While a sunlight-filled office with exotic artwork from global travels, bright flowers, and a stunning ocean view sounds like writer’s heaven, not every creative has that kind of writing space.
But you can transform whatever space you do have into an oasis by making a few simple changes.
And you don’t have to spend a fortune to do it.
1. Focus on natural light
While some people prefer to work in a basement or other space without the distractions of windows, other find windows and skylights essential to creativity, productivity and overall happiness. Assess your space to make the most of whatever natural light you have. Consider positioning your desk or work space near a window or skylight to take advantage of sunlight.
If natural light isn’t an option in your particular space, or it’s limited, some experts recommend getting a light box in the winter months to help boost mood.
2. Consider your lighting options
Natural sunlight is a writer’s friend, but you’ll likely also want to consider other lighting sources, especially if you work in the early morning or evening hours.
Look into a desk lamp, a fun chandelier, or even a lava lamp. Check out these useful tips for lighting your room for maximum productivity.
3. Make an indoor garden
While Instagram is full of people writing from a hammock, it’s not practical for most to work outside all day, every day.
The next best thing is bringing nature into your work space. Plants are a simple and inexpensive addition that can add a touch of nature while also helping purify the indoor air.
When selecting plants, consider how much sunlight you have available and be realistic about how much time you’ll actually devote to caring for them.
Attention-intensive plants (like bonsai trees) can be a good fit for people who will spend the required amount of time taking care of them, but are perhaps not the best fit for people who can barely remember to water a plant once a week.
Whether you prefer flowers, ferns, or succulents, adding plants can cheer up your space without costing a fortune.
4. Add a zen garden
If keeping plants alive is a bit more than you bargained for, consider a rock or zen garden.
While some people think it’s a bit cheesy, others think it’s a fun way to meditate for a few minutes at a time. Rake the sand, rearrange the rocks and take a few deep breaths before returning to your writing.
5. Add a fresh coat of paint
Spruce up your space for the cost of a gallon of paint.
Whether you’re just touching up an aging eggshell paint job or looking for a whole new color scheme, consider the impact different colors have on your work life. Select a color that will inspire you and help you work. Consider accent walls or even painting a mural.
If you’re a renter who is not allowed to paint, or it’s just too much of a pain, you can find some inspiring tapestries to hang. And the great thing about tapestries is you can swap them out whenever you want.
6. Use artwork
Keeping inspiring objects nearby can lead to a huge boost in creativity.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on fancy art to derive the benefits. Display your kids’ fingerpainting masterpieces or scout local street fairs for unique and affordable pieces.
Etsy is another good place to find artwork that speaks to you but isn’t too expensive.
7. Essential oils
If you enjoy essential oils, consider adding a diffuser to your office space and using a variety of oils depending on your needs.
According to Entrepreneur, a few scents to consider are lemon (good for concentration and calming), lavender (eases stress and calms) and cinnamon (improves concentration and focus).
While using scents in a shared office space can be tricky if people are sensitive to them, if you have your own space, you’re free to enjoy playing with a variety of different scents.
While some work in silence, many writers prefer to crank up the tunes.
Whether you find inspiration from Tchaikovsky, Dr. Dre, Garth Brooks or Justin Bieber, focus on having a way to listen to the music that helps with your writing.
You don’t need a huge stereo system that shakes the walls, but consider adding a speaker or two to listen to your favorite music.
Of course, your laptop will also work just fine. Have a playlist at the ready for when it’s time to get to work.
9. Exercise equipment
Getting some exercise is a great way to relax and recharge your creativity.
Install a pull-up bar, keep a yoga mat handy or bring some dumbbells into your space.
If you have a lot of room, consider a treadmill or other exercise machine to hop on for an impromptu brainstorm session. Or just get a good pair of running shoes and keep them in an obvious place so you can grab them and go for a jog when inspiration is fleeting.
Whether you work from a tiny desk in your studio apartment, a custom-designed office space or even a corner of your basement, these ideas can help you make your writing space more inspiring.
How do you transform your workspace into a place of inspiration and productivity?