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Integrity

How to Design a Great Home Office

by Katie Gregory, Home Product Blogger for The House Designers®

More and more people these days are investing in their own home offices, whether they primarily work from home, their jobs offer work-from-home days, or they just need a centralized place to manage all the household expenses. But how can you create a space that’ll keep you efficient and focused on your tasks? Here are some ideas to help you build the best home office for your needs!

BEHR Modern Office

This sleek office space uses a range of hues from BEHR® including Intellectual, Inferno, and Ivory Lace. The desk area is calm and without distraction, while the pop of warmth by the window adds energy to the room.

Choose a Style That Works for You

We’re all different, and we work differently. While some need a boost to get going, others should aim to create a calm environment that reduces stress. There are so many ways to tailor a home office’s style to suit you, but here are some of the biggest ones:

The right tone – Color can make all the difference. Maybe you’ve heard of color theory, the idea that hues have an effect on our moods. In general, cool colors are relaxing while warm ones are stimulating, so consider how you feel when you work. Do you need to calm your mind or energize it? With all sorts of bold and subdued options, your office can be as subtle or striking as you need.

Fitting furniture – It’s as much about your space as your personal preference. You want enough room to work and store any necessary books or documents, but you don’t want to fill your office so much that it closes in and makes you feel claustrophobic. Think about how much you honestly need, because you don’t want your office to be overwhelming! Would a basic desk with open legs work, or would you rather have a bulky executive setup with everything immediately at hand? And don’t forget to invest in a great chair—perhaps the most important part of the equation.

Hunter Douglas Silhouette Window Shadings

Silhouette® Window Shadings from Hunter Douglas offer light diffusion and privacy, and they still allow you to see outside thanks to their unique, adjustable S-shaped vanes. Choose your own fabric, too!

Give Yourself Light to Work By

You need light to work! Working in the dark, illuminated only by a computer screen, is a recipe for eyestrain and fatigue. We’re prone to overlooking the importance of proper lighting these days, but it’s not good for our health or productivity. Just think—people complain about cubicle offices with overhead fluorescent lighting, and getting a spot by a window or investing in a nice lamp can make all the difference. Here’s what you can do to optimize light in your office:

Harness natural sunshine – Don’t make your office a dungeon. If your designated work space has a window, do what you can to preserve all the light it provides. Invest in diffusing shades to cut glare rather than blocking the window with drapes. Keep it wide open when you can for the natural boost. A great view can also keep boredom at bay, and help you feel connected to the outside world even when you have to buckle down.

Invest in task lighting – Hopefully ambient lighting is already covered by any windows and bulbs overhead, but you probably still need task lighting. Use a lamp or two to illuminate your work area and make sure it doesn’t fall dark at any point in the day. With so many styles of table and floor lamps available, your choice can really add to the décor, too.

Pottery Barn Hendrix Small Smart Technology Desk

The Hendrix Small Smart Technology™ Desk from Pottery Barn includes a built-in surge protector and three electrical plugs in a recessed compartment to help keep cords out of sight.

Conceal and Decorate for Peace of Mind

It’s simple—plan to keep unsightly distractions down, but don’t let the room be boring. This is where you can really personalize your office for your own tastes, so consider whether you want to err on the side of homey or professional, or if you have some sort of theme in mind. No matter your inspiration, here are tips that remain universal:

Hide cords – Nobody likes cord clutter, whether it runs across the floor or under a desk. Shop around and you’ll find specialized tape, tubes, and sleeves to tackle the issue. Secure everything out of sight—get creative with furnishings if you have to—and you’re good to go.

Embellish with greenery – There’s a lot to be said for what plants can do for our well-being. Some house plants are fantastic air purifiers that suck chemicals out of the air to promote a healthier environment, but even just the sight of them has been shown to reduce stress and increase mental acuity. Stop by your local nursery for some recommendations!

If you’re looking for a home designed with a great place to work, let us help! We have homes that include everything from built-in desks and home centers to full studies and offices conveniently located in their own corner or off the foyer—great for keeping focus away from the more bustling parts of the house. Use our Advanced Search (be sure to check “Home Office” under Interior Options) to sort through the possibilities, or contact us directly for personal assistance!