Published in William Paterson University’s Magazine- The Mix- May 2021
By Nia Neal-Smith
Being stuck at home during a Pandemic, looking at the same lackluster walls every day can get bleak. Unfortunately, this has become the new normal since quarantine started. Dealing with the fear of COVID is stressful enough, but on top of that people find themselves feeling frustrated as they struggle to turn their living rooms or bedrooms into offices and classrooms.
Linaa Watson, a 2nd-year college student, shares the difficulties she’s encountered with virtual learning due to the fact that she doesn’t have an office or workspace at home. “A big struggle is staying motivated while working in my room. Being in a school setting motivates me way more.”
Having worked in a HomeGoods store I see firsthand how many people, like Linaa, are itching to change up the atmosphere in their homes amidst this new normal. That’s why I decided to team up with expert Titiana Irby, an entrepreneur who studied architecture as well as interior design, to give readers some tips and advice on how to make your living space a productive one as well.
Tip #1 Start with color!
Her advice is to surround yourself with colors that inspire and motivate you.
“One of the easiest things to do is a paint job.” She explains “Changing the color of a room can change the feeling of it regarding aesthetic, mood and size. Colors on the lighter end of the spectrum tend to make space feel bigger, while darker values make space feel cozier. You can try a wallpaper or print if you really want to spice things up.” She also suggests using warm lighting as that may help you relax and maintain focus, so that’s a plus!
Tip #2 Incorporate Plants
Now, this is for my more outdoorsy readers who feel trapped at home and want a little taste of nature. Titiana has a solution for you:
“Flowers are a simple addition to an office, workspace, or dorm that tend to be overlooked. They can really turn up the style factor in a space and bring an ethereal touch to a place where you’re doing alot of work. You can do a small bouquet or go crazy with them. Get faux flowers if you are allergy-prone.”
Stores like Home Depot, Walmart, Homegoods, and Homesense offer an assortment of real and fake plants for a low cost. I would also check your local florist, this way you can support local businesses who may be struggling right now and make your room come to life.
Tip # 3 Play with themes
For our more experienced readers who want a challenge or who want to bring their new workspace to the next level, this tip is for you.
“ Minimalism is a style that is very popular and gives a modern feel as well. The idea that ‘less is more’ also makes your budget smaller than if you were curating a space filled with textures, shapes, and more elements.”
A spacious workplace will definitely make you feel more at ease, and for those who are obsessed with classics, why not try a vintage look? Titiana says “To incorporate a more vintage look I would say get some neutral tones going and some brass and gold elements going.”
Adding a theme to your space can be a fun way to take your mind off how crazy things are right now and help to reinvigorate your creative spark.
Tip 4 DIY to save money!
You may be wondering how you’re going to transform your living space when money is tight. A lot of people have been struggling to make ends meet during this Pandemic, but you don’t have to sacrifice your dream workspace to stay on budget!
Titiana shares how she revamped her space since the pandemic started. “My personal favorite DIY projects are centered around reupholstering furniture. You can take something old, or just plain and make a bold statement piece with the right material.”
She recommends going to any sort of hobby or arts and craft store to find materials. This can be a fun project that can help lower stress. It’s also perfect for anyone struggling with boredom while being confined to their homes. The end product is an amazing space with your own personal flair.
These tips will allow you to turn your space into something new and exciting! I know some readers may feel overwhelmed, but remember, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to interior fashion for your home. It’s all about what helps you get into work mode and what brings you peace of mind.