Posts

An Organized Home Office for Any Room Size

By Bill Kahn, Custom Closet Professional and former Vice President of Symmetry Closets.

Let’s face it… in the days of smart phones, high-speed internet and Wi-Fi, the work day doesn’t stop when we get home.

We all have projects or tasks that we need to do in the “off hours.” Many of us have started our own home-based businesses, or perhaps we telecommute a few days a week. More so, when the day is done, almost all of us need a dedicated workspace in our homes where we can “drop off” all the dead weight. Now at this point in our thought-process is where we start to think we just don’t have the space. This is how our dining room and kitchen tables become our home office space. Eventually, it may graduate to a small writing desk or card table in an unused corner. Our filing system consists of piles of paperwork and folders strewn about the table and any other nearby surface. We end up eating in front of the TV since there’s no room at the table. Our paperwork and bills are out in front of us all the time, the work day never truly ends and we’re always stressed-out. We think we don’t have the space to put it all away without misplacing it. Well, we’re wrong. Custom Home Office Design A home office doesn’t need to be a separate room with a door that closes us off from the rest of the world. A good work space can be a small surface that can fit the laptop, has some filing space and room for office supplies. Maybe there’s even room for a printer, but the important thing is to have someplace to put it all when we’re done with our day.

An organized office needs:

  • A file cabinet. Most of us only need one drawer.
    • Box up anything over a year old and put in a closet or other storage area.
    • Or scan your documents for electronic filing (back up often to a separate device).
    • Remember to go through and shred any personal financial documents over seven years old. (Business owners should keep those for ten years.)
  • A drawer for pens, paper clips, power cords and other small office supplies.
  • Maybe a closed cabinet with a slide-out shelf for the printer.
  • Space for extra paper, pads, binders and books.
A custom designed work-station eases stress and creates an escape in the home that we never realized possible. We all need to relax, and putting the work day away is one of the best ways to start.

How to Add Style and Function to Your Home Office

Learn how to make your home office look more “home” than “office.”

Not so long ago, when someone wanted a home office, it was envisioned to be in dark wood tones with traditional styling. It was masculine in feeling – heavy and sturdy – and in a separate room of its own. Nowadays, many of us work from home from time to time. When people want a home office now, they want a more modern functionality. The home office is often in the center of the home; close enough to keep an eye on the kids, to listen for the dryer to buzz, or to stir the pot on the stove. Multi-tasking and computers have changed the way we work and live. And the style has changed, too. In many homes, it’s lighter and more streamlined, to blend with the style of the home. Sometimes people ask for help figuring out how to harmonize a new home office space with the rest of the home. We put together the tips below—so house harmony can be easier for everyone to enjoy.
Home Office design, White shaker, white built ins, blue walls, custom home office

Collaboration with Wendy Interiors Inc. Photo by Peter Braune.

Give your home office some style

• Similar colors: The paint throughout the rooms is a soothing light blue. The cabinetry in the kitchen, living area, bathroom, laundry and office are all the same color and similar style. The furniture coordinates as well. No matter where you are in the home, you feel like you’re part of a larger whole space. • Style jives: The lines are simple and clean—from the furniture and lighting to the built-ins, the style in all the rooms is similar enough to feel calm and coordinated. The crown molding wrapping around the home office draws the eye up and around the space and adds a touch of character. • Strategic accents: The smooth-looking woodsy brown floors and the liquid glass sailboat in the office offer a soft contrast to the built-in desk units. The strong vertical and horizontal lines of the desk and cabinets are emphasized by the long door and drawer pulls—distinctive details in a simple palate.

Make your home office work for you

What if you don’t have the opportunity to re-design your entire living space at the same time? Work with what you have—where possible, harmonize colors and styles within your existing furniture and spaces. Add built-ins where you need them—they use your space to maximum efficiency, and can blend easily into multiple rooms in the home. Start one room at a time. Pick a room, budget for your upgrade and recruit the right service providers for the project. Get this room to be what you want the rest to become—and repeat one room at a time. Above all, your space should work for you. If you’re working from home, your home office should reflect your specific needs and personal taste. With style and function, the home office no longer needs to be isolated; if it’s truly customized to your family’s needs, it may just become the most used room in your home.