Working from home can be a great way to increase your productivity, but a home office comes with challenges of its own. Distractions aside, utilizing the space available to you can present a difficult task of making your office functional, yet comfortable. But, do not despair. Coupling a few design tricks we share below, along with your own unique sense of flair, will help you put together that perfect home office space in no time.
Idea #1: Create A Closet Cove
Let’s face it: Not everyone has an extra room they can dedicate solely to a home office, so setting up your workspace can require thinking outside the box. Thinking outside the box and repurposing a space you might never think to use as an office might be exactly what you need. Consider turning a closet into a hideaway office with a few simple steps.
Any deep closet with a wide entrance is perfect for placing a desk and some shelving in. The key to making a small space efficient is organization—building shelving into the closet will give you all the room you need to store your office supplies.
- If the closet has doors you can close them when you’re not working, making this option the perfect mix of compact and creative.
- Add colorful wallpaper or a coat of paint to bring a pop of color to this space. Choose something easy on the eyes, if you have to work in a space for several hours you want to avoid unnecessary eye strain.
Idea #2: Set Up A Stair Study
An empty stairwell can be just as good as any office space once you get everything put together. A desk, a few shelves and some cabinetry is all you need to make this often ignored space into the perfect work zone.
- A colorful plush rug combined with a comfortable chair will make this mini-office a place you love to be in.
- Make sure lighting is adequate in your workspace. While natural light is best for productivity it’s not always available, so make sure you have a lamp on your desk or a good overhead light.
Idea #3: Double Down
Using a space for more than one purpose not only saves room but also eliminates the need for designing an entirely new area. Plenty of people have tables near the couches of their living room, and using a table as a workspace means all you need is your chair and a little concentration. This open space allows you to interact with your family as you work in a comfortable environment that will keep you motivated.
- Using ‘dead space’ in a kitchen—such as a low counter or island space that never gets used—is a great way to take advantage of the space you already have. Add a comfy chair and sufficient lighting and you’re ready to go.
- Repurpose some of your kitchen storage into space for your office supplies. Dedicate a few drawers or a cabinet to everything you need throughout the workday.
- Wall-mount your monitor to make more room for your keyboard, lamp and office supplies.
- Store pens, paper clips and other small supplies in a silverware organizer to keep them in one handy location.
Idea #4: Plan A Color Pop
Once you’ve found the perfect office space it’s time to move on to the design phase. While the space itself plays an important factor in how your office makes you feel, we can’t ignore the impact that decoration and design can have on us. We’re realizing more and more just how much color actually impacts our emotions, and color theory teaches us about how our bodies and minds react to color. So, let’s see how we can use that to our advantage.
- While yellow may seem bright and cheery, it can leave you feeling anything but. An excess of yellow can make people feel anxious, angry and even hungry. However, in moderation, it’s been shown yellow can be a great color for your workspace. Consider limiting this hue to small amounts: think accent pieces like frames or paintings.
- Lighter shades of blue tend to have a calming effect on us, Keeping stress levels at a minimum. This will help you power through whatever work is set before you. Blue is a great choice for paint color, or to feature heavily in the room.
- Green invokes a sense of nature and tranquility. Placing living plants in your office is a great way to add a special touch that not only adds to the overall feel of your home office, but also provides health benefits like purifying the air.
Idea #5: Pattern Play
While there seems to be a lot of rules when it comes to using patterns, I say throw tradition to the wind – mixing and matching to your heart’s content.
- Try using a mix of solid colors with striking patterns. If your walls are all one tone, some patterned furniture may be all you need to give your office that special something extra.
- Don’t think you have to stick with one type of pattern. Done right you can incorporate several different styles into one cohesive design. Play around until you find what you think is the perfect balance.
Idea #6: Work Those Windows
Natural lighting can make a big difference in your productivity, so placing your home office in a large bay window or near natural light is a great way to have a bright workspace that helps you feel focused. Aside from the light windows let in, energy efficient windows also help regulate temperature. A comfortable environment makes all the difference in how much you can accomplish. It’s even been proven that cold temperatures cause a drop in productivity, so staying warm can mean staying on task.
- Not only is a window desk a bright and warm area to work in, but it also gives you the opportunity to look at nature while you work.
- If your space seems dark don’t despair, here are a few tricks you can use to tweak your lighting.
With so many different design options available, the right look for you is sure to be out there. Mix and match styles and don’t be afraid to try something different. While there’s a lot of assumption about what an office should be, ultimately, the perfect office is the one that just feels right to you. Making a functional home office in a small space will require some creative thinking, but using these unique design tricks will make your small office shine.