Design Tips for a Stylish and Functional Home Office
Make your home office a place you want to be, rather than have to be. Whether it’s a place you run your business, work remotely, or just pay bills, you deserve a space that is stylish, comfortable and inspiring.
It’s All About Location
Your home office is a place where you’ll likely spend a lot of your time, so don’t cut corners by cramming a tiny desk into a closet to free up a rarely-used guest room.
You’ll also want to think about your own work habits and the environment you work best in when considering location. For example, do you thrive being in the thick of things surrounded by a lot of activity, or should your workspace be more isolated and quiet? If your job requires clients to stop by, a private space with adequate seating is a must.
Don’t Sacrifice Style for Function
To put it simply, your office furnishings should serve you, not the other way around. Before investing in furniture, think about your workflow and the things you’ll need at your fingertips. Then look for pieces that are functional, but also beautiful — you can have both! In fact, your home office furniture should complement the other rooms in your home, rather than being just drab, utilitarian pieces. For example, if your home has a more traditional style, then warm wood combined with soft, comfortable seating is ideal. A contemporary home office could feature modern metal furniture and more artistic pieces.
Invest in a Chair You Love
Your office chair is not the place to scrimp. In fact, it may actually be the most important part of your office, since you’ll be spending hours sitting in it every day. Invest in a stylish, ergonomically correct seat that is comfortable — it’ll be worth every cent.
Paint the Walls an Inspiring Color
Forget boring beige and other typical office neutrals. Choose a color that inspires you and gets you going. For many that means bright cheerful colors like lime green or orange. Others prefer calming hues like botanical green or sea foam blue. If you’re unsure what works for you, take time to learn about how certain colors can affect your mood.
Treat Yourself With a View
Instead of pushing your desk up against a blank wall, place it where you can look up at something compelling. If there’s a window available, that’s perfect. But if you’re in a windowless room, try hanging a nice piece of art above your desk, or position your chair facing the door to make things more interesting.
Pick Homey Accessories
Unless you prefer a more contemporary look, consider choosing accents and accessories that bring a cozy feeling to your office, like a pretty cup or mug for a pencil holder, trendy notepads, or a decorative trash can. Use a beautiful fabric to wrap your bulletin board and hide a utilitarian bookshelf behind curtains made from the same material. Frame and hang prints that are inspirational to you, such as a motivational saying, your child’s artwork, personal photographs, or a scenic painting you love.
Use Vertical and Horizontal Space
Square footage is at a premium in most home offices, so using space efficiently is a must. One good strategy is to hang floating shelves on the walls to lift papers and office equipment off of your desk, and employ vertical file folders on the desk to keep important papers close at hand. Do you tend to stack papers or are you a filer? Stackers might consider getting a nice basket to reign in mail, notes and papers. If a clean desktop is important to you, assign a drawer for your “to-do” papers. While bookshelves make a great addition for storage and display, wooden or metal cube storage makes a fun alternative.
Beautify Your Cords
Let’s face it, not much can be done to beautify your computer, printer, and other office equipment. But you can do something about the unsightly cords! Begin by making sure each piece of equipment is close to an outlet and easily accessible for unplugging. Then wrap the cords on your desk in a fabric cord cover and thread them into a desk grommet (a cap that helps guide cords through a hole in the desk and hides them below). Use cord winders or tubing to organize the jungle of cords on the floor, or try a wire organizer that attaches to the desk and lifts the cords off the floor.
Don’t Scrimp on the Lights
To cut down on eye strain and headaches, your office is going to need plenty of light. Make good use of lamps, like putting one on the desk for task lighting. Also, position the computer monitor so that there isn’t glare from an overhead light or window.
Include Items That Motivate You
Make space for a handful of cherished items that motivate you to be productive. It can be a few special knickknacks, a special photo on your desk, or a framed piece of art — anything that helps you be creative or get your work done. For instance, a photo of your children might remind you that all your hard work is for them, while a scenic print can inspire you to get your work done so that you can get outside.