Home Office Redux
With more and more people turning spaces in their homes to office space, we’re starting to have inquiries on what steps one should take to make a work space that they can be productive in. Working from home often times proves to be difficult for many people, its easy to lose concentration when you are inhabiting the same structure that has previously only been used for comfort and relaxation. The easiest way to accomplish separation from work and living, is obviously to allow for actual physical separation.
Regardless of the ability to separate the office functions from the living, there’s also the necessity for mental separation, a sense that defines the area as a work space that makes one want to be productive. This can be accomplished in numerous ways and often times depends on budget. One of the most cost effective solutions is simply color. Studies have shown that light colors, such as off whites and lighter tones work well in production areas, but remember that your personal comfort level also enhances the level of your productivity. The ability to have natural light in the work area is certainly a good thing, but with computer screens and other equipment, the ability to control the amount of natural light that enters the space is key.
Another key to a productive workspace is to reduce the amount of clutter. Having a space for files, papers, and supplies allows for more efficiency and also opens up the space visually. Typically if you’re turning an existing space into an office, then the room was not originally designed for a work space in mind. Often times people are turning small areas of the house into work spaces, so the larger you can make the room feel, the better you’ll feel working in it. Use furniture to your advantage, there are many well designed, great looking storage solutions out there.
Again, don’t be hesitant to bring your own personality into your home office, it’s your work space and you don’t have to worry about upsetting any of the coworkers. The happier you are, the more productive you should be.
Below is an existing home office that our client felt was long overdue for a make over. As you can see, the room gets quite a bit of natural light, but is very cluttered because of the lack of storage. It has also become a little outdated because of the stained tongue and groove wood, curtains, and beige carpeting. Not to mention the CRT monitor. Also problematic is the layout of the room, it is very thin and surrounded by doors and windows, so the majority of the “stuff” has been pushed to one end and the desk has been slid against the wall, with the client’s back against the windows. He has essentially, because of the type of desk, turned his back on the view and created a problem with the glare from the windows on his computer screen. Another reason for the renovation is the need to have the occasional client to the office, which with this layout would be difficult.
Working with budget restraints that only allowed us to work in the footprint of the existing space, the majority of the funds went into finding ways to make the space feel as open as possible, but providing the maximum amount of storage as possible while bringing the look and feel of the office current.
We turned to IKEA for the storage solutions, their EFFEKTIV combinations allowed for low storage along the bottom of the large windows, without distorting the view or the natural light and a taller unit combination was used at the entry. The GALANT system desk, turned against the flow of the space allows the user to have a view to the windows, reduces the glare on the computer screen, and provides a seating area for a visiting client.
The stained tongue and groove wall and trim has been painted out white and a little bit of personality has been added in the form of FLOR modular carpet tiles.
See this dreary cramped work area become an open, clean, efficient space for the modern person working from home in the slide show below: