Whether your home office is designated for running a business, the occasional telecommute, or simply a nook for paying bills, a well-designed home office is a necessity. It should be a place you want to work in.
Designers make very conscious decisions about what to emphasize in a space, because the focal point immediately determines its purpose. When it comes to your home office, it’s important to emphasize objects that instinctively tell your brain “this is a space for work.”
Your computer is your primary tool. It should always remain front and center on your desk with your phone and day planner, serving as a visual reminder that when you’re sitting at your desk, you’re doing so for work.
Where are you going to put your office? It doesn’t need to be large or expansive, but it should be separate from other areas of the house. You’ll likely spend many hours in your home office so don’t stiff yourself on space. If it’s possible, convert a guest room into your office.
The design idea of harmony is a little harder to define because it’s really about creating a space that feels good to you. It’s about getting all the right components in all the right places to create a room that will help you feel energetic, confident and happy while you’re working.
Organize Vertically And Horizontally
Many home offices are small, so using space efficiently is imperative. The old rule, “a place for everything and everything in its place” should apply. If you have carefully thought through your storage requirements, you should have the space you need. Make the best use of space by going vertically with shelving and having enough desktop space to accommodate your needs.
Good lighting is essential. Ideally you want as much natural daylight as possible. Position the computer monitor so there’s no glare from a window or overhead light, and put a table lamp on the desk for task lighting. Make sure your office has plenty of light to cut down on eyestrain and headaches.
Your health, safety and welfare are critical. Therefore, the items you choose should be ergonomically designed to promote your health and well being while using them.
Invest in a great chair. A beautiful, ergonomically correct, comfortable seat is worth every dime. Consider foot rests, an ergonomic mouse shaped to fit your hand and soft keyboard pads that allow your wrists to rest. The goal is to work comfortably and support your body while doing so.
“Green” Home Office
Consider sustainability. Computers contain hazardous materials such as heavy metals, vinyl and toxic chemicals. They also rely on electricity for power. Keep the computer, your printer and other office equipment turned off when idle. Activate power-saving features on your computer. When trading in for new equipment, make sure your home office equipment will be recycled. Avoid throwing office equipment into the trash. A simple internet search will offer many options in your area.
Keep the planet in mind. Eco-friendly design ensures earth-friendly materials. Consider items such as recycled glass countertops and specify materials that use resources most efficiently, such as woods from sustainable forestry and products that are recyclable. Use local resources when available, as this keeps the money local, supports local business and keeps shipping and freight costs (as well as resources used) at a minimum.
Your office should be a connection to your spirit and your productivity. It should help you focus, be a place you want to be and spend time in. You should feel inspired there. Feeling inspired will positively influence you and enhance the work you do there.
Feel free to contact Los Alamos Interior Designer Suzette Fox to suggest specific design topics or for help with your home. For more information, find her on Facebook at facebook.com/SuzetteFoxInteriorDesign and on her website www.suzettefoxinteriors.com.