Return to NH's Business Tips Index
Home Office Decoration - Your 9-Point Plan
Pleasant and Productive Workspace
by Lloyd Burrell
Today's home offices are becoming more and more crucial to our work survival, as
many people than ever work from home some of the time, either as self-employed
business owners or as "telecommuters". But a home office can also be used to organize homework, family finances, or as a work station in various capacities.
Use the following 9 tips to make a room that everyone in the family will find
Function First & Foremost
A lot of people simply throw in some furniture, or collect it bit by bit, and hope to get organized. Instead, think how the home office will be used, and who will be using it. How many accessories or pieces of equipment will be needed and will they need electricity? Elimination of unsightly cables and wires is crucial for a clean-looking office space. Make a rough plot first, and measure everything to be sure it fits.
Buy furniture as an investment. Purchase as high a quality as you can afford, and it will serve you for a very long time. Durable furniture can withstand hard knocks, especially if children will be using it! Your office desk and chair have to be both comfortable and designed to last. You don't want to end up with a bad back because you've gone too "low budget" in the choice of your chair! Oak corner computer desks are a popular furniture choice for the home office
because they combine a traditional material with a modern design.
Color can create a restful, energetic, or calm, or even angry mood. Obviously, the latter wouldn't be good for contemplating your financial future, or trying to write the next great novel. On the other hand, plain white walls are not stimulating. Choose colours that are happy, yet not garish. They should coordinate with other colors or be opposites (and complimentary) on a color wheel, but don't go into a paint store and point out a few colors. Base your room around these colors, and add pops of your favourites as a stimulus.
Light It Up So You Can See
Lighting design is a vital element. If you can't see right, you can't work right. One or two floor lamps with additional focused desk lamps to eliminate shadows on your work ,usually work the best.
Because different types of bulbs produce different color light, choose bulbs that please you and try and see demos first in a lighting store. Green bulbs are fantastic, but make sure that you have as bright a bulb as you want, even if one or two aren't necessarily "green". Be especially careful when using compact fluorescent bulbs, since they do not
give off their full light for many minutes, depending on the temperature in your office.
Round Peg in a Square Hole?
To add interest, vary shapes in your space such as a rectangular desk, oval shaped chair and perhaps a half round table against a wall. Bookshelves don't have to have straight-as-a-board shelving, either. They can be very modern in design.
However, don't let fashion overwhelm your common sense,as much modern furniture tends to be inefficient in their use of space and minimal for storage. If you have a tiny space to work with, form may have to take a back seat to function!
Plants are our friends. They give off oxygen (this helps in a basement office) and they look good. A little piece of nature amongst manmade paperwork helps a lot. You can choose plants by theme (such as tropical) or by
color. Make sure your lighting is sufficient for any live plants. After all, a dead and brown plant doesn't do anyone any good.
Decorate How You Like
Put whatever you like in your office, but try and stay fairly de-cluttered. No window? Make a mural or lovely painting a focus across from your desk. You can look up from your work and contemplate whatever you like.
Create an Art Gallery
If you have a lot of family photos, then group them together pleasingly and make yourself an art gallery wall. The frames do not have to match. Tack them up temporarily or roll out a piece of paper and draw around the frames until you see a nice balance, then hang the photos on the wall according to your blueprint.
Make Your Memories Your Own
You can decorate your office with a theme, but don't get carried away. If you love the beach or have a favourite holiday destination, then try recreating that. Use any place that holds special memories for you.
Because we all tend to work a great deal these days, make your office space your own. Be comfortable in it. Use a few of these decorating tips and use some of your own ideas. You'll do all right.