A visually stimulating, organised home office space goes a long way to help inspire us and improve productivity levels. Read on if you're looking to be more productive.
Home offices were once the forgotten room of the home (much like the powder room), but recently they have become spaces in our home in which we want to pour some decorating love, and rightly so. In particular, for those of us who work from home, we spend a large percentage of the day in our home office so we want to be inspired by our surrounds. We need practical and effective storage solutions; we need comfort; and we need visual stimulation.
Your first step in creating your ultimate home study is to gain an understanding of what scheme works best for your working environment and office tasks. My job is a creative one and I know I need a window that I can gaze through and to be able to here the sound of the outdoors; I need silence (with the exception of white noise); and I also know I need uplifting colours around me (although I love moody hues, they work against me when I need to be on my A-game). There are a few, more general, essentials you should consider in your quest to create an inspiring home study.
Make a statement with your office desk
I love the range of office desks now available. Thankfully, we have moved away from the boring grey or white melamine desk and onto more interesting alternatives. The ole faithful timber top on trestle legs is an inexpensive and popular utilitarian look but for an uber modern look consider lacquering your desk in a hot pink or canary yellow while keeping your other accessories really neutral. Your desk will become the star piece. Alternatively, if you are partial to an eclectic interior scheme with vintage influences, scour antique stores or Gumtree for a heavy, ornate mahogany desk loaded with old world charm and let it sit in contrast to an otherwise modern setting.
Hang some eye candy
Although it makes perfect sense to hang our most treasured pieces of art in our main living areas, don’t neglect the space where you need the most inspiration and stimulation. It doesn’t have to be expensive, original artwork, it might be as simple as a collage of images that inspire you. I’m in the interior’s game so I have two cork boards covered in interior magazines cut-outs that make my heart sing and that make effective wall treatment. Your office may also be the space you choose to hang a gallery wall of treasured photos if you aren’t one for displaying photos in more conspicuous locations of the home.
Love your office chair
Office chairs are the one home item that I feel hasn’t evolved for the fashion-conscious and house-proud like they should have. It’s very difficult to find both, an ergonomic and good looking desk chair that says something about your personality. More and more retailers are offering upholstered office chairs and while this satisfies some there is also market for upholstered chairs in bold patterns and colours, At this point, this involves you buying a comfortable office chair and having it recovered in your fabric of choice. While this is ideal if you love the idea of choosing your own fabric, many want the convenience of buying off the shelf.
Make yourself at home with a rug
A rug in an office works like it does in every other space in the home. It adds comfort, softness, lushness, and is key at creating that feeling is completeness. If you choose to place a rug under the office desk be sure to consider the the pile of the rug. Trying to roll your chair out over a high pile rug will become tiresome so ensure you opt for a low pile option. Cowhides look superb in the office and and a distressed Persian rug always adds character and personality to any space.
Be flexible with your lights
Creating a flexible lighting plan applies to all living spaces and the home office is no exception. We don’t always want to be working under our overhead lights. When I’m at my computer after the sun goes down, and when I’m feeling weary and my eyes are starting to strain, I find it easing to switch off the down lights and switch on a soft desk lamp. The desk lamp takes the edge off the brightness of the light from the computer screen without lighting up the room.
Be sensitive to your storage needs
Before you go out and purchase storage for your home office, think about what sort of storage is appropriate to your situation. For example, we need to store large laminated house plans, which don’t fit in a standard filing cabinet. We therefore, require wide, shallow drawers rather than narrow deep drawers. And because, I keep a lot of material samples that I prefer to store in categories, I need a lot of little drawers rather a few large, deep drawers that are more suitable to storing bulk items.
Take your storage up the wall
Wall shelves are an ideal addition to to your office space for both their form and function. Shelves allow you to get folders and general office supplies up off of your desk or floor and up on the wall. This not only creates extra storage but it creates visual balance in the room.
Pin it up
Pin boards have become a popular addition to the home office and not just for the fact that they are extremely practical. They are also effective at filling dead space on walls. Not unlike wall shelves, pin boards help get all those items we tend to accumulate in the office up off the table and on the wall. The beauty of pinboards too, is the accessories that come with them, as you can purchase wire baskets, and containers to hang on the board to house your stationary items and keep yourself organised
Our individual office requirements will vary according to our type of work and is of course, subject to the capacity in which we use our office but the above guidelines are applicable to most and will act as a reference to creating your perfect office space.
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