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Wanna Peek Inside Our Actual Work From Home Spaces? (Plus The One Thing That’s Made WFH So Much Better)

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Welcome to the new normal. Work meetings (and happy hours) are via video chat, FaceTime dates with friends are essential for sanity, and pets are happy (albeit confused) that their humans are suddenly home all. the. time.

While our team is so grateful to be able to work from home, some of us weren’t fully equipped for the transition. We live in different square footages but even more so, we have different needs when it comes to creating an effective work environment. In addition, when isolation doesn’t end after work hours, we felt extra pressure to create designated work areas to simulate some kind of normalcy. (Check out today’s first post if you need help creating yours on a budget). So after sharing photos of our setups with each other and discussing what has worked for us so far, we decided you guys might want to peek behind the curtain and see where EHD is working for now. We tried to make them pretty, inspiring, and functional while working with what we’ve got. So without further ado, take it away Emily:

Who: Emily

What’s working for you? HA. “Working from Home” with two young kids. As you all know we are up at the mountain house and seriously feeling lucky to have this house and the forest behind it. But working, shooting and writing while trying to be with the kids (and teaching! Ha!) is both really fun, and highly challenging. Right now I’m sitting up there in the loft, trying to write this while listening to Birdie scream about how she all of a sudden HATES cuties as a snack and that her brother took her piece of paper that is “very special to me” – a phrase that all parents know so well, and if you aren’t a parent trust me. The second someone touches a Child’s ANYTHING, it could be literally a rock they found, it’s all of a sudden “so special to me”. I’ll fill you guys in later on what our days are looking like and how we are juggling it all, but I think it’s safe to say that I need to do most of my work in one of the bedrooms where I can close the door, not this beautiful loft space where I can hear everything and am far too available to them while I’m trying to write….Or buy some noise-blocking headphones 🙂 
The good news is that Brian and I are working together so much more, creating fun DIYs and craft projects with the kids that we will show you. It’s actually super fun to do it together as a family. Stay tuned for some of that coming your way soon. So technically that is where I’m working right now, but I might have to move this desk into a bedroom with a door that locks 🙂 

Who: Julie

What’s working for you? Ironically, a week before we started WFH I put that desk up on Craigslist since it had been sitting in my storage for the past 4 months. I had previously bought it to use in a potential project but ended up holding on to it since the price was right and it felt like my old-man-library-style. Having a real desk (aka dedicated space) made all the difference for my mindset, work productivity and especially my back. But what really worked was getting into a routine to “set up the day”. I make my bed to avoid naps later in the day, get my tea, open the shades cause we all need more vitamin D these days, light a candle, toss the phone to the side and take a couple of deep breaths. Of course, I wanted a nature photo nearby so I could pretend I was there at any point in the day. Also, a pretty piece of art is not a bad thing to look at when staring off in the distance trying to get creative. Most importantly, doing a 20-minute midday yoga flow helps to get moving and reset to keep motivated for the rest of the day.

Who: Veronica

What’s working for you? At the beginning of last week, I was working from my kitchen table and found myself getting distracted easily being in a communal space and it didn’t feel like me. Towards the middle of the week, I cleaned off the desk in my room (which had become more of a storage space) and made it the most home-y I possibly could with baby’s breath (even dead, there is something so beautiful about them that I adoooore!!) I then lit 3-4 candles all over my room and turned on my disco-ball lights. My desk is also surrounded by notes from my friends over the years and a wall with concert tickets and polaroid images all over, so that made me feel extra comfy and has me feeling some sunshine during this time at home 🙂 

Who: Sara

What’s working for you? We’re lucky enough to have a room we can use as a dedicated “office,” but Mac is the one with a real desk and set up. Originally I was working on a plastic folding table, but while we were organizing the garage this weekend I found my vanity table from our old bedroom, and I decided to use it as a desk for the time being! I hung up a few pieces of unplaced art (a drawing by Mac, a painting by me, and a little vintage one I just put up with putty), threw my pens in a ceramic cup I’d made and had sitting out, and moved in a little friend to sit on the sill. Now I feel like I have a legitimate office corner.

Who: Caitlin

What’s working for you? I think I’m EHD’s only fanatical member of #teamnodesk. IT’S THE WILD WEST OVER HERE. Just give me a comfy chair (this one is vintage from Junque, who I wrote about last week!) and my laptop and I’m good to go. I am very lucky to have an apartment layout that’s very conducive to working from home (i.e. my bed is several rooms away) and a personality that’s conducive to isolation (only child syndrome, I knew you’d come in handy one day!!!). That said, I’ve loved taking some time to get reacquainted with my record collection and playing vinyl all day has given me a reason to actually stand up (which is great because otherwise, my skin would be coalescing straight into this chair — it is THAT comfy). If you have a record player that’s gathering dust, break it out! There’s something really soothing about the drop of a needle, especially when it’s drowning out the sound of the Jack in the Box drive-thru next door. (Another tip if you want to feel like everything is TOTALLY normal: consider living next to what has recently become LA’s hottest Jack in the Box, complete with a drive-thru speaker whose decibel level competes with a jumbo jet landing. You’ll never feel alone!!!)

Who: Mallory

What’s working for you? This is my WFH set up in my fairly empty, soon to be MOTO-ed studio apartment. There are 3 things that make me sane while working here: 1. making to-do lists in my handy dandy notepad, 2. drinking fun Nespresso pods (I stocked UP, guys). Lastly, 3. I recently cut up some fruit and put it in my water (not pictured since I tried this for the first time this morning) it is keeping me MEGA HYDRATED and it makes me very happy. 10/10 recommend.

Who: Ryann

What’s working for you? Not pictured: the 4 liquids that accumulate on the coffee table over time (water, coffee, green juice, sparkling water), a half-eaten yogurt, handfuls of chips on a paper towel (because bringing the whole bag would negate the number of times I stand up per day), and two notebooks (because one isn’t enough??). By the way, working from your couch is not illegal. I checked. Plus this one makes my whole life complete. I started day 1 of quarantine at my dining table and I hated it. My back hurt, I couldn’t get comfortable, I wanted to scream. So I did what any adult would do and moved to my favorite spot in my apartment. Immediately I became so productive and 10x happier. I’ve worked in about 14 different positions on this couch and that alone gets my creative juices flowing. It also helps that I have flowers to stare at, a candle burning, and my favorite book of poetry in arms reach to take a peek at when I need a break from my computer screen. I should probably also mention I am an introvert so quarantine is going great for me. I thrive in isolation (cc: Caitlin).

Who: Jess

What’s working for you? One thing I did which was pretty out of character for me (which I realize is sad), is that I covered my “desk” wall with happy photos of friends and family. I call it my “Happiness Wall”. I think because I typically see my loved ones a good amount, I don’t feel the need to have photos up all around of them. But now I am 100% by myself for the long haul. So despite my FaceTime chats, it helps me feel more connected to see their faces and happy memories plastered all over my “desk” wall. Also, I realized I need to get that cool polaroid printer Emily recommended over the holidays because most of my printed photos are at least 5 years old. The rest are just sitting on my phone, trapped! I also want to say that while my banquette is great for dining, sitting on solid flat hardwood was wreaking havoc on my back. So I put on some gloves and a bandana around my face and went to grab my real office chair. It’s a bit more crowded in here but I am on day one and I already feel so much better. PS. Fragrant jasmine is my favorite thing in the world and just suggest you grab some sprigs if it also grows wild by your home:)

So oddly enough, even though isolation now is at the forefront of our day to day lives, there is a sense that we are truly all in this together. Connection, however you can harness it, is so important and we hope to provide that platform here. So, now we’d love to hear from you. What does your work station look/feel like? How are you adjusting to this new normal? Let’s connect xx

Fin Mark

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Hilarious that I’m the first comment, but honestly I WISH WE HAD MORE TEAM MEMBERS because I could look at peoples WFH spaces all day. Jess I think I’m gonna go grab my office chair too 🙂

hahahah Sara, i was thinking the same thing!

Hi Sara. HA. You beat me. Also your setup is V. Cute.

GUYS DO IT!

Arlyn

Friends!!! Nice to see your set ups. Also, I’m Ryann! When did that Article sofa enter your life?? 😘😘 love you all

Arlyn! Send us a pic of your “office”…this is fun

HI ARLYN 🙂 miss you. send us your space!!

Madeleine

Hi, thanks for the post! Could you share the source for the checkered/plush rug in Emily’s home office pictured? Thank you!

Madeleine I have it too and I love it so much!

Brittany

Loved this post! I worked at my dining table last week and hated it because it’s open to much of the rest of my condo and it felt like I was relaxing in my work space come 5:30. Now I’m working on a card table pushed up against my guest bed – it’s not pretty, but it works. And my cat sleeps right next to me on the bed 🙂 I’m not normally a huge candle girl but I’ve been loving them as I sit in the same room all day. And today I took a dance break which did wonders for my sore butt after sitting in a dining chair all day…

hey Brittany! kitties are always good company, and i love the dance break idea! Jess is known for incorporating those into her days too 🙂

Rusty

Squats and stretch to the sky…every hour on the hour!

We used to do afternoon squats together every hour…maybe we should all bring it back over Facetime 🙂

LA

I work for a company that makes office chairs, and am definitely missing my plush, comfy desk chair with actual back support. I was thinking of pulling a Jess and going back for mine too!

do it! you will so happy you did<3

shannon heffernan

Reading your comments to each other is just about as sweet as can be! Love your love and support!
Thanks for sharing your homes- it’s always my favorite to see real life design in the wild. Even if it’s makeshift for now 😉 all very pretty cozy productive spaces

Rusty

I love it too! Real community right there! 🥰

We were laughing that for the first few hours we were the only comments lol. It is clear we really miss seeing and hugging each other (and Arlyn:))

Sara

Ditto. Complete. You ladies are the best. And Hiiiiii Arlyn!

Lindsay

Love seeing your real spaces, and reading your comments to each other. 🙂 Ya’ll funny.

I’m a freelance web designer, so I already have a dedicated office at home. But I will say the most important feature for me is a view out a window with good natural light. Second place is a good chair with my monitor at a good height.

If you use only a laptop, I suggest sitting it on a pile of books to get the screen up to your eye level so you don’t have to hunch, and then ordering an extra keyboard so you can still type with your arms at desk level. I use an external monitor, but you don’t need to invest in that if your WFH situation is only temporary (which for all of our sakes, I hope it is!)

Kim B.

I am so grateful For my husband, who a few years ago insisted on buying one of those stands for our laptop. It gets it a few good inches off the table, and at an angle. It makes all the difference in my comfort while working!

Lisa

Me and my weird pile of books under my laptop feel very validated right now 😀 and you’re right those are great tips!!

Rusty

Yes! Occupational Safety and Health tips:
Knees at lower hip height when sitting.
Back rest in the small of your back.
Top of monitor at eyebrow level.
👌

I totally agree on the light and the chair. Thanks for the laptop tip!

karen

How does one sit on that chair from Junque?? Does one sit on the bottom part and rest their laptop on the top part? Or is the bottom part like a footstool? So many questions.

SAME! I guess I am going to have to go over there when we are free to hang out again and report back:)

HAHA it’s a good one!!! You sit on the floating bit coming up through the middle and then the arms and back piece CRADLE YA like a gosh darn BABY. This pic shows them from the side and back: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/488359153312486819/?nic_v1=1aiW18bAgiPJKNRBGy5TxYLXtUwO0Xo27tm6H3tM3C1wJvBEhig%2ByhXzrIpdRoD8m8

Lisa

Loved the peak in all your ‘home office’ set ups!! I’m with Jess on the photos thing – I usually don’t have pictures of people as the screensaver/background on my phone, it just feels kinda weird to me, but I set it to pictures of my friends and family a week ago and it always makes me really happy when I look at it now 🙂
I’m moving at the end of the week – from one flat share to another – which is stressful enough in itself and especially now, but since I’m subletting right now, I won’t have ANY furniture at my new place…. I have furniture but its all been stored in my parents garage while I was subletting here and I’d need help from at least a few friends to move it, which is obviously out right now. Definitely not the biggest problem we’re all facing right now, but I’m really not looking forward to spending the forseeable future between boxes, on a blow up matress, and especially without a desk *sad face* It’ll work itself out somehow I’m sure… Much love to all of you!

Rusty

You’ll work it out. Hugz.

It’s crazy what a difference those photos make. And I’m so sorry you are having to move in all of this! One of my best friends just bought a house and moved over the weekend. It killed me that none of us could help her. But someday hopefully soon your home will look exactly how you want it:) Good luck and sending love xx

Beth

I loved the post, but then got such huge joy overload reading your comments to each other… thanks for the dose of happiness!

That makes me so so happy! Pretty sure we also felt the same:)

KP

I loved this post! This is exactly what I was hoping for, content-wise. I like how there are lessons to take away that aren’t necessarily jumping out at you with HOT TIP but are hot tips none the less. I love how Sara put her pens in a ceramic cup. I did something similar on Day 2 at home, put my headphones and chargers and various cord accessories in a vintage brass bowl on my desk and it really made my work space feel “intentional” (even though it is definitely makeshift). Keep it up!

jessvii

^^This! I am loving the recent posts too! We are indeed all in this together. If the EHD team is open to more WFH post ideas, maybe one on tech? I am using a 14″ Dell laptop and the screen is too small but I have no idea how to improve this – external monitor and external keyboard? Something else? My screen is too low but my hands are too high in order to use the laptop’s keyboard.

I went and grabbed my monitor from our office (forgot to mention that) and it was also a game-changer. I can work so much fast and am waaaaay more comfortable. It’s obviously an investment but has made all the difference for me. You also might ask around to friends/family to see if they have an extra one. Then you can somehow do a safe handoff. I just saw someone I know on Facebook do a call out to see if they could borrow one and a friend responded yes! So you never know xx

We are SO happy you like the post. We are hoping to do a lot of these little guys in the second day posts. They are fun, easy, and gets us really talking to each other:)

Ann

After reading this, I know what my home office is missing…disco ball lights. So much fun! Veronica’s desk is my favorite 🙂

They are so fun!

Rusty

This is for Ashleigh from the ergonomic chair question a couple of posts ago…wanting Aussie suggestions:
Officeworks actually has the best quailty range at affordable prices. In fact my chair is from there and, man!, I’ve spent a lotta hours in that chair writing flat out.
I also recommend getting one with wheels and using an old flat rug underneath to ‘trolley’ on. It saves your back.
Forget Ikea and Fantastic Furniture. They’re not up to it. Amart has roughly the same as Officeworks only much less range.
Hopes this helps. Mmwah!

Also….DESIGN HACK ANY STANDARD WHEELY (or other) FABRIC OFFICE CHAIR!!!
What you need:
Fabric
Scissors
Butterknife
Cut the fabric bigger than you think by a couple of inches all the way round.
Use the butter knife to push the fabric (that’s your extra couple of inches all round) down the sides of the chair pad and Tada! Beautifully transformed DIY chair style.
Then do the same for the back support!

Thanks for the tip and hack!!

Hi! love seeing all these spaces, all so different 🙂
Can you please link to the polaroid printer thing you referenced? I really need to get the pictures off my phone!

Ugh I don’t know why that link didn’t save! Here it is: https://rstyle.me/+Nb55rNp2XXmXt8vHgA80VQ

Hope you enjoy it!!

Thanks so much!

Tina Schrader

I have a desk in my room that I never use, so my contribution would likely be better suited for a “Pathetic Desk Use Makeover: What Do These People DO All Day???” post. 😉

Love this and seeing all the different ways you guys get things done. 🙂

Leah

Emily, I love the black leather non-wheeled office chair you have in the loft. Can you share where it is from?

Leah, it is a vintage chair from Midcentury LA. Here is a similar one: http://midcenturyla.com/ProductDetail.aspx?product_sku=stg-din-4786

So fun to see people’s work spaces! In the spirit of sharing, the first two pics of this post show my WFH space (mine is on the right side!): https://purrfectlyhomey.com/2019/12/a-few-little-house-updates

Fortunately, one of my partner’s and my projects last year was optimizing our office space. So grateful we did that! Someday we’ll get matching chairs. I also sometimes take virtual meetings from the couch or dining table, partly for comfort, and partly to not interrupt my partner’s work focus. I worked from home twice a week before this, so full-time remote hasn’t been too hard a transition. 🙂

Roberta Davis

Thanks for sharing, ladies! I am retired, but I have my laptop set up on my dining room table at home, which works pretty well for me. I remember my boss, in about 1996, said that he “didn’t need an office at all” and that sounded so radical at the time. but it got my imagination going! Luckily, we can work from just about anywhere. In my last job, I used to work from Hawaii while on vacation. Just set up my laptop on the kitchen island and connected to the wifi. Happy WFHing!

milo

These are amazing! Love you all in the comments and your setups.

I’ve been permanently WFH for the past two years and while I have the basics all setup (desk, hardware, and chair), despite having an entire room as my office, I’ve never purposefully decorated it. Most of the offices I find for inspiration on places like Pinterest are either actually regular offices (which is great, but I’m not looking to decorate a cubicle), very oriented towards crafts (yay, but again, not what I do for a living), just big cherry wood hunks of wood (not really this decade), or not my style (lots of preppy bright colors with geometric patterns, which is good for them but not for me).

I’ve loved some of the ones y’all have done, especially the Mulholland Dr. couple and the ones in this post. If you all come across any other approachable (or aspirational like Emily’s amazing setup!) home offices I’d love to see them too!

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