Chip Wade’s Tips on Revamping Your Workspace

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DIY Custom-made desk with hidden storage
October is here, which means we’re back to the grind or back to school. We’ve bought new clothes, backpacks, computers and other supplies, and we organize our calendars in hopes of getting ourselves or our children set up for success this fall. But have you considered making changes to your environment? Whether it’s a home office or a secluded study spot, renovating your workspace can have a huge impact on your productivity. Here’s a quick checklist to ensure you get the most from your space. 
 
1. Work Surface: Choose a desk or table large enough to spread out all your materials. Or better yet—build your own. A table without drawers is a great DIY starter project. Buy prefabricated legs and then simply attach a top—butcher block is inexpensive, easy to cut and has a nice smooth top. If you’re a more experienced DIYer, you can build in custom or hidden storage solutions, as shown here. We made this desk console packed with time-saving features, like clamshell lids to hide storage and power outlets.
 
2. Lighting: Proper lighting is crucial for preserving your eyesight and maximizing your energy and efforts. Your workspace should combine ambient and task lighting to provide enough illumination that you avoid eyestrain at any time of day. Ambient lighting produced from chandeliers, ceiling- or wall-mounted fixtures or recessed cans provides overall illumination that radiates a comfortable level of brightness. Task lighting from properly placed recessed cans or under-cabinet light strips should be direct and bright, but don’t overdo it—beware of distracting glare and shadows. Task lighting is also an opportunity to bring your own style to a space by adding decorative pendants, track lighting and floor or desk lamps. 
 
3. Personalize: Add colors that inspire you. Nature-inspired blues and greens typically have a calming effect, improving efficiency and focus. Yellows trigger optimism, energy, creativity and innovation. Get creative—use cups, baskets or other colorful items to keep your supplies organized and within reach. Plants are a great addition to a study space because they add color and have other benefits: cleaner air, reduced stress and healthier skin. Succulents are a good choice since they require less water and maintenance.
 
Chip Wade of Wade Works CreativeAtlanta native and Johns Creek resident Chip Wade, host of HGTV’s Emmy award-winning “Elbow Room,” is an expert on interior and exterior home renovation. He works with homeowners and DIYers to create stylish living spaces that suit their functional needs. As the owner and lead designer of Wade Works, LLC, he is devoted to helping people make educated home-improvement and home-buying choices.
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