A home office may seem like a bit of a luxury, but now that more and more people are working from home, this room is becoming an important part of home life. A dedicated space where you can be creative and focused, while blocking out the domesticities is what anyone who works from home needs, whether it’s on a full-time or part-time basis.
If you don’t have a separate room to accommodate your home office, don’t worry. Compact furniture and careful planning will help you incorporate a fully functioning workspace into the smallest of rooms, the corner of a living room or even a little nook under the stairs. Look into these awesome storage tips and designing ideas to create the ideal home office for you.
Furniture is a good place to start when designing your home office. If you’re going to be sat at a desk for hours at a time, it’s important to invest in an ergonomically designed chair that is fully adjustable so that you can find a position that is comfortable for you. Ideally, the top of your screen should be in line with your eyes so you are not straining your neck by looking up, and your arms should rest comfortably on the desk at a right angle so that your shoulders aren’t raised awkwardly.
When looking for desks, choose wisely. Can you incorporate storage and a desk into one unit? Consider its overall function; it’s important to select a sturdy desk that can contain all your work documents in one place. Many have drawers at the sides, which are perfect for tidying away bits and bobs and papers, while keeping them close to hand. But of course, having drawers on either side does impact on the amount of legroom you have under the desk so you may prefer a more open design.
Storage should be the top priority in all home office designs. With so many papers, books and supplies to store, be sure to accommodate it all with shelves, drawers and cabinets. There’s nothing more distracting than piles of paper, which is no good in an environment where you want to be productive.
Home office organization is key, especially with all the bills, mail and statements you receive and keep throughout the year. The best way to store your papers is by investing in a filing cabinet. Otherwise, you should be able to make do with some storage boxes or files. Just remember to keep everything neatly organized in ring-binders and label your folders so no time is wasted by looking for things.
A rolling cabinet can help with convenience, or splurge on a more permanent, lockable one if you have a lot of sensitive documents. Again, be sure to label and color code so that everything is easy to find.
With shelves and cabinets, built-ins are your best options. Built-in shelves are an elegant way to store your book collection while drawers with tray organizers keep track of staples like pens, pencils, highlighters, tape and calculators. In addition, wall-mounted shelving is great because it doesn’t take up any floor space, but will provide you with plenty of extra surfaces.
If you don’t have a dedicated room for your home office, think creatively about how to re-jig your layout. Your study area could also be a guest bedroom and library all in one if you are smart with your furniture. For example, you could have a compact desk, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, plus a sofa bed. When guests come to stay, all you have to do is unfold the bed and you’ve just converted your home office into a bedroom.
Multifunctional rooms are the way to go if you’re tight on space. Other options include positioning a desk neatly in a little corner next to your living room. Hang shelves above the desk for easy access to any books or files you may need and you have a little 12-square footage area for studying or office work. Similarly, if you have an open area beneath your stairs, a desk will slot perfectly into this spot. Make sure that you include good lighting, though, as there may not be windows very nearby.
The perfect lighting is a major component for your home office. Adequate and sufficient lighting is necessary for busy individuals who stare at their computers all day and do paperwork and such. You don’t want to work in a dim room or one that doesn’t have natural light flowing in.
If possible, try to position your desk near a window. We all feel more inspired if we’re able to see outside and it’s good for your eyesight to take regular screen breaks, which you will naturally do if you sit next to a window. Sitting side onto a window is ideal.
Task lighting is of utmost importance—you don’t want to strain your eyes in a dark environment, so you should ensure your space is well lit at all times. A combination of a ceiling light and a desk lamp should be sufficient. Many stores stock cool home office lamps in pastel shades for as low as P299, so have some fun with this functional piece.
What will work for one person won’t necessarily work for another, but what you are aiming for is a calm, organized, productive and inspiring environment. For you, that might mean choosing peaceful colors, such as neutrals, blues or greens, or you might find that bright pops of hot pink or red fire up your imagination. Choose something that will inspire you rather than distract you.
When looking for home office decorating ideas, always think in terms of inspiration; your work area should be functional but also reflective of the things that motivate you. While home offices are conventionally formal spaces, you can definitely branch out with your decor. Paint the room colors that energize you or paint patterns or stripes on the wall for variation. Globes, maps and clocks are always go-to pieces, as are table lamps and vases.
To give your work area a personalized touch, bring in framed family photographs and travel souvenirs you've picked up along the way. For those must-have accessories, like pencil cups, paper trays and magazine holders, try using bright, vibrant patterns to add a pop of color or even novelty pieces that will make you smile every time you look at them. Bulletin boards, chalk boards or whiteboards are also great home office ideas; they're perfect for reminders and can also be used to hold pictures or artwork.