The problem with home offices is that they can be awkward spaces, often fashioned out of whatever room in the house is currently unused. Our tips will help you to make these cramped spaces more comfortable and conducive to a good day’s work.
• According to Margarita Tsangaris-Scherf of Skedia Spaces, your first step should be to consider factors such as your budget, available space and the reason why you want a home office, as these will influence how you construct your work space.
• Consider the design of the rest of your home. Lee-Ann Bell of Mezzanine notes that your office should be a continuation of this aesthetic. However, Tsangaris-Scherf suggests it’s a good idea to decorate the office in a different colour, still related to your overall theme, to distinguish the space. Bring in a new hue through your choice of chair upholstery, for example, or with a unique accessory.
• Speaking of colour, Tsangaris-Scherf maintains this is a crucial design element when planning your home office space. An accent wall can be highly effective, as can wallpaper in your chosen shade. Remember that bold colours such as red, lime green and orange make an environment appear bright and fun, while neutrals, blue and green have a calming effect.
• Clever storage is essential, stresses Bell – it’s the best way to hide your “mess”. In the same vein, hidden cable trays help to keep cables tidy.
• Choose your furniture with care. Bell believes a good office chair is an investment. Tsangiras-Scherf cautions that oversized furniture can overpower a small space, while pieces that are too small look poorly thought out.
• Give thought to lighting. Natural light is best, but you will also need a desk lamp and, of course, sufficient general light. Position your computer so there is no glare.
• It’s the small touches that make an office feel less like a makeshift spot in the house and more like a place of focus. Some interesting art, photos of family and friends, and green plants to soften the “tech” atmosphere and add a touch of nature are key.