What Are The Design Tips For Your Dream Home Office?

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    Opening up a home office can be a daunting task. It's important to get it just right, so you can be productive and comfortable while working from home. Whether you're already starting to plan your dream office or simply considering the possibility, these design tips will help you get started!

    Take A Good Look At Your Home

    To work most efficiently, you need a room of your own away from the hustle and bustle of family life. It's also much easier to achieve a good work/life balance if you delineate office space within your home - and shut the door at 5 pm.

    Identify an underused space where you'll be most likely to focus. It doesn't need to be a whole room, but it must be comfortable enough for you to work in. Lockdown gave rise to a whole host of new home office possibilities, the 'office' (an office in your shed), the 'office' (an office in your closet), etc.

    Consider What You Need And Work From There

    The whole point of creating an office is that it's a suitable space to work in – so practicality and functionality are of utmost importance.

    If you need a lot of storage space, make sure you search for a desk with ample drawers or a tall shelving unit to make the most of vertical space.

    Chalkboards and desk organisers will help you stay on top of things. Once you know what you need, you can start shopping for what you want.

    Divide And Conquer

    If you don't have room to spare, don't fret. Instead, try sectioning off part of a larger room and claiming it as your office space. Use curtains, a screen, or a room divider to separate the space. If you're the creative type, you could make your divider by attaching three panels of MDF using hinges then decorating with stylish wallpaper.

    Remember That Your Workspace Should Also Be An Inspiring One

    Whilst too much can cause your desk to look messy, a few choice items that truly inspire you are good. Postcards of places you love, a mood board, or carefully selected print and pattern to revitalise your home office will help create a productive space. But be careful not to go overboard – too much clutter will only clutter your mind.

    Get Outside

    Consider adapting your garden shed or outdoor room into a workspace. Outdoor offices work well as they give a sense of separation from home life, and there are fewer distractions. Plus, being closer to nature may also inspire your craft.

    The office comes in many shapes and sizes, from compact wooden summerhouses that you can order online to bespoke garden rooms costing tens of thousands.

    Go Green

    Studies suggest that we can make our workspaces happier and healthier through proximity to nature.

    For example, viewing countryside scenes such as trees or water can reduce stress, anger and exhaustion while increasing happiness, energy and cognitive function.

    Try popping an indoor herb garden or bonsai tree on your desk. Alternatively, you could select a piece of wall art that depicts the natural environment.

    Think In Colour

    A strong blue promotes clear thought, while softer blues help calm the mind and aid concentration. Brighter colours, like yellow and orange, help spark creativity and energy. However, overuse can also foster nervousness.

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    Darker colours may look stylish but are far less stimulating and make you more tired and less inclined to work. Keep your space light and airy but consider painting one wall a bolder colour to keep your creativity flowing. Alternatively, consider using a pale pastel shade, which will instantly make the whole area feel lighter and, in turn, boost productivity.

    Stand Up

    Sitting down too much isn't all that good for our bodies or minds. If we start to slump physically, often our brains start to slump too. Working at a standing desk will help energise and focus you and mitigate the risk of back pain from uncomfortable chairs or hunching over a laptop.

    Desks like the below (shop from Varidesk) are perfect for at-home offices. They sit on top of your existing desk and allow you to stand up and sit down in intervals without having to move any of your things.

    Let There Be Light

    A well-lit room is essential to feel awake and ready for the day. In addition, lighting can make all the difference in boosting creativity, as a dark space can leave you feeling tired and uninspired.

    Try to ensure your office has access to plenty of natural daylight. Arrange plenty of mirrors around the room to reflect any natural light you have. If your desk faces a wall, try arranging it to have a window view instead - it will help to offer some respite from staring at the computer screen all day. 

    Pitch Perfect

    If you're doing 9–5, five days a week in your home office, you need to ensure a prime spot and not skimping on space. Comfort is king, so make sure you're not squeezing your desk area into a tiny closet or hot-desking at home when you could make the most of a guest bedroom that sees a visitor once in a blue moon.

    If you don't have the luxury of a spare room, then choose the area of the house you work in wisely – if you're easily distracted, a space in or by the kitchen, for example, probably isn't a great idea, as it'll see the most footfall. Another option is to install a studio in the garden if you have ample outside space, extend your loft space, or create an additional mezzanine level if you have high ceilings.

    Light It Right

    Letting in plenty of natural light is key to a happy workspace – you could position your desk close to the window to benefit, plus make the most of any view you have, but consider the light that comes in through the window during the day, as you'll want to avoid getting a glare on your screen. Fitted blinds would be a smart choice, with Venetian being a good option as you can angle them as required without losing the light altogether.

    In the darker months or evenings, the artificial lighting you choose is important. A mix of different types is usually a good idea; these could include task lighting such as an Anglepoise desk lamp, dimmable spotlights and potentially an overhead pendant lamp if you're trying to save desk space. Each will create a different mood, and ambience is just as important as practical lighting to ensure an enjoyable working environment.

    Hot Seat

    Just because you're at home, that doesn't mean you should sit in a regular dining chair – make sure you opt for a seat that's ergonomically designed, which you can adjust to suit your needs – you're going to be sitting there. All-day after all!

    Fitting Flooring

    Engineered wood flooring or a good-quality laminate is ultimately the best option for your home office. These surfaces are durable and best for chairs with castors, as, unlike carpets, they won't show up with runner marks and indents. Soften the look of the space with rugs, creating textural interest.

    If you still want to choose carpet, go for a short-pile option – this will be the most practical. If you're working in an open-plan space, consider using a different material from the rest of the room to zone it off – for example, use a tiled floor in the kitchen, but choose wooden flooring for the home study area to give a cosier feel.

    Tidy Tech

    When planning your home office, it's worth factoring in your tech from the start, so you don't have unsightly wire spaghetti or extension cables running across the floor as a trip hazard. Building in bespoke units, factor in power points, cables hiding, and charging points. IKEA has some great, affordable solutions for cable management, plus it also has clever furniture with built-in wireless charging pads, such as this smart LED work lamp.

    Native Union also has stylish offerings, including clever charging docks, convenient cables and accessories.

    Also, consider a wireless printer that can be hidden away in a cupboard, rather than taking up valuable surface space, plus a portable speaker like this Bang & Olufsen design, for when you want a bit of background music while you work.

    Smart Storage

    Storage is probably the most important element of your project – after all, as the saying goes: 'a tidy desk equals a tidy mind'. Clutter can build up very quickly if you're not careful, so make sure everything has its rightful place and a useful purpose.

    For example, organise old statements or completed work collecting dust into boxes and storing them in a loft or a cupboard elsewhere in the house. Invest in a filing system that works for you for your relevant papers – consider using shallow storage boxes or organiser trays to help.

    Ideally, buy a desk with additional built-in drawers or a storage unit that you can keep to the side for additional paperwork, files etc. Keep only the essentials in terms of stationery – if these items are on display, it's worth spending a little extra on really beautiful designs.

    Make Your Mark

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    A home office is still your personal space, and it needs to be an inspiring place to spend your time, so make sure you surround yourself with things that motivate you. For example, a wall-hung pegboard or wireframe onto which you can attach cherished photos, inspiring photography, motivational notes or prints will make a difference.

    It's also worth adding a spot of greenery to your work zone with mini terrariums or small evergreen plants to bring the outside in. You could even add a feature wall with statement wallpaper or choose a striking colour scheme.

    5 Do's And Don'ts To Setting Up Your Dream Home Office

    Don't Feel Like You Need To Create A Pinterest-Worthy Setup Right From The Start.

    As you browse dream home office ideas, especially the examples we'll share later in this guide, it's easy to forget that many come from professional portfolios.

    Like you probably have a remote job portfolio to help you stand out online, home designers, decorators, and Instagram influencers are also eager to show off their work.

    These office spaces may be worthy of HGTV and design magazines of the same calibre. But they also cost a decent sum of money to create (we're talking a few hundred to thousands of dollars here).

    Most people don't have the luxury to hire a professional, nor is it necessary. 

    Don't beat yourself up if you can't match the 100% to save or pin a few of these ideas for inspiration. 

    Over time, you can build your space by adding a few key pieces as you need them (or as you come across them at garage sales). 

    Try not to expect an overnight transformation, and you'll find that your space will transform into something special and meaningful that you're proud to call your own soon enough.

    Don't Spend A Fortune

    You don't have to spend a fortune to create a dream home office, whether you have the budget. The reality is you only need a few must-have ingredients to make your home office space work.

    Sure, you could spend an entire paycheck on a fancy setup, but you can just as easily recreate your version and have money left over for groceries and electricity bills.

    The amount you spend on your dream home office will not directly translate into more or less productivity.

    As long as you create a space that feels inspiring, motivating, and remains free of distractions, you'll have a great time working there. So save your money and get creative. 

    Do Take Time To Figure Out Your Aesthetic

    Okay, so what if you're more of a developer or marketer and not a designer?

    Rather than copying what someone else thinks is "cool" or trendy, take the time to figure out what resonates with your aesthetic and speaks to you.

    Make the space your own, and you'll be more likely to show up and be productive each day. So flex those creative muscles!

    Have a funny cat photo that always makes you smile? Place it right where you can see it by your desk.

    Love the comfort of a gamer's chair, but you're worried it may look out of place in your office? Who cares!

    Take the Marie Kondo approach and only add things that bring you joy.

    When you focus on finding stuff you love, you'll care less about making the space so perfect that it becomes uncomfortable and unusable.

    Add these items slowly over time until you find that your dream office is comfortable, functional, and entirely your own.

    Do Get Creative If Space Is Limited

    Don't get hung up on having a massive office space. Again, the size of your home office doesn't dictate how much work will get done. 

    It would be best if you had a small area to squeeze in the basics, such as a desk or workspace for your laptop/computer monitors and an ergonomic chair. 

    Everything else you want to include -- like a filing cabinet, speaker system, indoor plants, etc. -- is just icing on the cake.

    Try to get creative here if you can't transform the shed in your backyard or have a spare bedroom. Look for a small, unused corner or even a closet space you can repurpose.

    Natural light is always a plus since it can spur creativity and heighten your mood. And if your potential workspace happens to be in a quiet corner rarely visited by pets, kids, or roommates, it's even better for your productivity.

    Do Get Thrifty To Stay Within Budget

    With remote work on the rise, you may be tempted to snatch up all the brand new office items hitting the market.

    But you can find amazing bargains on secondhand furniture and office equipment on places like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and OfferUp. You'll not only score unique pieces to fall in love with but save these items from winding up in a landfill.

    Don't forget to check local garage and yard sales, neighbourhood thrift stores, or charity shops that donate portions of their proceeds to good causes. You can extend the life of these once-cherished pieces and add vintage character to your home office simultaneously.

    If you're in love with a new piece from your fave store, make sure it's essential before dropping your hard-earned cash on it. Investing in items you'll use more often, such as a comfortable chair or desk that's just the right height, will pay for themselves if they boost your productivity and make you happy.

    Now that you have those helpful tips for setting up your dream home office under your belt, it's time to have some fun checking out dreamy design ideas next.

    Conclusion

    So, you're ready to design your dream home office. But where do you start? We've put together a few tips to help get you inspired and on your way to the perfect workspace. First, think about what activities will take place in your home office.

    It will help dictate the layout and design of the room. If you need to be able to accommodate multiple people working at once, consider an open floor plan with plenty of seating or desk space. If you prefer peace when you work, choose a layout that gives you some privacy.

    Once you have an idea of how the space should function, start thinking about colours and aesthetics. 

    • Set Your Office Up for Productivity.
    • Keep Your Distractions Handy. 
    • Get Comfortable.
    • Invest in Light Exercise Equipment.
    • Declutter Ruthlessly and Often. 
    • Take Eye Breaks. 
    • Work with Purpose.
    • Get Tough with Distracting People
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    • Find the right lighting. Add a light fixture or floor lamp to the room to brighten your home office
    • Paint the walls a neutral colour. Bright white walls can make a room dark.
    • Add a houseplant or two
    • Use mirrors
    • Install curtains
    •  
    • Find a smell that makes your heart happy with aromatherapy.
    • Find an accent rug that softens the room.
    • Elevate the mood with inspiring art.
    • Create warmth by adding live greenery. 
    • Adjust the lighting in your space. 
    • Choose furniture that reminds you of home.
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