Be honest, how often have you blamed your lack of productivity on your workspace? Have you spent days dreaming about how a colorful desk at a Silicone Valley incubator is the only thing standing in the way of you launching the Facebook-killing social network you have in your head? Have you told yourself that a huge one-room apartment in New York is the only thing you need to convince the world that you’re the next Warhol? Although these places might make for some pretty cool workspaces, your home in Nowhere, USA can also prove to be a workspace where you create some incredible masterpieces. These tips will help you transform your home into the creative mecca of your dreams (Ikea furniture is optional):

Create open space

Incubators and studio apartments work so well because they provide a lot of open space. Someone working on a fitness app in one corner might hear a health and wellness blogger shout out something that sets off fireworks in their brain. Or maybe an artist having a bowl of cereal on their bed on one side of the apartment can shoot over to their paintbrush and canvas the minute a new idea comes to mind. You can create that same environment at home

If you have a table or an ottoman in the center of the floor, move it to the side, or against the wall. You would be amazed at how much easier it is to breathe in your workspace. If your place is where the mastermind meetings go down, you’ll find that collaboration is a lot more natural in an open workspace

Photo: Casey Hale
Photo: Casey Hale

Use your wall space to your advantage

If you’ve been inside any modern office building, you’ve probably seen clear Plexiglas walls with ideas or algorithms scribbled all over them. You can create that same fresh look by purchasing a sheet of Plexiglas and installing it on your wall. Once you’ve decided where you want to place your board, you can order a sheet of Plexiglas with the exact measurements you need

Even though it looks cool, the installation required to hang a Plexiglas board may only be worth it if you’ll be using that space long-term. A great AND inexpensive alternative is to cover your walls with chalkboard paint. If you’re not crazy about the idea of black walls, you’re not the only one. These days you can get chalkboard paint in any color. This means you can have idea-friendly walls that match your décor

Need something more apartment friendly? Put together some cork boards, a little fabric, and some dry erase boards and create a memory board tailored to you and your creative process. You might find that your DIY memory board helps you organize your ideas better than anything you could have purchased

Add light to your workspace

You might want to sleep in, but chances are you don’t have time for it anyway. Lose the dark curtains. If you’re brave, get rid of blinds and window coverings altogether. Not only is natural light good for you, it will keep you alert through those important working hours

If you have limited access to windows and natural light, create your own! Make heavy use of ceiling lights or tall-standing floor lamps. Daylight simulators are also a great investment. They’ll help keep you motivated through the winter months and might even give you a boost when working in the wee hours of the night

Photo: Mae Chevrette
Photo: Mae Chevrette
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you’ll create your best work in an area where you feel comfortable. No matter what changes you make to your creative workspace, ensure that they are conducive to the way you live and work. Aesthetics are cool, but when you’re in grind mode it’s all about access and functionality

Have you made any changes to your workspace that sent your productivity soaring? Tag us in pictures of your creative space on Instagram: @Blavity.

On Saturday, May 21st, we’re hosting our inaugural conference about how creativity and technology are changing our daily lives, from our hobbies to our work. Will you be joining us? Tickets here.

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