We are a nation of entrepreneurs, of start-ups and home workers. More and more of us are working out of our own homes these days and for good reason. Sitting in a featureless office cubicle day in and day out can be a bit soul-destroying and so being able to work from home allows you convenience (no commute!) as well as an opportunity to carve out a space you love that reflects your personality. Whether you need a small home office to pay bills, browse the internet or earn a living, here are a few simple tips to making the space your own.
Find the Right Space to Work
One of the most difficult things about working from home is how easy you can become distracted. Finding a balance between a creative, inspiring space and the urge to work from the sofa with one eye on your favorite daytime TV show is paramount to being productive. Find a quiet well-lit space that’s away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world without a lot of easy distractions.
I am a maximalist at heart and I love colorful interiors so it was natural for me to inject my home office with bold color and pattern as seen above. Choose colors for your office that make you feel happy as well as energized. For me, a bold salmon pink was warm and bright, exciting me about the day ahead. This is, of course, a personal choice but you’ll want to choose shades and tones that induce a positive response. Personally, I couldn’t work in a grey or fully neutral office – you may be different! – but recognizing the colors that have a negative effect on our psyche are just as important to avoid as those that make us feel our best.
Love the wallpaper in my office? You can get it here on My Two Designers!
Storage is normally on the top of the list as a requirement for a great home office. An organised spot for accumulating paperwork will give you space to breathe and think. Trays, storage boxes, a filing cabinet or a shelving system or a combination of all of these will keep your office tidy. You may want to consider scanning hard copies of paperwork and keeping an electronic copy on your computer’s hard drive or stored in a cloud for clearing paperwork, especially when space is at a premium.
If you have the space, attractive shelving will do the work of both providing storage as well as a place to display items. Your home office should really look as though it’s an extension of your home’s decor and you can make sure it fits in with the aesthetic you love. As such, don’t be afraid to display some personal items like treasured photos or mementos on the shelves.
While a dining table may work as a makeshift desk when browsing the internet, having a comfortable office chair will ensure your back and legs are properly supported. Sitting for hours hunched in front of a laptop is never going to be the most ergonomic option but with a comfortable chair, you’ll get more done – especially if you aren’t distracted by that pain in your lower back.
If you work in a creative field, you may want to consider creating an inspiration board for your office. Not only will it provide a jolt of inspiration during inevitable slumps in your creativity, but they can be completely personalised to what you love and how you work. The beauty of a physical mood board is in its tactility as well as its ease of changing it when the mood strikes. Consider incorporating magazine cut-outs, fabric pieces, old postcards, encouraging letters from your clients or anything else that makes you feel good about your working life. This is a spot that can be entirely personal and allows you to tell your own story.
While it may be difficult to include more than a few small frames on a desk in a corporate job, in your home, you can adorn your walls with art you love. It can be mid-century oil paintings you snagged at a yard sale, framed photos of your family or colorful abstracts that you are drawn to. Whatever you include, art has the ability to make any room look more polished. It can also help to tie an office area in a shared space into the rest of the scheme.
Using items in your decor that are personal to you and your life can give you a sense of belonging as well as create some layers of personality to your space. Consider items picked up in your travels, objects that have special meaning to you or your family, or things you’ve created yourself. All of these things will contribute to bringing your personality in.
When working from home, you’ll no longer have to rely on a fluorescent bulb flickering overhead like you get in so many drab office spaces and it certainly doesn’t have to be ugly and utilitarian. In fact, this is one area you can have some fun! Use lighting that compliments the overall look and feel you are after. Here, a stylish overhead fixture and a simple gold task lamp combine to create a welcoming feminine space. Choose a few pieces of lighting to cast enough on your work area and that compliment the look you are trying to achieve.
Attractive Small Storage
Even the practical items we all need in our office spaces – pens, pencils, notepads, folders and the like – can be a part of your overall design theme. There are plenty of stunning stationary products on the market for nearly any style. Indeed, how much nicer is it to work with items you love and want to use on a day-to-day basis to keep you motivated?
Add Some Life
And finally, no space is really complete without a bit of life. Adding a lovely inexpensive bunch of flowers picked up at the supermarket or a potted plant can actually increase your productivity, relieve stress and help purify the air. Plus, they add an organic element to your surroundings which always make a space look more complete.
Get the Look
Now there’s no excuse not to have a gorgeously styled home office! To help you along, we’ve selected some of our favorite desks from our collection. Check them out and let us know which one is your dream desk in the comments below!