Katherine Yaphe has collected some lovely examples of stylish home offices on her Oliver Yaphe blog. She confesses most of her work is done on a laptop so she’s not seeking a true micro studio capable of accommodating screen printing equipment, flat files, paste-up table and the like. None the less it’s a nice collection of inspirational work spaces sure to give you some ideas for your own creative lair.
On our hunt for home studio inspirations BrainstormOverload affiliate Jeff Zerger recently shared this discovery: Simple Desk A collection of minimal work spaces. Granted we are really hoping to go beyond the idea that a desk alone constitutes a fully functional and inspirational home studio but there are some interesting ideas in this collection that can be used to help inform the larger space. The photo featured here for instance is pretty dang swell.
It turns out Ikea has a business website where you can share your space this includes a home office showcase. One of the nicest things about it is that people from all over the world are participating (though that makes reading the captions difficult if you are language impaired like most Americans including myself). The image quality isn’t great (not sure why they built it with Flash) but it’s nice that they are obviously authentic and include non-ikea furniture. I like the long custom desk in this photo from a studio in Switzerland. The site also has other features like an interactive ergonomics widget in the “Tools and Guides” section.
If you find yourself flipping through the September issue of Dwell magazine be sure to stop on page 79 for a look at a sweet, small studio space at a home in Sweden. Designed by Elding Oscarson the studio is detached from the rest of the home but is connected by an outdoor patio space. This would be a nice arrangement and a very reasonable commute. On page 22 Dwell also purports to have a slide show of “home workplaces” on their website but I can’t find it. Let me know if you do because I’d like to see the collection.
Photographer Jim Brandenburg takes his home studio seriously enough that he had David Salmela design it (along with the rest of the house) and it looks like an amazing place to work. The irony of course is that Brandenburg, a renowned wildlife photographer, spends lots of time traveling to spectacular locations outside his studio. This is probably the most classic case of having one’s cake and eating it too that has ever come to my attention and while a lesser man would be jealous I can assure you that I am merely green with envy.
Even if a gorgeous, two story studio bordering the Boundary Waters is not in your budget at the moment now is a great time to listen to the architect himself talk about it. David Salmela will be speaking at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis on Wednesday, July 14th at 7:00 p.m.. Also speaking will be Tom Fisher who is Dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota and the author of two books about Salmela’s work. They’ll be signing copies of the first book and talking about the second which is due in spring 2011. It’s sure to be inspiring for anyone in search of quality space. See you there.
My brother gave me a great book by Ana G. Canizares entitled 500 Solutions for Working at Home. It’s 423 pages of solid inspiration organized by type, including studios design for personal use, architecture, design, art and services. Each case study includes not just beautiful photographs but details, square footage and floor plans. This book is full of clever solutions from humble to lavish. At $15 new / $8 used (at Amazon) your investment could be as little as one and a half cents per studio solution. Of course there is a ton of inspiration online but it can be hard to track down and usually won’t come with this level of detail so this book is pretty good way to augment your search.
Here’s an interesting example. The two man web design shop Yummy Gum in the Netherlands renovated a small 215 square foot room into a beautiful studio space. An example of 215 square feet is a room that is 10 by 21.5 feet – larger than your average bedroom. Maybe not large enough if you added flat files, a silk screen and a paste-up table. However, unlike a simple desk in a corner this feels like a dedicated space where you could be dedicated to creative work. Check out the original post on Unplggd for more images of the clever ways they’ve kept the clutter (particularly all the wires) hidden away. I dig the cool laptop slot under the table (photo 2).
There are more home tours on Unplggd. They’re not all office or studio spaces but there are some interesting and inspiring ideas.
Many designers dream of starting a studio of their own. Somewhere between that vision and the beautiful agency spaces we’re used to working in lies reality: the home office. The benefits are obvious; no commute, fully stocked kitchen with no one else’s coffee cups in the sink, the ability to work outside or with your favorite music blasting. The drawback is that the work space is often crammed into the extra bedroom or the basement and nothing like the light and airy agency spaces we’re accustomed to. Space is critical to creative problem solvers because we constantly need to be drawing energy and inspiration to feed our work. What’s more, an insufficient space is a creative problem waiting to be solved and presents a distraction to getting our actual work done.
So, is it possible to rise above home office doom and create a studio space with all the benefits of being at home but without spending a fortune?
I’ve been looking around to see if I can find a way to believe the answer is yes. In doing so I’ve found a few sites that showcase amazing office spaces of the thousands of square feet variety:
This Ain’t No Disco
Office Design Gallery
Working for yourself doesn’t mean huge budgets for office furniture but think of the money saved not commuting and not paying rent. Think of the money you don’t need to spend on agency style conference rooms and signage. Surely someone has found a way to put some of that savings into a home studio space that inspires creative endeavor? I think I’ll keep looking into it and will share what I find here. More and more people I know are launching out on there own – first rate talent – and they deserve a first rate studio in which to ply their craft. More soon.