Published September 2019
Updated April 2021
Since the following article was written in 2019 (who knew?!) the world's focus has shifted in a major way to Home Offices.
If you're now in a place where you will be working from home...indefinitely? Then we recommend this quick read to really make your home office official and wonderful. You'll be happy that you did!
We previously published a blog burst series on Room Refreshes-if you missed it the first time around be sure check through our blog and find the room(s) you're working on now!
Our Blog Bursts featured 3 key elements to easily and quickly transform a room in your home, to make you feel as if you had completed a total remodel. But without the pain & suffering. Simple ideas to create a refreshed feeling in the room of your choice.
Here is the original article from late 2019.
Thank you for joining us in this series on Home Decorating. Our hope is that these short blog bursts will enable & inspire you to refresh a room in your home.
This week we'll help you update a space in your home to act as your office away from the office.
Many people these days work from home as a remote worker. Others have a space set aside to pay bills, go over information and organize home living. If you are doing these things on the kitchen table, now is the time to be inspired to refresh a room…for your own Home Office.
Whether your home office is a designated space for running a business, the occasional telecommute, or simply a nook for paying bills and organizing your schedule, creating a comfortable, well-lit office will make you happier while you’re in it.
When determining which room to use to refresh, consider how much time you’ll spend there, and how nice it needs to be to get you in there. If you dread going to your office you will likely fall behind with household chores or not be motivated for your job.
Choose a room with windows. For those that are easily distracted and those that do their best work looking outside, find a room with more windows. For those that will have customers or clients stopping by, choose the room closest to the front door. That way your clients aren’t traipsing through your house to get there. This will also lift your burden knowing you don’t have to keep the house spotless at all times.
Once you’ve chosen this room it's time to refresh it!
Choosing just 3 elements should make this simple and fun for you. Google some ideas and pinpoint the end result you are looking for. Keep that in mind as you shop and decide which elements are most necessary for your Home Office.
The first thing to consider for this refresh should be lighting.
You will want great lighting to see what you’re doing but also natural lighting so your energy isn’t dissipated. Lamps on a work desk soften the look of an office and keeps it from looking too generic. Stand-up lamps in corners and a chandelier hanging in the middle are great for added light.
Next up is furniture.
What kinds of furniture do you need? Desk? Chairs? Plastic runner? Storage? Decoration?
This is not only a big, but individual decision. Start by choosing the right desk. Are you looking for decorative? functional? a combination of both? Is your business in the public eye needing a classy desk? Or are you consulting and want a warm rich looking office without feeling stuffy? Again, this decision is based on your needs and preferences. Get a picture of it in your mind and go shopping.
Keeping your desk light and airy will preserve the feel of openness.
Purchase ergonomically made desks and chairs to keep your back and the rest of you healthy. Ensuring you are resting your elbows on the desk while typing or using your mouse, will save you much in chiropractic and massage fees later.
If you work your full time job as a remote worker, you will most likely need all the accoutrements of a full-fledged office. Consider setting up the desk with storage for information and computer, along with another working space that can double as a meeting table for when your clients visit.
As a simple home office desk that sits in the corner, with room for a computer and storage space: this one is ideal.
Here is another nice set-up for a simple yet pretty home office:
A couple more ideas:
It's nice to be able to fit the desk into a corner while giving you that much more room for computer and work space:
Storage items are next on the Refresh agenda.
How much storage will you need depending on how you will be using your office? Can you incorporate the storage into your desk? Or will you need additional storage for sensitive client or financial information?
Do you need metal, fireproof files? Or can you utilize pretty wood files to warm up this room? Depending on your space, you may need to set up the files in the basement or other storage areas within your home. But make sure the materials you need regularly are kept in your office.
If you are short on space, consider corner units for decoration and storage. These can set into the corner without taking up as much space and create more functionality for you.
Bookshelves are an important element of any office.
Are books an integral part of your business or the work you’ll be doing from home? Can other items be stored on your shelves for easy access?
For more space think about how to organize vertically and horizontally.
Many home offices aren't swimming in square footage, so using space efficiently is imperative. Hang floating shelves on the walls to get papers and office equipment off the desk, and use vertical file folders on the desk to keep important papers within arm's reach.
Are you a stacker or a filer? If you tend to make piles, get a nice basket to tame your mail, notes, and papers. If you prefer a clean desktop, designate one drawer for your to-do papers.
Wooden or metal cube storage is a fun alternative to bookshelves, since each space can be used for books, knickknacks, or baskets of odds and ends.
Before we move on remember these tips:
Your desk, shelves, and storage should serve you, not the other way around. Consider your workflow and what items you need at your fingertips before investing in furniture, and then look for pieces that are both beautiful and functional. Home office furniture should complement other rooms in your home instead of screaming soulless cubicle. In your home office with traditional décor, include warm wood and soft, comfy chairs or a loveseat that are ideal if you have the space.
Don’t forget to use (or purchase) a chair that is comfortable and will support you, your arms and your hands and wrists. Again, this is imperative to cut down on the strain on your body if you’re sitting at your desk for hours on end.
There are many ergonomically efficient chairs out there so do your research. If you won’t be spending a lot of time at the desk go for cushy and inviting.
Here are some ideas:
Last and certainly not least, add home-y-ness!
A little or lot of decorations, photos, and plants can really make this space feel like your own…AND motivate you to be there when you need to. Plants make everything better-providing much needed oxygen to keep your mind alert while you work. Maybe add fake plants where you wouldn’t want any leaks, but otherwise floor ferns, pretty and colorful flowers and any greenery adds that extra element of warmth and peace.
Wall art, wood signs with cute sayings that your customers will enjoy and framed art for color to make the space POP.
As an added extra element to choose from, consider rugs and of course to preserve your floors and make it easier to flow between your work stations make sure to incorporate a plastic runner.
So let's recap our 3 elements for this refresh:
Lighting. Lamps, windows, chandeliers, desk lights.
Furniture. Desks, book shelves and storage needs.
Decoration. Plants, greenery, flowers, wall art and signs.
Bonus element: rugs and plastic runners.
You’re all set. Search, shop, google and get to it! Won’t it be nice to relax in your work space going forward? Enjoy!
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