Betsy Helmuth (@BetsyHelmuth) is an
interior designer & decorator in New York City. Her company,
Design, offers, well, affordable interior design. Over the
years, she's designed rooms in over 1,000 apartments, as well as
many offices and home offices.
In this conversation, we discuss some simple steps that we
creative pros can take to improve our workspaces — both while
renting an office and in fixing up our home office. We cover
lighting, colour, shelving, storage, and other little "hacks" for
setting up shop and enjoying a happy, productive, creative
Show Notes & Links
- Betsy is the founder of Affordable Interior
- She believes you can "maximise your productivity and creativity
by changing the atmosphere in which you work"
- When looking for an office, look for the basics
— location, space, costs
- Also look for a building with similar businesses for future
- Many companies overlook their interior office design —
they look good online, but it doesn't translate to the real
- Barbara Corcoran says
to "overextend yourself" in terms of rent. It creates hustle.
- "If you build it, they will come." Betsy applies this to empty
desks in your office.
"It's more expensive to move than to pay a little bit more each
"A rented space needs to have some home-office flavor."
- Noisli.com, plays
focus-enhancing background noise
- Prescott and Betsy both have home offices, as do many people in
- Many couples will keep their second bedroom and turn it into a
nursery/office. Bad to mix those two.
- Glass desks are terrible, because of their clinking noise for a
kabelsalat, the German word for "cable salad" aka the
mess of tangled cords & cables
- Bamboo and Plywood desks
- Matt Cremona, a
woodworker and furniture maker, appeared on The Busy Creator Podcast, ep.
Studies show you shouldn't have too much white (and blue) light
into the evening hours.
- Betsy's husband, Jack, is a comedy writer. Their office is
- Ernst & Young, accounts,
probably not a fun office.
- West Elm
- Betsy Helmuth on
- Betsy Helmuth
Interior Design on Twitter
Interior Design on Facebook
Interior Design on Instagram
Interior Design on Pinterest
Big Design Small Budget podcast on iTunes
- Get an office near the bathroom so people pass by
- Put your logo on the door and welcome visitors
- Add colour, design your space
- Design your office for the people who use it "350 days per
- Try to arrange a good view in your work area
- Match your dog bed to your logo — simple colour matching goes a
- Turn off your overhead lights and use hanging pendant
- Sub-lease empty desks in your office to other creatives and
- Choose an office that's close to your home — otherwise you'll
just want to work from home.
- Arrange your bedroom work area so you're not facing the desk
directly from bed
- Keep things tidy to avoid extra stress on your mind
- Reduce glare using diffuse window treatments
- To get true colour, go outside with your paint swatches. To see
how it looks in a room, paint a portion of the wall.
- Avoid light blue or sage green for an office, they're too
- Use pops of yellow or orange, they're stimulating and
- Wear headphones even if you're not listening to anything. That
trains co-workers not to interrupt.
- Keep one desk photo or screensaver of your family/pets
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