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Light Up Your Desk

Your lighting will make or break your workspace. Homepolish Editor and new Entrepreneur in Residence Anna Gray fills us in on how to choose it wisely.


Editor’s Note: Meet our newest Entrepreneur in Residence, Anna Gray, the editor of Homepolish Magazine! Homepolish is revolutionizing the interior design scene by offering beautiful, accessible interior design services at an hourly rate (no commission-driven sales pushes here!). Anna is the editorial brains behind the company’s dreamy online magazine, which is filled with aspirational—and totally doable—interior inspirations. Here, she’ll be weighing in with design advice for #WomenWhoWork, starting with her tips for using lighting to create a perfect workspace.

From Anna: Whether you’re a full-time freelancer, you work from home, or you’re simply fortunate to have a spare bedroom you’ve decided to turn into an office—if you’ve set up a workspace remotely, you know: the lighting is clutch for bringing it all together. It’s a delicate process. Should you get a desk lamp? Should you replace the ceiling fixture? Can a desk light actually increase your productivity? Many of our clients have asked themselves and their designers these same questions, so today we’re breaking down the options for productive, attractive and well-lit workspaces.

Lighting can be as important as the right desk or chair. After all, what’s the point of great design if you can’t see it? Worse yet are those who set up an amazing deskspace, but then fail to use it because the setting is so dark and dismal. We’ve gathered our favorite lighting options with tips for how to employ them in a variety of work areas.

Home Office Lighting Tip #1: Draw the eye

1. Draw the eye

Of course one’s eyes are drawn to light sources, so focus on making the well-lit areas beautiful. A task lamp (like the Clint Desk Lamp, this one or Morgan Metal Lamp) will highlight your desk accessories and hopefully encourage you to keep your space clutter-free. It’s not a bad idea to invest in some pretty desktop organizing tools, too! I love this brass cup for corralling desk accessories like cool pens and scissors.

Home Office Lighting Tip #2: Get Weird

2. Get weird

Neon and novelty lamps make a bold design statement in any space. Showcase your personality while brightening dark spaces, like in this windowless hallway with neon signage by artist Patrick Martinez. Blank office walls are a great place for artistic neon renditions. This question mark, hashtag, reindeer and coyote are a few of my favorites.

Home Office Lighting Tip #3: Expand your space

3. Expand your space

Eye-catching chandeliers and pendant lights will make ceilings feel higher by drawing the attention to a room’s upper regions. Wall sconces throw light upwards and/or against the wall, creating the illusion of higher ceilings and wider rooms. Whether you choose something elaborate or understated (like this industrial option or this Plaza Chandelier), having it feel cohesive with the rest of the decor will make your home office feel like a cozy, considered pod, of sorts.

Home Office Decor Tip #4: Blend beauty and functino

4. Blend beauty and function

In all of our dream worlds, every little detail would be hyper-considered and made of the best, most sustainable, most beautiful materials. Unfortunately, few of us have the time or budget to make this a reality. That being said, focusing your best design self on certain pieces will do much to improve a space. The desk, chair and light source are the three most important design aspects of your work space (and, okay, also your rug) and these are what’s really worth focusing on. This doesn’t mean you should spend a fortune! Great, wonderful pieces are often vintage and inexpensive. I’ve found great options on Etsy, like this mid-century task lamp, this Art Deco pendant and this handmade pendant.

Home Office Lighting Tip #5: Consider the mirror

5. Consider the mirror

If hiring an electrician to hang an amazing chandelier is out of your budget and you don’t really have room for a desk or floor lamp, consider the mirror. It bounces light around the room, doubling as an attractive and functional decor element.

For more from Anna—or to schedule a design consultation with Homepolish—visit Homepolish.com.

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