Home Office Design: Work in Style

I recently met some wonderful new friends through Twitter and was so happy to hear stories about other people who have started their own businesses with a dream and a paper clip!  It got me thinking about all the home offices out there and I thought it was a good idea to share some design tips on space planning for a functional and beautiful office space.

1)  A great chair is a MUST if you spend lots of time in front of a computer.  Look for something with a tall back,  lumbar support, and an ergonomic design for the most comfort.  It doesn't hurt if it looks as good as this one either!

2)  A large work/desk space should be a priority if you like to spread stuff out like I do.  I usually look for a non-traditional desk that doesn't look like it came from a corporate environment.  Dining tables can be used as a desk and are practical because they give you more depth than a regular desk and there are so many styles to choose from.  Here are some that I like - one of these tables from Korson may end up in my hubby's office very soon.

Sophisticated office & library designed by Miles Redd

3)  Storage:  I can't say enough about this topic because I'm a firm believer in "everything in its place".  A bookshelf as tall as possible is a good start.  Storage boxes to hide the ugly stuff and items you don't need daily.  Display like items together for more impact, some horizontally and some vertically provides variety and visual interest.  File all the paperwork either in the boxes, a file cabinet or in binders.  You can colour code the binders if you are ambitious and it will make you look super organized (see white bookshelf below).

via Channel4.com


These Ikea storage boxes hold a ton of stuff in my office and 
are a great buy and they even coordinate nicely (always important).

4)  Good lighting is another essential item especially for those who are relegated to the basement as their only space in the house for an office.  A desk lamp will help minimize eye strain, cause I know we all burn the midnight oil sometimes (or regularly in some cases).  Overhead, general lighting should be nearby to help illuminate the space but not too close to cause glare on the computer screen.  Remember to take a break every 20 minutes, and look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds - this helps eye strain.

 design by Candice Olson 
Notice how she's used a variety of lighting, including recessed pot lights,
a ceiling fixture and various lamps around the room.

5)  A cork board or bulletin board is essential for posting pictures, inspirational items, calendars, or whatever gets you excited about your work and life.  I like to change mine up with the latest furniture designs, fabric & wallpaper swatches, beautiful rooms, sketches, and always my son's art (which is few and far between these days).  Here is a picture of interior designer Barbara Barry's inspiration board:

Here's mine - it's 4x4 feet wide, room for lots of inspiration!

6)  Add meaningful and special personal items to your space because you need something to remind you of why you are doing this every day.  I've always had photos of my husband and son on my desk, scented candles when I'm working late help take the edge off, and I have a BREATHE sign above my desk that has been in a few offices over the years and reminds me to take a break when things get tough.  Or at least to count to 10 before freaking out!!  I'm sure my friends from my last office are smiling to see this again ;-)

I love designing home offices because it makes me feel good to know that a well designed space can actually improve productivity!  I would love to see a picture of your beautiful space and, if it's not so great, let me know if you would like some tips on designing your own perfect stylish office.

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