You may suddenly find yourself working from home. It was either your choice before the onset of COVID-19 or as a result of social distancing requirements. You may find it a blessing or an inconvenience. But you don’t have to be stuck in a dull space that drives you up the wall and doesn’t inspire you to do your best work.
Your workstation could be the kitchen table, or a cramped space in the spare room, which doubles as a storage area. Whatever your situation, you can take that space and change it to a comfortable home office that will inspire you.
A Little Designing Goes a Long Way
You know the basics for an office, right? – a desk, a chair, and a lamp. What more is there? Let’s explore some concepts that’ll incorporate your personality and turn any mundane home office into a haven that’s just for you.
Before starting the journey, we need to answer some questions:
- What do you do in your workspace?
- What do you want to achieve with the design of your office?
- Is this office for you alone, or must it function for several family members?
- Will it serve solely as an office, or must it have a dual purpose, such as a guest bedroom?
- Do you require privacy, or do you have an open-door policy?
Now that we have some direction, here are some tips and ideas to get your creative juices flowing. So let’s get started!
As in your home’s other spaces, your office needs to possess focus areas, assuming you have enough space. If you’re stuck in the corner of a room, that’ll be your only focus, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use some of the same ideas.
The most significant piece of furniture in the office will be your desk. You’ll spend most of your time here, so it must be functional, but it should also please your personal aesthetic. If you cannot afford the desk of your dreams, paint that old one, add some glamorous handles, put a glass top on, add something that blooms flowers, and place motivating items underneath.
If the whole family uses the office, decide if you want to install single desks or a wall-mounted multi-workstation. Use attractive materials that lift your spirits. Some may like natural wood, while others will go for white gloss laminate. The choices are infinite.
A home office should have a corner for contemplation, discussions, and meeting your clients in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. Add a comfy couch and a unique coffee table with a rug to differentiate the space from the rest of the room.
Light Illuminates the Soul
Lighting is often a neglected design feature. We need bright light for our work areas, so we tend to use ceiling fluorescents that give off an unnatural glow, which isn’t the best light for creativity and does nothing for the ambiance.
We should use natural light as much as possible, so try and place your desk next to a window. Workstations need to be brightly lit, while other areas can have softer mood lighting. Lighting should be versatile to suit your every mood. One idea would be to install dimmer controls and add several side lamps to adjust the room’s ambiance.
Who said lighting has to be dull? What’s stopping you from adding fairy lights as accent points in the room? We all need a touch of magic, don’t we?
Bring the Outdoors Inside
Natural light brightens a room and enhances its general mood. Make sure that the window coverings do not block out or absorb light. Adding natural colors to a room will help connect the outside with the inside. If you’re a plant lover, incorporate some beautiful green plants. Not only will these provide a pop of color, but they’ll also give you added oxygen, which will help with concentration and your mood.
Whether green plants are your thing or not, add some fresh cut flowers to add fragrance and brighten up the room. Your home office will thank you for the lovely flowers and so will your guests.
The Color Palette
Your choice of colors for your office will have an impact on your productivity. Yellow and red inspire vibrant energy and can induce anger or anxiety. Blues and greens have a more calming effect. Your choice will depend on what you want to achieve in your office.
Choosing a neutral palette might help you stay focused on the work at hand. Lighter colors on the walls and ceilings reflect light and make a space feel brighter and more extensive. Whether you want an opulent, warm room or a bright and airy seaside feel, the choice is yours.
Tone it Up
A neutral color palette doesn’t mean that you cannot have color. You may be creating a home office, but it’s your space, and it should reflect your taste. Introduce color with your furniture and soft furnishings.
The colors you choose for your accessories will dictate the room’s feel, and you can draw inspiration for your color palette from these items.
An office can become cluttered if there isn’t enough storage space available. You may be a digital wonder who scans all their documents and then files them. Even so, you’ll need somewhere to pack certain things away. Cabinets with doors are ideal for making unsightly objects disappear.
Before you go all out with organizers and filing cabinets, consider how you store things in the rest of the house. Design your storage around your long-term needs. You want a clean, neat home office without clutter, so it would be crazy to keep baskets and boxes lying around that you don’t use.
Think outside of the box when it comes to storage. Not everything has to involve standard built-ins. Take an old trunk, put some legs on it and turn it into a filing cabinet, a side table, or coffee table with extra storage.
Glass jam jars are ideal pen holders that can also store small items. If you don’t like them standing on your desk, mount them on the underside of a shelf and decorate them with some fancy decoupage.
Use Your Walls
We think of functionality when we design offices – the desk, cabinets, chairs, along with the general floor plan. We tend to forget the walls, and many times this leaves us with a stark environment. Walls are blank canvases meant for decorating.
Add some floating shelves or wall cabinets. Open shelves with trendy bins, colorful books, and a souvenir or two will brighten the room and add personality.
Place a whiteboard or a dry erase calendar on the wall to keep you organized. Decorate it with vinyl decals or have a motivational quote at the bottom – it doesn’t have to be stark and boring.
Print a funny quote and place it on the wall to make you smile every time you walk into the room. If funny doesn’t do it for you, then a motivational picture may help you visualize your goals.
Hide Unsightly Cords
Today’s new office works mainly on cordless systems, but we’ve not all arrived at this advanced level of tech. Nothing makes an office look more untidy than cables all over the place. Hide your router and excess cords inside a decorated box, feed the wires out the back, and mount a power strip under or behind your desk.
There are many ideas for methods to control excess cords, from paper clips to cable ties. Whatever you use to tidy up loose cables, you’ll be amazed at how much more spacious your office will feel once those cords have vanished.
Make Yourself at Home
Your office is an extension of your home, and it should feel like it. That doesn’t mean that you can’t go wild and have some far-out ideas. It’s your workspace, so decorate it with things you love, things that inspire you and make you feel at home. There are no rules apart from the fact that your home office should be a fun, productive space that brings you joy.