Where Real Designers and Creatives Work

Ever wondered what other designers’ and creatives’ workspaces look like? Some of us toil away in a cordoned off section of the house that we dub a “home office,” while others are lucky enough to have the real estate of an entire room!

Here’s a glimpse into real creatives’ workspaces including one commercial space and four home offices. The photos are all taken by the interviewees (unless otherwise noted) and paired with micro-interviews about the owners’ working style, and how they feel about their offices.

Dheeraj Dasari, friendly neighborhood web slinger, d. dasari
www.ddasari.com

Is this a home office or a commercial space?
DD: Home office. It also doubles as an art studio where I do paintings and other artwork.

How long have you been working in this space?
DD: I’ve had this space for about three years, but I’ve had a home office for the last 10 years.

What are three words that describe your workspace or working style?
DD: Laid back, colorful, DIY.

Coffee, tea or Red Bull?
DD: Coke. a cola.

Do you meet with clients here, or is this space “just for you?”
DD: I meet with clients here very rarely and even then it’s usually friends who are in need of some web work. I usually meet with clients at their office, a coffee shop or via teleconference.

What’s your favorite item in your office?
DD: My headphones. They keep me me sane and focused by blocking out all of the distractions and entertaining me.

What do you do to make your space inspirational?
DD: I have posters and drawings up everywhere. I like a lot of visual stimulus, it keeps the ideas flowing.

Is there a gadget or a piece of software you can’t live without?
DD: Other than my headphones, the other thing I need most in my office is my dual monitor set up. I always have code up on one monitor and the web page I’m working on up on the other. So it’s much faster and easier to switch between the two applications I use the most. It’s improved my productivity a countless amount.

Do you ever fantasize about having a really fancy office chair? What kind would you buy with unlimited funds?
DD: My chair is the fanciest thing in my office. I figure if I’m going to spend so much time on my ass, I may has well have a nice place to put it. I have a low-end Herman Miller chair (they have them at Costco!). I still want one of the fancier Herman Miller chairs. The ones with the mesh … dare to dream.

What would you change about the space if you could?
DD: I wish I could keep it more organized and clean. As projects go on, the documentation, notes and print outs all kind of end up all over the place. I may work in a “paperless industry” but it’s surprising how much paper I still use.

Do you have anything else to share about your workspace?
DD: I work a lot and at weird hours so it can sometimes be challenging to stay motivated. And working from home gets lonely every once in a while, but I wouldn’t trade that in for commuting to the office 9-to-5 again. Working from home in your PJs is the best!

Ken Godat, principal, Godat Design
www.godatdesign.com

Is this a home office or a commercial space?
KG: Commercial space.

How long have you been working in this space?
KG: 12 years.

What are three words that describe your workspace or working style?
KG: Open, collaborative, clean.

Coffee, tea or Red Bull?
KG: Green tea with lemon and honey.

Do you meet with clients here, or is this space “just for you?”
KG: Yes, clients are here often.

What’s your favorite item in your office and why?
KG: That would be Squirt (my dog) — he is never very far from the action.

What do you do to make your space inspirational?
KG: That was accomplished when the space was designed by Rick Joy — the inspiration was built right in.

Is there a gadget or software you can’t live without?
KG: Running water.

Photo Credit: Bill Timmerman

Do you ever fantasize about having a really fancy office chair? What kind would you buy with unlimited funds?
KG: I think we earned that one a few years ago with the purchase of our Aeron chairs.

What would you change if you could?
KG: Two-foot thick adobe walls make for really terrible wireless reception. That is something that we will not be able to change.

Do you have anything else to share about your workspace?
KG: We were all very concerned about the impact of this much glass and steel when we first moved in. But the lighting, plaster walls and tile floors all made for an amazingly warm workspace. I can’t imagine ever being able to create a better office for our team.

Jay O’Brien, creative director, Coleridge Design
coleridgedesign.com

Is this a home office or a commercial space?
JO: Home office.

How long have you been working in this space?
JO: Two-plus years.

What are three words that describe your workspace or working style?
JO: Batcave, versatile, comfortable.

Coffee, tea or Red Bull?
JO: Water (and NO drinks near the equipment!)

Do you meet with clients here, or is this space “just for you?”
JO: Just for me! I meet clients at our main studio or hometown coffee shops.

What’s your favorite item in your office?
JO: My space is great, but mostly because it’s near my family, my true source of inspiration. Notice the artwork on my make-shift mouse pad from my oldest daughter … THAT’S totally awesome and something to remind me of her every day!

What do you do to make your space inspirational?
JO: You might notice on the top, left side of the desk is an incredible hand-made Valentine’s gift from my wife with pictures of our kids in the flowers. I surround myself with photos of family, but also check out the real thing during breaks, which provides a nice time to recharge and remember why I’m doing all of this.

Is there a gadget or software you can’t live without?
JO: All the fancy tools are fun, but I always start with my drawing pad and pencil. You can’t effectively use the computer if you don’t have a direction in mind.

Do you ever fantasize about having a really fancy office chair? What kind would you buy with unlimited funds?
JO: A hovering chair would be nice (like those chairs from “WALL-E”). Makes vacuuming much easier. As far as something I can pick up at a REAL store, maybe an oversized stuffed chair with room on the arm for my laptop, or maybe a glowing chair … that’s form over function at it’s best!

What would you change about your space if you could?
JO: I have many ideas for the walls but haven’t committed to any yet. I just got a new desk so will be making mini-shelves for my classic red die-cast cars soon! I’m picturing nice track lighting to show them off …

Jane Gittings, owner & designer, Gittings Design

Is this a home office or a commercial space?
JG: Home office.

How long have you been working in this space?
JG: 10 years

How would you describe your workspace or working style?
JG: A bit messy but I know where everything is.

Coffee, tea or Red Bull?
JG: Coffee.

Do you meet with clients here, or is this space “just for you?”
JG: Just for me.

What’s your favorite item in your office?
JG: I love the silhouette artwork on the wall, it’s by James Garrett Faulkner, a collage artist in Chicago and a dear friend of ours. I love that it takes a while for people to see that the bunny has an erection. My second favorite thing would be the “House of Cards,” by Charles Eames.

What do you do to make your space inspirational?
JG: I have as many books around me as I can, to learn from and be inspired by.

Is there a gadget or software you can’t live without?
JG: My iPhone, which is surprisingly not on my desk in the picture, because it was re-charging.

What would you change about the space if you could?
JG: More bookshelves.

Roger Hall, scientific illustrator, Ink Art Productions
www.inkart.net

Is this a home office or a commercial space?
RH: Home office.

How long have you been working in this space?
RH: One year.

What are three words that describe your workspace or working style?
RH: Meticulous, feverish and boundless.

Coffee, tea or Red Bull?
RH: All. Just not at the same time. OK, sometimes I follow a coffee with a Red Bull or vice-a-versa.

Do you meet with clients here, or is this space “just for you?”
RH: Just for me — 100 percent of my dealings with clients are via e-mail, phone or I go to them.

What’s your favorite item in your office?
RH: My Wacom graphics tablet. Put plainly, I couldn’t create my drawings without it.

What do you do to make your space inspirational?
RH: I display thought-provoking items along with illustrations from artists who are better or more successful than me.


Is there a gadget or software you can’t live without?
RH: Again, my Wacom graphics tablet and Photoshop. These are absolutely essential.

Do you ever fantasize about having a really fancy office chair? What kind would you buy with unlimited funds?
RH: No, although I would like one that didn’t squeak every time I move.

What would you change if you could, or what’s your least favorite thing about the space?
RH: It’s too small and there’s not enough counter space. I would like a massive countertop to spread out all the different projects I have going on.

Do you have anything else to share about your workspace?
RH: It is my happy place, where I can do exactly what I want, at the pace I choose and with the subject matter I deem important.

Want to tell us about YOUR workspace and workstyle? Share your thoughts and links to office photos in the comments!

  • http://www.inkart.net Roger Hall

    Looks great! Very interesting subject. I’ve posted a link to my Facebook Page.

  • Sonia

    Thank you, Roger!

    And if you want to see more of Roger’s awesome work, check out his site http://www.inkart.net.

  • Michael

    I didn’t know that artists all got fancy chairs. I chose the wrong career.

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  • Rogger Smith

    Warhol prints was a key figure in Pop Art, an art movement that emerged in America and elsewhere in the 1950s to become prominent over the next two decades. Warhol prints was fascinated with morbid concepts. Using photo-stencils in screen-printing, Warhol used photographic images for his screen prints.

  • http://www.mcguire.com Alan Pursell

    looking at these, it’s obvious that I need a new chair.

  • http://brittbrouse.wordpress.com/ Britt

    Hey Alan, check back to blog.psprint.com tomorrow- I am doing a post on office accessories and furniture- cool chairs included!

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  • Toni

    I am more of a Jane Gittings then. I tend to have personalization and all that built into my workspace, family photos, headphones, posters,books and all that. Cluttered and all, but yeah I still find my stuff when I need it!

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  • http://www.tradebit.com/filedetail.php/107105942-wso-ladan-lashkari-27-professional Matthew Matteo

    Hm.. making money at home has always really been so difficult; a lot of times I purchase some information and make money from those. But they get extremely expensive! Trying to make money without any sort of job experience is even harder. A lot of programs usually are just ineffective, despite that this post actually taught me a lot. Thank you! :)

  • http://powertaps.zoomblog.com/ peugeot condition

    Lovely ideas, thanks for having the initiave to throw it up