It happens way too often that a functionally designed work space at home ends up at the bottom of that to-do list. Most of us prefer to spend attention and money on our kitchens, living rooms and gardens, and even though those spaces deserve TLC as well, it’s worth considering the importance of a decently designed home office.
A home office or study does not have to be boring at all. Think of it as an extension of your personality; another space where you can flaunt your personal style and quirkiness. After all, you’re not planning on hosting a soiree in there like you would in the living room or dining room, are you? Well then, that means your study becomes one of the more private spaces in your home (like the bedroom)!
Want to know how to design a home office the right and stylish way? We’ve got these seven easy steps, so let’s get started!
Consider your working style and the nature of your work, as well as whom you live with. Is your work solitary? Does it require privacy and quiet? Then a garden office room or garage conversion might work.
But if you run a small business from home and need to keep an eye on the kids, we recommend setting up a workspace near the ‘public’ spaces of your home, like the kitchen and living room.
Don’t have space anywhere else? A neat little corner in a guest bedroom can also do the trick!
Whether you plan on using a vintage typewriter or the latest high-tech laptop with matching printers and scanners, your home office needs to be adequately equipped in terms of technology.
If your desk is in the middle of the room, opt for the safest way to run cables to a power point – you don’t want anybody tripping over anything. Purchase a power pack for charging your home office tech, which can be positioned under the desk.
What else do you need to ensure a productive and smooth working space? A music system? Mini fridge and coffee maker?
The amount of space you have in your home office will determine what type of desk you can get. Most important of all is that it needs to be big enough to accommodate your work station (laptop / desktop, printer, stationery, etc.).
A corner desk cleverly allows you to split your work station into two: one side for the computer, the other for paperwork.
Some desks even have handy wire channels to help keep tangled messes out of the way. If your chosen desk does not, consider where you will place it to ensure a neat and safe connection to power points.
Anybody who works in an office will vouch that a comfortable chair is key. Sitting in an uncomfortable position for a large portion of each day can lead to short-term pain and long-term health problems. The best option is to invest in an ergonomic chair with customization options. First-prize would be to opt for a chair that allows you to sit comfortably with straight shoulders and offers plenty of lumbar support.
But do you require any other form of seating in your home office? Are you expecting clients to come and see you? Will you need a more comfy spot (like a couch) to review certain documents or take a breather?
If you plan on working long hours, you will require enough light to ensure you won’t strain your eyes. And to do this effectively, go with layered lighting, where you include at least one of each major lighting type:
• Ambient: Lighting that fills most of the room, usually from overhead
• Accent: A light fixture that highlights a specific feature like a bookcase, wall art, etc.
• Task: Light fixtures for a specific purpose, like a desk lamp.
homify hint: Hang a wall mirror to help reflect the light and make your home office seem more visually spacious.
A cluttered work space can be most distracting, and that’s where adequate home office storage becomes vital. Wall shelving, desk drawers, and cubby holes are just some of the ways in which you can ensure a neater work space and make important paperwork easily accessible.
Think about your office accessories like printers, document shredders, etc. Do you want these out in the open or neatly packed away?
When planning your fitted cupboards and units, allow enough room for décor items that aren’t work-related. Treasured books, framed photos of family members, and travel keepsakes all add to your home office’s charm, which leads us to the next step…
Apart from being ready for productivity, your home office should also flaunt plenty of personal touches. It could even help make your time spent working in there much more enjoyable.
Focus on your colour palette. Choose a colour you love, whether it’s paint or wallpaper. Even if it’s a little outside the box, go with it – remember, your home office is a more personal space than the living room. Complete the scheme with bold, coordinating colours.
And don’t overlook accessories. A scatter cushion or two, comfy rugs, potted plants, and wall art can all help set up a certain ‘look’ for your home office.
After all, just because you’re using it for work does not mean your home office can’t be stylish!
From working to reading, let’s see What you need to know to create a home library.