5 Incredible Design Ideas for a Stylish and Functional Home Office Makeover
This year, many of us have become accustomed to working from home. With that comes growing familiarity with our home offices—and likely also some creeping tiredness of the space. The same old desk, carpeting, curtains, the same old pictures on the wall day after day. So, with the kids off to school now and many work-from-home days still ahead, it’s the perfect time for a project: Take this time to refresh your home office so that you can love where you work and optimize your productivity. Here are five tips from design experts Jill Litner Kaplan and Suzi Briggs along with products straight from the Boston Design Center (BDC) showrooms to get you inspired and back to being your very best professional self.
Find a desk that suits your specific needs
Your desk is your home base. It’s important that it’s both comfortable and practical. Kaplan first evaluates how much desk space her client’s work requires. The process can then involve designing and building a desk with personalized size and style or buying a desk with a ready-made size that will work in the space. A client who works off of a laptop computer, for example, may be perfectly suited for this simple Element Writing Desk by The Bright Group, which you can purchase from The Bright Group’s BDC showroom. For comfort, Briggs recommends an ergonomic desk chair. “Given the hours spent at our desks, it’s worth splurging on a good ergonomic chair that allows you to work to your best potential and help with posture,” she says.
Optimize your lighting
Brightness and lighting are essential for productivity and energy. Kaplan suggests abundant overhead lighting controlled by a dimmer switch, like this flush mount by Circa Lighting, and a desk lamp like Porta Romana’s Shisha Lamp that brings a soft glow to the room at eye level. More specifically, Briggs’ client had a home office that was in a darker part of the house, so she had to implement more lighting. “We added new wiring in the walls for sconces and used space between the armchair and filing cabinet to add a stylish floor lamp,” she says. If you’re in need of inspiration, a walk through BDC’s Circa Lighting showroom should do the trick. Between industrial pieces like the above Goodman Floor Lamp and this incredibly sleek Mayotte Grande Arc Floor Lamp, you’re guaranteed to find something that will make your work days a little brighter.
Be strategic with your color schemes
When it comes to color choices for your home office, there are different strategies and routes you can take. Farrow & Ball’s Home Office Inspiration, exampled above, will have your creative juices flowing before you even reach your desk, and if you visit their showroom at BDC, you can get a feel for which color schemes make you feel most energized. “I think a home office should be a calm refuge from the rest of the home so that it provides a place to think and work without great distraction,” says Kaplan. “Neutrals can always be popped with art that is packed with personality and character.” Take art by Liz Roache as a perfect example—and surely a reason to visit her BDC showroom, which essentially doubles as a highly-sought-after art gallery.
Bonus tip if you like to play around with color: If your home office is a standalone space, Kaplan suggests painting trim and cabinetry an interesting color so that the room feels unique compared to the rest of the house. You can think about tying the color in with your artwork or decorative accents.
Decorate with both style and function in mind
Working from the ground up, Kaplan suggests wall-to-wall carpeting, like the above Opal-toned carpet by Atelier at Merida Studio, to sound-proof the space. She also likes to outfit the room with a lounge chair or sofa for reading, as well as a table and chairs. In terms of aesthetic, Kaplan likes to keep things calm and natural. “We love using textured grass cloth wallpapers in home offices as it provides depth and interest on the walls and helps unify the space and keep it feeling visually calm and subdued,” she says. Take this Philip Jeffries Seagrass jute variety as an example. At BDC you can feel its texture, as well as that of the Atelier carpet, and see them both for yourself in their respective showrooms.
Briggs points out that Zoom backgrounds are important, too. She is sure to decorate the room so that her client’s surroundings reflect their personality and professionalism. “With new careful planning and designing we can create spaces that allow clients to work well at home full time and in their Zoom world too,” she says.
Find creative ways to implement storage and organization
An organized space is a productive space, so efficient storage is a priority for home offices. Both Kaplan and Briggs suggest transforming closets into storage space by adding more shelves or drawers and removing hanging rails and closet doors. Kaplan notes that built-in shelving, which you can see at BDC in the Jewett Farms & Co. showroom, is a great option for additional storage for items such as books and printers. “If the home office is located in a room of the house with sloped ceilings, one can even install shelving and additional storage right into or against the knee walls as they offer another terrific location for book storage or even file drawers due to their depth,” she says.
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