Working from Home? 5 Ideas for Designing a Home Office
Home offices are the current rapid growing remodeling project. Recently, millions of people have started to work from home, and many have gone there to stay. Work from home arrangements allow for work-life balance, are better for the environment, and can ultimately improve quality of life. If you’re now working from home and considering the installation of a permanent home office, you’re not alone. Many homeowners in your position are contemplating the exact same thing. There is a lot to think about when designing a residential office space. It’s important for the room to be attractive, quiet, comfortable, and professional. Depending on what you do, it may even need to be ready to receive visitors.
Gilbert Design Build is here to help you create the perfect home office for your new work-from-home lifestyle.
Home Office Design Ideas
Below, we’ve made suggestions that can help you create a home office that you’ll love for years to come.
1. Construct Built-In Custom Furniture
Built-in furniture has quality and permanence that disposable furniture does not. If you decide on custom built-in furniture, take care to ensure the furniture you choose is exactly right for your office arrangement.
2. Install a Separate Exterior Door and Walkway
Do your clients come into your home? Construct a separate exterior doorway that enables your clients to access your office without walking through your living space. Even if you don’t expect to bring clients into your office, it’s still helpful to have a doorway that you can use to enter and exit your office without walking through your living space.
3. Decorate with Calm Colors
Make your home office a place where you can feel comfortable and relaxed. Decorate with blues, greens and grays to make your space a location where you can think through problems and make decisions regarding your job.
4. Limit the Focal Points
Your home office should not be a busy space. Make your focal point a large window where you can see your property, or a large piece of abstract artwork that you enjoy looking at. Avoid creating too many focal points, which may distract you when you don’t feel like working.
5. Create a Waiting Area
If you do sometimes invite people into your business, create a waiting area where they can sit and relax. Install a couch, put in a table and lamp, and provide magazines where they can wait for their appointment to begin.
Factors to Consider When Designing a Home Office
Your home office is unlike other rooms of the house because it’s not a space that you should be sharing with kids or guests. It needs to be independent of your living space, but still a comfortable place to spend time.
Getting work done can be very challenging if your home office lacks privacy. This is especially true if you have children. There are many things you can do to make your home office more private:
- Insulate the walls against sound.
- Install a wall and door if none currently exists.
- Build an addition that is set apart from communal areas of the house, like your living room, kitchen, and dining room.
A home office without a view can be a tedious place to do work. Choose a room with a window that looks out onto your lawn or an attractive part of your property. Is your lawn lacking beautiful views? Work with a landscape artist to position attractive plants and shrubs in the area just outside your home office. Install garden beds, tropical plants, or an attractive tree outside your window to keep the landscape varied and interesting.
Storage is important in a home office. Open shelving, filing cabinets, and bookcases are necessary for ensuring that the space stays tidy and comfortable for conducting work. This storage space may be built-in or can be furnished after the fact, but either way, storage is critical. If your home office is too small for adequate storage (maybe because it’s a converted closet), work with a contractor creatively to install custom storage solutions, or move a wall to add square footage to the room.
Location Is Key
Before you settle on a given part of the house to build your office in, give careful consideration to the location. You may be tempted to place your office in an out-of-the-way spot that won’t interfere with the other activities of living. But if you’re not careful, you may end up feeling like you’re working out of a broom closet.
Be good to yourself. Consider how important it is that you be comfortable while you work. If your current floor plan doesn’t give you space for a well-placed office, it may be time to build a new addition to your home, and take this important project seriously.
Just as choosing the right location is important, so is the style and the overall feel and atmosphere in your office. Maybe you don’t need a fancy office or a chic office, but an office that feels stale or unappealing will leave you feeling flat, draining you of the energy and enthusiasm you need for work. Stepping into your office should be an exhilarating experience. This is the place where you earn a living and make things happen.
Incorporate leather upholstery, wood veneers, classy lighting. A modern home office should feel chic. It should be a place where you want to be. If you’re going to be working from home, your sanity may depend on good office interior design.
Have a Great Office Chair & Desk
Perhaps the one most important things to get right in a home office is the chair and the way your desk and chair combination affect your posture. Skimping on the chair is a serious mistake. You need a chair that supports you comfortably and protects your neck and back. Don’t have a chair and desk that makes you feel locked in. It should swivel and move so that you can get up easily. If getting up is a chore, you’re more likely to shrug off getting up to move around- which is important for your health and productivity.
Depending on your personality, a home office with a couch might be a good idea. It could give you the momentum you need to get up, think in a different spot, and really focus on your projects.
Use Colors You Love
When you think about an office that you would love to be in, what do you think of? Do you think of rich wood surfaces? Do you think of marble, a mini-bar, or a massive window? Do you think of all these things? What colors do you imagine in a great home office?
Whatever images your mind shows you when you think of great office styles, those are the colors, the shapes, and the features you should build into your office. Don’t let guilt convince you otherwise. You deserve a beautiful office.
Don’t Forget About the View
Psychology research is showing us that you need to be able to cast your gaze far to be mentally healthy. To that end, give yourself the best view you can. It’s worth whatever it takes to get it, even if it means building a new room on the second floor.
Building a Home Office for Two
Some people need a home office for two, either because they’re working with a co-owner of their business, or because they’re sharing their office with their spouse – or both. Home offices for two are not much different than home offices for one. They still need storage, privacy, and something to look at during moments of quiet contemplation. Below are some of the complicating factors that make all the difference when you’re building a home office for two.
Facing Each Other, or No?
Decide in advance whether the desks will be facing one another and whether the desk space will be shared or separate. This is an important factor that people don’t always give enough thought to. If you’re remodeling your home office and the desks are going to be built into the space, it’s very important to know your preferences before paying a contractor to create a permanent desk (or pair of desks) in your home office.
Keep in mind: if you decide to construct a built-in desk that requires you and your coworker to face one another or share space, it’s important that you both get along well under these conditions. If you’re not sure how you and your office mate would manage under these circumstances, stage a trial run with removable desks before committing to built-in furnishings.
Build Double of Everything
You and your coworker, or co-office mate, will want equal amounts of everything, including desk space, storage space, floor space, and so on. Design a home office that is equitable to avoid arguments.
Need More Home Office Ideas? Work With Gilbert Design Build
Your home office should be a comfortable place to get work done. Work with a contractor who has experience designing comfortable, stylish home spaces. Contact Gilbert Design Build today to make an appointment for a consultation.