Thursday, June 18, 2015

Realistic Home Office

In my home, I have the corner office. In that it is in a corner. And it is being used as an office.

I have great aspirations for it, but it is a bit  sad and sparse right now as you can see. But I am excited about the potential now that this corner has a purpose. My plan includes a larger desk with a pull out (I'm looking at the IKEA Malm desk), some open shelving above, a soothing paint color, and some window treatments.

This is the other half of the loft. I'll add an accent chair in the corner to define a seating area, a coffee table for books and whatnot, and an arc lamp. I'll eventually upgrade the basic builder light fixtures for better lighting at night, but I actually get decent natural light now that it's summer.

Since my husband works one of those day jobs that requires a desktop computer, conference calls and such, he gets the main office, which was one of the first rooms I did in our house. The cat loves it.

Transitional Home Office by Kristin Bythewood Interiors

I believe that the environment we work in can really impact our productivity, energy, and our attitude about our work, especially at home, where there can be distractions. Here are some things to think about when setting up and decorating a home office.

  • Identify the function of the space before you choose the furniture. 
Decide if you need space to spread out or just enough room for a laptop. Think about paperwork and filing needs.  Do you have office or school supplies to store? Determine what kids or other family members may need if they use it. You also need to consider the location of the outlets and how you will plug everything in in such a way that it isn't a cord disaster. Those things are not very exciting to think about but they will help you make smarter decisions when looking for furniture.

  • Prioritize your desk and chair first.
If all you need to work is a laptop and a cup of coffee, you can get away with a small parsons desk with a few small drawers. But if you have paperwork, various office supplies, files, inventory, gadgets, etc., you will need something with more substance.

You also need to consider ergonomic factors. If you will be sitting all day, get a decent chair that is the correct height from the desk and is comfortable and supports your back. A home office gets more use than work because it is used for both work and other things. If you use a laptop you might consider raising it up or attaching a keyboard.

  • Make it look like home, not a corporate office.
You can take a home office deduction whether you buy an ugly desk or a nice one, so why not make your office comfortable? .

Check out office liquidation center near you for a great variety of "executive style" desks that actually look like furniture. Change the hardware for a quick update.

Ikea has some affordable options with table tops and leg combinations in glass and wood that are easy to put together and can be combined with other storage tucked underneath.

For a more modern minimal look you can go with a parsons desk or even a small dining table.

Simple touches like curtains, paint, and a seating area can make an office feel much more comfortable to be in. It also gives you opportunities to take a break from the computer and sit and read.

At night our office doubles as a place to watch TV. The windowsill acts as a great drink holder and remote control spot. Now THAT's practical.

  • Incorporate things that reflect you and what you enjoy.

My husband was in the military and is a home brewer so I incorporated his beer glass collection and his coin collection into the design, For you it could be fresh flowers, photos of your family, books and magazine, collectibles. anything you enjoy that reminds you of why you work so hard.

Yes, that is a toilet trophy that says "unflushable".

A home office can be functional, comfortable, and look great.

I believe it can inspire you, and, hopefully, your work as well!

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