Whether you’re a full time at-home employee or you just need somewhere to tend to your personal social media accounts, we want to help you build an inspiring place to work out of your home. Here are some tips we have compiled to make your office functional, beautiful, and inspiring.
Function First, Beauty Second
If you Pinterest “home office” you’ll find endless pins of perfectly staged desks with neatly arranged wall collages hung above, clocks that have no numbers, rose gold organizers that take up half the desk, brightly colored plastic chairs that have no arms and a coffee mug with a motivational saying like “good vibes only” printed on the side. While we can appreciate the design elements of these impractically adorable spaces, they are not always functional for the actual purpose of working. We recommend choosing items that are functional first and fashionable second. You’ll probably spend more hours sitting at your desk than looking at it, so get a comfy chair, and if you hate the look of it THAT much, drape a colorful throw on the back when you’re not sitting in it. Pick desk organizers that will assist you with staying organized, not cause clutter. Keep the motivational mug….you can always use more coffee.
Find a desk that fits your space.
Sounds simple, but this can be a challenge when working within a small space. Choose an area in your home that is underutilized, then find a desk to fit. If you have a corner free, opt for a corner desk. If you’re working with a skinny space find a desk that is long and narrow. If you are just totally out of space, consider a murphy desk that can collapse into the wall when you’re not using it. Go with a desk that will maximize the use of your limited free space, and at the same time think about how you will need to use your desk. If you only have a laptop to set up, having a lot of surface area might not be necessary.
Cut the Clutter.
Nothing gets in the way of productivity like having to deal with a mess. Don’t let items pile up on your desk, or you won’t use it. At the end of every work day restore your workspace to its clean state. Utilize storage boxes (these can be cute AND functional, win win) to store cords, office supplies, anything that you don’t want to look at on a daily basis. Use files for any loose documents, and desk organizers for various office supplies you might want to leave out.
Incorporate natural elements into your workspace.
Using natural elements in your workspace will help it feel calm, welcoming and peaceful, so we recommend incorporating different materials such as leather, wood, and cotton. In addition, add some greenery to your space. There are plenty of low maintenance indoor plants to choose from, and tiny succulents to large potted trees. While you’re working on the elements, why not throw in fire with a candle.
Get creative with your storage.
Maximize your storage by utilizing your vertical wall space. Wall shelves and tall bookcases and cabinets are great ways to add storage. This goes back to clutter, a cluttered workspace is inefficient. You’ll need somewhere to put those organizing bins with office supplies, printer paper, tech devices and power chords. Floor to ceiling wall shelves are another win-win….they are a neat design feature AND they can help you keep your office free from clutter.
Incorporate things that inspire you.
Whether its decorative objects, photos of people you love, or sayings that motivate you, put things that excite you into your workspace. Homegoods, AtHome, TJ Maxx, Target…just browse through any of these stores to find affordable decorations! It can help to choose a theme to focus on in your workspace. For example, if you love to travel, incorporate photos from your travels, globes, maps, worldly objects.
Choose your lighting wisely.
A dim or improperly lit office can make you sleepy, cause your eyes unnecessary strain, and is generally depressing. Ideally, when you set up a desk it is best for natural lighting to be coming from in front of or adjacent to your workspace rather than from behind to avoid computer screen glare. However, when you’re working with a small space, you may not have that option. Consider the natural lighting in your room, your room’s overhead lighting, the different lamps in the room, and then choose the right desk lighting for your workspace. If you want to avoid excess heat, choose an LED task lamp. When working with a small amount desk surface area, consider the amount of room your task light’s base takes up. The bottom line, make sure you have enough light in your space, and do not rely only on natural and overhead lighting.
Be mindful of your color scheme.
While the bright orange office on Pinterest looked cool, it might not be appealing to look at every single day and may distract you from the work you are supposed to be doing in your office. Instead of choosing brightly colored large items like a desk or the walls, incorporate colorful objects or textiles. Things that you can easily swap out if you decide you no longer want to look at a given color. For your wall color and furniture think monochromatic or earth tones.
Don’t forget you’ll need somewhere to plug in all your tech devices. Be mindful of this when you are positioning your furniture, you’ll need outlets for those lamps too. If you don’t have any outlets, run an extension cord under rugs to get power to the area you’ll need it. Make a plan of how you will power your devices before setting up your workspace.