We’ll admit it: The days are beginning to meld together, motivation can be tough to find during that midafternoon slump, and some of us are wearing sweatpants during video calls. And even though Team Domino dearly misses our office space (and one another!), we’ve all started to adapt to a functional WFH lifestyle.
With nonessential workplaces closing nationwide, we’re guessing that you’re adjusting, too. But it’s important to remember that we’re all in this together, so we asked each other to reveal our WFH spaces and to share productivity hacks for when that 3:30 lull hits and Netflix is a little too nearby. (Turns out that Le Pens are the secret!) We hope that what we’ve learned about working from home inspires you to create a WFH spot that truly works for you, too.
Kate Berry, Executive Creative Director
Where I work best: When I need to work from home, I set my laptop on my pillow and nestle on my sofa. The light in my tiny apartment is totally bright, and I fill the space with scents and things that keep me cozy.
Must-have desk item: Lake and Skye jasmine water, a Cire Trudon leather or tobacco candle, a Mad et Len Moroccan tea candle, and Astier notebooks.
Favorite pen and pencil: Staedtler pencils and Pilot Hi-Tech pens .5 -1mm in navy.
What I always keep on hand: My phone.
How I stay focused: I always have candles lit. It’s a sign that everything else is calm and in order. Then I’m ready to sit down and start my work.
Liz Mundle, Managing Editor
Where I work best: I live in a one-bedroom apartment with my boyfriend, where there are exactly four places to sit: the kitchen table, the couch, the bed, and…the floor. Finally last weekend I adjusted the height of the lowest, deepest shelf on my Elfa shelves to desk height and set up “workstations” for my boyfriend and me. Yes, it’s a glorified windowsill—but having a physical space dedicated to work makes it so much easier to maintain the mental space to get things done.
Must-have desk item: A high/low: I found a box of Post-it notes, and it’s funny how much I have always taken them for granted! It’s so handy having a spot dedicated to jotting a stray note. I also took the plunge on a proper ergonomic desk chair and it has completely revolutionized my workday. My boyfriend has also adjusted his work schedule so that he can use it when I’m done working for the day or taking a lunch break.
Favorite pen or pencil: The one that I can find when I need it.
What I always keep on hand: I’m starting vegetables from seeds on the windowsill right behind my “desk,” and I love taking breaks to check on them! One additional perk I never indulge in in the office: keeping fresh flowers next to my computer.
How I stay focused: By and large, having a schedule keeps me on track—planning from the beginning of the day how I’ll spend my time, broken up by about a zillion meetings. Also, if I’m starting a task I need to focus on for more than 45 minutes, I’ll move to a fresh spot in the apartment (usually the couch) to reset my head and dive into something new.
Sophie Miura, Digital Content Director
Where I work best: I’m a stickler for having a proper desk setup (I can’t work from the sofa or my bed), so I’ve turned the dining room into my makeshift home office. It was pretty bare-bones a few weeks ago, so this forced my boyfriend and me to get creative. We finally hung a gallery wall and added some eucalyptus and stacks of design books to keep us inspired.
Must-have desk item: My B&O Play headphones, an essential when you share a tiny space with someone else who also has back-to-back calls.
Favorite pen or pencil: Hay’s sleek Bullet pen.
What I always keep on hand: Mariage Freres Marco Polo tea—it reminds me of my first trip to Paris nine years ago! I buy a tin every time I go back and guard these little muslin bags like gold.
How I stay focused: I write a list of three things I want to achieve every night so that I’m clear about what I need to do as soon as I wake up. I also try to block out my own time to focus on priorities, which makes a big difference when there are lots of calls and meetings.
Julia Stevens, Associate Style Editor
Where I work best: Anywhere but my bedroom! I set up camp at the dining table with my laptop, notebook, and a few inspiring magazines to reference. The plus side? I don’t have to relocate when it’s lunchtime.
Must-have desk item: A (large) pot of Sey coffee. Drinking coffee from beans by my favorite neighborhood spot brings a little bit of normal to my routine, and it also supports a small business.
Favorite pen or pencil: Le Pen makes taking notes fun!
What I always keep on hand: My multitalented mother sewed me a few pairs of linen pants, which are my WFH outfit staple. They have just enough structure to make me feel like I got dressed, but still have an elastic waistband.
How I stay focused: Schedule is key! Even if part of that is blocking out 30 minutes to take a jog or FaceTime a friend.
Rachel Lasserre, Design Director
Where I work best: I am most productive and creative in my office, where it’s quiet and I’m surrounded by books and magazines.
Must-have desk item: Washi tape for my wall of layouts and inspiration.
Favorite pen or pencil: Caran D’ache ballpoint pen in fluorescent green. The color makes it hard to lose!
What I always keep on hand: I love a classic photo booth strip, so I keep a few out on my desk.
How I stay focused: First things first: I like a clean desk and a new handwritten to-do list (I make a new one every day). Then I light a candle or incense, turn on Max Richter, and get to work!
Lindsey Mather, Deputy Editor
Where I work best: At my sunny dining table, for that mood-boosting vitamin D. It also happens to be right next to the one styled-out corner of my new apartment, this bookcase, which is a soothing visual pause between emails.
Must-have desk item: Homemade iced tea. (Staying hydrated is key!) Right now I’m drinking Harney & Sons Ceylon & India orange pekoe.
Favorite pen or pencil: Pilot’s Precise V5 in black. It’s so smooth and doesn’t smudge; I swear my handwriting looks neater when I use it.
What I always keep on hand: I never thought I’d say this, but my phone! Five-minute FaceTime check-ins with coworkers and friends keep me sane.
How I stay focused: I’m most productive when I take brain breaks. I’ll walk around the block or have a quick solo dance party—anything to move my body and get those endorphins flowing before I sit back down to edit.
Ben Reynaert, Style Director
Where I work best: I work best at my dining room table, where I often spread out books, magazines, and other periodicals I’m interested in.
Must-have desk item: This lovely vase by Frances Palmer doubles as a pencil cup when fresh flowers run dry.
Favorite pen or pencil: I prefer to have a cupful of classic blue Le Pens close by.
What I always keep on hand: I always keep a decorative paperweight nearby. You never know when an open window might let in the wind.
How I stay focused: Organizing notes, lists, and loose papers in different-size trays helps keep me sane at home.
Esmé Stern, Editorial Assistant
Where I work best: I love curling up on the sofa in my living room. It gets a lot of natural light, which makes it the perfect sunbathe-while-I-work spot. I always make sure to keep a blanket handy to stay cozy when the sun goes down.
Must-have desk item: I keep a to-do list on my (makeshift!) desk to jot down new tasks that come up throughout the day. Otherwise, I’ll forget.
Favorite pen or pencil: I’m a big Muji fan. I like to pick fun colors to keep my to-do list fresh and fun.
What I always keep on hand: I keep a bowl of fruit near me to munch on. I love to snack, so forcing myself to keep it healthy allows me to focus and not worry about filling up on junk food.
How I stay focused: I play soft music in the background—I’ve been really into the new Soccer Mommy album for the perfect sad girl–meets–focused energy. It adds just the right amount of ambience and positive energy to keep me on track.
Rebecca Deczynski, Lifestyle Editor
Where I work best: My bedroom in my Brooklyn apartment is full of plants, books, and splashy colors—it keeps me calm and focused. Sometimes I use my dresser as a standing desk, but I’m not above a work session in bed.
Must-have desk item: This coffeepot from Hay is my favorite recent splurge. I’m the kind of person who wishes she had another cup of coffee as soon as I finish my first, and this sweet mint vessel makes that dream a reality.
Favorite pen or pencil: I love a blue Muji pen with a 0.5 tip, and I always use a highlighter to cross out my to-do list. Way more satisfying than a scribble!
What I always keep on hand: I’m lucky to have amassed a substantial candle collection, so I’ve been rotating through them all. My favorites right now are Nest’s Amalfi Lemon & Mint Classic candle, which makes me feel like I’m on a seaside vacation, eating clams with a glass of crisp Vinho Verde, and Boy Smells’s Slow Burn, a sultry, smoky aroma that is perfectly formulated for a luxury-loving Taurus like me.
How I stay focused: I can’t write to music with words, so I like to rotate through video game soundtracks that are comforting but not distracting. My go-to: Animal Crossing + rain ambience.
Linda Denahan, Photo Director
Where I work best: In a comfy chair with the side table that I’ve turned into a desk. I can fit all of my supplies on it, as well as some inspiring photographs.
Must-have desk item: Different-colored pens. I use color to indicate priority levels on my to-do list.
Favorite pen or pencil: Stabilo .88 Fineliner—there are more than 25 hues.
What I always keep on hand: Plants, which I usually end up inhabiting with some sort of animal figurine. A little whimsy keeps me happy.
How I stay focused: I take small breaks throughout the day in order to step away from my workspace and clear my mind.
Elaina Sullivan, Senior Style Editor
Where I work best: My living room is very dreamy. It has a set of three big bay windows overlooking the avenue below, a fireplace covered with plants and candles, a giant color-filled book wall, and a very cozy sofa floating in the middle. Working from here keeps me inspired for all the stories we have coming up.
Must-have desk item: I love being surrounded by gobs of books. Having them close—especially during quarantine—keeps a world of beauty right at my fingertips.
Favorite pen or pencil: Micron pens have been my go-to since design school. I always keep one with a notebook nearby to sketch out spaces, design ideas, and daily to-dos.
What I always keep on hand: Fir Balsam incense is part of my new everyday routine. I light one first thing in the morning and keep them burning all day.
How I stay focused: Lipstick! Dabbing a little color on in the morning helps me feel alive—even when the world outside is gloomy. I just ordered a Let’s Go Crazy matte lip pencil by NARS because I’m having a neon moment, and Russian Red by MAC is my staple color.
See more WFH ideas:
Next-Level Popcorn? Best Sweatpants Ever? You Need These Self-Isolation Splurges
You Can Build Your Virtual Dream Home Without Leaving Your House
Rearranging Your Home Won’t Solve Everything, But It Can Make You Smile