It only takes a little space to provide a great home office solution!”
Finding a home office solution is easier than you may think. If you are not blessed with an extra room in the house that can serve as an interior office solution, alternative home office ideas exist to complement your interior style.
A space in almost any room can work as a home office.
- Living Room
In the most basic sense, you will need a furniture item like a desk or small table to act as a writing surface and home base for your computer and necessary peripheral equipment. And, of course, a comfortable chair that coordinates with the room decor goes without saying.
If you organize your home office area efficiently and edit out extra items it need not take up much area at all.
A big problem that often pops up (or you might say dangles down) is that mess of ugly cords that wreaks total havoc on your decorative Zen. It’s a situation that calls for some creative thinking.
Thankfully, there are tricks you can employ to reduce the negative visual impact that your home office solution may have on your interior décor
If at all possible choose wireless technology to limit the visual clutter. Installing a wireless home network is fairly inexpensive these days and can eliminate a lot of cords when paired with appropriate wireless devices. The wireless hub can be located in an out of the way location where it will not be visible.
Virtually all new laptop computers have built in wireless technology and they take up less real estate than desktop models. The freedom to roam throughout the house (or even outside) without restrictions is a great! You can find the place where you can work most effectively at any given time.
If you already have equipment with unsightly cords, consider bundling the many individual cords together inside a piece of flexible tubing and then attaching the tube to the underside of your desk, along a wall or another inconspicuous location within reach. Alternate solutions for controlling cord clutter may also be found at your local office supply store.
Take advantage of furniture like an office armoire or similar feature to host your computer equipment. You can close it up when you are not using it. This can help to conceal all those nasty cords and let your home office naturally blend with the rest of your décor.
You really can combine technology and design in your home without sacrificing visual harmony by employing a crafty, home office solution.
More and more people are working at home these days, and having a functional and comfortable home office is more important than ever. Find resources for home office furniture, design, and fixtures.
- Home Office Design
- Plan Ahead for an Efficient Home Office
- Get a Home Office Set Up on a Shoestring
Home Office Design
What do you see when you picture your dream home office? Probably something stylish, comfortable, maybe even inspiring. But balancing the comfortable with the practical takes planning. Here’s how:
Put Some “Home” In Your Home Office Design
Your main objective, and one that many home-office creators miss, is to retain the “home” in “office.” Don’t be afraid of the cozy factor invading your professional space, embrace it!
Integrating warm, relaxing lighting, installing comfortable chairs for kids and other family visitors, and perhaps even adding an extra computer so your children can work alongside you are all ways of taking advantage of the familial closeness that working at home can provide. You want your kids to feel at home in your office, but you also need your space to rate high in both function and style. I’m here to tell you: you can have both!
Organize Your Home Office
In terms of basic office furniture and accessories, you’ll need some sort of bookshelf-or shelves-and file drawers that look good and are easily accessible without you having to get up. I recommend organizing shelves by topic.
Bulletin and chalk boards are a great way to keep home offices tidy and reminders front and center, and double as a gallery for your family photos.
Home Office Style
You can add your signature to the desktop with stylish, affordable and useful accessories like pencil holders and divided containers.
Ergonomic Home Offices
If you’re going to invest in any one item, make it a timeless desk chair that leans back and ergonomically supports the body. You’ll be grateful for it every day!
Lighting for Your Home Office
Lighting is also important. Take advantage of natural light, and use every opportunity to add more. Make sure you install blinds, both for privacy and controlling drafts. One illuminating idea is to use interesting lighting to create a focal point for the room. Cable lighting is another functional way to add style. In general, offices should benefit from lots of lighting, but do install dimmers so you can go cozy if you want to.
Personal Touches in Your Home Office
Home offices are an ideal place to show off your personal art and pictures, family portraits, anything that speaks to your unique aesthetic and inspires you. Unlike the dry, neutral palettes you see in most corporate offices, home-based work centers should be fun and colorful, reflecting the personality of their owners. You may be spending many late nights there, why not feel at home? Some people even install a TV to keep them company on late nights.
Above all, the place you spend so much time in each day should be warm and inviting, the professional equivalent of your favorite, over-stuffed chair.
Plan Ahead for an Efficient Home Office
Comfort and Organization are Essential
As you’re planning your new home office, don’t just go out and buy a desk and chair. If you plan ahead, you’ll be able to work comfortably and efficiently and enjoy your work-at-home lifestyle.
- Light the Way and Save Your Eyes
It’s extremely important to have proper lighting in a home office. To reduce eye strain, have lighting installed over your reading area, over the computer, and behind you so that there’s no reflection off the computer monitor.
Place the computer monitor a comfortable distance from your chair so that you don’t need to squint or use reading glasses to read the screen. By reducing eye strain, you’ll be able to work longer and more safely.
- Less is More in a Home Office
Of course, you want everything you’ll need at hand, but you’d be surprised what you can live without–such as 6 pairs of scissors or 10 pens. Sort through your supplies and get rid of anything extra. Clutter is very distracting and reduces efficiency. Get your schedule, your routine, and your workspace organized and you’ll work better.
Identify a space for printer paper, computer program manuals, and reference books. Place the mail in the same place every day and have the telephone within arm’s reach.
If your storage space is limited in your designated home office, find a place in another area of your home for items and supplies that you use less frequently.
Include power surge protectors to protect your computer and information from electrical power outages. Store back-up disks in another part of the home.
- Plan for Visitors
If you will be having clients into your home office, be sure that they don’t have to walk past a sleeping baby or dirty kitchen to get to you. Keep things as professional as possible. And consider the privacy of your work.
If clients will be waiting for an appointment with you, provide comfortable seating, a reading light, and interesting literature.
- Add Some Pizzazz for Fun
A home office doesn’t have to be serious even if the work you do there is. Add personal touches and color to make the space more inviting. Select a decorating style and add patterns, window treatments, and furniture to express that style. Or use this space to escape to some style you’d not want for your whole home, but love anyway.
Add accessories for organization such as baskets for papers and mail. Cover boxes with interesting fabrics to store CD’s, tapes, and office supplies.
If you have any wall space at all, be sure to include either artwork or photos that you love.
By planning your home office space, getting it organized, and decorating it to express who you are, you’ll enjoy it more. Your work will be better, you’ll appreciate being at home, and you’ll have the perfect place to work–your home.
Get a Budget Home Office Set Up on a Shoestring
Be Creative and Frugal for the Best Results
With so many people working from home these days, a home office has become an essential space in many homes. The guest room may be replaced by a work-at-home spot, and it’s important that all the elements contribute to a productive time.
Not everyone has a big budget for outfitting a home office and few people can pay to have a professional space planner come into their home to design an efficient home office space.
There are lots of ways to create a good space for working at home without spending a fortune. We’ll give you some ideas, and you can go from there. You may end up feeling a great sense of accomplishment after turning some wasted space into an efficient stay-at-home office.
- Define Your Space
If you’re lucky enough to have a separate room for your home office, the task won’t be so hard. The key to a good home office is to make use of whatever space you have, whether it’s a stair landing, a small closet, a spare room, or an unused corner of the living room. For greatest efficiency, find a space that can be dedicated to a home office area. You’ll be able to work more professionally if you don’t have to move papers off your desk to change diapers!
- Create a Plan
It might be tempting to just move the pieces around until the space works. But if you spend some time actually measuring your space, creating a floor plan (small as it might be), measuring your furniture, and thinking it through, the final result will be much more satisfactory.
- What Can You Do Yourself?
Whatever work you can do yourself will save you money! Your home office space is probably not going to be too big, so consider painting the walls yourself. Adding a fresh, lively color or a sedate, calming color will set the tone for your work space. And if you’re not a pro at painting, never fear. Most of the space will be covered up with furniture anyway. If you’re feeling really creative, stencil a border around the desk. Or wallpaper one wall to define the space.
- What Do You Already Have?
Can you move furniture or accessories from one part of the house to your new home office? If you don’t have to buy some pieces, you’ll save a lot! Is there a comfortable chair in the guest room? Do you have some pictures tucked away in a closet that would be inspiring and decorative on the walls of your work space? Look around to see what you can use in your new home office.
- Build a Desk
Did I lose you here? My office is on a large landing between my first and second floors. I placed filing cabinets on each side of the space and put a board across them. Voilà! Instant desk. Of course, I spent some time staining the board, put molding on the edge, and painted the file cabinets a color close to the stained board. But the space if filled and holds everything I need it to.
- What Else Can You Make?
Think of other ways you can use inexpensive materials to create shelves, filing systems, in-and-out boxes. Use a decorative flower pot to hold pencils and scissors. Buy several multi-level shoe shelves to put on top of the desk to hold a printer, some paper, or books.
As you plan your home office space, think of all the ways you can save money. There will be plenty of ways to spend it!
- Shop Around for Bargains
You’d be amazed what you can find at garage sales, flea markets, consignment shops, and thrift stores. It seems that people are always getting rid of book shelves and desks, and you might find just what you need. Clean off the pieces, sand them down, and paint all the items the same color. It will look as though you bought them to match. If you don’t want any hand-me-downs, keep your eye open for furniture sales or check web sources.
- Be Willing to Take Used Furniture
Visit professional offices to see if they are renovating. Quality hotels redecorate guest rooms every 4 or 5 years. Maybe you could buy a used desk or chair there. Does your own company have any extra furniture that’s not being used, since people are working at home? Ask neighbors to let you know if they’re getting rid of things.
Look for a used furniture store or a furniture rental store. They often have pieces they’re willing to sell. Be ready to do some fixing when you take the pieces home. Check to see if your community has a store that sells used office furniture exclusively. When you go shopping for furniture, be sure to take your measurements with you. It would be a shame to get a great price on a great desk, only to find that it doesn’t fit in your space.
- Buy New at Bargain Prices
Discount stores, home centers, furniture outlets, lighting showrooms, and home decorating centers offer an amazing assortment of items at deeply-discounted prices. You might be surprised to find a beautiful desk next to factory second towels. And everything is at prices you’ll love!
- Swap With Friends
Consider trading pieces of furniture with a friend. If you have a dining table that doesn’t fit in your home, how about trading it for a desk that you need? Or do you have children’s furniture that a neighbor can use in exchange for book shelves? Consider swapping services for furniture, too. Offer your decorating skills in exchange for a chair. Or make some curtains for a neighbor who could build you a desk. Everyone has something of value that they can offer.
- Get Ideas Online
Find other ideas for do-it-yourself office makeovers, such as those offered on HGTV.com.See our sources for Home Office ideas or Office Furniture.
If you’re working full-time at home, be sure to include adequate lighting, music, and comfortable seating. Bring in plants and inspiring artwork. After all, you might be spending a lot of time in this new home office. It should be a comfortable space that you enjoy spending time in.
HOME OFFICE TIPS
- Selecting energy-efficient office equipment and turning off machines when they are not in use can result in significant energy savings.
- Using an ENERGY STAR-labeled computer can save 30%-65% energy than computers without this designation, depending on usage.
- Spending a large portion of time in low-power mode not only saves energy but helps equip-ment run cooler and last longer.
- Putting your laptop AC adapter on a power strip that can be turned off (or will turn off automatically) can maximize savings; the transformer in the AC adapter draws power con-tenuously, even when the laptop is not plugged into the adapter.
- Using the power management settings on computers and monitors can cause significant savings.
- It is a common misperception that screen savers reduce a monitor’s energy use. Use automatic switching to sleep mode or simply turn it off.
- Another misperception, carried over from the days of older mainframe computers, is that equipment lasts longer if it is never turned off.
LONG-TERM SAVINGS TIP
Consider buying a laptop for your next computer upgrade; laptops use much less energy than desktop computers.
Written by : interior-design-tutor.com
Written by : About.com Interior Decorating