With today’s ever changing landscape when it comes to office spaces & work situations, it is imperative that your home office is a sanctuary for the work that you do. It is possible that working from home has been a part of your career for many years or the recent changes in our lives have sent you to the spare bedroom.
Building the ultimate home office requires the perfect mix of beauty & functionality. A home office is where you spend the majority of your day, so we look to your work life necessities along with the designs that make you feel calm & focused to create the room of your dreams.
Though you will incur the initial cost, when it comes to the correct furniture & design items, you will be thankful for the investment as you spend every day in your favorite room in the house. Consulting with a contractor experienced with office home office renovations is important so you can understand your true costs as well as the many possibilities with a home office renovation project. Read on to learn everything you need to know about creating the home office that is just right for you.
Finding the Right Space
Your home office should have a dedicated space of its own so that it becomes your oasis for work day activities. Think about how easy it can be to blur the lines from necessary at home activities like doing the laundry or dishes. When designating a specific room, you turn on work mode when you enter & do not think of anything else.
Here are some priorities to consider when choosing the space for your home office:
- Noise level, you want a place that is quiet for your calls & moments where you need to get things done
- Natural lighting, this will keep you awake & focused as well as make you look great on zoom calls
- Location to other necessary rooms, like the kitchen. You don’t want to be distracted by the laundry room on the way to the kitchen for lunch!
It is also understandable that you may not have a specific room in the house to designate an office space. If this is the case, we recommend sharing your office with a guest bedroom or a room that is not used often for other activities. Whatever it may be, it is never too late to design a space that fits your exact needs with a sense of class & style.
Picking the Perfect Furniture
Furniture is the perfect way to make a space your own. A desk & chair are necessary parts of an office, but it is your choice when it comes to style, size & spacing.
First you will want to measure the size of your space so the furniture you purchase is not too bulky or too small for what you need. If you only have room for the necessities, you can focus on that piece. If you have a full room you will be able to create a design plan with additional furniture & decor.
After measurements are taken, think about your style & what you truly want this room to look like. You can review pinterest boards or take a look at our articles on design best practices. Maybe you have an antique style or you tend to choose the modern look, find companies who sell items that you like within your price range & start your search there.
A chair is another priority when it comes to the design of your space, you will want to choose a comfortable & ergonomic chair that either matches the style of your space or is neutral. Sometimes with chairs, you can compromise design for comfort as you will be sitting there are eight hours of the day.
When you think of an ergonomic chair, think of comfort & support. You should be supported across your body, including your back, head, arms & legs. This chair should improve or support good posture & create a comfortable environment where you are not thinking about the way your body is sitting.
Storage & Organization
As the saying goes, “A tidy desk is a tidy mind”, organizing your belongings effectively is such an important part of creating an office. First, this creates clarity, you will know where everything is when you need it. Also, you do not want clutter, so having a spot for everything will ensure your office looks clean & the focus is on the design, not the stuff. Here are some ideas for keeping a clean space:
- Put your printer & scanner in a printer desk drawer or on an additional cabinet in the office. Ensure your printer items like ink & paper are kept in a nearby drawer
- Keep only the necessary pens, pencils & paper items in a cup or decor piece on your desk. Everything else should be stored tidily in a drawer until needed
- Keep an organizer on your desk for papers & notebooks so they can be stored upright & not dispersed across your desk
If you have the space, purchase a cabinet with significant storage that matches your style so you always have a place for additional items that may be needed for your workday. This is also a way to stretch your design muscles & create an even more unique office space.
Leveraging the Right Lighting
Natural light is key to a happy work space, so if you can align yourself facing a window or put your office in a room with plenty of sunlight flowing through then you will enjoy the work day more. Having natural lighting also saves on your electricity bill as you will not have the overhead lighting on as often.
If artificial lighting is necessary, instead of opting for normal ceiling lights, integrate lamps for a more relaxed lighting experience. Lamps also add a sense of design & pull a room together. Lamps are a valuable addition if you sometimes or always work in the evening times. The dimmer light will not keep you awake like a bright fluorescent light will, making it easier for you to go to sleep when it is time.
Lastly, if you have your camera on while taking work calls you want to make sure you have the appropriate lighting on your face to accurately show your expressions. Be sure to regularly face natural lighting or get a small desk lamp that can add that extra bit of glow to your calls.
Consider the Extra Touches
At AA Lofts Designs we specialize in the perfect design for your in person or online space, so we know the importance of having that extra piece that adds to the design & makes your office more homey.
Whether it be something you picked up on vacation or something that just makes you smile, incorporate a part of who you are into your home office to create a space that is reminiscent of the things you enjoy. Here are some ideas for creating a more personalized space:
- Framed family photos
- Paintings or prints that you enjoy
- A plant, succulent or indoor tree
- Paint the room a color you like
- Hang fun decor on the wall
- Incorporate toys or models you like
Adding additions that personalize the space can truly improve your mood especially on long, stressful days. It is important to surround yourself with the things you love, even in your workspace.
Another idea for displaying your personal touches is by hanging open shelves, they are great for storage & create an open space that makes a small room look larger than it is.
Design Thinking for Your Technology
Most of us work mainly from a computer or laptop, & with a technology focused world comes many upgrades that can make your life easier & clutter free. Here is a list of options that will allow you to optimize the placement of your technology & ensure it does not get in the way:
- Ensure your desk & chair are at optimal height & convenience for everyday computer use. This goes back to the ergonomics topic. Be sure you do not have to look too far down or up when utilizing the space. Also make sure your arms reach the appropriate distance & you do not have to strain.
- Implement a laptop drawer, a place to stow your laptop at the end of a long day’s work. This will one, tell your brain that the working day is over & now it is time to spend time with friends & family. Also, it will create a clean desk space for when the room is not being utilized as your office
- Create a system for unruly cords. There are many contraptions on Amazon that allow you to hide cords or store them effectively unseen. You could also look into a desk that has a cord hole that goes under the desk so you can plug your items in but the clutter is out of sight.
- Make sure monitors are not in the way, for work & design purposes. If you are trying to design a beautiful office space, put your desk in an area where monitors can be stored at the corner so the room is still an open visual experience.
- Stow away printers & various technologies that are not used every day. These can clutter up a room & take away from the design effort you have put in. There are many storage options for furniture that is beautiful yet full of storage.
This is often an overlooked aspect until later in the design, so plan for this early. By taking the time to rearrange your technology properly, you will create an ergonomic environment for your workday. These changes to your home office will also create an aesthetic space for guests to see when walking past.
Tips on Shared Office Spaces
If you & your significant other or maybe a family member or roommate will be sharing an office space, fear not, there are many ways to make your office beautiful & effective for two people.
Long desks or cubby styled, angular desks are a great way to share a working room. You can set up two to three chairs depending on the dimensions. You can also take inspiration from co-working space & create a conference room style office with multiple chairs.
If you & your co-working partner need to be on the phone often, it is best to invest in two pairs of noise cancelling headphones. With the headphones you will not be easily distracted & be able to get work done efficiently.
Now it is time to really start thinking about what you want for a home office. What room will you transform? What are your priorities? Whether it be a large desk, a cozy feeling or bright lighting, you have all the tools to create a lovely work environment. Make a list & consult with your family & friends, then get started!
Element Home Remodeling East Bay is an Oakland based renovation contractor that has extensive experience with creating and renovating home office spaces. Contact us today for a free consultation and ask us about the many possibilities of creating the perfect home office environment. We know every person has an individual & unique style & we are here to support & help guide you in the right direction.