Dorm Décor

We had to start living on our own somehow, and the dorm was it. I know what you’re thinking when you hear me say those words: terrible roommate, infinitesimal living quarters, communal bathroom, and possibly party central. I was fortunate to experience only the communal bathroom, which was not actually that bad (and had really good water pressure in the showers.)

It’s funny how places like that make you function. Mine was two things for me: a place to get some sleep (once and a great while, if I was lucky enough) and a refuge when school got too overwhelming. It was the place from which my adult existence stemmed, and where I feel I really started to learn about myself as a person. Quite importantly, I did not do this alone; my room came equipped with a wonderful roommate – Roomie #1, as I called her. She was one of the greatest parts of living in the dorms, and we ended up living together three out of four years in college.

Our decently sized room was a perfect starting place…for college, for adult life, and for our friendship. It had everything two freshmen needed, with an elevator right outside our door to the left, a laundry room to the right, dining hall downstairs (we could go in our pajamas!) and a bathroom just around the corner in the hallway. If you think about the mechanics of all of this, we subsisted together in just one room and, save a couple small disagreements, really loved our time there. Although we had a large room by comparison to many dorms, space was occasionally a little tight. Despite that, we decorated freely with posters on the walls and fairy lights hung around the large window.BV Laptop End Table Detail

We never worried about was our desks; they were provided for us. We had the option to buy a hutch for them, but my parents made me one instead for a fraction of the cost. However, even now as I work at a furniture company I realize not every school may provide their students with optimal furniture choices so they can work well. If you’re getting ready to make the move to a dorm or are planning on helping someone else, consider a Buena Vista Laptop End Table or the Wheaton Corner Desk that both fit perfectly and economically into small spaces. Even in dorms, “stuff” can accumulate very quickly: let our furniture help you out.

Wheaton Corner DeskYears later, I’m proud to say we decorated well in our dorm room. That was a formative year, and we did it right. I can’t believe so much time has passed from the day we first moved in – it was seven years ago, now – but decorating that space was the springboard for apartments to come. Check back soon for the second installment: transitioning from dorms to apartments!

Dorm Décor

Turn Work into Fun in your Beach House or Sunroom

Office furniture needs may change based on climate, the beach house in question, and even the unexpected effects that sunny weather can have on your ability to concentrate.  Since we’re in the throes of summer right now, it’s the perfect time to discuss two of our desks that would make a perfect addition to your beach house or sunroom. Whether you are trying to set up a large or small office space, we can help you find a way to work comfortably throughout the summer months and still have a great space to enjoy a colorful umbrella in your happy hour refreshment, once you’ve finished your last conference.

Fairview-ANW_branded

The Fairview Desk blends perfectly with an accompanying Lateral File and provides just the right amount of workspace for your beach house office. The L-Desk has a flip down door for a computer keyboard or additional storage, a Two-Drawer Pedestal with additional open storage, and a cabinet on the left for a computer tower or wastebasket. The white cottage-style Lateral File offers plenty of space to keep important documents close at hand and makes a great buffet server for appetizers as the sun sets.

Bemus Sunset_7.6.15_JW

Maybe you really love the clean, white appearance of this set but are constrained by space or simply do not need as large of a work surface.

Salinas-ANW_branded

In that case, the Salinas Desk and Hutch are perfect for small office areas. In a Mission style, this piece also offers a very summery feel. The tray underneath the desk can store a computer keyboard or laptop computer, leaving the surface free of any evidence of your day job. Finally, the Hutch has ample open storage for great books to read over the summer, space to write postcards to family and friends, and photographs of the memories you’ve captured at your beach house.

We know you’re trying to take it easy this Sanibel Beachsummer, but if you need to briefly accomplish some things or simply pay a few bills these desk sets are a beautiful and functional addition to any summer space. Enjoy decorating your beach house or sunroom, and then go outside and soak up the warmth!

Turn Work into Fun in your Beach House or Sunroom

Designing the Ideal Home Office

Last week, we featured a blog on the major advantages and disadvantages of working from home. These apply whether you are self-employed, work for a large corporation, or shutterstock_173449544something in between. Now, I’d like to talk a little bit about how to design that workspace. Once you sort out all the logistics of working from home, it’s time to consider the space itself: how will you organize everything to create the optimal work environment? Hopefully this will give you some inspiration.

As you consider your plans to work at home, it’s important to consider exactly WHERE this work will be taking place. Maybe you have a separate room for your office already, or perhaps you’ve designated a certain part of your living room or bedroom as that workspace. No matter where it is, the important thing is that the space is functional for you. Some need to organize their workspace so they are not disturbed by anything, whether it be the TV, noise from outdoors, or interactions with family or roommates. Others like ambient noise to keep them busy. Know your own work habits and plan accordingly when it comes to getting down to business.

Separating personal and work time can be very important to many people, especially when the work/home boundary is blurred to such a high degree. Deciding when to work and when not to is often difficult, especially if someone is a workaholic and their time at work is shutterstock_124023289no longer dictated by the traditional office environment. Set boundaries and time limits if needed; for example, tell yourself you are allowed to work a fourteen-hour day for one day in the week and try to limit the others to eight hours. Additionally, having a separate phone line, email account, and bank account to your personal ones will give you an easier time in working at home.

One of the major functions of a home office is not only your ability to work in it, however. You also need a place to store things such as office papers, supplies, and knick-knacks you keep close. Whether you are someone that needs to be very organized and tidy or think better with clutter, find an area in which to do that. Plan to have storage available, even if the space is not that big. There are many innovative ways to use the space to its full potential, such as floating shelves, small cabinets under desks, and hooks on the walls. You could even plan to have storage for infrequently used papers as long as they can be accessed when necessary. Check out our Pinterest page for more ideas!

Above all, it is important to be flexible. If you are unhappy with your workspace as you have designed it, change your setup! Designing a home office that works for you is not necessarily something that can be created formulaically in a week or even a month. It takes time to learn what you like your environment to be as you work at home, even if you know what your habits were like as you previously worked in an office. Keep your acclimation period in mind, continue to adapt, and enjoy the many benefits of working from home.shutterstock_141046591

What organizational tips and tricks have worked for you? We’d love to hear in the comments section below!

Designing the Ideal Home Office

Why Not Work at Home?

What if you could eliminate your commute to work, at least some of the time? And what if you could take care of your pets and/or children while you work? Do you feel most of what you do for a living centers around your computer anyway? If any of this is resonating, you might consider doing work from home.

Working at home is plausible whether you are a freelancer, work for a Fortune 500 company, or something in between. With advancements in technology, in particular, more people can do office-related work from home today than they ever have before. The concept has become extremely popular in recent years; in fact, many people who freelance or own their own business work where they live.

According to Forbes, many popular companies have joined the throng as well; among them are Xerox, Dell, Apple, American Express, Adobe Systems, Microsoft, and Bausch & Lomb.[1] These corporations not only have worldwide acclaim for what they do, but are also known for employee treatment: when they send workers home, it demonstrates they care about their well-being.

Many people who work from home find they are more productive offsite than they would be in a traditional office environment. According to Global Workplace Analytics (GWA), ⅔ of employers say their employees are visibly more productive when they work from home.[2] So, what’s causing this increase in productivity? For one thing, working from home has proven to be much less stressful. Without a commute or being immersed in office politics, workers are much happier when they are in their own environment. There are also many less distractions like open plan offices, noisy coworkers, or even simple discomfort that contributes to a lack of focus.

Further, GWA reports that 78% of people who call in sick are not really ill; rather, they’re taking sick days in conjunction with personal days to even just have a few hours extra in the day to be with family, go to appointments, or run errands. In fact, 10% of people polled would opt for a pay cut in exchange for working at home.[3] With a more flexible schedule, workers are happier and often even more motivated to put in extra hours when they have the time.

Employers also benefit from sending their employees home to work. For example, if they are willing to let their employees work from any location they are then capable of hiring the best people to complete the job…not just people who live where the company is located.[4] Currently, approximately 18 million Americans with some college education are not employed. Working from home, whether it’s for a company, on a freelance basis, or by starting their own business could be the answer to that tremendous unemployment gap. In addition to providing job opportunities for the un- and underemployed, working from home also favors the disabled who can work from their computers without having to go to the office.

Some may see this type of employment as frustrating or unrealistic. For instance, employees might worry their lack of physical presence in an office makes them less important or accessible to their employer–the out of sight, out of mind philosophy. Being away from a team-centered environment could potentially decrease collaborative opportunity as well, or other coworkers could be jealous of those who are allowed to work from home. On top of all that, it takes a great deal of motivation to accomplish work-related tasks, and intense Cabot Collectiondiscipline to know when it’s time to focus on work or be done for the day to accommodate for personal time. Thanks to technology, these issues are not as great of concerns as they might have been even five or ten years ago.

Bush Furniture’s beautiful and functional furniture collections address all of your work at home needs. Create a home office that makes you feel both comfortable and productive. The Cabot Collection has a professional feel that coincides perfectly with existing home furniture.

For a clean and simple home office, try the Aero Collection Writing Desk:

Aero Writing Desk

The Somerset Collection features a warm aesthetic with convenient storage options for all your household office needs:

Somerset Collection

If you work from home, we want to hear from you! Comment on this post and share your home office experiences. Further, be on the lookout for next week’s post about how to design your home office so it meets your needs and adds to your home décor.

[1] http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2014/01/17/work-from-home-the-top-100-companies-offering-flexible-jobs-in-2014/2/

[2] http://globalworkplaceanalytics.com/resources/costs-benefits

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

Why Not Work at Home?