Dressing Up Your Home Office
When we first put together our home offices, we tend to cobble together whatever we can from around the house. Our desks are folding tables or old desks our kids have grown out of. The computer we use is our personal laptop. The decorations are often pilfered from other rooms. This is fine when we are first starting out. As we start to make money, though, it is absolutely okay to upgrade and to put some real work into your workspace. Here are some tips to help you create an amazing and gorgeous home office:
It Is All About the Desk
Your desk is the most important piece of furniture in your home office. Yes, it is even more important than the chair you sit in. It is important to choose a desk that speaks to you and makes you want to sit down and work at it. For many of us, that desk is a gorgeous piece of real furniture made from real wood. Even if the lines are simple, we want a desk that doesn’t feel mass produced. If you’re not sure what that looks like, spend some time looking at galleries online. The Henkel Harris Furniture desk gallery, for example, features dozens of desks with many different design concepts.
A Comfortable Chair
It is time to stop sitting on the chair you stole from your kitchen table or the folding metal contraption you squirreled away from the garage. You need a proper chair with lumbar support and that promotes ergonomic health. Mesh chairs, when made well, are especially good for this–much better than their overly padded counterparts. If you’re going to be shifting from standing to sitting (and back) as you work, you might want to consider a stool so that you don’t have to try to reach over the back of a chair when you set your computer up on its elevation stand.
With all due respect to your home’s obviously gorgeous decorating scheme, it is in your best interests to create a workspace that does not blend in with the rest of your house’s “feel.” Why? Because you don’t want your family to treat your office as casually as they treat the rest of your home. You want them to respect the space, and giving it its own look and feel is a good way to subtly reinforce those boundaries. Paint the walls a contrasting color to the rest of your scheme (or just plain white). Cover the floor with a different kind of area rug than you use in other parts of your home. If your home is completely carpeted, strip the carpet out of your office or have new carpet in a different fiber and color installed.
Contrast is Your Friend
Contrasts within your space can also work well in your favor. For example, if you’ve gone with a traditional wooden desk and cabinetry, use metal and chrome based framing for your artwork and your accessories. Install a modern floor lamp or new modern styled fixture on your overhead light. Choose a chair or sofa (if there is room in the space) designed to look sleek and covered in a bright fabric.
Speaking of Art…
It is very important to create a space that inspires you and helps you be productive. This means that some of your wall space will likely be dedicated to a whiteboard or magnetic board on which you can write notes and scheduling reminders, stick up event invitations, etc. You do not, however, have to put this workspace directly in front of you. Instead, put it on a side wall–a place where you’ll be able to see it easily of course–but for the space in front of your desk, put up photos and artwork that help you feel inspired and that encourage you to work.
For the rest of the space, choose a few pieces to act as focal points and choose them carefully. You don’t have to go with some boring corporate neutral art. Instead, spend some time hunting through your local art scene for prints and pieces that are unique and affordable. This way you’ll support your local business community and decorate your office at the same time. You might even be able to expand your network!
The point is this: create a space that feels purposeful and unique to you and the business you’re starting/running. If you let it be a hodge podge of leftovers, it will be harder to be productive and more difficult to enforce your work-home boundaries.
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