Add a Home Office Space
June 10, 2020
Many of us have been working from home and may continue to work from home more than we ever have before. For some of us, this may be a normal part of our routines, while for others this is a new situation and an adjustment for the entire family. The same goes for students in the family, who have found themselves searching out quiet corners of the house to study and take online exams.
If you’re one of these families, then it’s essential to ensure that you, your partner, or children all have a comfortable place to work and study remotely. Even if you have an existing home office, you may now need more than one place suitable for family members to get their work done. There are several changes you can make to your home to create an office space. It’s important to choose an area that is large and bright enough, with as little noise or activity as possible. Achieving all these things isn’t always possible, but most of them are attainable with the right planning. Whether it’s repurposing a nook, remodeling a room, or extending your house, here’s what you need to consider.
1. Bedroom Office Space
The advantage to setting up in your bedroom is that it has a door. Within the bedroom, you need to carve out your own workspace. For a short-term office, you can remove the doors and rearrange clothes in your walk-in closet and put a desk, chair, and lamp in there. If you have enough space beside your bed, place a desk there instead of your end table. You could repurpose your dresser to become a desk either, but make sure it’s the right height to work from comfortably. If your bedroom is large enough you can incorporate a built-in desk and shelving with a room divider to separate work and sleep.
2. Living or Family Room
A room divider is also a good idea to create an office space in your living room or family room. A physical barrier means children won’t bother you and you won’t be distracted by traffic in and out of the room. If you’re working with existing living room furniture, make sure it’s not too low or your back will suffer. If you have bookcases, take one for your office needs and use them as the background for video conference calls. Alternatively, pick a corner or nook in your living room that you can transform into an office with purpose-built furniture. Designate this space as off-limits during working hours or close the doors if it is an enclosed living room.
3. Kitchen Design with Office Space
While it’s not ideal, a kitchen can work as a home office. Make sure you declutter and clean so you’re setting up an organized and sanitary area. Find an area where you can get light and space to set up your laptop and documents. Kitchens without a living area work best as you can set up on the table, avoid cooking during the day and pack up before dinner prep. If you prefer to work at the island, once again, ensure it is at the right height to work at for long periods.
If you are considering a kitchen remodel, include a purpose-built desk in your kitchen design to allow for home study or work.
4. Other Spaces Suitable for a Home Office
Playrooms, attics, basements, mudrooms, laundry rooms, and spaces under stairs can also be utilized as office areas. If you have a spare room that can be redesigned, all the better. It will serve you well as a study or craft room in the future. When remodeling a room, think an open plan for a stylish and airy design. Choose furniture that is functional but fits in with the rest of your home. Whether your desk is built-in or freestanding it should be as large as possible. Don’t pack your shelving and cabinets solely with books, stationery, and documents. Dot them with art, mementos, and plants to create a pleasing atmosphere for your work or study and an eye-catching backdrop for video calls.
Lighting is crucial, wherever you are working. Try to sit near a window but avoid glare from your screen. If you are remodeling a room without windows, install one if possible, to boost Vitamin D and productivity. Place floor and desks lamps in the room and ensure the bulbs are warm white instead of cool-toned. This mix of task and ambient lighting makes your office a welcoming place to be, day or night.
6. Custom Storage
Custom storage is the best way to create a space that suits your needs, style, and budget. Assigning everything a place means there’s no clutter clogging up your workspace, leading to inefficiency. Shelving and cabinetry can hold boxes, drawer dividers, charging stations, trays, and compartments for everything from files to electric cables. Paint office storage the same color as your walls or match other woodwork to let them blend in with your home and look less commercial.
If you’re planning on a more permanent home office by re-purposing a space, adding to or remodeling a room, why not talk to our kitchen and bathroom design team? Our years of expertise lends themselves perfectly to planning and building exactly what you need for a functional and stylish office. Talk to us today to get started on a space that works for you and your family.