Create a beautiful space to inspire great work.

Too often, our home workspaces are a design afterthought. But creating a beautiful, functional space—whether it’s a dedicated office or a desk tucked into your bedroom—can help inspire great work (and a little sense of peace and calm during a crazy deadline).  We dug through our past issues for a little inspiration, and came up with six smart tips to maximize your workspace style.We shared these tips on Breakfast Television Vancouver. Watch the video, or check out the list below.

6 Tips for Designing a Functional, Fabulous Workspace

office cabinet

1. Source your office furniture from non-office supply stores.

Staples isn’t going to provide you with much style. Try utilizing an armoir or credenza from your favourite furniture store to give yourself the storage you need. We love this mirrored cabinet here in this Nyla Free-designed suite, which hides all your office stuff away, like a scanner and printer, so the homeowner can transform the dining room into an office and back again in a snap.Photo by Tracey Ayton.

2. Infuse your workspace with artwork.

Bulletin boards and calendars with your deadlines are helpful to have on display, but to create a beautiful space that feels comfortable and homey, art is key. In this Moss and Oak-designed condo, paintings from Heather Ross and photographs by Vairdy decorate the walls. Photo by Tracey Ayton.

3. Station your desk in front of the window.

If you’ve got an amazing window with a view, that makes a great backdrop as you’re working away. In this Gaile Guevara-designed North Vancouver condo, a floating desk smartly stations a workspace in front of the oversized windows without blocking the natural light. Storage off to the side provides a space to stow documents and gadgets. Photo by Tracey Ayton.

 4. Make your own custom desk with inexpensive pieces.

A custom solution for your space doesn’t have to cost a lot. This desk here, in a quirky office by Shift Interiors, is made using a custom-cut piece of wood placed over two Ikea cabinets. Photo by Tracey Ayton.

 5. Use chairs that match your dining room set at your desk.

When you need a couple of extra seats around the dining table, matching chairs make for a more pleasant, sophisticated option than a wheelie chair (and give your office a polished, professional look, like in this Angela Robinson-designed space). Nearby built-in cupboards offer a place to stash files. (Of course, if you work from home, something more ergonomic is probably a good idea—we love Herman Miller‘s smart designs that offer plenty of back support.)Photo by Janis Nicolay.

6. Branch out from the classic desk lamp.

Try using a floor lamp instead of a task lighting to add a little visual interest to your workspace, like this sculptural Jielde ZigZag lamp in this Sophie Burke-designed room.