August 27, 2010

know yourself, know your space

Have you ever wondered where bloggers blog from? Wondered what their office or work space looks like? Wonder what certain entrepreneurs home/work offices look on the inside? I often do.

Occasionally, design studios and designers will give us a wonderful glimpse of their amazing spaces via their online sites like DwellStudio:

Photo credit:

or even Etsy:
Photo credit: Lifehacker
It's why I love reading SeenandSaid, BabySpace, Leah's The Way We Are, Ohdeedoh, Will's Brights.Bazaar and BloesemKids (bkids has incredible posts on entrepreneurs and their spaces!) as well as PirouetteBlog (this blog also features great one on one's with designers and their kids), and many many more. They all introduce, share and showcase office spaces of fantastic bloggers, designers and regular Joe's like us.

Why this curiosity? Perhaps it's the voyeur in me. I like to see what inspires other people, other designers, companies. How their surroundings affect them. I used to say when looking for a job that it wasn't the space that I sought but rather the people and most importantly, the work itself. Today, after having worked in many different companies throughout the years, I know for a fact that I am adversely affected by my environment. I have a deep interest in how companies set up windowless offices, how they've managed the lighting to counterbalance being in a, let's face it, box (or as I call my office space now, the Morgue). I check out desk placement and layouts, decor and location.

A view to me. My home office, surrounded by my favourite photos, magazines and showcasing some of my product designs on the shelf above.
Keira decorated my computer for me. My desk is always a jumble of wires, numerous sd cards and magazines.
I also love to see the environments of bloggers & designers. How do they get inspired and how do their environments inspire them?

This being summer, I walk into work from morning sunshine and am ready to face the day's challenges yet as I sit in a dark environment with low lights, I can feel my energy and creativity start to wane as the day goes by and my spirits plummet. It's a crazy experience as I create some of my best designs late at night with the very same conditions (i.e. dark room, low light)! Perhaps it's because I'm at home, I am surrounded by everything I love. Working late into the night, I can hear my daughter's slow and steady sleep induced breathing (my office/her playroom is 2 steps down from the bedrooms), my desk is setup the way I like with frames, photos, trinkets of everything I love. But the best, oh yes, the best experience is being able to work from home. I merged my office with Keira's playroom in the second largest room of our home. Instead of 1 large window, we have 2 on both ends of the room looking out either to the front of the house or the backyard. It's an incredibly light-filled space and I love it. I get a huge sense of peace when I sit there and my spirits and creativity soar when the room is lit up in sunshine.

These are just 2 of my mood scrapbooks started way back in the late 80's early 90's. Filled with artists, designers and anything else clipped & pasted of things that inspire me. My love for anything California can be seen even back then!
As well as all things Scandinave...  Who can *not* love Björk?
My love for Isabel Marant has not waned through the years. She's incredible!
As any parent knows, it's hard to really work with your kids afoot. Knowing that I'll probably get most of my work done at nights, it's easy to be interactive with Keira during the day. She loves to check out what I'm doing, loves to be able to 'draw' on the computer and we'll check out what's she interested in at that moment (i.e. a video on youtube, figuring out what a certain character's name is in a show etc). Luckily, her Barbie dolls call to her and her interest in the digital peters out quickly or she'll make me get off my duff and head outside with her.

I am planning on changing the colours in this room but in the meantime, this is where my heart is, where my creativity gets recharged and my spirits soar.

Where do you love to be and how does it inspire you daily?


Layers and Layers said...

Great to see where all that creative energy comes from. Adore your scrapbooks...definite keepers. What about wallpaper ... so many funky, hipster ones on the market that would be so you!!! You go creative girl ;-)

joyce said...

wow you've been creative for so long! never knew that. those scrapbooks must be so meaningful. do you ever flip through them and cringe at some of the things you've pasted, or do you still love them all?

Chantale said...

Sharon: That would be an amazing idea, I love wallpaper! But a no go with the Mister. I wouldn't mind wallpapering our entryway though!

Chantale said...

Joyce! I still love everything in both scrapbooks! Every. Single. Page. I'm missing 1 scrapbook and I know it prob got lost when we moved to this place. I'm really sad because it had amazing Gucci 90's pages I had and also some classic Calvin Klein. lol. I'm bad aren't I? Sadly, I don't have as much as I did before but there are stuff in my pages that are coming back in style now. Just one big circle this world.

Nani said...

wow I love your scrapbooks and the colors and frames are love. I even like Keira's decorating of your computer. My spot is also my desk (although it's not really a desk) but it really keeps me going and feels like something that is "mine"

Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

Audrey said...

That is amazing that you kept your scrapbooks. What a great idea. You are so artistic AND organized!

Leah said...

What a great post Chantale! I love getting to see a glimpse in your blogging space! I love the floating shelf and the yellow and pink pops of color! And how cool is that that you can work from home!

BTW Thanks for the lovely mention dear!


Leah said...

Oh yes and I love your Hello Kitty mouse pad! I love me some Hello Kitty!


KLT said...

I love this post! I completely understand what you are talking about regarding workspace having an affect on your creativity. I have had some pretty dismal work environments- and surprise- those weren't very creative times for me. I love the peek into your spaces. Your journals are awesome! It is great to hear that you merged K's playroom and your workspace. I really think that the time lost entertaining the little ones, is nothing compared to the time lost mentally,in dark & dreary offices. Hope you have a great weekend & create something fun in that space of yours!

Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas said...

This is such an awesome post Chantale! It was fun to see your home work station set up (much more organized and cool than mine) and your idea books! I have similar ones, but haven't created a great working space yet. With bring home my work to helping my husband with his business and paying bills, etc., it is a bit of a chaotic mess, hehe. Hopefully I can slowly bring it to a place of beauty, peace, and creativity.

Bron @ Baby Space said...

Chantale! This is such a COOL post. (And not just because you mentioned Baby Space - lol - which by the way THANK YOU for putting it with such great company!)

Love this post because:

1) LOVE seeing your desk space (I have one of those little kimmi dolls too). Love seeing other people's desk/work spaces/homes too. As you can imagine.

2) I used to keep clipping books too and LOVE seeing yours. (I think there's a frustrated designer inside me!)

Will @ Bright.Bazaar said...

This is SO fun to see your creative space. Where do I start with the goodness?! The pink magazine files, that look even better because of their pristine appearance amongst all the stickers and trinkets that add personality and charm. Plus, that shelf? Me thinks someone has a talent for visual merchandising; I can see that in a shop window for sure.

Thanks for sharing your space, Chantale.