With the majority of us adjusting to our new norm at home, finding comfort and productivity in our workspaces is crucial. With a wide variety of custom at-home work areas throughout her portfolio, Mel Bean of MEL BEAN INTERIORS stresses the use of colors, patterns, light, layers, art, and more to enhance these spaces and encourage productivity. We got the chance to sit down with Mel (virtually of course) and chat about her work and life during quarantine. 


What are your work from home essentials? 

First, my espresso machine!  I start every morning with a latte, made with Doubleshot’s Ambergris espresso blend.  I can’t tell you the difference this routine makes to my productivity and general attitude each day! Music also helps me concentrate and not get distracted by the many tasks I could be completing around the home. My favorite playlists on Spotify make this effortless. Then there’s the obvious: a dedicated workspace with plenty of natural light, and good organization.

What are your tips for working from home? 

I find it useful to schedule breaks and set an alarm on my phone to remind me.  When I get in the zone, I can work for hours without remembering to refill my water and move around.  An alarm, set on the hour, is my cue to refill my water, go for a quick walk or otherwise get some fresh air and physical activity before jumping back into work.

How can people get creative about putting a workspace in their home, especially if they don’t have the space to have a designated office room? 

A rarely accessed closet, a corner of a spare bedroom, or even the dining room table can become a dedicated workspace with some planning, organization, and clear boundaries!  I’m fortunate to have a home office that doubles as a library/lounge with tv.  I can close the doors and turn up the music to minimize the distracting sounds of my 12-year-old boys on zoom calls, on video games, or their general playfulness while still being accessible to them.

What is the thing you miss the most about going into the office?

Connecting with my incredible team!  Our daily video calls are just NOT the same as seeing each other face to face.  It’s a real joy to catch up on one another’s lives and give and receive encouragement.

What are you looking forward to the most when everything goes back to normal? 

I’m not sure I want things to return entirely to normal. There are many hard-earned lessons and questions that cannot be ignored about the way we’ve structured the lives we live.  I’ve always worked, so I absolutely cherished the unexpected (and deeply challenging!) time home with my kids. With the uncertainty around kids returning to school, I feel a responsibility to adapt to the new demands being placed on parents, including my own team.  We are creating schedules that enrich our lives and provide flexibility as we need it, while still staying on top of the amazing projects we are involved in. Our entire team is happier as individuals and as a whole with this new approach. Some new ways deserve to be preserved!  But I am absolutely looking forward to a time when we can travel again! I’ve got to make up for lost time! 🙂


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