Looking for that perfect spot to call your home office? Work-friendly spaces come in all shapes and sizes from the corner of a bustling kitchen to a distraction-free zone in a quiet bedroom.
As you begin to plan your home office space, take a peek at the question below to guide your decision making. Our home office spaces are unique reflections of our personalities, additionally we have provided three home offices designs for inspiration. Good luck and have fun!
● Does the office need to be centrally located with access for your family? Converting an unused dining room or living room is a great option.
● Are you craving a drop spot and laptop space? Think about adding a surface in the mudroom/laundry room or re-designing a hall closet for storage and a drop spot.
● Do you need a space with less distractions? A spare bedroom becomes multifunctional as an office and guest space.
● Think outside the box if you don’t have a ‘traditional’ office space. Remember a desk and chair can fit under a window, next to a bed, or be tucked behind a sofa (I love a desk behind a sofa in the family room, it’s perfect spot to sit down with a laptopt).
Hardworking Home Office
A traditional first floor office-space in this center hall colonial in Fairfax, VA, was transformed into a hard-working home office for a creative professional. This busy entrepreneur needed a highly organized space – a place for everything. The overall design focuses on functionality with specific solutions to achieve the best use of the space.
Storage: In the place of freestanding furniture, built-in cabinetry offers many functional storage options within the smaller footprint of this room.
● Tons of closed storage to include an out of sight spot for the printer.
● Spacious file drawers.
● Counter-top cabinet to tuck away office supplies.
● Built-in window seat with additional storage drawers.
● Bonus – a corner cabinet for display!
Tip: not all built-ins need to be custom. Kitchen style cabinets from a big-box store or IKEA are a great budget friendly resource.
Layout area: A place to work and create
● A corner desk creates generous countertop space for laying out projects and truthfully, being a little messy!
● Additional layout space on top of the window seat.
Personalize: An important element to a business home office is to make it comfortable and welcoming every day — for many hours a day!
● Incorporate family mementos into the space – in this office a vintage typewriter and portrait drawing are family heirlooms.
● Find a spot to display collections.
● Add a graphic element with favorite inspirational quotes/words.
● Fill the space with light. Natural light from windows, decorative lighting for a bit of detail, and most importantly task lighting at the desk area.
Tranquil Bedroom Space
If your home lacks a designated home office, think about combining spaces and set-up an office in a bedroom, like we did in this space on Market Street downtown. Create an efficient work space with a few key pieces; a desk, chair, shelves, and storage. The trick is making sure all of the elements of the room (style, furniture, finishes, color palette) are consistent with each other so the office area doesn’t scream ‘workspace’.
Carve Out an Office in an Unexpected Space
Do you have a small house or no extra space for a home office? I suggest combining your spaces. Create a multifunctional living room + home office, or tuck a home office into a kitchen cabinet. Got an empty corner? It’s the perfect spot for a work zone complete with a desk, chair, computer, and of course, some fun office accessories!
● A formal living room gets a pair of built-in bookcases; one side functions as a business home office specifically designed to hold a computer, a pull-out shelf for a keyboard, and storage. The other side holds the fun stuff – a TV with components and plenty of open display shelving.
● Keeping the function and look of a living room with the rest of the space — sofa, chair, coffee table, area rug, window treatments all make for a welcoming/cozy office setting.
Cabinet as office – customize a pantry cabinet to include a small kitchen office or drop spot space
● Lap top area, charging station, bulletin board, and shelving are all tucked behind a pocket cabinet door.
● Instead of standard kitchen drawers, use filing cabinet drawers for kid’s homework, personal papers, and family storage.
As you embark on creating your personalized home office remember these three things: Embrace habits – if you are messy that’s okay. Design storage into your office like closed cabinets and fun boxes for supplies. Find a spot where you can be productive. If it’s not the current home office then find the right space for you. And finally, MAKE IT YOURS!
A version of this article was originally published in the Winter 2015-2016 print issue of Sass Magazine.