Blending Form & Function: 6 Tips for Creating a Stylish Home Office on a Budget
Working from home is a serious business. An increasing number of people are becoming their own boss and setting up shop in their own home office. The number of Americans working from home rose from 9.48 million in 1999 to 11.33 million in 2005, according to Business Week. And with technology improving and the digital office growing more and more popular, the numbers continue to go up.
If running a home business is your dream, building a suitable home office is the first step. The good news is you don't need to break the bank to create a home office that fits your needs and blends in with the rest of your décor.
1. Go Multifunctional
It pays to incorporate items into the office in your home that serve more than one purpose. If you lack the space or money for a desk, for example, you can turn a pull-down table leaf or armoire into a desk. Then use ottomans to store office supplies or documents. Another option is to put up wall shelves and use the lowest shelf as a resting spot for your computer.
2. Fill Empty Space
You don't need to devote an entire room to house your office. Such a measure likely isn't practical for a small apartment or home anyway. A nook or corner in your living room can be turned into an office simply by installing wall shelves and bringing in a small desk and chair. An open backed bookshelf can be used to divide this portion from the rest of the room, offering a degree of privacy.
3. Create a Warm Atmosphere
Color doesn't just affect your mood — it can make a statement about your business. Paint your office area or room in neutral colors that will look professional and inviting to clients. If you have a window near your office, the curtains or blinds should complement the color of the rest of the room. Window treatments from TheShadeStore.com come in a variety of colors, textures and eco-friendly materials, including woven wood shades and solar paneling.
4. Get Organized
Desk organizers are great for preventing a clutter disaster. This is an area where you can get really creative at minimal cost. Real Simple suggests using metal cans and wallpaper to create pen holders and old jam jars to hold other assorted office supplies. Boxes and bins work great for storage if there's enough room to accommodate them. If not, use the wall as your storage area and build shelves along the wall to hold all of your needed office supplies.
5. Create a Gallery
Your office space should be a place where you feel inspired and like to spend time. One way you can make it feel more inviting is to surround yourself with things that bring positive energy. Artwork, photos, collectibles and plants can really spruce up an office and bring a little life into it. After all, who wants a homemade cubicle? You can use these items to cover a cabinet top or decorate an unused shelf.
6. Make it Kid Friendly
If you have children, they will interrupt your work no matter how hard you try to create a private space. Houzz.com suggest solving this dilemma by incorporating several kid-friendly features in your home office. These can include a chalkboard, a playhouse and bins filled with toys or art supplies. These activities will occupy their attention so you can focus on work.