If you have an office at home, chances are you spend a lot of time in it. As such, we all deserve something that plays to our natural work environment needs, has inspiring décor and allows us to be our most organized selves. Read on to find out how to create a beautiful and functional home office, whether you already have a home office that needs some TLC or you’re starting out brand new.
Choosing where to put your home office
If you don’t have a home office already, you’ll of course need to start with identifying where an office will work in your home. Any spare bedrooms may be an obvious choice if you have the room to spare. But when looking at the room, assess how it will work as an office by keeping in mind lighting, positioning and space.
For instance, if it’s a choice between two rooms, you may want the room with the most natural lighting to help keep you energized. Try to choose a room that’s more removed from living areas if you’re the type who needs quiet to work. A little self-analysis and forethought will go a long way in making sure you convert the most appropriate space into a home office.
For those without a room to spare, keep in mind the natural nooks and crannies of your home. If there’s a set-in nook area by the kitchen, for instance, that can become a mini-office space through the addition of a small writing table. Other options involve using under-stair space and sectioning off part of a basement.
You can even place a small desk in a closet so that you can open the closet door and reveal your office. It’s the perfect option for urbanites who don’t have a ton of space to work with.
The desk is key
Since your desk is what you’ll be spending all your time at while you’re in your home office, you’ll want to make sure you get the perfect one for your needs. Below are some of the most common desk styles and in which situations they work best.
Armoire desk: These are a classic type of desk that fold out of a large cabinet. They’re perfect for space that requires multi-functionality in furniture due to aesthetic preference or space limitations. If you don’t have a specific room for a home office, consider an armoire that acts both as a desk and necessary storage. Here is a compact option available at Wayfair.com.
Writing table: Here’s a very basic option if you don’t need a lot of fuss, or are planning to stick a small table into a nook somewhere. These are just compact tables that are perfect if you do most of your work on a small laptop. For a minimalist approach, you could find something like this Marco Desk from Crate&Barrel.
Computer desk: These desks tend to be sprawling and have multiple surfaces at different levels. They’ll usually have a keyboard tray, space for a printer and tons of space for papers and organizational files away from the computer itself. A must-have if you do a lot of work on a desktop computer. For a good amount of working space, look for something like this Broadstreet Desk from Office Depot.
Corner desk: These are also more commonly known as L-shaped desks. They’re perfect for putting in corners if you’re working with a smaller space or if you like to face the wall to cut out distractions. Products like this Ikea MICKE desk are perfect for tight spaces.
Cabinet-style desk: These desks come with a built-in filing system and shelf storage. They’re perfect if you like everything filed away and orderly. Here is one for maximum storage available at Sears.
Executive desk: These high-end pieces make the home office look like an executive suite (hence their name). They come in highly polished wood materials and elaborate designs. These are perfect if you have a large spare room for a home office. They’re also great if you receive people for meetings and want to show a high touch of class. A chic option could be something like this St. James desk from Restoration Hardware.
Organizing your home office
You can stand around trying to visualize a space all day, but if you’re serious about getting the most out of your home office, your best bet is to find an online tool that helps you create a visual layout. These tools are even great if you desperately need to reorganize your home office.
You can find a downloadable program on Ikea’s website. There are also options like Sweet Home 3D and the purely browser-based West Elm Room Planner. With these tools, you’ll be on your way to the perfect office for your needs in no time, since you’ll be able to play with different storage, furniture and organizational options.