Designing a Home Office

 

Although the nature of my profession has always allowed for remote work, I’ve never put the effort into a dedicated home workspace. In the past, whenever I’ve worked from home, I’ve just set up in the dining room – big table, natural light, why not?

Now that I’m working on unpacking and getting set up in our Baltimore row house, I’m going to make the second bedroom an official home office (except I’m going to call it “the library” because I’m a dork). I need it to be conducive to full-time working from home but also still have the capacity for hosting our overnight visitors.

The other challenge is that this home is a rental so I’m not going to be making any long-term investments or permanent changes. Though I wish I could change the wall colour (it’s a hideous pinky beige), the room is otherwise a blank slate.

First and foremost, I need a desk. I’m a fan of rustic, vintage or used when possible, and I try to avoid MDF, veneer, and particle board whenever possible. The real trick is balancing budget with longevity. I think it’s important to be mindful of environmental impact by buying second hand, sustainable, or pieces that won’t need replacing after a short time.

These are a few of the styles that I’m drawn to. (These are NOT affiliate links, just some inspiration that I like.)

 

So, I’m on the hunt! Which of these get your vote?

Do you have any suggestions as to how I should go about choosing?

Leave a link to your favourite recommended desk in the comments below.

Design

Mindful Water Use on #WorldWaterDay

It’s World Water Day! So, what’s the big deal?

Well, access to clean water is something that many of us take for granted. Unfortunately, for so many others that simply isn’t the reality. You may be surprised to know that even in Canada, a country filled with lakes and fresh waterways, there are still communities who live with long-term boil advisories for drinking or bathing or brushing their teeth.

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So, what can we do?

Well, like with any issue of this size and scope, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the daunting task of solving the problem alone. Fortunately, we can share the burden together.

5 Mindful Ways for Water Consumption

  1. Shower shorter.
  2. A reusable water bottle is your new best friend.
  3. Keep a pitcher of cold water in the fridge and ice cubes in the freezer. It will save you from running the tap to get it to the right temperature.
  4. Run your washing machine and dishwasher only when full.
  5. Share! Rather than dumping that extra gulp left in the pitcher, pour it into a pet’s dish or onto a houseplant.

Bonus: Never, ever, EVER buy bottled water. If you live in a community where clean drinking water is available, then you really shouldn’t be supporting water privatization by purchasing water from a company. It’s unsustainable, expensive, wasteful, and, in extreme cases, entirely stolen away from non-western communities.

Thirsty for more?

One of the best ways to embrace and enforce change is to stay informed. Here’s some reading to get you started.

Statistics Canada’s water study should spark federal action to protect water

36 eye-opening facts about water

Take back our water: How Trump’s appetite for privatization threatens your drinking water

How are you saving water this #WorldWaterDay?

Shower Shorter

Is there anything better than a long, hot shower? Especially this time of year? Seriously, coming in from a cold walk or after a brisk snowshoe, a hot shower can warm your bones and clean away the sweat in the most refreshing way possible.

Personally though, I find it way too easy to waste time daydreaming and singing my way through Adele’s latest hits (badly, I might add), rather than sticking to the necessities of actually getting clean and getting out in a timely manner.

Unfortunately, as we all know, water is a finite resource. Those of us who are fortunate enough to have flowing fresh water at our easy disposal should be cautious to reserve as much as possible, rather than let it flow down the drain.

SHOWER

1. Check out a low-flow shower head.

Unless you have super thick hair, chances are you don’t need to have extreme pressure all the time. I know some people think the water should pelt you to an almost painful degree, but if you can still rinse with a little less, then give it a try. 

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2. Shut the tap when you shampoo and shave.

The water definitely does not need to stay running while you’re getting your lather on. 

3. Set a timer. 

You could use an old-fashioned kitchen timer or, if you know all the words to Paradise by the Dashboard Light, you can sing your way to an 8-minute shower.

4. Cool it down. 

Does it have to be burning hot? Not likely. If you can keep your cool and still get clean, you’ll save the energy from heating up all the water needed for your shower.

And here’s a bonus tip:

When I was an undergrad my house had an upstairs and a downstairs shower with which a couple of my roommates would have “shower races.” Someone would start the timer and whomever made it back to the living room first (clothed but usually still totally damp) would win.

What are your best tips to keep your showers short?

Krista