If you do any work from home, trying to sit at your kitchen table and get it done is simply not going to cut it. In order to feel inspired, cut down on distraction, and really focus on producing top-quality work, it’s important to have a dedicated office where you can go every day.
But you don’t want your home office where you’ll be spending eight hours a day to be a bare, unappealing place. If you did, you’d go find a cubicle somewhere. Instead, it’s important to create an office space that is functional while also reflecting your personality and taste. Keep reading for some tips on creating your dream home office!
Function First, Then Beauty
The first thing to remember is that your main office furniture – your desk chair, desk, and lighting needs to be functional for your needs. For example, you may love an ultra-modern desk with an abstract shape, but when you go to sit, your legs bump and there’s no storage. Or you may love a beautifully refinished dining chair, but five hours into your first day, your spine is screaming for support.
So, before you buy your ideal furniture, make sure it is ideal in every way – storage, a specific height, room for a dual monitor, etc. There’s so much to choose from, finding a piece that you love that also meets your needs is easier than you think!
Your workspace needs storage, but only you know exactly how much you require. Some people just need a few drawers for supplies and printer paper, while some people have boxes of paperwork. However, the last thing you want to do is use old filing cabinets or plastic milk crates.
For larger file-storage, use file boxes in pretty patterns kept on attractive bookshelves, and for smaller storage, consider floating shelves over or near your desk to easily access necessities and keep supplies. Dress them up with your favorite accessories and paint them a contrasting accent color for interest. You can even “store” electronics cords with gorgeous fabric cord covers!
Use Your Natural Light
Bring natural light into your office to help keep you energized and create a bright, airy space. You may be tempted to place your desk so your back is to the window, but that can create a terrible glare and major eye strain. Instead, move your desk near the window, perpendicular to the light, if possible, so you benefit from natural lighting without going blind. On the other hand, if there’s too much sunlight streaming in, mute it slightly with sheer or semi-sheer curtains.
Don’t Forget Artificial Light
While natural light is great, it probably won’t work as your only source of lighting, especially first thing in the morning or later in the day. An overhead light, especially an attractive chandelier or pendant lights, can be useful, but your most important source of lighting is task-oriented, especially if you’re going to be writing, working at a computer, or doing a lot of paperwork. Think desk lamps or a floor lamp that can create an ambient glow near your desk.
Choose the Right Paint Color
Most people suggest painting your office green to create balance while boosting productivity. These are important, but there’s more to choose from than green. For example, orange is energizing and known to spark creativity, making this a great color if you’re in a creative or design-centered field. If you’d like a serene office that’s relaxing, consider a periwinkle or pale blue-gray, and if you want a warm, grounding feel, a rich brown is absolutely lovely. Here are some gorgeous paint colors to consider:
- Pale Daffodil by Benjamin Moore – a soft, pale yellow-orange that feels is energizing without being exhausting or overwhelming
- Boothbay Gray by Benjamin Moore – a moderate, blue-toned gray that is serene, neutral, and sophisticated
- Palest Pistachio by Benjamin Moore – the palest gray-green for a balanced, soothing feel that’s far from drab
- Bar Harbor Beige by Benjamin Moore – a soft beige with cool undertones that acts as a rich backdrop with nearly any color, especially a rich navy blue
- Baby Seal Black by Benjamin Moore – the darkest charcoal gray-black that creates a stunning, sophisticated office space
Create a Relaxation Spot
One of the joys of working from home is the ability to relax from time to time. Maybe you have some files to read through or maybe you have a webinar to watch – there’s nothing that says you have to do that stuff from your desk, right? Or maybe you need a power nap. I won’t judge.
Create a comfortable spot for a much needed break area. Consider a soft chaise lounge or a sofa paired with an end table and a table lamp so you can work, read, or relax. Add extra coziness with your favorite throw blanket and soft cushions.
Design Credit: Mary McDonald
Make it Suit Your Tastes
This is where I say “Design is in the Details,” because now that you have your office furnished with attractive and functional furniture, it’s time to really make this your home office. I always recommend adding greenery and flowers to a space to add life and freshness. Plus, studies show that plants and flowers boost so hanging baskets, lush, large corner plants, or even a display of succulents on your shelves will add appeal.
Add accessories that feel comforting and inspiring to you, whether it’s artwork of your favorite vacation spot, pictures of your family, or memento of your last day at a cubicle. If you love vintage items, add vintage flair with antique office supplies like an old metal typewriter on your shelf or beautiful fountain pens. Remember, you’re not in an office with just enough space for a framed photo and a beat up chair. This is your space. Make it amazing!
If you’ve got a home office you’re not in love with and you’re not sure what to do, it may be time to consult with a professional. I’ve helped countless clients design beautiful, stylish offices, both commercial and residential, so if you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed, let me take the stress from you! Contact me today to set up a consultation!