One of the more versatile spaces in your new custom Florida home also can be one of the most productive.

At ICI Homes, many of our popular floorplans contain flex spaces — extra rooms — that can be designated for whatever purpose the home buyer deems necessary.Home Office

Often, that flex spaces becomes — you guessed it — a home office.

Modern life makes working from home a common option nowadays. Even if you report elsewhere for your paycheck, being able to work while you’re home with a sick kid or awaiting a repair person, is much easier with a home office.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to look like a starchy executive suite. But it does need to provide the atmosphere and equipment to help you and other family members who use it.

Here are some design tips to make you actually use a home office.

Furnish it for function

If you want to sit in a rocking chair while you pound away on your laptop, have at it. But most of us need an ergonomic office chair, a sturdy table or desk, and good task lighting.

Maybe you already own appropriate furniture. Or, it’s time to splurge on that tricked-out office chair. Designers, crafters and other folks who use creative materials may require a drafting table.

Also think storage. You’ll need a few bins, boxes, shelves, drawers or baskets to corral items such as books, paper for the printer, and kids’ art supplies.

And don’t forget: storage needs double, triple or quadruple depending how many household members use the home office.

Banish distractions

It’s wonderful to be able to work from home on a part-time or full-time basis. Wear T-shirts, shorts and flip flops everyday.

But, you still must get work done. And losing afternoons to soap-opera-watching or unscheduled naps won’t accomplish anything except procrastination. Clutter and messes also can be distractions, which is why you’ll need a storage strategy for your new office.

We suggest banning TVs in your home office. Also think hard about whether your office will have an exterior window and what it overlooks. And definitely have a door you can close to noise and interruptions.

We hope the TV and door tips are self-explanatory! As for the window, if your office will overlook your neighborhood or any vista that steals your concentration, consider installing shades or shutters for when you really must concentrate.

Alternately, views of a backyard fountain or garden may be non-disruptive.

Make it attractive and comfortable

Outfit your new home office with furniture and accessories that you truly like and use. A comfortable arm chair or small sofa may make conference calls a little easier to take. But don’t forget things such as a ceiling fan.

Again, good task lighting is paramount! So is color. Neutral hues soothe and provide versatile backgrounds. Use brighter colors for an energized atmosphere and darker colors for cozier surroundings.

Home offices also are great places to showcase awards you’ve earned for your work, or other career-oriented memorabilia. But, don’t limit your decor to work themes. If you collect 1980’s record album covers, decorate the office with them.

Ready for your new custom Florida home? Talk to ICI Homes here. opens in a new window