Jean Lin's All Over the Map Home Office

Jean Lin's All Over the Map Home Office

Gregory Han
Jun 23, 2010

How long have you worked from home? And where is home? Before [design and architecture blog] otto, and before I started writing about design, I worked as a fashion designer in the NYC fashion industry. I worked ridiculous hours in a design studio and never saw the light of day. When I decided to start my own fashion line dressed in yellow about 5 years ago, I needed to find a job that gave me flexibility. That's when I started working from home as an editor of a design newsletter.

Today, I'm still in New York City and I work from home as editor of otto a+d, a trade blog that targets interior design professionals; I am also the US Editor for WGSN-Homebuildlife, a trend forecasting agency based in London; and of course I'm still designing for dressed in yellow.

Describe your style? How would you define your aesthetic? I love the word "style" because to me it's a matter of self expression, fashion and design are simply tools we use to achieve this. For this reason, my style is a bit all over the map. For me, style is what happens day to day when I reconcile comfort, mood, beauty, inspiration and restraint.

How do you keep your office organized? I hate to admit it, but I am quite disorganized by nature. I have towers of papers, books, fabric and press kits on my desk, threatening to fall on me and ruin my life. With all the different jobs I have going right now, I have come to depend on my Google Calendar. It is what keeps me from missing my deadlines, double booking appointments, and forgetting to buy a father's day gift.

When you were putting together your home office what did you keep in mind? Honestly, I just hoped everything fit. Once it was clear that my small apartment could house all my enterprises, I wanted to make sure that my sewing table, drafting table and desk were able to get good light.

Is there any piece of home office furniture you covet? Is there any that I don't? I love design and have made a career out of looking at great design day in and day out. To me, the greatest design is when function, form and process work in harmony, and when that happens, how can I not wish that piece was in my life?

What is a desk accessory you can't do without? Surface area. Since I'm a piler, I need the surface area to organize my papers visually!

What would you change about your own workspace? If I change something, my tower of junk might come unbalanced and fall.

What do you most love about your space? I get amazing light in here, and my windows face west looking at the Manhattan skyline. When the sun starts to set, the light has a magical golden glow that makes the entire space feel like a warm, fuzzy dream.

What inspires you? Great people who have done great things in their lives. One time I cried reading a book about the fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli. One time I cried when watching a documentary about the band the Pixies. One time I cried while watching the end of a triathlon. Other than making me cry far too much, these people inspire me to push myself harder, to work towards the best version of myself — be it designer, editor, daughter, friend, dog mom — possible.

Originally published at Lifework by Cerentha Harris

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