Create a Home Office that Works Part One

Now that the kids are back in school, you can tackle all of those previously postponed projects for your new construction dream home.  If you need to create your home office, follow these tips first to ensure you are set up for success.

Using chalkboard paint in a home office is both fun and functional. Photo courtesy of HGTV.com.

Using chalkboard paint in a home office is both fun and functional. Photo courtesy of HGTV.com.

  1. Define the space. If you are using a dedicated room such as a den or an unused bedroom, it will be easy to separate your work and personal spaces.  If you plan to designate an area within your home that your family uses, such as a kitchen desk or a section of the playroom, it is critical to create boundaries.  Without differentiation between work and ‘play’ spaces, it will be impossible to eliminate distractions and focus on your daily tasks.
  2. Find furniture that functions best. One of the best aspects of working from home is having full reign over your home office’s design.  Don’t feel relegated to traditional office furniture.  For example, you may love an old door that can repurposed as a desk.  If you typically spread out a lot of documents, a dining room table may best accommodate your needs.  The same thinking applies to bookshelves, chairs, accent furniture and accessories.  If you love a funky chair that does not jive with the rest of your home, or feel best in a comfy dining room chair, choose it and use it.  On the other hand, your home office is an investment.  If you need to splurge on an ergonomic chair with wheels to access various workspaces, it’s worth it.  As long as the furniture is functional and feels good, it works!
  3. Paint for productivity. If your home office space is located within a larger, common area, consider using a different color paint to separate your work space.  Chalkboard paint, for example, not only differentiates a work space, but is a great repository for your to-do lists, brainstorming outputs and other information you wish to retain.  Be sure to choose hues that help pump up productivity such as restful green and calming blue because both have been proven to improve efficiency and focus.  If you’re leaning towards trendy taupe and gray shades, be aware of a recent University of Texas study found that bland gray, beige and white offices induced feelings of sadness and depression, especially in women.
  4. Add an area rug. Many people think area rugs should only be used on floors without carpeting, however they are effective at defining spaces.  So, if your home office is located within a space used by your entire family, consider using one to section off your work space.  Even if your home office is separate from other areas, adding an area rug is an easy and comfortable way to add both texture and color—or pull a room together.  Look for pops of color or patterns to which you are attracted and try them out for a few days to see how they make you feel in your new home office.
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