The home office has become an important part of our modern lifestyle as more people are working from home. It is the tech center of the house; used for both business, entertainment, and school where Zoom and other online capabilities put the office aesthetic front and center. Here are some ways that I ensure that the space serves the needs of its user, both on and offline:
As camera usage increases with online forums, your home office is part of your image online. Your camera background can add to or detract from the image you want to present in online forums. A wall treatment such as wallpaper or paneling creates instant drama and are some of my favorite ways to add either moody or airy impact. If your camera faces your bookshelves, an organized and accessorized effort on the shelves is an excellent way to limit distraction and clutter. When organizing your shelves, remember the rule of thirds: ⅓ books, ⅓ accessories, and ⅓ empty space. A designer can help you accessorize these spaces quite easily and inexpensively using much of what you already have!
Moody Paint Colors
Many home offices are located at the front of the home, so they get great light. I like to use impactful colors in these spaces where the light offsets the intensity of these darker hues. Here are some of my favorites:
Where the client prefers a lighter, more airy color, or if lighting in the space is limited, I refer back to these colors over and over again for their classic and clean appeal:
Tsk tsk tsk… Task Lighting That Is
Good lighting is essential in an office space for reading, computer work, and flattering camera accuracy. I always encourage both overhead, recessed lighting as well as a show-stopper chandelier. A lamp next to a reading chair or on a desk are examples of additional task lighting you might consider. Wires can be problematic, so a floor outlet may be an option you’d discuss with an electrician for trip-free and appealing outlet placement. This goes for laptop usage and charging stations too! (Wanna know a secret? I will often cut a slit in the rug to hide the cords that feed into a desk or reading area. Hidden cords are safer and hide the visual clutter of cording).
There are three more rules worth mentioning for a winning office; 1- remember to place your rug about ⅓ under the desk. Why? This allows the office chair to roll back and forth easily without having to jump the curb of the carpet. There is nothing more frustrating than fighting with the heavy office chair to get in and out! I prefer to use hardwood flooring in an office for its classic appeal, so a quality rug and pad will also absorb sound and prevent an echo when speaking online or in person. 2- Keep the clutter at bay and PUT IT AWAY. Nothing will distract from work or create distraction more quickly than will visual clutter. Keep paperwork to a minimum and use systems that keep mail, homework, and files moving and out of sight. Closed storage is a great way to keep things like printers, reams of paper, filing systems and electronics out of sight but easily accessed. 3- Lastly, don’t forget impactful art, mementos, family pictures and heirlooms can be displayed in the office when done using the aforementioned rule of thirds. A space that reflects the values and personality of the homeowner is one that projects that beauty to everyone who sees it. Using these ideas, I am confident that you will create a home office that does just that!