8 Tips For Designing A Home Office
More and more people are working remotely. Co-op shared workspaces are proliferating, and home office space is increasingly important to renters and owners alike. If you’re going to be productive in your home, you need a home office that not only provides isolation, but heightens your creative juices. Here are eight simple tips for designing a home office, from Lofty’s friends at Improvenet.
The first decision, of course, is choosing which room in your home to convert to a home office. Don’t feel limited if you’re working with a small space. Believe it or not, you can turn a closet into a home office.
If you do have a choice for location, choose a quiet and easily accessible space. You don’t want your home office near the kitchen, because that is the most trafficked room in the home and thus, one of the loudest. The same reasoning applies near the bathroom and the living room.
If you have the choice, place your new home office near the front door in a room with at least two windows. The space will not only be quiet and away from foot traffic inside the house, but will bring in natural light, something we all appreciate in a work setting.
Lighting is key when it comes to the workspace and if your house can oblige, natural light is the way to go. The sun will brighten your spirits (we hope!) and even encourage you to work that much quicker so you can get outside and enjoy the weather. Additionally, more natural light means less artificial light, which later turns into energy savings.
Nonetheless, working from home usually means some late hours. As such, you need to consider the lighting options in your new office. If you’re adding new electricity, ask your electrician about dimmer lights. You can adjust the brightness throughout the day and save money in the process.
The more windows, the better. But don’t forget that natural light can come from above as well. If your new home office is on the top story, think about adding a skylight. If you aren’t able to install a large window, or if privacy is a concern, skylights are your best bet. According to ImproveNet’s data, professional skylight installation costs, on average, $1,812.
A home office demands privacy. It needs interior doors. Fortunately, available styles are endless. You could go with panel doors, French doors, sliding doors or swinging doors. If you want to add some design flair, don’t ignore door handles and locks. Sometimes, the smallest hardware decisions can make the biggest difference.
Colors & Paint
Believe it or not, color can play a key role in your productivity. Blue is believed to help calm the nervous system and increases productivity. While paint is the first place people think to add blue, don’t forget pictures, frames and decorative art. Whether you choose prints or paintings, fine art can bring style and gravitas to your workspace.
Furniture is probably the first design element visitors will notice when they walk in. While space may be a concern for some, the right furniture can turn your small desk area into a home office you can be proud of.
First off, don’t limit yourself to a desk chair. Is there room to add a few comfortable chairs for guests? Before you make the purchase, measure the space. After all, you most likely won’t have that many guests if you’re working from home. The same principle applies to your desk. Don’t spring for a massive desk to fit all monitors, phones, etc. if you don’t have the space. Stick with what you need to get the job done.
Finally, decorate as much as you wish. Hang family photos and unique art pieces. A globe will give your office a classic look. You will be spending plenty of time in this office so you might as well make it yours.
Every office needs office supplies. Make a list of all the items you need. Then, make a list of the items that would be nice to have. Finally, make a third list of all the items in your dream home office. Start with the first list and move your way down. As you continue to add, make sure you’re operating as efficiently as possible. While a third monitor may be nice, if it leaves no extra room on your desk, is it worth it?
Organization & Storage
Clutter ruins productivity. Proper office storage pays off in the end. When designing a new office, leave space for extra filing cabinets or drawers beneath your desk. A desk with built-in storage may take up more space, but it will help you declutter the room.
Try to clean up before you leave your office every night. It’s an extra step you might hesitate to take, but you’ll thank yourself later!
Written by Jacob Hurwith at Improvenet