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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

9 Tips to Make the Perfect Home Office

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 14 March 2017 14:08


Home offices have become a lot more common nowadays. This is mainly because of the advancements we have seen in modern technology, affordable broadband access, internet and personal computers allowing for a fully functioning office environment with everything you need.

Whether you are working full-time from your home, running your own personal business, or just desire a place to complete a few personal or work tasks right after the work day, a home office can be of great value to homeowners. Here are a few guiding points on making an efficient, valuable work office:

1. Planning

Planning is considered a very vital thing, as the saying goes "fail to plan, plan to fail". Therefore, jot down all your requirements on a sheet of paper. Start off by drawing the potential layout, then note down all the tasks needed to turn the area into a home office, e.g. move furniture, decorate, buy new desk, etc. Make sure to use the latest design trends to allow for a modern space that won’t sap your motivation.

2. Location, location, location

You will likely spend a lot of time in your home office; don't stiff yourself on space (e.g. squishing a tiny desk to a windowless closet in order to preserve your rarely-used guest room). Also take into account traffic flow as well as your ability to withstand potential distractions. Do you perform best in the thick of activity, or should the office be hidden away in a quiet space? In case clients will be visiting, a private space having ample seating is crucial.

3. Never compromise form for function

Your shelves, desk, and storage really should serve you, never the other way round. Think about your workflow and precisely what items you will need at your fingertips before buying furniture, then look for pieces which are both functional and beautiful. Home office furniture ought to complement other rooms at your house rather than screaming "soulless cubicle." In case your home has classic décor, soft, comfy chairs, warm wood or a loveseat are fantastic if you've got the space. A modern home office can have modern metal furniture or artistic pieces.

4. Proper work surface

Designers often tell customers to opt for at the very least 42 inches of space and up to 60 inches provided you can spare it. In case you are short of space, take into consideration how you are utilizing the space and if perhaps there are any space-saving solutions you can use. For instance, inflatable air beds are a great idea, as they can be inflated when you have guests and nicely folded away at other times.

5. Customized storage

Built-in cabinets are ideal but they are also the costliest. Consider options that will cater for your storage requirements (i.e. files, fabric samples and reference books). If you're converting a space with a closet, consider utilizing the closet space as the storage by using filing cabinets, proper shelving, etc.

6. Lighting

Essentially, office spaces will need to have three types of light: ambient lighting, natural daylight, and task lighting. Up lighting lets light bounce off your ceiling, transforming your room into a stunning work office.

7. Electrical capabilities

Rewiring the office space is not an advisable DIY task. Labor expenses for electrical work range between $40 and $100/hour, depending on the skill and job of the electrician. Figure out what you will require electrical-wise and add the labor costs to your budget.

8. Flooring

Are you usually on conference calls? Do you want a completely silence office to perform tasks? Here is how flooring is important. Hard surface floors will echo, making carpets the best choice for your home office. If you are concerned with the aesthetics of wooden floors, add an area rug to take in noise.

9. Have a view

Place the desk where you can gaze at something more exciting than blank walls (even though you may love the color) when you look up from your computer. A window's natural light is perfect, but if you are in a windowless space, hang up an attractive picture above your desk, or place the chair to face your door.

Whether the home office is a designated room for operating a business, the casual telecommute, or perhaps a nook for paying bills and coordinating your schedule, you should have more than an extra chair and a metal desk stuffed to a spare corner. This is because you want an office that not only echoes the design of your entire home, but also one that you will be comfortable burning the midnight oil in. Follow the above 9 tips to create a charming, practical home office.

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