Transforming your home office into a creative 'sweet spot'
By LISA A. FLAM
Aug. 16, 2017
Desha Peacock believes that everyone should have their own space at home where they can do the work that brings them joy.
The author of "Create the Style You Crave on a Budget You Can Afford: The Sweet Spot Guide to Home Decor" (Skyhorse Publishing, 2014) is out with a new book that focuses on creative workspaces.
"It's really important when you're doing creative work that you have a beautiful place ... so that can enhance the work that you're meant to do," says Peacock, 42, who offers lifestyle and small-business coaching through her company, Sweet Spot Style. Her new book is "Your Creative Work Space, The Sweet Spot Style Guide to Home Office + Studio Decor" (Skyhorse).
To offer inspiration, she profiles creative women about the work they do and where they do it. The book is organized into chapters that include the home office, the studio, working in tiny spaces and working from anywhere.
"It takes kind of a spiritual twist to home decor, and how your space can really influence your life and your creative work," said Peacock, who works at home in Brattleboro, Vermont, where she lives with her husband and 10-year-old daughter.
Edited excerpts from AP's interview with Peacock:
AP: How do physical surroundings affect our work and creative output?
PEACOCK: It's about being very conscious about what you're putting into that space and how you're designing it so it helps you. ... Your space is a direct reflection of what's going on in your mind. If your space is just complete mess and clutter, it's going to be hard for you to focus. But if you have literal space, not full of stuff, then that should clear away some space in your mind so that you can concentrate and allow the creative energy to come to you.
AP: Is this for any kind of work — even a field that isn't traditionally seen as creative, like, say, accounting?
PEACOCK: This book is really geared toward the creative, but I think the principles apply. If you really dig down deep, I think that creative is a very broad term. You could make an argument that accounting could be creative. It's really kind of what you're interested in and what your passion is, and paying attention to that.
AP: What is a "sweet spot" and what is a "sweet spot space"?
PEACOCK: It's what lights you up. My sweet spot is doing creative work that I love and getting paid very well for it. The sweet spot space is creating a space that allows you to be fully who you are.
AP: Does everybody need a space of their own?
PEACOCK: Everybody in a household needs to have a sweet spot nook or some little place in their house that's theirs, whether it's a whole room or whether it's a corner or whether it's just a little piece of a wall. It allows more freedom to create and it just allows you to feel, well, free.
AP: What are the most important ingredients of a home office or studio?
PEACOCK: The main thing for everybody, regardless of what you're doing, is light. Sunlight is really important. If you can't have natural lighting, then use good lights that aren't fluorescent, and lights that can actually enhance your mood, and mirrors because mirrors reflect light.
AP: Before the ease of working remotely, a home office may have conjured images of traditional office furniture. What should people think about nowadays when they are creating their at-home work space?
PEACOCK: More open and airy office furniture and prettier office furniture. Back in the day, typically, offices were geared toward men. You think about big, dark mahogany desks. It wasn't very pretty. Now there's so many women in the workforce and so many women working virtually, we really can design more beautiful office spaces and creative work spaces that are just prettier. Think creatively about your storage. Instead of going to Staples and buying a gray filing cabinet, why not go to the Container Store or go to the thrift store or the flea market and just see what calls you?
AP: You don't like the word 'office.' Why not?
PEACOCK: The word 'office' implies work and drudgery, and so for me, I would like to change the concept of work as being hard to work as being fun.