Interiors Addict’s Jen Bishop can help you create a stylish, functional workspace

Qualifications didn’t stand in the way of Jen Bishop’s dream to write about her love of interior design. In 2011, Jen launched Interiors Addict to express her love for homewares. Back then, it was just a side project while she worked as a journalist and a magazine editor. She’s proved that pursuing your passions can lead to a full-time business opportunity. Though Jen may not be an accredited interior designer, connecting with design professionals through Interiors Addict has taught her a few things about creating a stylish and functional workspace.

Jen says the first thing you should always do is measure your workspace. It will help you to understand the type and size of furniture that will work in your space. “Corner desks [often] work well in small spaces,” Jen says. A desk that runs the length of one wall could help fill a larger room or even create more space to move in a narrow room, she says.

But before buying anything, it’s important be aware of your office layout. The position of windows, fixed storage, and bare walls in your office should help determine where you place your furniture (and therefore what type of furniture you need). “You don’t want to be cramped up, facing a wall,” Jen says. “If you can, face a window that offers a long-distance view.”

Windows are also important to bring natural light into the room. If they’re openable, they also provide fresh air. When natural light is low, Jen also recommends brightening spaces with task lighting. “A desk lamp can be useful, especially in late mornings or late afternoons – depending on which way your window faces.”

If your under-desk space isn’t wide enough to fit your chair and storage, but you have open floor space, Jen thinks sideboards are a “fantastic storage option”. “Use the top of them for desk lamps or your printer.” She says they can also be used as a secondary workstation.

Jen believes clutter can happen when you have outdated tech equipment. Upgrading your single-function printer or scanner to an all-in-one printer, scanner, photocopier and fax will help reduce the room you need for your devices. You can apply the same logic to your computer as well – ditch your old monitor and standing hard-drive for a laptop or a desktop computer with a built-in hard drive.

The final step to create a great office space is to set the mood with music (or not!). You can connect your desktop to some wireless speakers to play your favourite tunes. Or, if you’re in an office with people who have different music tastes, even bring your favourite headphones to work. But if you work best in silence, that’s perfectly, fine too.

Creating your ideal workspace is about making the most of the existing space and making it your own. Just like Jen does with her Instagram initiative, 7 Vignettes, you can add lots of personality to your room with decorative touches. Your colour choices of furniture and accessories can also showcase your personal style.