Home offices are often the most neglected space in the home. We’ve seen the lifecycle of these rooms a hundred times over. What starts as a spare room turns into a hopeful workspace before eventually descending into a messy catch-all storage space that no one wants to spend time in — let alone work in!
This stereotypical home office madhouse can usually be traced back to one thing — the room wasn’t built or designed with productivity in mind.
Creating the perfect, usable home office requires thoughtful planning, professional expertise, and a little creativity. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, small business owner, hobbyist, or family planner, keep reading to learn how you can have the perfect home office space.
How will you use the room?
The most important aspect of a successful home office design is understanding how the space will be used. Obviously, it’s a place for work, but there’s a lot more to it than that.
- What exactly will you be doing in the space (the type of work)?
- What types of materials will be referenced or stored?
- How much time will you spend working in this space a week?
- When will you be working in this space (time of day and time of week)?
Keep these questions percolating throughout the entire design process, referencing the answers as needed to ensure the space you create perfectly fits your needs.
Consider the type of equipment needed
What tools are needed in the room to help you complete your work efficiently and effectively? If you fail to consider the equipment you’ll need, you may end up with a space that doesn’t have enough room or the right layout to house all the supplies you need.
Some common home office equipment needs might include:
- Desk (Consider the size and function needed — for example, do you need a standing desk or one large enough to fit multiple computer monitors?)
- Computer (desktop, laptop, a combination of both)
- Desk chair and other seating
- Land line phone system
- Printer or copy machine
- Sound system
- Hard drive self storage
- White board or bulletin board
- File cabinets
Getting a handle on all the items that will eventually go in the room will help you plan a space that comfortably accommodates your supplies without feeling messy or cramped.
What’s the lighting situation?
Not many people consider lighting when planning their home office, but this will make such a big difference in whether or not you enjoy spending time in the space.
You want as much natural lighting in your office as possible. If you’re remodeling your space, make sure natural lighting is high on the list.
If you don’t have great natural lighting in your space — for instance, if your office is in a basement or a room without windows — consider daylight-replicating light sources.
Whether you have great natural light, none at all, or a combination of both, you should also consider the direction of light in your space. You’ll want to make sure your desk or workspace is situated in a way that doesn’t cause a glare on your computer screen or shine light directly in your eyes on a sunny day.
Any privacy concerns?
When you think about privacy in your office space, we’re not just referring to security. Office space privacy also includes isolating noise and controlling interruptions.
This can manifest in a number of ways, depending on your needs:
- Locks on doors and storage drawers
- Insulated walls
- Window coverings (don’t forget about looking into smart home automation)
- White noise machine or air filter to muffle outside noises
- Divider walls to shield your desk from the room entrance
Let’s talk about storage
No matter how feverent your intentions in keeping your space free of miscellaneous household items, assume that at least a few of these items will eventually make their way into this space. Offices are simply a natural home for things like books, paperwork, desk items, and other nicknacks.
Embrace this fact and plan ahead to accommodate these items my maximizing storage opportunities in your office space.
There are many ways to do this. Some of our favorite ideas include…
- Modular systems
The options are virtually endless, and the storage system you decide on will largely depend on the size of your space, the type of work you do (and what your storage needs are for that work), and the functionality you need.
A few tips to keep in mind though…
- Ensure you have easy-to access storage within easy reach for day-to-day items like pens, notepads, headphones, etc.
- Consider a seamless storage system that matches the overall look and design of your space — this will help your space feel in harmony and increase productivity
- Open shelving and other visible storage is convenient, but strike a balance with closed off areas so you don’t have everything out in the open. Keeping everything visible can contribute to a messy/disorganized vibe (even if it isn’t)
Don’t forget about ergonomics and layout
You want to be comfortable in your space, so pay attention to the layout of the room and the seating and desk options. Some things you might want to consider including in your room are…
- Adjustable sitting/standing desk
- Adjustable desk chair
- Task chair
- Foot rests or standing mats
- Alternative seating area (such as a comfortable chair or couch)
Finally, how will you show off your personal home style?
Last but not least is making sure the room feels like your own. Whether that’s the color of paint, the artwork on your walls, or the rug you choose— make sure the design of your home office fits with your personal style and is a place you’ll enjoy.
Some decor options to think about might include…
- Lighting fixtures
You also want to make sure that your home office design feels similar to the design of the rest of your home. This is especially important to consider if you’re starting from scratch with a home office remodel or addition.
Create the bespoke office space of your dreams
At Godfrey Design Build, we offer custom home office design, remodel, and construction to create seamless, organized work areas in your home. Whether you want to make changes to an existing space or start from scratch, we have the experience to get you the best results.
Our team will ensure your home office remodel is designed to perfection and constructed to fit the demanding needs of your business or home life.