Working from home can be chaotic (and the days long, if you have kids). Why not lessen the mess by creating an office space that’s comfortable, functional and inspirational? Here, two local interior designers show us how.
1. Find a fitting spot in your home. Ideally, this is a separate space where you can close the door—this is important not only for focusing but also for allowing you to create a barrier between work and family and relaxation time. If a separate room isn’t an option, there are several spots that can be dual purpose if you set them up well: a breakfast nook, dining table or even a section of kitchen counter. Look for a space large enough for your computer, a few functional items like a file box or notepad, and one or two personal items for comfort and inspiration (a nice coffee mug, a small vase of flowers or whatever makes you smile).
2. Lighting is very important. A nice bit of natural light as well as a more focused source of task lighting is optimal. Everyone needs natural light throughout the day to improve their mood and to offer eye comfort. Artificial light, depending on the source, can create eye strain. That said, a pendant lamp over your counter or table, or a small desk lamp that will fit your space, will give you the added illumination you need for whatever your task.
3. Find a comfortable chair—the wrong one can lead to bad posture and aches and pains. There is a bit of the Three Bears scenario here: too soft, and you won’t have enough support; too hard, and you won’t be able to sit for very long. The best chair will be right in the middle. If it doesn’t offer lumbar support, add a pretty little lumbar pillow.
4. Storage is key for any office, and working from home, especially in repurposed space, can create a problem. For a workspace that doubles as a living space (like your breakfast nook), decide what you need most and bring only what’s necessary into your space. Find a nearby spot to stow items away when not in use. If you are fortunate enough to have a designated workspace, get creative! Use a beautiful console to hide your files and papers away when they’re not needed. It’s so much prettier than a filing cabinet!
5. Always make space for items that uplift and inspire you. I think it’s really important to have beautiful things to rest your eyes on while thinking, or just to break away from the computer screen every now and then. It can be something as simple as a beautiful vessel for your pens and pencils, or a piece of art that brings you joy. I also like to use decorative objects as bookends to add a bit of character. Layering in little accents like these will make a huge difference in how you feel during your workday.
Organizing your book collection by color is an easy organizational method that can create a sense of cohesiveness. If you love color, and your room’s design already reflects bolder hues, think of the rainbow and work your way top-down on your shelf (or left to right on a floating bookshelf), starting with red and orange tones.
If you’re a lover of neutrals like me, using a monochrome palette on your shelves allows the eye to have a continuous flow from your room’s design. Want to keep it neutral regardless? Flip your books so the pages face out and the spine isn’t visible! Removing decorative book covers can also create a more neutral look.
Once you’re organized, now you can layer your favorite accessories either on top of a stack of books or on the side to function as a bookend. Metallic and natural accents (including greenery) add texture and really pop against the books, culminating in a well-curated look.