moment of intense creativity. 

When mine is not on my desk either guarding my laptop or cuddling to support my creative process, she can be found snuggling on the spare mattresses (guest room function remember?) or emptying my paper bin (everybody needs and assistant). 
Cats as aloof as they are made to be, are actually just the perfect introvert's companion, and are very social with their favourite people. Plus, research have shown that cat owners have a lowered risk of heart diseases and lower BP, even compared to other pets owners.

tea fixes everything, even the mightiest creative block

A steaming cup of tea

Tea is the perfect thing to team up with your desk cat. Tea is what will increase your creative juice flow on a slow day, or help you stay energised on a super busy day. 
Drink often, and make sure your pantry is stocked up with all your favourite teas. For increased happiness factor and productivity, make sure it is always served in your favourite cup, as I said once upon a time, it has been unscientifically proven that tea taste better in your favourite cup.

because what would a study without book be?

A lot of notebooks and reference books

A study or home office cannot be complete without these. As you might have noticed by now, if you are regular reader that is, is that I am a bit of a notebook addict
I love me a good journal or notebook, and I have tons of them scattered all around the home. But most of them have a place of choice in the study, because that is where I need most of them to be. 
My brain dump, the planner, my blog notes, my unfiltered ramblings, my ideas, my projects, they all are assigned to one specific book. Then there are my sketchbooks, creative journals, and reference books. 

Ah! My reference books! I love them, even if I have embraced Youtube for my learning needs, it's still nice to have books around. Like the Calligraphy book in the picture above. Or the Photoshop Bible and HTML guide on my desk. Then there are also all the crafts and home decor books in the shelves, as well as DH's business management books. The study is home to all the work related reading material, that way I have more space in the bedroom shelf for all my fun but memorable reads

A place with good natural light is ideal to watercolor

Watercolor and sketch pad

The study has the best light to paint and draw during the day. The desk is set against the window and receives a lot of natural light. This means that all my watercolor palettes and brushes have relocated to that room eons ago. 
Recognise this apple from my 2016 Calendar? This is where all the artwork for ALL my calendar pages over the years happened. 

colorful office supplies makes everything better

Cute and adorable office supplies

Let's face it, why have a home office if it is to stock it with the same old boring and dull looking corporate supplies? 
This is the one place you can go crazy owning things like pastel binder clips or cute post-it notes without getting raised eyebrows from your coworkers. 
Beside, if you work from home, chances are you are your own boss and your only coworker might be your cat if you have one. And cat's don't raise eyebrows at pink paper clips with bows, first because they don't really have eyebrows to raise, and then because as far as I know they can't see colors the way we do. Regardless of how your stationery supplies look like, they will think they make for a cool toy. 
The prefect excuse for the stationery supplies addict that I am to get crazy! 

Natural light, pretty view and artsy crafty decor items.

A nice view, good light and artsy crafty accents

In the end, what makes my study the best place to be is the view. We are lucky enough to have a garden facing flat and the spare room overlooks it. 
As stated above, I also have a great natural light source coming from the window against which the desk is set. This makes a world of difference, and even if your window's view is less green and peaceful, I would still recommend to anybody to push the desk as close to said window. 

If your view sucks, you can still decorate your desk and window ledger with cute little items or decals on the glass. This pink painted rock I did during a workshop last Summer not only looks cute, it doubles as a paperweight. The painted pot I did with Ishita, still last Summer once upon a time held my fine liner pens before I got myself that big functional tin pen holder I was talking about. 

In the end, your study/home office needs to be both practical and pleasant. Remember, you'll spend more time in it if it looks good and things are properly organised. And in the end, it really helps to have everything that matters in one room. It end up saving time and energy in the long run. 

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  1. Hey Cynthia.. your office sounds like an awesome place to spend the day. I'll make sure to stock mine similarly. Except, instead of a cat-on-my-desk I have a dog-on-my-feet! ��

    1. Hi Rittika,
      A dog in the office works too. I actually have one too, she is a bit too big to squeeze herself under the desk and be on my feet though. She usually snooze away on the spare mattresses. The very same one the cat naps on (they are very good at sharing and snuggling).

  2. Well, we don't have a spare room so we make do with a desk in the corner of the living room & a desk in the corner of the kitchen. (Actually the desk in the kitchen is now being used as a TV stand & file cabinet as the kids are away at school.) So the desk in the living room is the 'home office' & where the iMac resides. It's kind of cool because from that living room corner I can listen to the TV behind me, see the front gate from the front window, let the cats in & out the side window, and work on the computer! Yay!

    1. In our previous flat there wasn't space for a study, we had a small desk in Ishita's room. Worked great because she was not really using the room and slept in our bed, but just before our previous landlord served us the one month notice she started sleeping in our own bed, so we knew the next flat had to have an extra room, as There was also the problem of guests who can't really sleep in Ishita's room.

      I also used to work at the dinning table in our previous flat, not the most ergonomic work space though. And I still do it in this flat when it gets too hot in the Summer, but we bought a proper desk chair when we got the big desk. So I just wheel it to the dinning area on those hot days.


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