Your home office is a place where you can retreat to for handling paperwork, paying bills, or running your own work from home business. We have the opportunity to create a gorgeous space. Instead, we often turn it into a half-closet and half-office space. Do I sound about right? Let’s look at some ways to make your home office form and function combined into one glorious retreat.
Tips for a Beautifully Functional Home Office
Look at Functionality
First thing’s first. How are you going to use your home office? Are you using it for paying and filing away bills? Crafting? Both? Without thinking through a plan for this space, it’s hard to come up with a game plan. Knowing your intent for using your office will help you decide on how much you need of each of the following:
- desk space
- filing space
- worktable space
- task lighting
For example, if you are going to be 100% working from home running your own business, you will need a larger desk with great lighting, space for a larger monitor, and an ergonomically correct chair. However, if you want to have a small bill-paying space with a craft table, you might choose a roll-top desk where you can hide away the clutter and a large counter-height table.
Think this through and decide on your use before you begin to shop. Jot down some notes to keep it fresh in your mind.
Measure Your Space
Also, take accurate measurements of your space before you shop. Pay attention to things like vents in the floor that you don’t want to block, windows that you need to reach, where the outlets are located, and any other factors. This will help you remain free of the disappointment of ordering a huge desk only to find out that it blocks your only window.
The size of the space isn’t as important as utilizing the space that you do have correctly! Many successful businesses were started out of the corner of a garage or across a kitchen table. Think Amazon.
Invest in Comfortable Furniture
When you’re shopping for furnishings for your home office, think about your comfort. Splurge on the best seating that you can afford so that your back is comfortable and you don’t develop neck fatigue. Ergonomics are the key here. You want your office to be an amenity and a retreat…not to become something akin to a torture chamber.
Of course, your home office probably already has overhead lighting. Do you have supplemental task lighting at your desk or work table? How about a ceiling fan light overhead to keep the air moving if you need to close the door? Side tables can be accented with gorgeous accent light that gives a soft glow of lighting when you want to tone it down a notch.
Everything in its Place
Keep everything in its place by providing ample storage space. A closet in the office is great, but it isn’t practical for everything that you may need from day to day. Do you need to invest in wood file cabinets, drawer organizers, or desktop carousels to hold pens and supplies?
From printer paper to postage stamps, you’ll need to find a home for everything or your office will go right back to looking like a storage room.
You know you need, at a minimum, a desk or work table and chair as previously discussed. In addition, you are likely going to need a printer stand to hold your printer and supplies, one or two guest chairs or a small loveseat, and an accent table with storage underneath. Bookshelves can become both storage for your books and display pieces.
Choose these well, and do make sure that they are a source of extra storage space so you can keep your home office well-organized and productive.
If you’re going to spend a lot of time in your home office, think about the overall decor. You can choose a modern neutral like soft gray with splashes of your favorite color to keep a more professional, yet friendly look. Or, you can paint every wall your favorite color if you’re a creative type who draws inspiration from the colors around you. It’s your office. As long as you take time to paint it in a way that suits you, all other opinions…who cares?
Framed family photos or simple art prints will give your space a nice finished feeling. Choose window treatments that highlight a gorgeous view or hide the neighbor’s messy yard…whichever the case may be.
Don’t forget to add some organics to keep your office from feeling too heavy or formal. Bright green plants, an organic wool rug, or some wood elements will keep the look fresh and inviting. A trickling tabletop fountain adds a pleasant water element. Make this a place that you want to spend time by adding these homey organic elements. Choose any of these organics to make this space reflect your personality.
Your home office is your domain. Lose the clutter that’s been piling up (you know it has!) and take back your space. Make this a room that you will enjoy spending time in. It should be a room that inspires you by combining beauty and function.