With so many people bringing their work home, telecommuting full or part-time, or running home based businesses, well-appointed home offices are one of the most frequently requested design options we hear when we speak with prospective customers.
I interviewed one of ICI’s design specialists, Beth Lewis, to offer 5 tips to ensure you set-up a home office that’s both functional and attractive.
Choose a Room with Plenty of Light
Whether you’re just beginning the building process or have been in your home for a few years, choosing the location of your home office can depend on a variety of factors. One factor you may want to take into account is the amount of natural light that will be entering the room. Not only has good lighting shown a positive effect on health and well-being, but it’s also shown to improve performance and productivity. Also, “if you’re over 40, add in as much light as you can!”
“The smaller your budget for your office design, the more creative you may need to be.” This may require some good ‘ol handy DIY work. One simple idea may consist of securing a door or wood panel on top of two low-priced department store fixtures such as book cases. A desk like this might be an option for those who will need a large and cost-effective work area. “Bottom line…[your] needs, will dictate function.”
“Be Space Smart”
Don’t have the room for an office? Using a desk to multi-function as a nightstand in your bedroom can maximize space. You can also use some of the available space in your closet for storage which will free up the need for a bookcase or file cabinet in your room. Additionally, if you currently have your office space in your bedroom but also have a guest bedroom, consider moving the desk into your guest bedroom. “Since your guest bedroom may be empty 90% of the time, this will open up the available space in your bedroom.”
Research New Trends
You may want
to look into design magazines or websites such as Houzz, to gather your design ideas. One of the many benefits of working with an interior designer is having access to the latest trends and design education which will save you time and effort. “A designer and their client are able to work together and feed off of each other’s ideas to create the best solution.” According to Beth, there are a few popular trends when it comes to home workspace. Beth states that “writing desks are more popular than larger desks due to the increase in use of laptops and tablets. Another growing option is the use of built-in desks because of their sleek look and lack of having to purchase office furniture.”
“Keep It Personal”
At the end of the day, be sure to choose the best options for YOUR needs. Sure that large corporate desk you saw at the furniture store may make you feel like you’re Donald Trump, but it may not be the smartest option if you’ll only be using it to send the occasional email. If you’re low on space but both you and your spouse require offices, consider making two separate work spaces in one room. You can easily create the feel of two offices by dividing the desks with a large bookcase.
Also, if you are worried about maintaining the current design flow of your home, “focus your design efforts on the window treatments and other drapery such as rugs.” This will make it easier for you to make updates throughout the years instead of having to invest in new furniture to match.
Beth Lewis is ASID-licensed with over 10 years of experience in interior design. She is also President of Everyday Elegance Interiors located in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. Beth is currently working with ICI Homes designing two of the model homes in the new master-planned community, Tamaya, opening this Spring!