Whether your home office is a designated space for the operation of a business, an area for the occasional telecommute, or a place to organize your schedule and pay bills, you should treat yourself to more than a chair and desk crammed into an empty corner. This is because an attractive and well designed office that complements your home creates the perfect environment in which to finish projects or burn midnight oil. Below are 10 helpful tips for designing a workspace that is both practical and aesthetically appealing:
1. Carefully Choose a Location
If you spend a significant number of hours in your home office, you should not skimp on space. For example, don’t worry about preserving a guest room that is rarely used anyway and don’t be tempted to shove a tiny workstation into a windowless corner in the interest of saving space. Rather, give yourself an appropriate area in which to comfortably complete your work. If you prefer peace and quiet, tuck your office away in a low traffic room. If you thrive on activity, position it in a mainstream area of your home. If clients and customers visit regularly, you definitely need a private space with the necessary seating arrangements.
2. Make the Most of Your View
If you are like most people, a nice view helps you stay motivated. For this reason, you should place your desk where you can look at something more attractive than a blank wall when you take your eyes from your computer. Ideally, position your desk in front of a window or facing a door or hallway so that you have a panoramic view of your surroundings. If your office room has no window, consider hanging a beautiful picture in your field of vision.
3. Ditch Drab Colors
Pass over the standard boring office hues when choosing a color scheme. Instead, liven up your walls with a shade you love. Lime green, orange or even bright pink are cheerful colors that just might get your work motor humming. However, you may also prefer sea foam blue, botanical green, or a restful pale yellow. To make a final selection, discover more about how specific colors influence your mood.
4. The Importance of Lighting
In order to cut down on headaches and eyestrain, make sure your home office is properly lit at all times. Place your monitor in an area where reflections and glare from lamps and windows can be avoided. You may find that a small desk lamp works better than overhead or track lighting.
5. Function Versus Form
Form should never be sacrificed for function. Fortunately, it is possible to have the best of both worlds. Storage containers, shelves, and even your desk should serve you, rather than you having to work around the very items that are supposed to keep you organized. Prior to investing in furniture, give thought to the items you must have on hand at all times, as well as your normal work flow. This helps you choose pieces that are both functional and beautiful.
Make sure to select objects that enhance the overall decor of your dwelling, rather than those that make your home office look like a boring cubicle. If your house features traditional décor, consider items such as a loveseat and comfortable easy chairs– provided you have the space–and a wooden desk in a rich, dark tone. Similarly, modern metal furniture and artistic pieces best complement a contemporary home office.
6. Select Homespun Accessories
Unless you prefer modern or abstract decor, try to choose accessories that enhance the comfortable, homey feeling of your office. Pieces such as a decorative waste basket, a pretty pencil holder mug, or an old-fashioned wooden organizer are ideal. Your bulletin board can be wrapped in a soft, warm fabric, and the latter can also be used for curtains to conceal utilitarian bookshelves. Artwork created by your children, a classic painting, or a trendy print are all great inspirational objects for your walls.
7. Do Not Scrimp on Your Chair
Investing in a terrific chair is important, as you probably spend many hours at your desk. Comfortable seating is worth every dollar and with more and more individuals working from home, more office chair options are available each year. For those already struggling with a bad back, investing in a good ergonomic chair can make a huge difference in comfort and even future medical bills. If your budget won’t allow a fancy new chair, a simple lumbar support cushion can make your office chair feel like new.
8. Mastering Technology
Although it is impossible to conceal phones, printers, computers and other necessary items, it is possible to hide unsightly cords and accessories. Begin by positioning your equipment near outlets to make it easy to unplug items if this becomes necessary. Cords can easily be concealed in pretty fabrics on your desk. You can also feed cords into a grommet, the latter of which is a metal or plastic device to help guide wires through holes to the underside of your desk where they are out of view. Use a wire organizer, tubing, or cord winders to organize the maze of wires on your floor, as this will go a long way toward a more attractive workspace.
9. Organize Horizontally and Vertically
It is essential to use space efficiently, as your home office may be modest in size. Consider innovative options to keep important items within reach without adding clutter. For example, use vertical file folders and floating shelves, and position a basket or two on your desktop to reduce paper piles. If you would rather keep all papers off your desktop, choose one drawer in which to place time sensitive documents and similar items. You may find that you prefer metal or wooden cubes to traditional bookshelves, as such items provide a fun way to organize a variety of items, from important papers to knickknacks and photos.
10. Create Your Own Inspired Space
Design your own special corner as a collage that reflects your life and personality. Choose a special photo, a few pieces of art, and a cherished knickknack to design a mini-shrine that motivates you to finish your projects and leave your home office in pursuit of more enjoyable activities. For example, a photo of your children or grandchildren can serve to remind you of the reasons you are working so hard, while a beautiful picture of Paris can bring your inner muse to life.