The Home Office
Whether you use your home office for paying the household bills or running an empire, creating a dedicated office space that ticks all the boxes is high on the agenda. A stylish and practical area will make working from home a much more enjoyable and productive experience.
Before you start planning your office, there are a few things to consider that will help determine the layout.
What space do you have?
- Will the room you are using double as a guest room? Is it part of your family room or basement?
How will it be used?
- Will other family members use the space?
- Do you need a large working surface?
- Will you use the space at different times throughout the day?
What do you need?
- Do you require a lot of storage?
- What equipment do you need to accommodate?
- How many electrical outlets can you comfortably work with?
Whichever style you choose for your primary working surface, make the desk take centre stage and build around it. Give yourself a view, in front of a window, or hang some colourful artwork or an inspiration board. Position the desk so direct sunlight doesn’t fall on your computer screen and include general and task lighting for gloomy days and burning the midnight oil. If space is at a premium, the end of a hallway, a landing, or under a staircase can all be used as an office area.
It’s hard to focus in clutter so keep your immediate area clear and organized with baskets, storage boxes and a proper filing system. Take a few minutes to clear the clutter daily; not letting it pile up will save so much time and frustration in the long run. Filing receipts as you go will be a godsend come tax time. A small binder with compartments to file by the month is all that is needed. Keep it near your desk and get into the habit of using it daily, or at least weekly. Think about items you use regularly and keep them close at hand.
Do you want your space to calm you, inspire you, energize you? Colour plays a large part in the creative process. Calmer colours such as blues and green relax us. Reds, oranges and yellows energize. Colour also depends on the amount of light in the room. Paint a small patch of your chosen colour on one wall first and see how it changes at different times throughout the day. That vibrant blue may look good in full sun but too gloomy when the sun goes down.
Overhead or task. What works for you? If you do a lot of computer work a bright overhead light may not be the right thing for combatting eyestrain. Task lighting, as in a good desk lamp, can be directed to where you need it. If you need a large work surface for plans, projects or detailed work, good overhead lighting is a must. If you work in your office a lot in the evenings, dimmers or lighting that can be easily moved or adjusted might be the best choice.
Comfortable seating is a must. It will help you avoid muscle aches, strains and fatigue. A height adjustable chair will solve many problems and allows other family members to use the space comfortably. A seat for clients, or to relax in while taking a work break, is an office essential. A bench is a good option for additional seating and baskets, to contain clutter, can be stored underneath.
Inject character and make the space your own. Look beyond boring office supply furniture and mix and match new and vintage pieces. Create a style that is unique to you; display some items that have special meaning and spark ideas. Avoid a bland soulless work room and fill it with your personal touches. Make your office a warm, inviting space and working from home will be your best experience ever...and the sweetest commute!