My WFH (work from home) office space in Savannah, GA, featuring artworks by SCAD alumni Russ Noto, Monica Cook and Marcus Kenney.

Notes on WFH: Make Yourself a Cozy Space

The transformative sculptor Louise Bourgeois once said that “solitude, even prolonged solitude, can only be of very great benefit.” It is, indeed, a considerable privilege to be alone with one’s own thoughts, especially in creative spaces that are inviting, replete with accoutrements we hold dear.

Color

Ideally, the hues in a workspace elevate your spirits and enhance focus. Washed in Estée Lauder blush pink, my home office wraps me in a warm glow and makes me happy. I greet urgent phone calls and tight deadlines with pleasant resolve in my rosy room.

An upholstered wall doubles as a pin-up space for reviewing the 2020–21 SCAD catalog pages in progress.

A functional feature in my workspace is a tone-on-tone pinstriped, upholstered wall. Like a prized Chesterfield sofa, the wall’s styling evokes comfort, and the tufting and fabric muffle sound to cocoon my nook. The wall doubles as a pin-up space, and taffeta plaid curtains conjure memories of a bespoke ball gown designed by SCAD alumnus and CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner Christopher John Rogers.

Calm

Sometimes a little music — or the playful bark of a puppy — is just the thing to carpe diem. On more than one occasion during the pandemic, I’ve felt the tap of a puppy paw — an invitation to a game of fetch! If our sweet mini goldendoodle, Ari, isn’t curled up at my feet, he’s eager to play or make guest appearances during Zoom meetings.

Our sweet mini goldendoodle, Ari, who is always eager to play or make guest appearances during my Zoom meetings.

Maybe you prefer to listen to the soft tones of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue to mellow your mood at work. Personally, though, I steal moments to play the piano. A 15-minute break with Beethoven lets my soul sing. For energy and to clear the mind for tasks ahead, I also recommend a quick 30-minute stroll. Tranquility is often found in nature, so I keep long-lasting miniature orchids in a crackle-glazed ceramic pot within my gaze. Deep green leaves and magenta petals jolt positive energy into any space. My black and green iced tea is always nearby, sweetened with organic honey from SCAD Back40. “Sweeten the mouth, sweeten the mood,” a friend from China once told me. It’s true.

Collections

A bowl of painstakingly painted SCAD Ukrainian eggs, a gift from a friend, bring joy to my home workspace.

To afford moments of reflection during a busy workday, I keep small, meaningful collections in my workspace. A rustic box adorned with a soaring bird holds a couple of vintage door knockers — just in case I need to make a little noise. Ukrainian eggs painstakingly painted by a friend bring joy, and plastic toy figurines — workers sporting tools and hard hats — are on the job in a silver Revere bowl.

Collect your thoughts, calm your soul, and color your life as you work from home. Isolation needn’t be confining. Just consider what pleases you most, and cast yourself in a scene of your own making.

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Paula Wallace

Paula Wallace

Designer. Author. President and Founder of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) || http://scad.edu || http://instagram.com/paulaswallace