Whenever I move into a new place, I unpack immediately. I know ahead time where every piece of furniture is going because I laid it out on a floor plan as soon as I knew the measurements of the place. I get my prints up on the wall as soon as I can. I make that place a home. However, in previous apartments and houses, I’ve typically shaken things up every season or so. Whether it’s painting the walls a new color, adding a piece of furniture, taking one away, something to freshen the space up.
In my current apartment, that just isn’t as easy as it used to be. This is definitely the smallest place I’ve lived in and the one where our furniture arrangement is clearly the ideal arrangement – especially having seen the previous tenant’s layout – to maximize all 600 square feet.
SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO SHAKE THINGS UP
But, sometimes you really do need to shake things up at the beginning of a new season or any time you’re looking for a fresh perspective. That happened to me a couple weeks ago when I realized I was no longer working at my desk. I typically work from the apartment in the mornings and I found that more and more I was sitting down to my kitchen table to work rather than my desk. That’s not ideal – I want to use my kitchen table for meals, for cooking, for quality time, not for working.
Why wasn’t I using my desk anymore? I decided it had to be that the space was feeling stale and I wasn’t inspired as I sat there. They say that switching up our environment can help us stay productive and creative, which is especially crucial for those of us who work at home. Usually I accomplish that by leaving the apartment to change my setting, but that’s not always realistic, particularly if I have a busier than normal day. So, how could I change my environment without leaving home? Shaking up my desk was the only option.
HOW TO REARRANGE IN A SMALL SPACE
As I mentioned already, our furniture arrangement within the apartment truly is the best possible use of every single square foot in our tiny space. Without getting all new furniture, there’s really not much we can do. However, I was determined to freshen up my “home office” – the area in our unnecessarily large hallway that is home to my desk.
Feeling particularly inspired by the constant rearranging that my friend Sarah does within her own DC apartment, I looked at my space and tried to see what I could change while still maintaining a functional flow through the rooms. I realized that part of my problem with the layout was that my back faced the living room and kitchen, so I felt totally cut off from the heart of the home AND I was facing a wall whenever I was working. I’m not quite sure how feng shui works, but I’m pretty sure that’s bad.
So, all I had to do was switch the placement of my desk by 45 degrees so that I can look out into the living room and kitchen to my right when I’m working. I’m still facing a wall, but there’s no way around that. Then, I rearranged a couple of the prints in the gallery wall, added a few new books and functional pieces to my desk, took away a few others, and within 25 minutes, I had a completely new office area. That’s definitely the biggest perk of redecorating in a small space – it’s never going to take more than a few minutes!
Super easy, yet it gave me a completely refreshed perspective on life every time I sat down at my desk to work and even when I looked at my desk from the other rooms. It’s amazing how much staring at the back of a chair can make an area in a room seem like a dead end. Now, the whole space seems opened up and so is my motivation and creativity. It all comes down to looking at the small changes that can be made and touches you can add to make to a space feel new again.