Ernest Hemingway Had the Right Idea ...
This is what I call a creative and organized workspace. Earnest Hemingway had the right idea when he created his Sun Valley, Idaho writing retreat.
Beautiful scenery keeps the creative juices flowing. His manual typewriter takes me back to a simpler time. I transport back to my powder blue Corona passed down the hand-me-down family train until it finally reached me, the fifth child.
I'm back at my dining room table in my childhood row house banging away on my manual typewriter into the wee hours. It didn't matter that computers had entered our world in a big way. There I sat typing away with my whiteout next to me. Organization was non-existent. A creative backdrop ... are you kidding?
Not exactly, unless you call an iron board piled with folded clothes, a dining room set from the 1940s, clutter from one end of the dining room table to the other inspiring. Did I mention five kids and a dog?
If money was no object, I'd put my dream office in an A-frame house on a hill with views of the ocean and mountains in beautiful Maui.
But I live in the real world with everybody else. My life is on the east coast, an hour from any waves. I stare at my cluttered rolltop desk. A bottle of vitamins, stapler, deodorant, exercise dvds and a bar of soap commune with papers galore and eye wash. Peace is not here.
What's a woman to do ... cyber-surf. I find more than a few stylish work spaces that would suit my needs for creativity and organization.
A few minor adjustments, and the craft desk (above) would serve my purposes well. I'd make the shelving and desk wider and store my submitted manuscripts in the boxes on top of the shelving. My scriptwriting and other software would go in smaller rattan boxes.
The binders would hold magazines I queried or plan to query for articles. I'd replace the bottom plastic storage with rolling rattan file cabinets for my ongoing projects. I'd add a serenity fountain, a jar of shells, sand and a couple of inspirational phrases on the walls to keep me on task.
Tiffany blue and chocolate would be my color scheme of choice. I'd fill the shelves with an assortment of Tiffany blue and chocolate boxes, some with damask and polka dot patterns.
This would make a great additional wall unit. Since I write for more than several markets, this shelving unit can hold magazines, scripts, greeting card samples, book manuscripts and so forth.
Wow, this one is even more ideal. I could study a television show on one screen while writing notes on the other for a script. I do that now, but it doesn't look quite like this. I'd encase it and turn it into a built-in unit with shoji screened doors, so I can close it up when I'm not working. Even if I have a dedicated office space, (I currently work out of the corner of my living room)I'd also use it for non-writing pursuits.
This Tiffany Blue craft room excites me because my writing workspace would also double as a studio for my second passion: vintage hats and handbags. I hope to start creating them on the side.
I know what you're thinking. With a hectic online writing business and creative writing projects -- when would you have the time? But you see, it's actually all connected. We'll get into that in just a moment.
Now this room is clean, organized and a little sterile. The color is too depressing. It just doesn't scream creativity. I'm looking for a workspace that's also my muse. You know every writer needs one or two.
A Murphy Bed Office?
What a great concept! You can quickly transform the office into guest quarters because the "flip" side of this desk and shelving unit houses a Murphy bed. A rolling filing cabinet lets you keep work close by or tucked away.
This pop art is a definite choice. I'd get two made, one of my Mom and the other of my sister, Diane -- my biggest supporters who passed away.
I'd add a wall of shelves or a glass cabinet filled with my interests and rotated periodically. I'd display vintage handbags one season, a doll collection another season ... you get the idea. I'd also find one of those dress forms and keep a retro dress on it or decopage a collage. This would happen with any of the above designs.
These boxes serve function and art. I love them!
If I'm really dreaming a workspace that's doable in the near future, here's my inspiration. Milliner Amy Hamilton, owner of the Granville Millinery Company, designs handcrafted hats in her restored 1859 farmhouse in Ohio for the Kentucky Derby, Red Hat Society, celebrities and the Average Joan.
Since I write family sagas spanning generations that blend yesterday with today and a little tomorrow, what better place to write than in a Hollywood glam atelier/writing room. My Hollywood Glam is a mixture of Mid-century Modern, Art Deco and Asian design. All of my favorites.
I'd like to design hats you can imagine worn by Lena Horne, Ingrid Bergman, Lucille Ball and Dianne Carrol, 50 to 70 years ago. But not in the same magnitude as Amy Hamilton.
And since cartooning is another foray, my work space has to be whimsical too. Until I develop my millinery skills, I'll settle for collecting them.
To dream my workspace is to be surrounded by vintage hats and handbags with my desk in the middle or somewhere alongside with shelves and boxes for storage in Tiffany Blue and Chocolate -- pop art -- a dress form with one of Posh Girl's Vintage bridal gowns -- a few favorite cartoons on the wall -- and a table for designing accessories.
Now I'll explain about what I meant when I said my work is all connected to my workspace design. Let's say I'm writing a brochure for an insurance company, a creative environment will spark an innovative spirit and produce attention-grabbing copy. An uninspiring one may produce uninspiring results.
My characters breathe through me. I have one who designs hats, another who designs handbags, two create cartoons and murals, another writes soap operas, and an eleven-year-old who helps her granddad on his candy machine route.
Needless to say, I dream a workspace where my characters can feel at home. As Candace Olsen of HGTV's Divine Design would say, "How Divine!"
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