5 Tips to Design the Perfect Home Office

Laptops and mobile devices may make the entire concept of a "home office" obsolete to some, but there are still plenty of homes today where a home office is an essential part of the interior design.  And depending on your own natural inclination toward tidiness, your office may quickly end up as a cesspool of clutter, rather than the neat organized space it started out as.

So how can you design the perfect home office and avoid the clutter?  Here are 5 tips to get you started:

1. Desk Space and Selection

When it comes to desk space, don't be afraid to spread out and "go big".  Corner units with an "L" shape are an ideal fit for the home office because you can utilize the office space and create plenty of area for organizational elements like your PC, printer, pads of paper, stationary compartments, "to-be-filed" bins and more.   

Looking for ideas, browse some desk designs at Pottery Barn and Haverty's or just do a simple web search for furniture makers and suppliers in your local area.  If you are working with a custom cabinetry shop for your kitchen or bathroom, keep in mind those companies can also supply furniture for your office too!

Be sure to incorporate plenty of outlets in your room, and position your desk next to these outlets to avoid extension cords and excessive power strips.  Like most people today the essential home office has many devices to plug in - telephone, headset, one, if not multiple PC's, laptop, iPad, iPhone, and printer - just to name a few.  If you are looking for more tips on designing the home office to organize all your gadgets, check out this book "How to Design the ULTIMATE Home office" by Hassan Osman, from thecouchmanager.com for more details.

2. Utilize Wall Space

Utilizing wall space is one of the key components to keeping your space neat and organized.  Hang shelves on the wall to hold books, compartments, and even your wireless printer, headset and other electronic gadgets.  

 

 

To utilize your wall space you can install devices to hang clip boards, shelves to store writing utensils, bookshelves to store your printer, books or other binders. You can install file cabinets and office essentials like a stapler, tape, paperclips to keep these items off the work area of your desk. 

3. Lighting

While a colorful desk lamp might seem nice when you are first setting up your office, it is quickly going to get in the way, once you start using your office.   But task lighting is important, so keep it small, and position it out of your way.

Tall, free standing floor lamps, or hanging lighting units from the ceiling, or inset track lighting are great alternatives!  

It will help minimize the clutter so you can better utilize your desk space.

4. Interior Decor

Your home office should be beautiful, as well as functional.  It should be an inviting space where you can retreat for whatever the task is at hand.  To create an inviting space keep the wall colors light, and incorporate natural light whenever possible.  If you prefer dark tones in your furniture and cabinetry, go with lighter tones on the floors.

Interior wood paneling is very popular in the home office.  Popular wood finishes for this application include Walnut dark wood flooring, and Cherry hardwood flooring.

Believe it or not, the flooring you select for your office can have a big impact how it looks and functions, as a workspace.  Carpet is probably not the best choice given that its hard to move around on it, tile can be cold and sterile.  Solid wood floors, like oak hardwood flooring, or heart pine flooring, is a great choice because it is easy to keep clean.  No need to worry about allergens, and you can keep the dirt and dust levels down!   If you use a wood floor be sure to complement you other interior decor appropriately.  Specifically, if you use dark wood wall paneling and cabinetry, use a lighter floor.  If you are using light furniture and walls you can go with a dark wood floor.

Lay down a floor mat under your chair and use felt pads on the bottom of your furniture, shelves and anything else that me resting on the floor, to minimize damage and scratches.

Save room for personal items that you want on display - family portraits, baby photos, and other artwork - these can add to the design and decor of your room and make it more personalized.  But don't clutter the space with this kind of decor. 

5. Construction and Architecture

Now that we have focused on all the "fun" stuff let's talk about the architecture and construction of your room.  The folks at Cipriani Remodeling in New Jersey  have two suggestions when it comes to this aspect of your home office. 

Include plenty of insulation and incorporate sound deadening to minimize noise and echoes in your office.  The pitter patter of little feet, playroom festivities, or teenage music is sure to interrupt your work.  Plan early on for the architectural and construction details you need to create a quiet space.    Sound Isolation Company has a variety of products to help you plan for sound-proofing your office.

They also recommend a private entryway for your office, which can be valuable if you entertain office visits on a regular basis.  If you don't need a private entryway from the outside of your home, make sure your office has a private entryway from the inside of your home.  Avoid open doorway designs and find a big, beautiful, heavy door that you can close when its time to be "in the office".

When thinking about these ideas, consider where your office will be located in your home.    Something on the lower level, in the quietest corner is probably ideal.

Have you designed an office for your home or for a client recently?  What were the most important elements to your design?  Do you have any favorite products that you use(d)?


Filed Under: Home Building & Contracting | Interior Design | Residential Spaces |

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