Bree here, from Home Zone Furniture.
I don’t know about you, but there’s one room in our house tottering on the brink of disarray—the home office. Home offices mean different things to different families. Some home offices are for those who work from home, while others are simply a catchall.
But regardless of whether you’re planning a corporate presentation or paying the electric bill, you’ll be more focused and efficient if you love the space you’re working in. Read on for a few simple tips for creating a practical and pleasant home office.
First, determine the purpose for your home office. Do you work from home, spending eight hours a day at your desk? Or do you spend 10 minutes at the desk here and there? Is the office primarily for you, or will your husband and kids occasionally get some use out of it? Knowing the function of your family’s home office will help you decide the best place for the office, the type of furniture that’s best and how much storage and equipment you’ll need.
Carve out space
Choosing the perfect space for your home office depends not only on function but also on the flow of your house. A home office can fill a spare room, an empty closet or even a lonely corner. You might have an extra bedroom that would be an ideal choice for someone who works from home. However, if your home office is more for catching kids’ school paperwork, birthday party invitations and the like, it would make more sense to have a desk near a high-traffic area such as the living room or kitchen.
Pick the right furniture
Now that you know what you’ll be using your home office for and what sort of space you’ve allotted, the next thing is to select furniture. Keep in mind that you’ll want the home office to fit stylistically into the rest of your decorating scheme. A modern, contemporary taste might gravitate toward simple shapes and clean lines, while a traditional style leans toward classic wooden pieces and antique accents. An eclectic type might choose a mix-and-match aesthetic, with multiple colors and details. In addition to style, consider function as you choose the seating. The chair should keep you comfy all day if you work from home and/or be maneuverable by kids if yours will have access to the space.
If you’re situating your home office on an empty wall near the kitchen, you might not have a lot of storage room to work with. Stash your stuff in a nearby closet, tuck it underneath the desk or place it on shelves you hang on the wall or suspend overhead. Those with an entire room to call their home office have plenty of storage space—use it! Regardless of how large the home office area is, a space that’s clear of loose papers and scattered books is always a winner.
Let there be light
Good lighting is crucial to creating an enjoyable and productive work situation. Part of the beauty of working from home is that you have control over the lighting—goodbye, buzzing fluorescents! Try placing your home office, or just your desk, near a source of natural light. It will ease eyestrain and boost your mood. If you have room on your desk, add a lamp for nighttime work or place a standing lamp nearby for a maneuverable lighting solution.
As for accessories—penholders, staplers, organizers—look around the house first to see what you can repurpose for your office. For instance, turn that unused tea tin into a penholder, or a short glass vase into a home for your ruler, scissors, etc. To make your office a little homier, add an area rug to cut down on noise and add warmth, and scatter family pictures throughout the room for decor. If you’re in need of a rug or perhaps a cozy upholstered chair, Home Zone’s home accents have you covered.
Your dream home office will be just around the corner with these simple steps. Now all that’s left to do is get to work!