Lived In and Worked In: Gadanke’s New (Functional) Studio
And here it is, folks! Gadanke is officially 100% in its new home. Confetti! Streamers! Horns blaring!
I’m writing to you from this desk on the right now. Yeah!
My top goal is function. I was almost a little nervous to share pictures of this space because photos are all about accenting the beauty, not the function.
So let’s talk about the beauty of function, shall we? That’s the real secret of any home, and I’m hoping I can put together the words to show you what I mean without sounding like a total dork!
1. Create function, then beauty.
The tire house where Gadanke used to be was neither functional nor (in my opinion) very pretty. You cannot work efficiently when your supplies is spread through several rooms or you’re constantly tripping over yourself.
I think the worst in the lack of function for me was how ineffective it was to build journals on the dining table (the only large work surface available). I felt like I was constantly spreading out supplies in the morning and packing it back up in the evening just so we could have a normal dinner.
It’s easy to add pieces of beauty to a space that functions well. It’s not as easy to make something pretty then figure out how to stuff everything you need into the space.
2. Have a dedicated landing place for stuff.
Right behind the door, we have an old, banged up side table. Oh yes, it’s filled with stuff. The top is all outgoing items like paperwork to pass to other pilots, my sweater, and things to take to town. The bottom is for incoming stuff: mail, receipts to file, hiking books someone just returned.
Everyone needs a landing place at work or at home. It makes the rest of your space easier to keep clean. You know, “Yeah, it’s okay that this corner looks like a bomb. That’s what it’s for.”
When you don’t have a designated place for the stuff, it lands anywhere, making your whole space feel cluttered and disorganized.
3. Maintain one cleared off surface.
No clutter or pretty non-functional objects on the work table, please. That’s my rule.
I’m going to keep stuff on that huge table that I need on a regular basis, and that’s it. It isn’t a space for pretty objects that get in the way; it’s a space for getting work done.
If a space is for making things happen, clear off the surface of all the extras. Let things happen.
4. Think up.
When Martin and I built a 36 square foot kitchen in Germany a few years back, the small space only worked because of one thing: we built up.
Right now, you could divide my office in two awkward pieces. The bottom half of the room is very full and heavy. The top half is completely bare. It leaves you feeling weighed down, looking at how full the bookcase and drawers are.
By adding some shelving and hanging the clock and bulletin board, the air would lift. Of course, it doesn’t mean that I can add more stuff to the room. It just needs to be redistributed. (There are several boxes of supplies still waiting for a home.)
We’ve added some blue painter’s tape on the wall above my computer. One of these days, that’ll be shelving. And on the ceiling? Yeah. That’s a dangling light bulb. Light fixtures would help pull the room up more, too.
Don’t settle for storage and life on the ground. Think up.
How do you focus on function versus beauty? Does the “lived in” or “worked in” space make you more comfortable? Oh! And while we’re at it… any lighting suggestions? We’ve got three light bulbs dangling.