A new year means new goals, habits, and projects. If it’s on your list to design or redesign your home office, or you’ve just made the jump to working from home, we have a few tips to make your space as welcoming and productive as possible.
Start With a Clean Slate
When beginning your home office design project, it’s crucial that you start fresh. Ideally, you’ll move all items out of the room you are working in, although we know that’s not always an option. If you don’t have that kind of space, sit down and draw your design on paper, or better yet, use an online room planner to lay out furniture and even pick paint colors. By the way, pick your paint color wisely, as color affects productivity.
Know Your Colors
Colors have a profound effect on mood and create ambiance in your home office. The wrong color can inadvertently throw you off balance, harming even your best intentions. Angela Wright, a color expert, studied the effects of color on psychology for years, and found that reactions to color can be accurately determined. Here’s a quick and dirty guide:
Gray: Neutral, but don’t go too dark or it can lead to depressive feelings
Bring the Outside In
Plants should be a part of every home office design project. Multiple studies have shown that greenery boosts mood and creativity. Plants are calming and bring life to any space they occupy. They are natural air purifiers and it’s been shown that they decrease your likelihood of getting sick. We’ll just go ahead and say that they also make the office look nice. For those of you that are worried about killing your beautiful new air purifiers, invest in low-maintenance indoor varietals. You can purchase plants right on Amazon, but we always recommend shopping at your local nursery. Start here: Chinese Evergreen, Asparagus Fern, Fiddle Leaf Fig, Guiana Chestnut, and the Chinese Money Plant.
Brighten With Lighting
The best way to light your new home office is through natural lighting, so if you have a room with a large sunny window, set your desk right under it. Even if you don’t have a window, you want to make sure your workspace is bright, as dark offices can be depressing. Stay away from florescent lighting as it can strain your eyes, making you tired and unproductive. Start with overhead pedants to make your space fun and inviting and to light up areas that won’t receive light from your desk lamp. Desk lamps come in a variety of styles, but for ease of use, we recommend a task light with a flexible arm so you can move it around as needed. They even make lamps that clip on the side of your desk if your space is limited.
Mise-en-place is King
If you’ve ever worked in a kitchen, or read anything by Anthony Bourdain, you’ve probably heard of mise-en-place, which essentially means “everything in its place” in French. We love mise-en-place because it creates harmony within your surroundings. This is so important in home office design. Have a place for all your pens and pencils. Have a place for your mail - you might even have multiple slots that help with organizing unopened mail from opened mail from items that need filing. And even though you might do the majority of your business online, you’ll still have paperwork that you’ll have to organize. Make sure you have a physical file system and that you actually put those papers at the end of each day.
Need help with your Truckee or Lake Tahoe home office design project? We would love to help. Contact us to learn about our design services, including styling and DIY checklists.