Working from home can be wonderful; you have the option to wake up later, avoid morning commutes, stay in pajamas, and get tax write-offs on rent. It can also be challenging. There are more distractions, such as television, family members, and household chores. A home office is the best of both worlds; a space in your home reserved for all things business.
Whether you are the owner of a home-based business, a virtual worker, or you simply want to establish a space in your home to handle the demands of your off-site business, carving out a home office can help you be more productive at home and maintain your sanity when family and household issues threaten to impede your work. Creating a work space that promotes productivity but doesn’t feel sterile and out of place in your home is no easy task, to help define and create your perfect home office space HerExchange called on interior design expert, J. Allen, founder and principle designer of Perceptions Interiors.
Business is about making money so don’t worry about breaking the bank to create a functional, beautiful home office space. According to J., “An exceptional design solution does not necessarily require a fantastic budget; only a willingness to explore unusual applications with existing products.”
Let’s get started with J.’s 5 Tricks of the Trade: Home Office Checklist
1. Claim Space
2. Identify Work Station Needs & Style
5. Lighting & Accents
1. Claim Space: Most homes no matter how small have a fair amount of poorly designed or unused space; these are the spots you want to target when planning your home office. Closets, corners, foyer areas, kitchen nooks, 2nd floor landings, stair wells… the possibilities are endless. When determining whether an area has the potential to become your new work space consider everything that you’ll need to be productive. Create a plan incorporating those items (storage/tools/work table/ computer) everything you’ll need to work effectively must have a home in this space in order for your office to be a functional place to work.
2. Think outside the box: While you want this space to function like an office, it should look like the rest of your home. Be sure to incorporate your personality and style just as you would in your living or bedroom. Don’t limit your design selections to what can be found in an office supply store as this is a surefire way to create an uninviting and impersonal work space. By incorporating pieces that translate to the other areas in your home you’ll keep the space from becoming an awkward eyesore and instead a place you enjoy.
3. Grow-up: Be sure to give your home office room to grow by taking advantage of vertical space. Keep shelving and stored items from becoming an unattractive distraction by creating a substitute for wall art using groups of decorative baskets or boxes with graphic prints to camouflage work related clutter.
Boxes, Bins, & Baskets – The Container Store
4. A Comfortable Chair: Furniture items that you wouldn’t use anywhere else in your home have no place in your home office. There are no rules with it comes to office seating so make a statement- any comfortable chair will do! An old dining chair painted in fun or funky color, an acrylic ghost chair, even an antique wingback can be used as work space seating and give the space personality. Just keep in mind standard desk and dining table height is between 29” and 30” inches so be sure the seat height on your selected chair is at least 17” high or you’ll have to get crafty.
5. Lighting: Choose home office lighting as you would lighting for any other area of the home. Office lighting can be sterile and harsh. Don’t miss an opportunity to add interest to your work space. Shaded lamps should have at a minimum 65 bulb to provide sufficient task light. Lamps with three-way settings up to 150 watts are ideal. (All Options: Pottery Barn)
Creative work space/desk solutions for small spaces:
A big idea for small spaces! Our Alden Desk is an impressive feat of design. This wall-mounted desk folds down to create the perfect workspace, complete with file organizers, two adjustable shelves and a corkboard for notes and messages. When not in use, simply lift back into frame and latch shut.
Slick orange gateleg table by Jonas Wahlstrom opens on a moment’s notice, then folds to store out of the way. Table is perfect for drafting, & crafting, and closes to a compact console to be stored neatly in small spaces.
CB2 – Peek-a-boo Clear Console $379.00
Now you see it. Now you don’t. This transparent console floats in the room without taking up permanent visual residency. Thick-cut plexi in one seamless turn adds clean mod edge to works spaces in an entry, hallway, or behind the sofa.
World Market -Verona Cabinet Desk -$279.99
A pullout desk and two drawers – one for desk supplies and the other perfectly-sized for file folders – tuck away behind a door. It’s a stylish, contemporary home office solution disguised as a rustic find.
Storage Ottoman (Every Price Point Target-Container Store- Crate & Barrel…)
Use as an alternative seating option, tuck under a console, store hanging files or office supplies the possibilities are endless with this small cube. Boxes, Bins, & Baskets shown above – The Container Store
Want more? You’ve got it!
“It is my life’s purpose to make living well accessible to everyone.” – J.
Perceptions Interiors was founded in 2001 by HGTV Design Star finalist J. Allen. The company motto, “perception is reality”, is also its design philosophy. The goal is to make the ordinary appear extraordinary by creating environments that reflect and evolve with clients’ lifestyle, tastes, passions, and dreams. J believes extraordinary design outcomes require close collaboration between designer and client. She prides herself on her ability to guide clients to create highly personalized spaces where inspiration and imagination coincide with the realities of everyday living.