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  • Photo: Dana Miller
  • When we downsized to a modest ranch, it was necessary to carve out a workspace for blogging, paying bills, keeping up with the kids' school communication, emailing, and making grocery lists. Designating an entire room for office work was out of the question. We just didn't have the space.
  • Photo: Dana Miller
  • During renovations, we incorporated a desk area into our kitchen design. It's taken me over a year to get it the way I had always envisioned, but I'm so happy to share it with you today. Here are my five tips for creating a functional and stylish home workspace.

    1. Organization, organization, organization

    It's a must for any workspace. We installed cabinetry to match the rest of the kitchen for a cohesive look. The cabinets provide hidden and visible storage. The base cabinets hold our printer, paper, arts and crafts supplies, frequently used household tools, and files for documents and coupons.
  • Photos: Dana Miller
  • Glass-front wall cabinets provide a place to display decorative accessories, my camera bag (out of kids' reach!), and attractive storage boxes. I love that these items are visible but protected from dust.

    A variety of letter boxes, magazine files, and baskets hold documents and inspirational tear out sheets from shelter magazines. A cutlery caddy is the perfect solution for flash cards, playing cards, pencils, and other rainy day activities for the kids.
  • Photo: Dana Miller
  • The right side of the kitchen desk is a natural dumping ground, so a freestanding cubby corrals the mess and looks good, too. This is where my notebooks, books, glasses, and incoming mail lands. I love all the hidden storage and the wood tone lends an organic feel.
  • Photo: Dana Miller
  • A labeled, tiered letter tray gives each member of the family a place to keep invitations, reminders, and small belongings. We keep current magazine and catalog issues not yet read in two magazine files for easy access. A matching desk organizer provides a spot for pens, pencils, scissors, planners, a tape dispenser, tape measure, and cell phones.
  • Photo: Dana Miller
  • 2. Comfortable seating

    It's hard to concentrate when your legs are falling asleep or your back is aching. A stool with a padded seat, supportive back, and footrest encourage me to keep at it until my work is done. It's so comfy! The gray upholstery picks up on the textured gray letter boxes in the glass-front cabinets and a gray chair in the adjacent living room. The rich wood legs nod to the many wood boxes and baskets found in the space. Repeated elements like these help the desk area to blend in with its surroundings.
  • Photo: Dana Miller
  • 3. Inspiration in plain sight

    Keep yourself motivated with images and quotes that inspire you. The best part is you don't have to spend a dime to create a personal mood board. Here, I gathered objects and images from my home and hung them on the tongue and groove backsplash with adhesive strips and washi tape. I can easily switch things up when boredom strikes.
  • Photo: Dana Miller
  • 4. Fun accessories

    Work is serious but your accessories don't have to be. The littlest things—a bright red stapler, gold scissors, an acrylic tape dispenser, or photo magnets—can bring a smile to your face. A colorful rug never hurt anyone either. Keep the mood happy and light.
  • Photo: Dana Miller
  • 5. Greenery

    Breathe life into your workspace with potted plants and fresh flowers. It's almost as good as taking your work outside. It may seem like a luxury but I picked up two discounted bouquets from my local grocer for a total of $4, and they make all the difference.

    I hope these tips inspire you to bring function and style to your own workspace!
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