Whether you work from home on a regular basis or you simply need a place to shield out distraction so you can focus on projects, reading, or studying, a home office is an essential. Forget a bedroom desk; bedrooms should be designated for relaxing and unwinding. You don't want your sleep to be disrupted by the huge stack of papers that sit dauntingly in your peripheral vision. Working in the kitchen or dining room isn't ideal either, as these spaces can easily become overwhelmed with work-related clutter and it's hard to stay organized in such multi-use areas. Clearing your documents up to set the table and moving them back afterwards can quickly become tiring — and messy.
You don't necessarily need a spare room to create your perfect home office, but you will need a dedicated space in your home that's going to be used for work only. This could be a corner of the living room, a den, or even the nook under the stairs.
If you're wondering where to begin, or are worried about investing time, effort, and money into a space that you'll be unwilling to work in, fret not. Here are 5 easy steps to crafting the perfect home office — one you'll be itching to spend productive hours in on a regular basis
Factor In Acoustics & Prospective Distraction
Before you decide on your spot for the home office, spend some time there at different parts of the day. Some noises are amplified more in certain parts of the home and masked in others. Likewise, try to imitate how you'll be sitting in your chosen spot. Are there any distracting items in your peripheral vision? Perhaps the kitchen is right behind the French doors to your left, and you'll be able to see family members cooking in there. Perhaps there's busy wallpaper to your right. Do some test runs, mimicking your seated position and see if working will be easy for you. If it's not, that doesn't mean you need to give up on your perfect location. You can find gorgeous freestanding privacy screens for indoor use or install curtains to veil your peaceful work space from outside disturbances.
Allow For Natural Light If Possible
Everyone loves the cozy glow of a lamp, but if your office is banished to a dark corner of the house where not much natural light flows through, you won't be very motivated to spend any significant amount of time there. A window is a lovely place to set up your work space, but if all the windowside real estate in your home has been claimed, try to select a spot where light from a window or skylight can reach for at least a few hours each day. That being said, if the sun is right in your eyes, you'll likely dodge spending time in your office as well. Search for a happy medium!
Keep It Simple
Excited to create a stunning home work space to rival even the most envy-inducing of Pinterest images, you might be tempted to go out and buy a room's worth of stylish pieces. A distressed bureau, industrial stool, and Mason jar penholder might be charming, but function should always come first. That doesn't mean you don't get to spruce up your home office; you don't want it to look like a drab cubicle or you'll never want to set foot in it. It just means to start simple. Start with clean, streamlined pieces with excellent organizational capabilities. Ample storage space, straightforward filing systems, and ease of use are key things to look for. While the space should be beautiful so that you're happy to have it in your home, when you're actually working there, focus should be the priority. For many of us, that means a mostly neutral palette, efficient furniture, and nothing too flashy.
Be Strategic With Organization
Not everyone can find the perfect desk and have it fit seamlessly into their designated home office spot of choice. If you're lacking in space for documents, molding clay, or whichever items you need to complete your tasks, opt for mounted storage. You can find everything from rustic to contemporary and minimalistic wall mounted shelving, soft-close cabinetry, and sleek folder holders that look more stylish than corporate.
Make It Comfy
The line between home office and office-office doesn't have to be drawn with over-the-top function-free items. Instead, make your home office appealing by amping up the cozy factor and making it a place where you can produce and create without a trace of stress. A plush rug beneath your feet is a worthy addition, particularly if you don't already have carpet. This will be especially inviting on cold winter mornings. Select lighting that's bright enough to prevent squinting but not too harsh. Many people find lighting with a soft focus and a warm, golden radiance to be preferable to stark white bulbs. A yellow hued shade will do the trick if you only own white bulbs.
Try to keep things that you'll need for comfort close by, whether that be something as simple as a pair of slippers or something luxurious like an espresso machine. A mini desk fridge can keep cool, fresh water on hand for you, and a small fan can make all the difference between discomfort and concentration on a hot summer's day.
What do you do to make your home office exceptional? Share your ideas with us in the comments below!