Inner Tech: Me and My Aero

CaptureYou know how a melody gets stuck in your head? Well, as I started to organize the components of my new media center I kept singing “Wherever we go, everyone knows- It’s me and my arrow.” It had been years since I heard this song from the fable “The Point” by American songwriter and musician Harry Nilsson about a boy named Oblio. He was the only round-headed person in the Pointed Village, where by law everyone and everything must have a point.

Having grown up with this animated movie with Ringo Starr narrating the Father’s voice, I was reminded of my early years of being a geek and not fitting in with the 70’s movement.  It wasn’t until 1977 with the release of “Star Wars” that I finally felt at home with my surround sound system, characterized by a sweet spot where the audio effects work best.  Yes, this was the moment in time that I heard the voice of my inner tech and knew from that point on everything in my life had to nourish my technical sensibilities.

Today I am still every bit the geek that I was back then, but now geeks are cool. As a seasoned marketing specialist, I get plenty of technical challenges every day and work in a world filled with resolving issues with the IT department. So I’ve decided to create a media oasis in my home where I can work remotely, as well as enjoy the pleasures of Netflix, iTunes and Hulu.

Aero-BLK-16_brandedI was happy to discover a sleek design and roomy work surface with the Bush Furniture Aero Collection Sofa Table/Writing Desk in classic black as the foundation of my home office. Its durable gray tinted-glass top fits my tech décor with a spacious bottom shelf that can store more. The desk provides the perfect amount of space for work, and its small footprint allows flexibility if I want to rearrange.  The rounded quarter-turned legs are strikingly stylish and match the design of the Aero Collection’s most brilliant contribution to home entertainment – the Aero TV Stand.

First and foremost, it’s the perfect size for my 60-inch flat screen TV. The top open compartment offers functional space for my Apple TV and sound bar, plus the side cabinets have adjustable shelves for my numerous vintage gaming systems. Some things, like the Nintendo 64, are just too good to ever let go. The tinted glass doors keep everything out of sight and the wire management zip-ties neatly align my cables and keep the controllers organized.

I completed my media wall by adding a 2-Door Media Library Storage cabinet to the left to store my DVD’s and games, with a matching cabinet on the right to store my CD music collection. The Coffee Table fits just right in front of my well-worn sofa and provides a seamless style throughout. It’s my favorite place for work and play.

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This is a great solution for today’s generation of young, social, tech-savvy individuals. Sure, there have been surveys and studies and focus groups conducted on trying to understand their needs and desires, but this is what they truly want.  As I kick back with my new Aero Collection media center and home office from Bush Furniture, I figure once a geek always a geek. It’s time to turn off the lights, turn up the sound and watch “The Point,” which I found on Google and streamed directly to my TV. Oh, the joys of technology – “Me and my Aero.”

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Inner Tech: Me and My Aero

Black and White

Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams is one of the great photography masters, known for his iconic black and white images of the American West.  Let’s follow this lead and consider how we might apply his visual insights to my modern day apartment and office design. In an attempt to bring a sense of sophistication and refined elegance, I selected his black and white color palette because it seemed easy to work with and offered plenty of advantages with my limited budget.

One of the most important things Ansel Adams left with us was his principle of pre-visualization. The obvious contrast between the two colors helps highlight specific architectural features and decor additions with ease. While other color schemes come and go with changing seasons and interior design trends, black and white offers a safe alternative that stays relevant even decades down the line.

Using Ansel’s pre-visualization method in approaching my living room design, I immediately visualized how I could work with the New York Skyline Collection by Kathy Ireland as the core to my black and white palette. This is a complete line of Ready-to-Assemble living and office furniture that delivers fashion, quality, value and safety while fulfilling the needs of working people like me.

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To make a statement,  I selected the Plumeria White painted wood finish Bow Front Desk with the combination Credenza TV stand to establish my living room office. The desk features a gleaming (and reversible) frosted glass desktop, plus plenty of filing space with drawers for office supplies. The matching Credenza TV stand accommodates my 60” flat panel TV, plus it comes with a StabiliBar TV safety brace to keep my TV firmly in place.

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Then, I chose the New York Skyline Collection 16-Cube Bookcase Room Divider in Modern Mocha to quietly begin dividing my apartment into both living and working zones, without obstructing the room’ spaciousness. When I added the NYS Three Table set to finish off my sofa area, it all started to come together in a harmonizing contrast of black and white.

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While black anchors the living room section of the apartment, I’ve highlighted the prominent architectural elements; the white office furniture lends a sense of airiness and balance to the backdrop. By adding Ansel Adam’s polarizing filter, I was able to see why painting a blue sky with clouds ceiling mural could add more saturated color and create a dark and contrasting sky with my evening lighting, versus the sunlit room that evolves naturally during the day.

Even if you decide you don’t want to master a full-blown minimal style, starting off with a black and white color palette is absolutely perfect for a few cornerstone furniture pieces to begin your decorating. Once you uncover what you need or want to improve upon, these two hues will help keep you focused on your true artistic expressions.

Check back next month when we explore Minimalist Décor Accented with Colors of the Season.

Black and White

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