In early 2020, we entered a new, surreal reality that has prompted us to analyse the quality of our interiors more thoroughly. Our homes and apartments have had to take over as best as possible the functions that had been performed outside before, and replace our offices, restaurants, schools, playgrounds, beauty parlours, and gyms.
Custom furniture is designed to help us arrange spaces around us, and often adds new functionality to the interiors of our homes. Our workshop creates furniture that gives you exceptional comfort and allows you to tailor interior solutions to suit any space, from studio apartments to villas, from beautifully minimalist rooms to charming, eclectic interiors. While maintaining top qua
In conversations with three designers, we have discussed the topic of arranging interiors for the purpose of working from home, and their ideas about coming to terms with the “home office” as such. Although many of us love spending quality time at home, having too much of it might become an issue in the times of lockdown.
Read our short interviews with Maja Ganszyniec, Maria Jeglińska and Beata “Barrakuz” Śliwinska, and they might inspire you to create your own recipe for comfort and efficiency when working remotely.
Anna Szymańska: What is your favourite spot where you create your art? Do you have a favourite place, or do your projects follow you around the house?
Maja Ganszyniec: For the period of working outside the studio, I rearranged some space at home for work purposes, but I usually work sitting on the couch, if I can, in the most unergonomic position ever. In the afternoons, I usually move around the house, following the movements of the sun.
Maria Jeglińska-Adamczewska: I really prefer to create in my workshop. At the outset of my career, I used to work from home, for financial reasons. I don’t have the best memories from that period. In principle, I believe in the benefits of separating free time from work time. However, the current situation offers an interesting opportunity to see how we function in our homes and what needs arise from that state.
Now, I work at the dining table that I have adjusted to my needs. A chair that I ordered a long time ago had been delivered several days before the pandemic was announced – as if it knew when to arrive (smiling). I enjoy sitting in that chair when I’m working, even though it’s not your typical office chair.
Beata „Barrakuz” Śliwińska: I have recently discovered something that amazed me, especially because my studio is located in one of the rooms of my apartment. I started working in different places and it turned out to be quite invigorating. I started to spend a lot of time devoted to my creative work in the kitchen, at the kitchen table, where the light is completely different, and where I’m surrounded by other objects. I don’t have a recipe for the best workplace yet. I move around with my laptop, sometimes to the floor of my living room or to the couch. My mindset changes when I move around, and bright afternoons and the sun that wanders across the floor make me feel like I’m on holidays. Being a fan of a slightly nomadic way of working, I don’t think that we are defined by the place where we work. The quality of my ideas isn’t influenced by being in a studio in a huge condo or, just like now, in a tiny section of the apartment.
Anna Szymańska: Austere, empty spaces, or artistic chaos? Or maybe a deluge of flowers? What makes you more creative?
Maja Ganszyniec: The key to my creativity is light. Other than that, I need some order, I do not work best when my surroundings are in disarray, and yet it is impossible to escape the chaos when working with samples or patterns, constantly sketching and noting things down. Greenery helps a lot, and I’m happy to see plants flourishing outside already.
Maria Jeglińska-Adamczewska: Order (in healthy doses) helps me function well.
Beata „Barrakuz” Śliwińska: I am known for being a bit of a neat freak 🙂 and I attach great importance to my surroundings. So, order – the way I understand it – is what helps me work. Apart from that, I need plants, I absolutely adore them, I talk to them and without them, my life would be very difficult. I also try to make sure that I have vases with fresh flowers or twigs around me. So many things outside are flourishing right now, I just can’t resist bringing them home. Still, artistic chaos doesn’t work for me. I like balanced spaces, good, non-intrusive design that doesn’t strain the eyes. That seems to be the balance that we’re looking for.
Anna Szymańska: Do you have any rituals that help you work more effectively?
Maja Ganszyniec: In the “home office” mode, you just can’t work only in your normal business hours – I feel as if I turned into a small call centre. I use early mornings and late evenings to work on things that need my full attention. Those are the quietest parts of the day.
Maria Jeglińska-Adamczewska: I don’t have such rituals, my work is intense and I need to be very focused. Good music surely helps me get started. I used to work with various designers who have very clear schedules, planned almost to the minute. Such a scheduled way of working improves quality of work, especially in larger teams.
Beata „Barrakuz” Śliwińska: Coffee, a review of the news, a good start of the day. My work schedule is not packed right now, so I organize my time differently, but I wouldn’t want to call it less productive. Two weeks ago, I would have, but I think that I’ve become accustomed to being more relaxed. Things are just different, now. I also allow myself to have longer mornings, I read more, I compulsively watch films that I’ve never had time for. Somewhere inside me, there is a fear of “not being well-read”, so I care a lot about maintaining mental hygiene, which has a strong impact on my levels of creativity. (Un)fortunately, I need activity in my life, so I exercise every day, making sure it’s safe. I cycle, do yoga, exercise at home or go for long walks, go outside the city. Letting enough oxygen into my brain is probably what gives me energy for work.
Anna Szymańska: What music do you listen to during work? Or do you prefer to work in silence?
Maja Ganszyniec: I usually like to have music in the background when I’m working, but in those home office/call centre conditions, I prefer silence.
Maria Jeglińska-Adamczewska: That depends, mostly on the projects and stages of work in which I am at the moment. Sometimes, I enjoy silence, although it doesn’t happen that often. When I need to focus and it’s late, I turn Steve Reich’s music on – mostly Music for 18 Musicians. But in general, I adore listening to online radio stations: FIP, France Musique and NTS. My favourite radio shows run by artists include the one by Mark Leckey. I also recommend great podcasts and shows on the French public radio (especially those on culture and history) and the invariably fantastic Desert Island Discs at BBC Radio that has been broadcast for 75 years already.
Beata „Barrakuz” Śliwińska: I listen to music a lot, but I only choose good records :). That has not changed and I hope it won’t. At home, I have are lots of classics, plenty of jazz, and more recently also operas. But I also choose electronic music or experimental sounds from time to time. Right now, during our conversation, I am listening to a great new album by Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes. I have one or two audio devices in each room, so I switch between them. Yes, music almost always surrounds me when I’m working. It “turns me” into action mode. And I think that in a way, I’m “made of music”, of the emotions it provides.
Anna Szymańska: How has your work changed during the pandemic? What are you missing the most now?
Maja Ganszyniec: My work system and the way I work have not changed that much. Because of my travels, I have often collaborated with my team remotely. However, what I miss the most is being in one room with people, hearing someone say: “I’m making coffee. Anyone wants coffee?” and the casual chit-chat in the office kitchen. It’s spring time now, and we always used to go out to have ice cream in the park across the street. I miss such small things. My team and I have conference calls every morning, but I’m already looking forward to returning to the way we used to work.
Maria Jeglińska-Adamczewska: Not much has changed, except for my surroundings. In the professional context, I terribly miss my studio, with all the books and items there.
Beata „Barrakuz” Śliwińska: It has been a shock to discover that I am no longer as much of a homebody as I thought, even though I still love being at home. I’ve discovered that interacting and socializing with people is what makes me a person and a designer too. This might surprise you, but my work used to include a lot of meetings and collaboration. That has been taken away now, but I have already worked through the withdrawal syndrome :). Of course, my industry (the creative, culture-based industry, events, fashion and design industries) has slowed down very much and that hit me too. I could complain about that but in fact, it might have saved me. I am now more mindful about other things in life. And also about more important things, such as time, the art of experiencing it in different ways, self-development, or just allowing myself to be bored and do nothing.
We believe that the conversations with Maja Ganszyniec, Maria Jeglińska-Adamczewska and Beata “Barrakuz” Śliwińska will inspire you to “tame” your home office space and enjoy it as much as possible. You can always consult our experts on custom furniture: https://www.anegre.pl/#contact.
More articles from our series of “Your custom made home” coming soon!