1. Seek out the right room
It’s important to consider your resources when you are choosing your new creative space. For example, look for places in your home where you have the best access to natural light. Large windows allow your mind to wander and get the juices flowing, especially when they look out onto natural landscapes.
Even if you don’t have access to a green environment, adding indoor vegetation brings life into your space. Cacti, succulents, and terrariums are the easiest plants to manage because they require marginal sun and minimal water. Having access to a sink or another source of running water is also a plus, especially if you are working with paints or other messy materials.
If possible, avoid your bedroom—this space should be saved for sleep and relaxation, where your creative space should inspire energy and physical activity. Make sure that you choose a location in your home that has lots of room. The more space you have, the more you can spread out your materials, move about, and let your mind go wild.
2. Paint the walls a creative color
After you’ve chosen your space, check out your walls. White walls can be boring, unsettling, and uninspired. If you have white walls, paint! Although it might be tempting to splash on bright yellows or oranges, these colors are often distracting rather than artistically energizing. Instead, go for more natural colors. Blues and greens are the two most abundant colors on earth and are considered the best colors for cultivating creativity.
While shades of blue evoke productivity, openness, and tranquility, green colors promote synchronicity and steadiness. This combination of qualities is essential to every artist, making blue and green hues the best choices for your walls.
Of course, painting canvas and the interior of a home are much different. The time it takes to get the job done will vary depending on your room’s existing colors, wall height, and its finish. If you don’t feel confident that you’ll do a clean paint job, hire a professional. Especially if you want to get creative in your space right away! If your walls require wallpaper removal, the hassle is almost always worth having someone else do it for you.
If you’re renting, make sure to check with your landlords before painting. If you can’t paint, don’t worry! Try hanging large posters or artwork that is predominantly blue and green, or purchasing a large, cheap canvas and painting it yourself.
3. Keep furnishing to a minimum
You’ve got the space, you’ve got the colors, and now you need the furniture! Always choose furniture that isn’t near and dear to your heart. Whatever your creative medium, you don’t want to be concerned with accidentally nicking, denting, chipping, painting, gluing, or otherwise damaging a sentimental or valuable piece of furniture.
You can often find second-hand furniture on the cheap on Craigslist, at thrift stores, or at your local Restore. That being said, you don’t want to skimp and buy cheap furniture, either. It’s important that your work surface be durable, and not something that is going to fall apart in a few short months. Furniture that is easily manipulated can also add to your space.
Drafting tables, easels, and standing desks are great ways to keep you active while you work, which is essential to both your physical and mental health. If your craft requires you to be seated, or if you have difficulty standing for long periods of time, choose a chair that is going to help you maintain good posture. Ergonomic chairs and yoga balls are excellent, and yoga balls allow for extra movement if you like to fidget while you sit.
4. Make it your own
Finally, every creative space needs a personal flair. Start with your artist’s tools—whatever they are, your tools should be at the forefront of your display. Showing off your tools not only looks great, but also entices you to use them more frequently, and in new ways. Adding new tools in with the old can inspire you to use your materials differently, adding a novel spark to your creativity. Also, display photos! Surrounding yourself with pictures of your family, friends, and warm memories help you feel comfortable in your space. Photographs of places you’ve been, or places you want to go, help your mind wander to both the adventures you’ve had and those you’d like to have. Knickknacks and objects that hold stories beyond their value have the same effect, enticing you to dive right into your imagination.