Creating An Inspired Work Space

With the year in full swing, it's time to prioritise your work space, creating a zone that inspires you everyday to ensure you can be the most productive version of you for the year ahead.

Sarah Elshaug : Friday 10th February 2017

With plenty of natural light, a relaxing colour palette, a little greenery plus our pooch 'Max' the Hungarian Vizsla, the studio at Maitland Street Interiors is a relaxed and inspired space. Interior decoration & styling by Maitland Street Interiors.  Pic by Stephanie Rooney.

At Maitland Street Interiors I love helping clients to create work spaces that reflect their style and their business, helping them to do their best work day in / day out. Here I share my tips on a few key elements to consider when planning your ultimate work space...


Do you have a separate room in the house, a studio out the back or are you restricted to just one wall?  No space is too small for a little work space make over magic - you can achieve something beautiful regardless of your constraints.  So think outside the box and consider which areas could be best utilised in your home.

Nestled beside a window, with natural light streaming in and a serene view, location is everything when it comes to selecting the perfect spot to set up your work space.  Image courtesy of Urbaani

Colour Palette

Creating a colour palette that either energises or relaxes you can have a big impact on your way of working.  For me being creative is all about calming my mind, so I chose a cool blue & white palette with lots of greenery.  But you may work best when your senses are invigorated by a bold, bright and uplifting palette of vibrant pinks and yellows.  There is much research on the psychology of colour and how it can directly impact the way we feel, think and do.  So let Google be your friend and discover the colours that resonate best with you.

Dulux 'Five Fingers Peninsula' is the perfect calming shade of blue.  Stylist : Maitland Street Interiors, Pic by: Stephanie Rooney

Inspo Images

Start a Pinterest board or look to Instagram for inspiration and start building a collection of images that really resonate with you.  The Workspace Stylist is a constant source of inspiration for me... you can find them on Instagram at @theworkspacestylist

A collection of inspiring images helps to set the scene for the look and feel of your work space. Image courtesy of The Workspace Stylist.


Be sure to add plants, plants and more plants!  Greenery is not only good for the soul, but great for keeping the air in your work space as fresh as possible.  I love having plants around me to tend and watch grow.  Select pots that work well with your overall colour scheme and consider where they will be placed and what sizes you will need.  A few of my favourite Melbourne greenery suppliers are Ivy Muse who make the most beautiful pots and stands; colourful pots by Pop and Scott; and for the most incredible indoor plant selections try Town & Country Garden or Glasshaus.

A little or a lot of greenery is essential for healthy living.  With air purifying properties, why stop at just one plant?!  Image courtesy of via The Workspace Stylist.


Storage is king!  Consider all your files, folders, supplies, books etc that you need to store. Some you'll need close to hand and others can be hidden away, so be clear about where you'll need to place the items.  Then research your preferred storage solutions... wall mounted shelves versus a free standing unit, cupboards, filing, draws etc.  Give careful consideration to the space available and placement of these items.

Shelves, files, folders, containers... whatever your needs, aim for a coordinated colour scheme. With plenty of matchy-matchy stationery around you're sure to find the perfect mix.  This selection in the studio is from Kikki-K  Interior decoration & styling: Maitland Street Interiors, Pic: Stephanie Rooney

Desk & Chair

Your desk and chair will be your source of comfort for potentially 6-8 hours each day, so make sure they are the best you can afford.  Consider if you like to have things tucked away in draws, or visible on your desk.  How tall are you and what desk height suits you best?  Make sure that your chosen chair will fit neatly under your desk - there's nothing worse than a chair that can't be tucked in!

The Sketch Desk from Globe West is simple, yet functional.  With an open shelf and single draw with dividers, in natural oak, it is the perfect solution for the studio.  My blush leather 'Spensley' chair from Barnaby Lane is super comfy and compliments the studio colour scheme beautifully.  Interior decoration & styling :  Maitland Street Interiors, Pic: Stephanie Rooney

Artwork & Curios

There's nothing like a great selection of artwork to inspire you.  With so much affordable art available, you can curate your own mini gallery wall in your space.  Mix up your selection with framed quotes, personal curios and various frames.  There is no 'wrong' way to do it, just go for it and make a gallery that uplifts and inspires you.  It's always easy to swap things around when you're ready for new inspiration.  I can't go past Norsu Interiors or Forman Picture Framing for a broad selection of beautiful, affordable art prints.

Adding a curated selection of artwork and curios offers daily inspiration.  Consider what resonates with you and mix and match frames to suit.  Remember affordable art can be changed regularly to suit your mood or focus.  Image courtesy of Norsu Interiors.  Styling: Michelle Halford, Pic: Lisa Cohen.


Create a list of your 'must have' items for your new space - the absolute minimum versus the 'nice to have' items.  Then check off pieces that you already have that can be reused eg. an old desk that could be sanded back and repainted to suit your new scheme.  Finally you can write your 'shopping list'.  Be mindful of your budget and do some savvy sourcing for the big items so you can afford a few of your 'nice to have' items too:)  

By up-cycling an old trestle table with a coat of paint, the little 'nice to have' items like an original artwork from Mondocherry are more affordable. Image courtesy of Mondocherry.

The Final Details

Lastly, once installed, your work space is yours to layer up with all the little bits and pieces that inspire you.  A selection of books from The Collective Hub are always nearby for me, plus pics of my two gorgeous girls who inspire me to chase my dreams daily so we can enjoy the best of life together.  

Lisa Messenger, founder of The Collective Hub, is a constant source of inspiration for me.  She's a self proclaimed 'entrepreneur for entrepreneurs' and offers bounds of advice and inspiriation in her titles.  Arm yourself with a selection of motivational reading for the year ahead.  Image courtesy of Rise Women

Feeling inspired to create your ultimate work space... get in touch here.  I would love to help you achieve your work space goals too!

x Sarah