8 Ways to Add Extra Design Flair to Your Home Office
More and more of us are now choosing to work from home, be that putting in the hours to start up a small business or freelancing out of our own spaces.
If you have space, setting up a home office can make you happier, more productive and help to draw a vital boundary between your business and personal lives. Plus, a chic, personalised, custom-designed home office space is easier to achieve than you think. Follow these top tips to create a space that will make your ‘bedroom commute’ in the morning ten times easier:
Get The Flow Right
Before you get carried away on Pinterest finding the perfect chic desk lamp, take a moment to consider the ergonomics of your space. It might sound boring, but if you don’t set up the area so that it works correctly for your needs, you could find your productivity halted and back pain problems lurking just around the corner. You need to sort the functionality before adding those exciting design flourishes. The first thing to get right is your seat – after all, you may be spending a lot of time in it! Remember that lecture hall seating that would make you go numb after a long day at uni? You want to avoid that effect by choosing a well-upholstered chair that offers lumbar support. Make sure your desk, computer monitor and other equipment are all set up to the correct height and distance – a quick online Display Safety Assessment will let you know. There are ways to still make the décor fun, though. If you work on a MacBook and need to raise the height, why not use a stack of glossy fashion tomes if you don’t fancy a laptop riser? Make sure the lighting is also right – you’ll need overhead light, plus some task lighting for your workspace. If there are physical files you need to access, ensure you can reach them easily without bending and twisting your back.
Sort Your Storage
There’s nothing worse than piles of paper and reference documents taking over the room, so make sure that your home office has adequate storage planned in, especially if it functions as a multi-purpose room. If your documents are something you want to display, consider using a magazine rack or repurpose a glass fronted dresser or armoire to hold papers. If you want them stashed away, choose pretty storage baskets that can sit on a bookcase or hide inside a closet.
A Place to Think
Chances are, as well as the day to day work, you’ll need to do some strategic thinking. So why not create a space for a monitor break, some reading time, or space where you can brainstorm ideas? A beautiful wing chair or a velvet bean bag could make the perfect cosy corner. Introducing an ottoman means you have somewhere to rest a cup of tea plus adds more concealed storage that doesn’t look too corporate. If you’re into power naps, add a faux-fur blanket and some colourful cushions into the mix – after all, the beauty of working from home is that you can create a gorgeous space for some thinking time.
Go for Greenery
Plants are an essential addition to your home office space. Not only does a bit of greenery scientifically make you happier, but also they can create a lovely atmosphere. Opt for something low maintenance like succulents or air plants in a terrarium if you don’t want to use your office space at the weekend, or a display of orchids can look super-luxurious if your office is part of another room in your home.
Create an Inspiration Wall
The beauty of being able to have your space exactly how you want it is that you can dedicate a whole wall to mood boarding. Add framed quotes, pictures of what inspires you and current trends that may influence your day to day work, and stick them up using an upholstered pin board so that you can see them at all times. This has the effect of lifting your mood and keeping you focused on what you’re doing and why – this can be especially valuable if you are trying to get a small business off the ground.
Get Stocked Up
The idea is that once you sit down at your desk for the day, just like in an office building, you shouldn’t need to go far. So instead of going up and down the stairs to the kitchen all the time, consider adding a coffee machine or a small fridge to keep cold drinks in. That way, if you’re on a roll with inspiration, you don’t need to leave to grab a drink – plus the prospect of a nice coffee will make you want to be there. Also make sure that you have enough office supplies spare that you’re not going to run out of anything unexpectedly – stock up on pens, envelopes and staples. But do make sure that you’re taking a proper lunch break away from your desk.
When setting up your home office, don’t underestimate how many electronics you’re going to need – so think about adding in extra plug sockets. You may have a computer, printer, scanner, lamps and need to charge your phone. Either hire an electrician or get some surge-protected extension leads to use. Consider how you can hide unsightly power leads with cable ties, clever desk arrangement or by choosing wi-fi enabled tech that can be located further away from the computer. Using a decorative screen can be an easy way of disguising unsightly appliances and supplies.
Many people go for a sort of default layout when organising their home office space. But don’t automatically shove your desk into a corner of the room. Think about placing your desk in front of a window as a source of natural light, but perhaps go at right angles to the window so you can also look out across the room. Or consider angling yourself sideways to make the most of the space.
A few adjustments, a couple of pieces of furniture, and a new way of thinking and you could have the ultimate home office – a cosy, stylish space where the ideas never stop flowing.