Feb
24

How Do I Design a Home Office?

You Ask, We Answer: How Do I Design a Home Office?

The “temporary” shift that many of us made a year ago to work from home has given way to a more permanent reality: “WFH” may be here to stay, at least in some capacity. And for some Connecticut homeowners, that means working on the couch is no longer working for them at all. If you’ve been daydreaming about a dedicated home office space in your home but don’t quite know where to begin, we’ve got some ideas to help you get started.

Decide on the desk

If you’ve been using the kitchen table, a card table or your lap as your go-to desk at home, you’re not alone. This transient work station situation is one of the biggest reasons homeowners have for creating a dedicated home office space—not to mention the backaches, headaches and random muscle pain that goes with these setups.

Choosing your desk is a critical part of your work from home setup, because it will not only be a focal point in the room, but it needs to be fully functional for your needs. Does your desk have enough room to sit comfortably while holding your oversized monitor (or two)? Do you have room to spread out paperwork, if that’s what your job calls for? Does it have built-in cord keepers, or drawers for storage?

Consider how your workday normally progresses and what challenges you’ve faced working from random surfaces throughout your home, and be sure your desk meets your needs. Once you find a design that’s fully functional (we’re looking at you, adjustable standing desks!), it’s time to decide on the style of your desk: Sleek and modern? Boho chic? Or perhaps something more traditional? Let your desk set the tone for the rest of this room—and don’t forget to have fun with it. After all, designing your own office space is one of the perks of working from home!

Light your way

For some of us, having a brightly lit space signals the focus that our jobs demand. For others, working by the light of a desk lamp or a sun-soaked window is how they prefer to operate. Think about the tasks you do throughout the day and how light would help improve upon them. Are you on video calls throughout the day? If so, a well-lit room that negates harsh shadows would be helpful. Do you work on a monitor all day? Consider how natural light will filter in and if it will create a glare on your screen throughout the day. If your home already has overhead lighting, a desk lamp or floor lamp may be just what you need to further illuminate dark corners, and if you don’t have windows in your office, they’ll help create balanced lighting that may just help keep you motivated through yet another virtual meeting.

Storage

While working from home has many perks, storage can be a bit of a challenge. You may be fine with a functional metal storage cabinet in your home office, or you may gravitate more towards something more decorative. Again, functionality is very important here; you want to make sure your storage solutions won’t be bulging at the seams in 2 months.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the (storage) box here. If setting up your home office in a guest bedroom, for instance, consider utilizing a dresser or armoire as your storage solution. Bookcases can hold jars or vases used for holding office supplies; open shelves can serve as a mix of artful display and function by holding books, photos and folders or other office gear.

And while you’re thinking about storage, don’t forget to consider creative solutions for hiding your multiple power cords. Smart and streamlined solutions like those from Yamazaki do a great job keeping things neat without breaking the bank.

Personalization

Last but not least, it’s time to think about personalizing your office (at Calcagni, this is always our favorite part!). Perhaps the best part of working from home, making your office feel like your own space is an integral part of setting up “shop.” After all, this is where you’ll be spending hours of your day! Bonus: You don’t have to run your ideas by an office manager.

Artwork, photographs, paint color, furniture and lighting all come together to create an office that reflects your design aesthetic and your work style. You may prefer to work in a stark room because it’s less distracting, or you may want as much personality around you as possible to serve as inspiration. Just remember that if you’re on video calls a lot, you want to consider what’s showing up in the background. Other than that, have fun personalizing your work space! Make it a room you enjoy coming into spending time in—then reward yourself with a snack from the company kitchen. You know, the one down the hall.