inspiration zone title

How to turn your office into an inspiration zone

Creating an inspiration zone for a high-screener

For an inspiration zone in your office, studies show you need to have good lighting, appropriate colors and manage clutter. My clutter was unmanageable. I’ve added lots of color and plenty of inspiration. The dominant colors in here are red, blue, yellow and black. Every color means something. Red is the color of passion, ambition and determination. Blue is the color of stability and safety. Yellow is the color of happiness and energy. Black is the color of power and mystery.

Before you consider your color scheme, take into account what mood you want to create. If you’re a high-screener, you need highly saturated environments. That’s the environment I’ve created for myself. For some, including my husband, this office would be sensation overload.

How I turned my office into a travel inspiration zone

Danger: Lifeline required for entry
OK, so my disaster zone office wasn’t quite *this* bad!

This is how I made my office disaster zone into a place where, in the words of my husband, “You can actually create in here!” From a place of suffocation, I have turned it into a place full of travel inspiration.

My office was a place with too many unfinished projects scattered in an unorganized mess.

Now it’s an office fit for a travel blogger. As a travel blogger, what could possibly be more inspirational than maps and globes? My office is literally papered with maps and an entire corner is filled with globes.

My favorite things surround me.

Highway out of the disaster zone

When I started the makeover, I had only a tiny place in which to work, just enough for my keyboard and screens. Everywhere else was piled with clutter. Lots of clutter. I hated it. I just didn’t understand how much I hated it. Apparently, I’m a high-screener. That means I can and do screen out much of my environment when I’m working.

But not when I’m writing. All that clutter was bearable until I began blogging. Then I realized my office needed a total makeover.

I cannot write creatively in tons of clutter. I can edit photos, design publications and crunch numbers while surrounded with clutter, but not write. Writing in a cluttered office Does. Not. Work. I felt anxious every time I walked into my office. And no wonder. Studies show that clutter is linked to depression and anxiety.

The walls were white. The original walls and ceiling were royal blue, an inept and depressing color in a basement. White improved upon that disaster, but I can’t created when surrounded by clinical white. Besides, studies show that people who work in white-walled offices make more mistakes.

It was time for a change.

First, I removed the clutter. I nearly filled up a Dumpster with the items in my office and the adjacent room. The clean-up felt so good! I could breathe in here.

inspiration zone corner
The inspiration zone begins. Maybe someday I’ll visit the Arctic, see the Grand Canyon and go all the way to Santa Monica, Calif., to the end of Route 66. And fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars. The top sign is from Dad’s house. My mother created the cross-stitch sign.

Maps to the rescue

While I was decluttering, I found my box of vintage maps. I love maps! In a flash of inspiration, I knew what to do about those white walls. I saw the maps as wallpaper. Lovely! And free! From that corner, the maps spread around the room. The more maps went on the wall, the happier I felt.

Roxie at her dorm room desk
My little dorm room cubicle stuffed with inspiration.
Roxie standing in front of her dorm room Inspiration wall
Everything flat that I liked went up on this dorm room wall above my bed.

The maps became a canvas and a bulletin board, just like my college days. When I was in college, I decked out whatever available portion of my dorm room as an inspiration zone.

Lola in the global inspiration zone
Lola inspects the globes. The aqua bowl belonged to Eric’s grandmother. It’s about to become a stand for the 1931 globe behind it.

Hey, I’m a travel blogger — and my office is my inspiration zone

The map wallpaper inspired me to bring out my globe collection. The globes have been hiding in a storage room for years. Our globe collection ranges from globes made in 1931 to 2005, plus we have a lunar and a celestial globe.

All these maps and globes shout, “I am a travel blogger! Woo hoo!” Talk about inspirational.

Einstein on clutter

The paradox of clutter in an inspiration zone

While too much clutter is depressing and a creativity block, a neat desk can inhibit creativity.

Einstein said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

Put me in a room with nothing inspiring and I struggle. Put me in a room full of my favorite things and watch the creativity flow.

Come fill up my senses

I need things I can touch and smell. Because of that, I have a star-shaped rainbow-colored Slinky, a friendship worry stone and a small potpourri bag at my fingertips.

I have a Himalayan salt lamp on a bookshelf near me. Nearly every day I rub some essential oil on the lamp. The warmth from the lamp causes the oil to fill the room with beautiful, soothing fragrance. Three of the globes are lamps as well

My inspiration zone
Stories of our lives are displayed in this office. When writer’s block shows up, all I have to do is look around me.

My favorite things

Roxie's mom Mary Lockwood at the piano
My mother Mary Lockwood at the piano c. 1977. At her sewing desk, she sewed nearly all our clothes, including the outfit she is wearing.

Every single object in this office has a story.

Roxie with Grandpa Herbert Lockwood
My favorite picture of me with my grandfather Herbert Lockwood. Grandpa made me a set of bookshelves that I now use for professional books.

My dad’s red Craftsman toolbox stores office supplies. My uncle’s view camera and my Olympus film camera and original Mac laptop are on a bookshelf. I use my grandfather’s desk for planning. My grandmother’s writing desk, my mother’s bookshelves and sewing desk (now globe display stand) are all in here. The furniture surrounds me with the ones I love.

I love books, too. This office is full of books with more just outside the door. The bookshelves next to the door were a gift from my grandfather, who built them.

break space in inspiration zone
Hanging with Mr. Spock in my inspiration zone’s break space. It’s the final frontier.

Adding a break space

The office decor sites I consulted said that every office needs a break room. Well, my office has a break space, too. Even though I have an entire house and yard to enjoy, my break space provides a relaxing place when I’m stuck on the phone. My break space is a Husker bean bag chair with a wedge pillow underneath it.

Our kitties often turn my computer desk into a break space. I love that they want to be with me.

Does your office work for you?

Everyone’s office is and should be a reflection of its inhabitant. How can you make your space work for you?

Let’s visit about our dream offices. Comment or talk with me on Facebook and/or Instagram.


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