More people are working from home than ever before. It seems that this is even more true for the Lower Mainland. Perhaps it’s entrepreneurial spirit or the fact that many of our international industrial sectors are growing, allowing for a remote working day that overlaps with overseas business hours. Either way, it has become quite common for homes in Greater Vancouver to be outfitted with personal office spaces. Given that these rooms are within your cherished abode, and the fact that you likely spend numerous hours per week within them, you will want to ensure that your home office space is both functionally and aesthetically all that it can be. Ultimately, you’re left with a duel challenge of creating a space that allows your home to still feel like a home, while at the same time creating an atmosphere within it that is conducive to “work place” productivity. Today, we provide you with some valuable tips for how to design your home office accordingly.
5 Ideas & Tips on How to Design the Office Space of Your Home
1. Avoid Outside Noise Distractions with Solid Shutters
Concentration is the key to managing your career or business from your home office. Noise from the outside world can be a definite distraction. If your house or condo is located in the more densified areas of the Lower Mainland, such as within the downtown core or along the bustling waterfront of North and West Vancouver, it can be quite difficult focusing on your laptop screen when so much is going on outside of your home office window. This is where solid shutters come into the picture. The right shutters can remedy the situation while making a tasteful statement about the design of your space. From a pure design perspective, they provide clean, crisp lines that protects the decorating integrity of your home, while creating a professional atmosphere in your personal work space. As far as functionality is concerned, they not only help manage your natural lighting. Solid hardwood shutters such as cedar and alder can be very effective materials in combating noise pollution, as are a variety of composites and other solid shutter alternatives. Learn more about incorporating shutters in your home office here.
2. Use Color to Manipulate the Tone of Your Home Office
There is no question that color affects emotion and cognitive performance. In corporate North America interior designers are often consulted with before workplace construction or renovation, ensuring that color schemes meet the culture of the company. Modern sales floor walls are treated differently from those of boardrooms as are the four corners of executive offices and intimate spaces for brainstorming sessions. Your home office should be no different. Forbes magazine addresses some interesting concepts on color psychology and the impact of paint colors on workplace productivity, but the synopsis is simple enough. While certain colors are known to incite specific responses, with red being a stimulant (good for sales?) and blue a more soothing tone (good for creative types?), everyone has their own personal relationship with colors. Identify the colors that get your inspirational and/or motivational juices flowing and paint the walls of your home office accordingly.
3. Make Your Small Home Office Space Feel Bigger
The last thing that you want to feel is “closed-in” when working in your home office. And, home offices are often among the smallest rooms in the house, with many remote workers and entrepreneurs receiving the “leftover” spaces in the home to set-up a desk, laptop, and other necessities. Don’t let limited square footage get in the way of creating the perfect office environment. Allow us to piggyback off of a recent article that we posted on how to design the small rooms of your home to create the perception of more space. Tactics such as mirror positioning and recessed lighting to the use of clear lucite desks and wall-mounted shelving can make a world of difference in regards to the feeling of space in your home office. Read the complete article on the concept here.
4. Swap Traditional Office Furnishings and Opt to Suit Your Unique Tastes Instead
Many home work spaces are outfitted with the usual suspects of office furniture – a standard lumbar-support chair, a bland desk with three drawers, a file cabinet, and an uninspiring lamp. Sound familiar? Time after time people tend to negate the biggest benefit of working from home (aside from skipping out of the daily rush-hour grind) – the complete allowance of personal expression. Your home office should match your personality to the tee, and this involves picking the right pieces to serve as your personal office furnishings. A Victorian-styled armoire can be converted into your desk, an antique steamer trunk can stand-in as your file cabinet, or an old railroad light may be re-purposed as your lamp (not all together, of course). The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating a home office environment that suits you.
5. Bring in a Professional with Home & Office Design Experience (and Claim Some of It?)
In item two above we stated that medium to larger corporations seek the guidance of interior designers. You may want to consider the same, especially if your work/business duties have you focused on the task at hand. Consider it not only to be an investment in your home, but an investment in you. Looking for another big plus in this category? Since you’re working or managing your business from home you may be allowed to claim a portion of the design and renovation expense on your taxes, under the guidelines set forth by Canada Revenue Agency. We’ll leave that consideration to discussion between you and your accountant but it is certainly worth looking into.
If you’re ready to move forward with your new home office experience we encourage you to contact us by completing the contact form provided here or call us anytime at 604-986-2080 for a free one hour consultation.