by Stacey Kaminski, Interior Styles by Stacey –
Whether you have traded your morning commutes to the office for steps down the hallway to Zoom, or exchanged your weekend cocktails out with friends for libations on your balcony, the pandemic has transfigured our relationship to the home. The increased utility of our homes – closets becoming offices and kitchen tables turning into classrooms – has complicated the functioning of, and our relationship to, the home.
In the face of this new work-play dynamic, it is important to carve out distinct spaces that encourage both a high-functioning work environment, alongside unmistakeable areas of sanctuary and composure. Whether you have shifted to working from home or are simply looking to transform your outdoor space to one that inspires tranquility, it is essential we all find a balance – and that starts at home.
If you live in a smaller abode, finding that area to chisel out for a designated workspace may pose more of a challenge. However, transforming any space into one that will inspire productivity to meet those deadlines is possible! Consider nooks and corners of rooms that could be adapted: adding a decorative partition screen to divide the space, or by removing double-closet doors to make way for desks to create that work area. Alternatively, the stairway landing can be adapted into a mini-office; complete with a desk, printer and file cabinet. An organized desk is an organized mind: introduce ample storage and organizational units to store and declutter – nothing beats clearing your desk after a long day. Complete with a personal touch by dotting your desk with scented candles, fresh flowers, or your favourite houseplant.
As more companies shift away from rented office space and toward an online-work culture, now is the time to cultivate a dynamic and inviting home office. The best design heeds the form and function of your space.
With warmer weather approaching, we look forward to the reinvigoration of our physical and mental health, as the outdoors launches us into longer, brighter days. With continued indoor-dining restrictions (at time of writing), decompressing after work may now mean turning to our own personal sanctuaries for appies and refreshments. Anywhere from small balconies to sprawling patios, it is essential to create spaces for ourselves to unwind and rejuvenate in the open air. Creating a functional and beautiful refuge can easily be done on a lavish budget. As a designer, of course, I love working with the newest trends and high-end pieces. However, I find that creating captivating and functional spaces on lighter budgets is more enticing and rewarding. This doesn’t have to mean purchasing a full patio set; instead, shopping local, upcycling, and repurposing used pieces is not only more affordable and sustainable, but adds a unique flair to your outdoor oasis. On this patio, I paired a vintage white-wicker settee with two modern, wire chairs – all emblazoned with bold patterns. David Hicks, notorious for fusing antique and contemporary pieces, said: “The best rooms have something to say about the people who live in them.”
Despite the collective uprooting of routine we all experienced, the home should remain a grounding force which presents stability and comfort. By carving out these spaces, we can enhance our mental health and support local. If you don’t have any outdoor space, get out, walk, breathe, and support our community by taking in our great local patios. Stay positive. Be kind. Live beautiful.