Creating a home office space is often difficult, especially when you live in a small abode. But regardless of whether your space is large or small, it is important to create a space for you to focus and feel at home, as it is likely to be used on a daily basis. Whether it's a dedicated room, a built-for-purpose garden room, or a small study space for big ideas, you may be thinking "how to design a home office?"
Here are OnBuy's top tips for designing the perfect home office:
Location, Location, Location
One of the most important aspects when designing a home office is its location. If your work requires peace and quiet, and privacy, it is useful to have your own home study separate from home life, such as an outbuilding, or a garage or loft conversion. Loft eaves are a great example of a space that can be utilised for something more useful. Despite awkward ceiling heights, it is the ideal location for shelving above a desk for files.
However, if you run a small business from home whilst parenting young children, you may need your workspace in the heart of the home. In this situation, a wall-mounted desk or a corner work area is a great functional office design. For instance, you may have an alcove in your home, in the living or dining room, which could act as a small home office area - use every inch of space at your disposal and make it work for you.
In addition, it is important to consider features that you may need in your workspace, such as a power socket to plug in lighting and a laptop charger, for example. This is important, as this could spell whether a space is right for a home office space. If you are getting a bespoke desk built-in to the space, such as an alcove or loft eave, ensure that cable management and lighting is included.
Choose A Desk
When it comes to picking out the right desk for your home office, is highly dependent on your working needs. You should consider how much space you have available and what you are using the space for. For instance, ask yourself questions such as, can I fit a laptop or desktop here? Do I have space to write or draw? Does the desk provide any storage space? Think about this carefully.
If you have a large space, a corner desk is a great option as you will have plenty of space for your computer and paperwork. On the other hand, if you've only got a nook or small office zone to play with, consider a small standing desk, a wall-mounted desk that can be hidden away, or a bespoke built-in option to make the most of the space.
Select An Office Chair
An office chair is a must for anyone working at a desk for long periods of time, so it is vital that you purchase the perfect one for your body - and the space too. Office chairs must be comfortable and supportive, in order to ensure you are going to be productive and focused whilst carrying out important work tasks.
There are a wide variety of chairs on the market for office spaces, to suit each individual's needs and styles. But, bear in mind, although trendy velvet chairs are highly Instagrammable, first and foremost think about practicality. OnBuy recommends a swivel chair, allowing you the ability to adjust the height and move around more freely.
Keep It Calm, But Creative
Decorating your home office can be difficult, because it is important to create a restful environment where you can focus, without being too clinical or enough to make you sleepy. But what is the best way to decorate a home office? The key is to not go too crazy with colour. Think simple neutral tones, such as taupe and greys, that are easy to work in and will co-ordinate with other tones. Next, add accents here and there to add pops of colour, which can help with boosting productivity and brighten the space.
If you have a small office, don't be afraid of introducing pattern into a small space behind a desk, as an interesting wallpaper or mural can play with the perception of space. If wallpaper isn't your thing, you could use a wall-mounted pinboard or clipboards to make an interesting backdrop to your study area.
Consider Storage Options
Clutter is at its most distracting in the home office area, so it is vital to make sure that the space is as tidy as possible. Opt for home office storage to keep everything in place, by building vertical shelving and smaller home office storage accessories that are functional and stylish and will encourage you to keep everything where it should be, such as colourful baskets to keep paperwork inside.
In order to create a homely space to work in, be sure to add ornaments and books that aren't work-related. This will help to establish a space you want to be in, rather than have to be in. Plants are also good for this and can help to increase productivity by up to 15%, according to Wired.
Lights Are Important
Having good lighting in an office space is crucial, particularly if the office is quite small and has minimal natural light. If you work freelance or own your own business, you are likely to spend considerable amounts of time at your desk, so it must be the perfect space to work in.
Although, if you do have a large window in the room, place the desk as close to this as possible for optimum light. However, be sure to dress your home office window practically to avoid being blinded by the sun during the day. Shutters allow you to control the amount of light coming in to your home office throughout the day, without completely blocking out the natural light.
In dull, winter afternoons when there is minimal natural sunlight, use lighting to make up for the lost sunlight. As the light fades, create atmospheric yet focused lighting that helps your focus, but doesn't feel like you are sitting under a spotlight. A floor lamp is a good idea to brighten the room, whereas a clip-on light is a fantastic and practical option if extra light is needed when reading.