Thursday, 13 December 2012

Sponsored guest post: How to turn your bedroom into a creative space

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When you have children, you’ll find that space very quickly becomes a premium in your home. Areas that were once perfectly adequate as work or study spaces now make way for extra bedrooms, play areas or storage. But a creative space remains a vital aspect of any family home, whether it’s for your use or to encourage older children to do their schoolwork in a stimulating, distraction-free environment.

If a separate study room is out of the question – and it often is when sleeping and storage take priority – then turning your bedroom into a creative space is often a good alternative. Your bedroom is usually your last bastion of privacy when you’re a parent, and anyone with teenagers will tell you how protective they are about their rooms, so it makes sense to make this the area of your home where you can focus on getting things done.

In an age of laptops and wireless internet, it’s tempting just to do your work from your bed but this isn’t recommended for a number of reasons. First – it’s generally advisable to create a clear separation between your bed and your work area to promote a healthy night’s sleep. Studies have shown that people who work, surf the internet or watch television right before bed find it difficult to ‘switch off’, which can lead to insomnia or interrupted sleep. Also, if you have a specific place for work or study, you’re less likely to succumb to distractions.

The easiest way to create a study space in your room is to install a work desk. If your bedroom is large enough to accommodate it, consider splitting it into two distinct areas, with books, study tools and anything else you need as far away from your bed as possible. Take the opportunity to do some de-cluttering too – a clean and open space is likely to be far more conducive to a healthy, active mind than a disordered mess.

When it comes to your children, avoid compromising the study space with distractions by keeping games and consoles in a separate room. It’s much easier to monitor and control the amount of time they’re spending playing on their Wii if they have to leave their bedroom to get to it. Give your teenager the opportunity to help to create the study area – feeling a sense of ownership of it can help them to relax and focus on the work.

Whether you’re writing, reading or drawing, good lighting is an essential feature of a creative space. To avoid straining your eyes, install a focus light fixture near your desk. To optimise space it might be better to mount a light fixture rather than using a table lamp. If it’s practical, have your work desk set up near your window too to reduce your reliance on artificial light and make the space feel a little more open. Once you’ve created the perfect work environment you’ll be amazed how your productivity increases!

Visit Silentnight’s website for practical sleep advice from Dr Nerina Ramlakhan.