How To Design a Successful Home Office
Whether contemporary, transitional, or high elegance, today’s home office can be a fully functional study centre, designed for convenience and style.
Home offices have evolved beyond just places to pay the bills. With the current economy, more people are unemployed or underemployed and must supplement their income with independent work or study from home.
Design A Perfect Home Office
Estimates done by AssignmentPay suggest there are more than 150 thousand students who study from home in the UK. To design your perfect home office, first, select a comfortable study space that suits your needs. If you need only an area to perform routine paperwork, then a small space in the hallway, entranceway, laundry room, or closet can be converted into an office area.
Planning Home Office Desks
Planning desk areas in the kitchen are ideal for storing recipes, organizing meals, and paying bills. Ideally, you’ll want to reserve at least five feet of kitchen space, but even a small area can be converted into a planning desk area with a writing table, computer station, open bookcase above the desk, and some drawers for supply storage.
A part-time or full-time study in your home requires a separate room for your office. Equipment includes a desk, chair, telephone, computer, printer, typewriter, filing cabinets, shelves, and storage. Full-time students may also need a copier and fax machine. Even a tiny room can function as an office; L-shaped or U-shaped desktop arrangements and custom-designed built-ins are great space-saving tricks.
When space is limited, but equipment and work materials seem unlimited, use built-ins. One popular way to do this is with built-in laminate cabinetry for small office areas. Because built-ins are built into the wall and take up no floor space, they allow the most flexibility and the most storage space for small areas. Another point to consider: built-in laminates are easy to clean.
Designing Your Layout
When you’re designing the layout of your study space, try figuring it out on paper, first. Measure your office and use graph paper to create an office layout in advance if you want to make your estimates accurate. Alternatively, you can empty the room and use masking tape to block off the space to be taken up by each piece of furniture.
Home Office Furniture – Bigger Isn’t Always Better
When choosing home office furniture, make sure that it fits well into your space. Be aware of size, style, and colouring, and don’t forget to consider the size of your chair:
- Size: Maybe you’ve always wanted a huge oak desk with matching filing cabinets, but you may have to settle for something a bit smaller if you don’t want to vault over your desk to get to your chair. Over-sized office furniture in a small room will make your office feel claustrophobic – not the best atmosphere for your best work!
- Style: Conform to the lines and angles of the room, when possible. A corner desk, for example, can help you make the most of a small space. A desk that includes ample under-desk storage is a great addition to a small office as well.
- Colour: Light colours brighten up a small room, so choose light-coloured furniture and accessories as much as possible. Coordinate the colours with the base colour of the room to ensure that nothing clashes. You may not think that it matters now, but after spending several hours a day in the room, you’ll probably find that the green and purple combination just won’t work for you.
Whether you’re looking for home office furniture in London, Liverpool or Swansea, always measure your space before you go shopping, and plan out in advance the size, colour, and style of desk, chair, and other accessories that you’re looking for. Planning will prevent unpleasant surprises when you’re installing the furniture.
Choosing a Colour Scheme for Home Offices
The goal in choosing colours is to look for elegance in the office that’s tied into the same colour scheme as the entire house. The study space should reflect your professional attitude, yet retain some of your style.
In general, understatement is better than flashiness, and neutral colors such as gray, beige, and taupe have a calming effect while providing an upscale image.
If you like bright colours, try using a neutral colour with brightly coloured accessories. Another option is using one accent wall painted or papered with bright shades. While adding on the extras, don’t forget about home fragrance products to coordinate with the overall image.
Right Light for Desk Work
Three kinds of light should be considered when designing your home office: natural, general, and task. Natural lighting is the sunlight that comes through the window. Windows are important because natural light boosts morale. On the other hand, some people don’t want the distraction of a window and therefore convert windowless laundry rooms into home offices.
Your study office also must have general lighting from an overhead ceiling fixture. General lighting can be enhanced by decorative indirect lights from wall sconces or planters. In addition to general lighting, table lamps and lights built into your work surfaces (e.g., a light bridge or under counter lighting) will illuminate busy task areas.
Consult an Interior Designer
If you admire a friend’s room, then ask who designed it. If you like a store’s furniture, then ask the in-house designer to assist you. Many furniture stores offer in-house design services. Depending on your space, needs, and equipment, stores can provide many different looks ranging from a small desk in the corner to a complete computer station.
Combining space, colour, and light isn’t difficult for an interior designer. They’re experts at reflecting your style while staying within your budget. Together, you can combine form and function to create the perfect home study office.