Last fall, I achieved what had been a goal of mine for a long time: to have my very own private office. This may not sounds like a big deal, but trust me, it’s been a long journey! Now, my office is a space I love to spend time in. I feel productive, creative, and inspired when I’m working there. I went through a lot of small work office decorating ideas before I landed on the final design. Plus I had to figure out what wasn’t working for me, or what I didn’t like about the various workspaces I tried before my dream office, in order to design the perfect space.
Serge and I shared an office for many years at our martial arts school, which I co-founded with him. He’s very chatty and collaborative, whereas I need quiet and solitude to do my best work. As you can imagine, with totally different working styles, working in the same space was challenging.
When we first moved into our current home, we turned the tiny fourth bedroom into an office for me, but it just didn’t work out. There were some physical issues with the space (The floor sloped, for example, so I was always in danger of rolling to the other side of the room.), but mostly, it didn’t work because Serge was always wandering in to chat with me when I was trying to get work done.
I soon realized I needed a place to work that was completely away from my family, so I got a membership at a co-working space. At first I was “hot desking” (working from whatever desk space I could find on a first come, first served basis), after about a year, I upgraded to a dedicated desk, where I was sharing an office with three other people. Finally, a few months later, I pulled the trigger and decided to spring for a private office of my own. It’s been one of the best investments I’ve ever made! Almost immediately, I began researching small work office decorating ideas.
Making The Space My Own
Overall, I’d say that my taste in decor tends to lean towards Scandinavian modern, but when I started researching small work office decorating ideas, I realized I wanted something a little more feminine, a little more glam, with a little bit of bling. I started browsing Pinterest for inspiration and came across this photo of a green, velvet, Jonathan Adler chair on a black and white rug with gold accent pieces. I immediately knew I wanted to model the look of my office after this.
When it came to decor, the space was challenging. For one thing, it’s tiny: just 6 feet by 10 feet. I needed all the small work office decorating ideas I could get my hands on. Second, it’s a glass box. All four walls, as well as the door, are made of glass. So I couldn’t put up shelves or hang things from hooks. I’d also only be able to use table lamps or desk lamps for lighting as I couldn’t mount any lamps to the walls. Third, there are metal rods containing electrical wiring that run around the perimeter of the space, about 3 inches in from the glass walls, which means that the usable floor space is even smaller than 6×10.
When it came to furniture arrangement, I also had some self-imposed parameters because I wanted to make sure the office followed some basic feng shui principles. One of the things I disliked about the shared office I was in before was that the door to the office was behind my back. I could never see who was coming in without turning around, and that just felt very uncomfortable.
Incorporating Feng Shui Principles
It turns out, when it comes to a workspace, one of the fundamental rules of feng shui is that you should be able to see the door from where you sit. So I decided I’d want the desk to face the door. However, it’s not considered good feng shui for your desk to be directly in line with the door. Ideally you should place your desk at an angle, kitty-corner from the door, but because my office is so tiny, that wasn’t an option, so as a compromise I decided to add a couple pieces of furniture between my desk and the door to “block” the path of any negative energy that may be there.
Feng shui practitioners are not big fans of people sitting with their back to a window, as it feels too open and unprotected. So the glass wall behind me was a problem. To combat this, I created a gallery wall by taping art prints from Society6 directly to the glass using 3M Command Tape. I made sure that the piece right behind my back was an art piece of a mountain, as “mountain energy” is thought to bring strength and security to your career.
From browsing small work office decorating ideas, I knew I wanted a green velvet chair in the office, but I didn’t necessarily want that to be my desk chair as I prefer a traditional office chair on wheels. So the green velvet chair became the perfect piece to place in front of my desk to block the path to the door. I added a black, white and gold pillow, as well as a blush pink pashmina. Next to it I added a low, white, marble table. It also helps to block the direct line between the door and my desk, but is still useful as an extra surface on which I can brew a cup of tea.
Bringing in the Unexpected and the Inspirational
I needed a place to store my supplies, and after some searching, I found a cabinet that was the perfect size. I love how the mirrored doors and top add a bit of glam to the space, while hiding away all my unsightly clutter. When you’re coming up with small work office decorating ideas, beautiful but functional storage space is a must.
The surface of the cabinet also became a great place to create a decorative vignette. I’ve leaned three pieces of art on it: a gorgeous framed photo of pink peonies, an acrylic painting I commissioned from my sister (who’s an up-and-coming artist in Toronto), and a photo of my family. That photo has a lot of sentimental and symbolic value related to Top Flight Family. We’re wearing outfits from Vineyard Vines and that photo was, in fact, our first-ever collaboration with the brand, which has become one of our closest partners. The photo was taken at Half Moon, a historic, luxury resort in Jamaica, which we have fond memories of. The canvas print of the photo was actually gifted to us as a surprise by The Ritz-Carlton in Dubai. It was there in our living room when we checked into our suite (just one of those amazing personal touches that The Ritz-Carlton offers families).
Opposite the cabinet is a floor-length mirror, which is handy for my #ootd Instagram stories, as well as for when I need to get ready for outfit shoots, which we often photograph near my office. There’s also a coat rack, so I have a place to hang my things when I come in.
I absolutely love how it turned out! My office feels comfortable and cozy. I feel so happy and productive whenever I work out of this space, but it took a lot of experimenting with small work office decorating ideas to get here!
What does your office space look like? Do you follow feng shui principles? What are your favorite small work office decorating ideas?
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About Carmen Sognonvi
Carmen Sognonvi is a luxury family travel content creator at Top Flight Family, named a top 10 family travel Instagram account by Time Out New York and Brit + Co. Her insights on travel have been featured in The Washington Post, INSIDER, Huffington Post, Wanderlust Travel Magazine, TravelPulse, HOTELS Magazine, and more. Carmen firmly believes that you can (and should) travel with your kids from a young age. She offers families practical solutions for travel, as well as tips on how to travel in luxury for less. She lives in New York City with her multiracial and multicultural family of four. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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