With many people working from home now, having a useful and comfortable space to work has never been more important. In this article, we’ll go over some tips that’ll turn your spare bedroom into the home office of your dreams (or at least make your coworkers jealous on Zoom meetings).
Design Your Office to Fit Your Work Needs
One of the first steps is determining what your work needs are. Do you need your home office to inspire productivity? A space where you could sit at your desk for long hours and feel like you’re sitting on a cloud? Or how about one that sparks your creativity? Whatever your needs may be, there are plenty of ways to make them a reality.
An office designed to increase productivity is ideal for executives, administrative assistants and professionals in fields such as sales, finance and data analysis.
For those who just want this space to be a place of work and that’s that, try going for a minimalist design. This way, you can get your work done in a place nicely decorated without feeling distracted or like you’re just in another room in your home — which will most likely end up feeling as boring as it sounds.
So, how do you design a compelling, yet minimalist space? Try keeping your color choices to 2 or 3. Having too many colors in your space can cause the eye to dance around and not have a place to rest. This goes for patterns as well. White space can be a very good thing when used in moderation.
Another good tip is to keep any colors or patterns close to your desk as to keep eyes close to your actual workspace instead of the adjacent wall. Start with black and white, then throw in your favorite color to make it your own. For example, if your walls are white and your furniture is black, add a pen holder and desk lamp in a seafoam green.
Career paths that involve marketing, IT, web development, and remote support need an office that is just the right balance of cozy and productive.
If your job requires you to be seated at your desk for long hours, comfort is probably your top priority. Now, we all want to be comfy, but that doesn’t mean you should set up shop in your bed. You need to separate your “living space” from your workspace. Simply put, you want to feel like you are at work when you are at work. By working in bed, your mind will think that your bed is a place of work thus ruining your sleep schedule and making you less productive.
Picking out the right chair for your office will be the most important step to create a comfortable workspace. Being comfortable can do wonders for productivity. You can also bring a throw blanket and a small space heater for those chilly mornings.
For a color scheme, we suggest you stick with a cool color palette; blues, greens, and the like. Cool colors promote a feeling of serenity and brightness. However, too many warm colors can cause you to feel too cozy and relaxed, which might cause you to sleep instead of work. Try to keep décor to a minimum, but add some soft touches like plants (they can be fake if you don’t have a green thumb) or a fluffy rug to keep your feet happy.
Artists, writers, graphic designers, illustrators, architects, photographers, and videographers will thrive in an office space designed to promote creativity.
Now, for those whose main supplies are a design app or a paintbrush, having a space that evokes creativity can be tricky. Whatever the medium, your biggest priority is sure to be space. Choosing a fairly large desk will help to convert your spare room from a boring cubicle-like space to your dream studio. You can simply buy a desk with a large surface area or you can put two together into an ‘L’ shape if you want one area for a laptop and the other for drafting or sketching. If you really want to enhance your creative time, you could even buy a drafting table.
Another way to stay inspired in this space is to hang up your work or maybe other artists’ work. Displaying your own artwork and designs is not only an easy way to decorate, but makes your art easily accessible. Referencing past work is a great way to get your creative juices flowing for similar projects.
Lighting is Everything
Now that you have decided what type of space you need for your work, it’s time to discuss another important aspect: lighting. Of course, natural light is always preferable as a main source, but not everyone has office windows with a great view.
Even if you have sufficient natural light, you may want to close the curtains on a rainy day. If you need to buy new light bulbs, pay attention to color temperature; how cool or warm a light looks. Color temperature, as well as the style of light fixtures you choose, will heavily influence the mood of your home office. Think of how the bright lights make you feel in a doctor’s office or how the yellowish lights in cafes are cozy and inviting.
Next, we’ll go over the 3 most common of light temperatures and their purposes:
This type of light has a yellow cast and is probably the most common type of lighting in homes. Warm lights convey a feeling of warmth and coziness. It also feels very inviting. You can buy incandescent or halogen bulbs for this effect.
This type of light is bright white that may have a slight blue tint. This is most commonly used for spaces that are used for focused tasks, like kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and offices. You can buy CFLs or LED bulbs to achieve this effect.
This is pretty similar to the previous, but is even brighter with more blue undertones. It is ideal for offices and outdoor security lights. Again, anywhere that is used as a place to focus on individual tasks. You can achieve this effect by buying fluorescent or daylight bulbs. Keep in mind, daylight bulbs may not be a good fit if you are prone to headaches or spend a lot of time staring at a screen.
We strongly suggest changing the lights in your workspace to cool light or even daylight bulbs so you can easily see your work and stay awake easily. Have you ever wondered why looking at your phone late at night keeps you up? Blue light promotes alertness and also cognitive brain function. So why not use the blue light to your advantage and put them in your desk lamp to help you achieve optimal productivity?
Create a Home Office That Works for You
It is almost always beneficial to have a space that is exclusively used for work. Not only will that place promote productivity, but it will be your space. If your home office doesn’t work for you, you won’t want to work in it, so it’s very important for you to feel comfortable there. Whether you decide to do it yourself or hire a contractor, you should put as much thought and love into designing your ideal home office as you would if you were planning to remodel your kitchen.
You can design it however you like, whether it be eclectic and artsy or minimal and cozy. The only rule is to make sure it is a space that helps you work more efficiently, never a place you do not want to be alone or that makes you want to sleep all day. By picking the right surface to work on, chair to sit in, and the right lighting, you can make your spare bedroom into the office space of your dreams.