“Honey! I’m home!”
For so many of us Home Sweet Home has suddenly become Office Sweet Office. We live in a time that makes creating a dedicated at-home work space for yourself (as well as one for everyone else living with you) a necessity. We all have a lot of unplanned together time now … maybe a little to much together time. Establishing separate work-from-home spaces ASAP goes a long way toward keeping everyone calm and de-stressed.
It can be quite a challenge create a temporary home office that’s functional and flexible on short notice. Don’t forget that the space has to be easy on the eye, too. Attractiveness is more important than you may think. If Zoom meetings are you new normal a tidy, professional look is a must.
Ready to tackle the job? Here are some simple design strategies to help you create a proper set-up for a 40-hour work week.
CREATE SEPARATE SPACES
If you share your home with a spouse, roommates, or kids, try to zone separate work areas as much as possible. Maybe one person’s command center is in the dining room and another works at a desk in the bedroom. If you can shut a door to create some privacy, so much the better. A scaled-down desk or table tucked behind a folding screen or room divider is a good way to create a temporary semi-private spot with fewer distractions.
Re-think all (yes, all) the rooms in your house. Forget the labels. Living Room, Dining Room, Laundry Room, Foyer? If it’s got a enough floor space for a small table and chair combo, a source of light, and a power plug then (ta daa!) it’s now The Office.
Versatile furnishings that can do double duty are your best bet to win in the battle for office space. Nesting tables, antique chests, vintage baskets, tray tables… think of the possibilities. Choose sturdy pieces that are up to the task. Got a secretary? Every home needs a good antique secretary… the original all-in-one office. If you were lucky enough to inherit Grandma’s pride and joy that’s great. Start using it for what it was intended.
DESIGNATE STORAGE SPACE
To preserve some semblance of work/life balance (and keep your sanity!) it’s important to put away work at the end of the day. Re-purposed armoires, cabinets, buffets, and breakfronts are ideal for closed-door storage to hide your printer/scanner, papers, and files. And, don’t forget to go vertical. Use the wall space above your desk for easy-to-install bracket shelving.
Don’t skimp on the functional elements… good lighting and seating. You need both for a long work day to go well. An adjustable desk chair that’s proportioned to fit the body and provides good lumbar support is ideal, but there are other options. Choose comfortable seating that’s firm but cushioned, something that fits you and the height of the work surface. A window nearby provides ambient light as well as a pleasant view to brighten your mood. You’ll still need additional task lighting… a desk lamp is essential to avoid eye strain.
Eclectic mismatched combinations may be just what you need. Use your imagination to combine functionality with fun. Don’t be afraid to go beyond the norms when creating your new workspace.
CONTROL THE CLUTTER
Keeping your workspace neat will go a long way to helping you stay calm and not overwhelmed. Antique trunks and boxes, baskets and buckets, carts and trays are your best weapon in the fight again clutter.
Corral the small stuff… pencils, pens, notepads, and other desktop must-haves… in vintage cups, glasses, and saucers. Group the entire collection on an antique tray to make it easy to clear your desktop at the end of the day.
ADD SOMETHING TO MAKE YOU SMILE
Including a few favorite things in the mix will make your space feel more personal and pleasant. Just one or two photos of family and friends, a whimsical accessory, or special keepsake will lift your spirits.
Now it’s time to make your new at-home Office Sweet Office a reality and head off to work. Enjoy the short commute!
Montgomery Antiques and Interiors