5 Home Office Design Tips & Essentials for Working in StyleJanuary 4th, 2022 | by Elizabeth | Posted in built-ins, design, home office, remodeling, tips
How many of y’all have added an office or work space to your home over the last couple years? Or maybe you’re still thinking about it?
Either way, I can tell you that most of the homeowners we’ve worked with recently have requested these spaces, which isn’t how it’s always been. Several years ago, a home office was more of a “pretty” office or study type room that was used occasionally.
Now, thanks to the big C, we’re seeing rooms becoming full-on functional offices, or in some cases, multi-functional office spaces that a family can use full-time, for work and for play.
Home offices have also changed from being just a placeholder of a room to one of the most used rooms in the home. I wouldn’t say it competes with the kitchen — not yet, at least — but it’s become a space that works hard for families day in and day out.
So… how’s yours working for you? Is it working hard or hardly working? If the latter, I have some tips for you, along with my 5 top picks for office essentials. It’s never too late to create a space you love…
Tip 1: Pick a spot with good lighting
Natural and artificial light are both essential for a home office. If you think about traditional offices, natural light helps you focus during the day, while artificial light keeps you awake on those early mornings or any winter day after 4:30pm.
At home, you can create a similar environment by placing your work station near a window and adding in the right lamps. If you’re someone who likes to be kept awake, pick a lamp with cool blue light. If you tend to work late, but you don’t want it to affect your sleep, warm or yellowish bulbs are better.
Tip 2: Add some decent storage space
Right: From the 1970s Ranch Reno
Home offices and workstations need storage. If your desk looks anything like mine, you probably have a lot going on — documents and binders, pencils and highlighters, not to mention all the electronics and cords that come with this day and age.
Even if your office is more of a workspace, like the smaller workstations above, having nearby storage will make your life easier. Here, our clients have built-in drawers and cabinets for easy access to their office supplies and essentials.
Tip 3: Set up audio + visual capabilities
Those electronics I mentioned? Well, they need a place to be plugged in. Can you imagine setting up a beautiful home office space, then going to plug in your screens or computer charger, and realizing — there’s no outlet here! That’s a dead end for your workday.
Instead, make sure the space has beefed up electrical and audio visual capabilities for those Zoom calls and meeting screens. I know tech isn’t everyone’s strength, but set it up once, and your life will be easier down the road.
Tip 4: Design a relaxing yet creative environment
This client’s home (above) doesn’t have an extra room to dedicate to an office but this couple loved the idea of an office nook right off the kitchen. It has that natural light we were talking about earlier and plenty of storage with this beautiful built-in. There are also outlets close by (but he didn’t need much in the way of audio/visual), and they find the view inspiring. Which is most important.
Design your office or work space in a way that inspires you with color, pattern, the view, or other decor. I personally never use a drab gray in an office. I prefer to use a neutral with a cool undertone, such as green or blue. This inspires a relaxing yet creative environment. Pops of bright, energizing color could also be a good idea.
At the end of the day, it’s all about the emotions you want to feel, and the style that makes you feel that way. So don’t be afraid to try something new.
Tip 5: Do your best to get privacy + sound control
I admit, this one is harder to come by but so important if you can get it. These days, workstations are emerging in any old space: converted dining rooms, the nook off the kitchen, in the basement or family room… You name it, it’s been done.
Now, you know me. I’m always on-board with a creative solution. However, if you can create a home office that can be closed off from the rest of the home, you are doing yourself a favor! No distractions. No awkward Zoom meetings with weird sounds (or surprise guests) in the background.
While closed doors offer the best privacy, I also suggest making sure your office has furnishings to absorb and muffle sounds and ambient noises. You could add soft rugs and window treatments, a cozy armchair and office chair, built-ins and cabinets, and why not style the space with some decor that inspires you? Done and beautiful.
My Top 5 Picks for Home Office Essentials
Here are a few of my go-tos when outfitting an office for productivity and style:
1. Desk Chairs, for a touch of fresh meets traditional style
2. Power Charging Station, for all your electronics
3. All-in-one Printer and Scanner… I think this one speaks for itself
4. Dry Erase Wall Calendar, for a flexible schedule in these crazy times (LOL)
5. Desk Lamp, with a simple yet classic shape in beautiful warm brass
That’s it for today, but if you’re looking to renovate or design a home with a built-in workspace, you know where to find us. 😉