There are many names used to describe the space in your home dedicated to academic or other work. For instance, you might use a den for this purpose, or a study or a home office. Whatever you call it, when you’re creating this special space you will want it to blend seamlessly with your existing interiors, and you will also want to find quality home office furniture to complement your décor. There are some useful tips that will help, whether you’re refurbishing a room or creating a modest, reserved space to blend in with an open plan environment. Here are a few pointers to get you started.
What is your office for and who will use it?
A good way to begin is to think about the purpose of your space — if it’s for the sole use of one person it will need a different treatment from a working environment to be shared with the kids when they have homework? In terms of personal preferences, is it important to you (or the occupier if that’s not you) to create a certain atmosphere conducive to preferred ways of working?
Another consideration is how to decide the location of your home office according to the nature of the work to be carried out. For instance, if you need to keep an eye on the children while running a small business, you might want to be close to the kitchen, maybe in a dining room that’s not in regular use. A discreet self-contained working unit, such as a computer station, might provide the ideal solution in such circumstances, particularly if it has doors that can screen off your work area when not in use.
On the other hand, if you need privacy, as well as peace and quiet, you might want a degree of isolation from busy family life, in which case a home office as part of a loft conversion or a garden room might be perfect. Where lack of space is an issue, you could consider using a spare bedroom or converting a corner of your living space or bedroom to make it fit for purpose. It has to be said, though, that having an office space in your bedroom can be disruptive to your sleep patterns, so investigate all other options before deciding to settle on this one.
How much space do you need?
In order to calculate your space requirements accurately, think about how both floor space and wall space can be used. Consider your preferred desktop size and your storage needs, including paper filing systems where relevant. When it comes to equipment, do you need a printer, a phone or other items? If so, work out what’s the best arrangement of furniture for your home office space. A bit like planning your ideal kitchen, it can help to make a quick sketch of the distribution of space, so you can access the type of information you need quickly and easily.
Once you’ve taken care of all the practical considerations, you need to think about how your home office can blend successfully with your existing décor. If your home has a contemporary interior, then you’ll want to follow this through and to use similar colors and finishes in your workspace. This may reflect a minimalist approach and, if so, your storage choices need to be capable of generating an uncluttered and streamlined effect. Perhaps your walls are best used in these circumstances to display neat work schedules and business planners.
If you love traditional furnishings, on the other hand, then your home office should respect that – think of searching for an old-fashioned wooden desk and elegant wooden cabinets to hide printers and other equipment, for example. There are lots of options for finding discount furniture online and you can also choose soft furnishings that are in keeping with those in your living room and elsewhere. Consign your planning tools to your technical equipment, in this case, and use your walls to display traditional artworks that complement your furniture.
Think of the trends you have applied elsewhere in your home and reflect these by using color, finishes, appropriate furniture, floor coverings and styles. Allow soft furnishings to contrast or complement each other, according to the different rooms in your home. Don’t forget lighting – you may prefer to have more task lighting in your home office than is necessary elsewhere, just make sure it reflects the same, overall genre throughout.