Making your Home Office Work for You
Whether you run a startup out of your garage or manage a nonprofit from your apartment, a home office is your personal, live-in workspace. You decide how big you want it, where you want it and how to decorate it. Your home office set up should encourage productivity, limit distractions and remind you why you love what you do.
If your current home office falls short of meeting your business needs, maybe it's time for a change. With convenient accessories and furniture that keep you organized and on task, you'll achieve much more on your daily to-do list. We've put together the following tips, so you can set up a home office that works for you.
When decorating a home office, personalize your look so the space feels natural and inviting. Do your best to separate your work environment from your home life. By training your brain to understand the difference between working vs. relaxing at home, you focus better, stay on task and avoid getting too comfy. Keep reading to discover a few ways to create an efficient workspace with stylish yet practical decor.
Reflect Your Passion
Inspire productivity by choosing home office decor that highlights your career goals and aspirations. Look for accents that fit your aesthetic and your profession. Are you a blogging fashionista? Replace a hum-drum overhead light with a glamorous chandelier. Do you own an auto repair or restoration shop? Outfit your home office with wall art featuring classic cars and vintage hot rods.
Use Muted Color Palettes
Even if the rest of your house has vibrant colors and patterns, decorate your study using neutral tones that feel calm and soothing. Using pale hues like beige or white on the walls instantly upgrades your office nook or apartment loft by making the space appear bigger and brighter. To keep your workspace lively and interesting, express yourself with furniture and accents in your favorite themes or colors.
Bring Nature Indoors
Adding greenery to your study is a simple home office decor idea that can completely refresh your workspace. Look for easy-care plants like succulents for your desk or a small parlor palm to arrange beside the window. Leafy, trailing vines and plants that produce gorgeous blooms placed on plant stands or shelves add natural color to the room and contribute to a healthier, happier atmosphere.
Do you have an inbox full of stacked papers, client files piled on bookcase shelves or haphazard supplies lying around gathering dust? If your current workstation is a little chaotic, decluttering your space is an easy, refreshing fix. Consider these home office organization ideas to store your materials for maximum efficiency:
- Place the tools you use every day on top of your desk, keeping them within reach with a chic pen holder or a desk lamp with a clock and USB port to charge your electronic devices.
- Stow important items that don't see much use, like old business cards or last year's taxes, in storage containers such as drawers, filing cabinets and baskets until you need them again.
- Vertical or lateral cabinets are versatile storage options with solid, dust-proof doors that keep files secure and out of sight, while curios with glass facades allow you to display awards, photos or personal knick-knacks.
- Bookshelves are classic pieces for home office organization. Bookcases come in all shapes, sizes and styles and provide quick access to binders, books and catalogs. Openwork shelves are also serious space-savers when you need a place for printers as well as other equipment and devices that require cord management.
- If you have room in your home office budget, splurge a little on something efficient yet practical like a new copier, or opt for a mini-fridge and a coffee maker to reduce distracting trips to the kitchen.
Upgrading the Essentials
Take a critical look at your current desk, seating and other work-related furnishings. A broken adjustment lever on a desk chair, an overcrowded space or a wobbly desk can make the workday more frustrating than it needs to be. Upgrading these essentials can increase productivity, improve comfort and boost the quality of your labor.
If you sit for long periods of time, chairs with good lumbar support, pressure-relief cushioning and adjustable tilt and height help you stay comfortable and alert. Research different models of office chairs featuring ergonomic designs, high backs, castors, mesh and leather upholstery to find the best fit for your needs.
Ideally, office desks should combine both function and fashion. Your home office set-up needs to include a desk or surface that vibes with your work as well as your style. Consider the following to find the best workstation for your needs:
- Fans of standing desks might choose taller, adjustable models so they can perform tasks while staying mobile.
- Desks with cable management ports allow for easy cable maintenance, so you can prevent monitor and computer cords from getting tangled.
- If you struggle to stay focused due to visual distractions, a corner desk can help keep you on task.
- Do you have a hard time maintaining your work-life balance or have your home office set up in a very visible spot? An armoire desk transforms any room into a functional office, while cabinet doors instantly put a pause on work so you can enjoy the weekend.
- Computer desks and writing desks are chic, simple pieces for those who don't require much space and prefer a minimalist look.
- L-shaped desks provide more storage and a wider surface for hands-on tasks separate from your computer or laptop.
- Whether you are going for timeless or chic, secretary desks have a flip-down surface for your laptop plus roomy drawers to hold stationery and art supplies.
- If you need room for sketching out plans or blueprints, consider a drafting table with a wide surface that tilts at various useful angles.
Furniture for Shared Spaces
Setting up a home office in the family room or bedroom has its advantages and disadvantages. Discussing concepts or collaborating on a project may be crucial to your business and working in your living area will provide you extra space for all of those brainstorming sessions. However, a room divider may improve your concentration when spending time on individual assignments.
Do you have a makeshift home office in an empty corner of your living room? Swap out that repurposed dining chair or folding table with something that's more your style. Look for budget-friendly office furniture to create a comfortable, professional workspace that motivates and inspires.
Home Office Ideas on the Clock
If you're tired of grading papers from your recliner or taking over the kitchen to conjure up new recipes for a baking blog, a home office upgrade may be long overdue. Put our home office decorating ideas to good use so you can reap the professional benefits of a productive, efficient workspace.
For more on this topic, check out our related article: How to Create Your Dream Home Office.