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A Room of One's Own: Maximizing Productivity in a Home Office

By Lauren Busser, The House Designers Contributing Writer

It’s a common saying amongst writers that to write fiction, all you need is money and room of one’s own. Well, Virginia Woolf was partly right. Money has nothing to do with it, but a space of one’s own is essential for personal productivity. It’s hard to live and work in the same space, which is why a home office is popular.

A space, however small, that you can be productive in is essential for paying bills, sending emails, or a space for the kids or yourself to study. If your new house plan or your existing home has a space that you’d like to convert to a home office and you need some design help, there are a few simple tips to make your space more productive.

home office

This Pottery Barn® inspired home office is homey and well organized, making it an ideal place to work. It has a large window to let in plenty of light, and maximizes the wall space with chalk and chalkboards. Shelving also adds storage.

Principle number one is light. When doing any sort of work, it should be in a well-lit space. If there are windows that allow natural light to come in then part of the work has been done for you. More light is better in this case though, so consider a second center ceiling light to illuminate your space during the evening. Desk and floor lamps are also important in this space, so be sure to consider all of this in the layout of your space.

Before you furnish your office space, consider the color of our walls. White walls can feel cold and institutional, but a color like red can over-stimulate the senses. To compromise, consider a light, calm and comforting hue. Pale shades of blue and green are examples of some colors that work perfectly without feeling too static.

home office

This home office features an eye-catching green called jalapeno pepper from Benjamin Moore®. In addition, the tidy desk and decorative wall organization makes this a convenient little corner to get the day's chores or business done.

When it comes to a home office one of the first principles is organization. Maximizing storage and places for notes is essential. A godsend can be found in a wall turned into a corkboard or a chalkboard with the use of some paint. The wall can be use for notes, made into a calendar, or just used as an inspiration board for an artist. Shelving is also important in a home office. Everything in the office should have its place.

Above all, this space is supposed to be one that you want to be in. If you don’t feel good in your home office, then take steps to redecorate and make it bright and new. When selecting pieces, make sure that you choose fixtures that are interesting — so that you will want to visit your office and hopefully be more productive as a result.