Knowing how to design your home office can be challenging. Choosing the right wall color, the perfect desk and practical storage units can be frustrating enough. Throw in space limitations, and it’s not hard to feel overwhelmed and live with what you already have. I’ve lived in the same apartment for nearly two years, and I’m just now starting to tackle my workspace. But trust me – it’s worth the effort.
First, think about your whole house and all the different functions it currently serves. Think about whether or not you want your home office to be near the kitchen, under the kid’s playroom or in another high-traffic area.
If a certain level of noise is inevitable, consider installing soundproof door bottoms, using acoustical caulk on your window frames or extra-thick carpet padding to help reduce the noise while you’re working.
Do you have limited space? Try to find an area you can turn into a “work zone.” A lot of people can’t devote an entire room to a home office, but there are tons of resources on how to create a home office in small spaces. This article from Real Simple shows a few solutions like corner desks and wall shelves to fully utilize the space available.
Colors have been shown to affect your mood and even the way you think. The color of your home office should be picked based on the types of tasks you will be using the office for.
Will you be working on a lot of detail-oriented or memory-intensive tasks? According to a study from the University of British Columbia, a red-toned room might be able to help keep you focused. Do you work in a more creative environment? Blue rooms are said to help encourage the flow of ideas.
Warm colors, like yellow and orange, are, not surprisingly, prone to make you feel warm, confident and optimistic. These are seen as “fun” colors, but too much of either color may end up harsh and distracting. Cool colors, like green and blue, are easier on the eyes and are thought to be calm, soothing and relaxing.
Can’t paint the room you’re in? Try using wall art to help add some color to your workspace. With Fathead, you could create customized dry erase calendars or schedules in the color of your choice. They also offer wall decals, monograms and murals that you could use to help add color without even putting a hole in your wall!
Form Vs. Function
Even the best-looking room is going to cause headaches if it doesn’t meet your needs. Your desk, chair, shelves and storage should all serve you. Do you need a desk with a lot of surface space or a lot of storage? Will you be having video conferences in your office? Do you need multiple monitors? These things should all be considered and planned out before you spend the big bucks for home office furniture.
IKEA has dozens of different storage and furniture options. The main goals of your storage units are keeping your space from looking and feeling cluttered. Should you be using wall shelves or separate storage units? If you have a whole room, you have a little more flexibility and might want to use standalone storage units and bookshelves to help fill the space. If you’re using a small space, you’ll probably want to use a little bit of both to help make the space look finished, but also provide adequate storage options.
In the end, you really need to make this space your own. Once you’ve determined the space where you can work most effectively, ensure that your office not only supports your needs, but also reflects you as a person. This will help you avoid distractions and create a home office that you enjoy spending time in.
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