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Professional Tips to Keep You Productive at Home
28 Apr 2020
See & Do
Posted by
White Elephant Resorts

Professional Tips to Keep You Productive at Home

Audrey Sterk is the Nantucket-based designer overseeing the new suites that will be opening at the Jared Coffin House this summer (2020), including the one pictured above. We chatted with Audrey to find out how she's staying productive and get some share-worthy tips on how to make the most out of your time at home. 


  • How to create a ‘home office' space- It's a simple recipe. First, don't overthink it. We are not all typically set up for an at home office separate from the rest of the house. The key is to carve some space that you can keep set up and come back to. Set aside some space on your kitchen island, your dining room table or even a small card table in your bedroom. Keep it tidy, put a favorite picture or piece of artwork on the wall, make yourself a little bouquet of flowers picked from some of the spring greenery outside. Make it inspiring.
  • Similarly, how to create a ‘school' area for kids-  The same holds true for our at home offices as it does for school space. Make it inspiring, quiet and tidy (as much as possible depending on the age of your kiddo). The key is to create a space that they will motivate them to complete assignments. A photo of friends, a family pet or special piece of art on the wall gives the space inspiration. 
  • General organization tips- Containers, containers, containers. I use anything I can find in the kitchen for my temporary at home office and school area for my son. And I also love plastic large envelopes that have a flap and can close. Label them with subjects: Math, Reading, Writing, etc. That way when the assignment is complete, everything can be neatly filed and not worry about how "the dog ate my homework."


  • How to design a tablescape to spruce up at-home dinners- Having an adventurous seven year old boy means lots of outside time. I like to go on scavenger hunts and set the table with something creative from our afternoon activity. We walk on the beach, find shells, pieces of driftwood and beach glass to decorate as the centerpiece. And it gives us something to talk about over dinner.  
  • Tips for creating an Instagrammable space while we #stayhome- I like up close detail pictures. That way if the rest of the room isn't put together as much as you would hope, it's your secret. I also like including our family dog in pictures, she makes a great model!
  • Should we rearrange furniture, paint, etc. as a creative outlet?- Sure! This is a time to think outside of the box and shifting your interior will give you new perspective. Maybe carve out some new space to use in a create way. Set up that yoga mat, a new craft area, be creative! Changing a paint color is a great way for instant gratification, it changes a space without needing to replace furniture.
  • How to expertly arrange flowers like the pros- Mix and match what is in season and locally accessible. Try layering different textures and things that are unexpected. Arrange your favorite colors and smells. Be inspired by the season.
  • Tips for creating homemade birthday cards- I say for the "card" create a piece of art. Get a small canvas and make a painting, write a note and put in on the back. That way your card can be enjoyed all year round.
  • Other art/creative projects that get them away from screen time- Mother Nature is the way to go. Collect items on walks and then make a collage, or fairy house, or tracks for trains. Something that you can't buy from stores to make it more interesting.   

Mental Health

  • Tips for boosting your mood (are there colors you should look at? Work near natural light, plants? etc)- Mood boosting comes in different forms for different people. Feeling inspired is a great mood booster. I like to do yoga, listen to music, feel the sun on my face, take walks. Soothing colors are cool sage greens, muted blues, cream tones, warm buttery tones and blush tones. Surround yourself with the things you love. 
  • How to get a good night's sleep (favorite bedding, favorite lighting, etc)- I am a huge fan of having different lighting options in a space. I love lamps and wall sconces on dimmers for bedrooms. The light plays such an important role in mood. Tap into essential oils in a diffuser, lavender is one that is very relaxing. I love soft, crisp, cool sheets. It feels so nice to jump into at the end of a day. Do all three together and you will be dreaming in no time. 
  • How to make space more zen- This is one of my favorite topics. Declutter, variable lighting, wall art and photos that bring you joy, music and also bring as much greenery inside with plants, flowers. Make your space cozy, warm, serene and inspiring. 


  • Your favorite leisure activities while at home (puzzles, adult coloring books, etc)- I am doing less leisure and more decluttering. All of these things that I have said "I'll do it one day" are starting to lessen. But the favorite part of my day is reading books with my son before bed; it fills me with joy. 
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