How to Create your Dream Home Office.
Hi there, can you believe we're almost at the end of March! Feels like time is flying by, one good thing about it though, is that we are edging that little bit closer to moving into our new house. (literally can't wait)
One of the exciting things about our new house is that we will finally have an office. Okay, so this may not be that exciting for some of you out there, but for us this is huge. Andrew is especially excited by this prospect, he's been desperate to have his office back ever since I oh so cruelly took his away to make way for Grace's new bedroom. (I know - worst husband ever right?!)
With all this potential new office excitement fresh in my mind, it got me thinking about how much our wants and needs for our home have changed over the years. With more and more people now working from home, having a dedicated office in your home is now much more common place.
If you are planning to work from home or just have a lot of home admin, and you're lucky enough to have a spare room, loft or basement, why not use it to create your own dream office. Before you start planning, here are a few key points to bear in mind.
Give yourself space to move.
When designing your home office, think about the size of the furniture and equipment you're going to put in there. One tip is to cut out pieces of card or paper, to the size and measurements of the items you would like to have in your office, and laying them out on the floor. This is a great way to work out what will fit and where and if you have sufficient space. You could even go the whole hog and use boxes or card to create a 3D mock up. Also keep in mind when designing your office, that you allocate enough space for any shelves, storage, or specialised equipment. Remember that A3 colour laser printer takes up a fair bit of space - ask your self do you want it on view or not?
Lighting is key.
It is important to let in as much natural light as possible and the optimim way of achieving this is to position your desk near or next to a window. This will allow plenty of light to work with, but also give you a nice outlook too (assuming you don't look out over the Hangar Lane Giratory System). When doing this please bear in mind how much sunlight is going to come in through that particular window, as direct sunlight can cause issues with glare and overheating. A simple solution for this is to install shutters, which can be angled to avoid the glare but still allow the light in still.
Artificial lighting also plays a key role in the design. Having task lighting such as a desk lamp, will be essential on those dark winter days. An overhead pendant light or spotlights work well but don't forget to think about how you will position them or your desk in relation to them if they are there already. For example having a light fixed directly above your head would create a shadow in front of you, which wouldn't be good if you work with your hands or need to see what you are writing.
A Place for everything and everything in its place
You have heard the old saying 'Tidy House (substitute office here for a bit of poetic license) Tidy Mind'. Well this is particularly important in the home office. This is your work space, and if you are trying to fit in your 8 hours of actual "working from home" time then you need to be able to get started straight away. Not being able to find the laptop charger, your favourite red pen or god forbid the stapler has run out of staples just won't do. So now we have reminded ourselves of the importance of being organised we should consider exactly what we have, where it should go and make sure there is a place for everything.
It is also important to know how you use your office space. Do you just use a laptop, are you on conference calls, do you have lots of papers, do you need filing space, reference books, multiple screens (for world domination). This can really affect what you need in the office, the space you need for it, whether it is something you use occasionally or all the time. All of these factors will influence what you put and where and the kind of storage you need.
It is also important to hide the technology as much as possible. Opt for wireless printers, mice and keyboards to cut down on cabling. Some desks have special recesses to run cabling and power points into / through and can be useful. That minimalist Italian glass desk that looked so amazing in the showroom with just a laptop and an orchid, may not quite look the same at home, so bear that in mind.
Gone are the days where you should be having motivational framed posters on the walls, telling you to be a tiger or a picture of someone skiing off piste saying we should make our own tracks - enough!! What we need now is an inspirational place to do work. It should be functional, ergonomic, but of course stylish. A calming place, a personal place that works for you.
Remember the plants, they will help to soften the room, provide some inspiration and pump oxygen into the room to help those brain cells and they look pretty too.
The tucked away office
With a well thought out design and cleverly placed shelving and storage you'd be surprised at what you could achieve with just a little bit of space. An opened up cupboard under the stairs or an large wardrobe could become the perfect place to house your new office.
The garden office
If space is tight in the house, why not take the office outside. A garden office is a perfect working getaway. They can be easily installed, usually without the need for planning permission (check heights of the building and proximity to the boundary).
Another perk of the garden office is that because it's away from the main house you don't have to worry about all the hustle and bustle of home life. noises, interruptions from the mother in law etc.
These are much more than sheds these days, with high levels of insulation and double glazing. In the summer, think how nice it would be to just move the laptop off the desk onto your lap whilst you sit on the step looking onto your garden for 5 minutes with that cuppa and favourite biscuit.
So have you started planning that office in your head?
Whether you have plenty of room to spare, a small patch of garden or just a large cupboard, there are more options than you may first have thought for the perfect home office.
Thanks for reading...