When conceptualizing the Lehi, Utah, HQ for Ancestry.com, interior designer Joanna Paull of Rapt Studio was laser-focused on, well, focus—along with creativity. Her thinking: “We’re not tethered to a desk anymore, thanks to technology,” She says. “We move around our spaces doing work in different seating and standing configurations, alone and with others.” she shares ideas for designing an inspiring home office or studio that helps you get stuff done.
Paull picked muted jewel tones to complement Ancestry’s desert surroundings, but no matter where you live, a study found that the color blue can improve performance, and seeing green before a task amps innovation.
Recurring patterns in indoor environs can minimize the body’s reaction to stress caused by intensive tasks, a University of Texas study found. Paull fell in love with this wallpaper, which “straddles the line between bold creativity and thoughtful restraint,” she says.
Buy it: Porter Teleo Tangled wallpaper in Bleu, porterteleo.com
“When you are in a head-down sitting mode, be kind to your body with an ergonomic desk chair,” Paull says. But for brainstorming sessions or meetings, she suggests outfitting a nook with comfy, loungy chairs to facilitate collaboration and the flow of ideas.
Buy it: Anthropologie Marly swivel chair, from $998, anthropologie.com
Nothing beats the sun’s light for concentration. But having levels of light at different heights “maximizes your ability to transition the room for different uses,” says Paull. Place task lighting on your work surface so your eyes don’t strain, then use floor lamps near a cozier spot.
Buy it: EQ3 Micah table lamp, $80, eq3.com
This article originally appeared in the November 2017 issue of Women’s Health. For more great advice, pick up a copy of the issue on newsstands now!