Optimizing your apartment space takes strategy. You have your kitchen organized, your living room laid out perfectly… but where will you work from? Blog from? Balance your checkbook from? It’s such a pain to clear all your work off the kitchen table before every meal, and the couch offers too many distracting temptations.
You need a home office.
Let us give you a hand with a few tips for setting up your home work space.
The most important thing to remember when setting up your home office is to be realistic about your work needs. Being honest with yourself about what your work entails and how you go about doing it will save you a lot of pain–and money– in the long run. Your furniture should function to serve your needs. Don’t let your design ambitions get in the way of usability.
Define your Needs
The first step is to define your needs to find the right furniture for you. What is your ideal work setup? Do you work off of a laptop? Do you prefer having several screens to switch between? These answers will help measure the writing surface that your office requires.
Once you have your desk, furnish your work spaced according to your storage needs. The key is to use furniture that is open and functional. Wall shelves and book cases are preferable to heavy filing cabinets and drawers because they avoid drawing attention to a space and making it seem cluttered.
Choosing a chair for your home office is, by far, the most important decision you will make. If you will be spending hours at a time in your home office, it is well worth it to invest in a good office chair. Look for a chair that follows ergonomic rules–i.e., your eyes are level with the top of your computer screen, your forearms are parallel to the ground, and your feet rest firmly on the floor. This will improve your overall health compared to sitting in a folding chair.
Don’t want to go far for office furniture? Read about our favorite furniture stores in Knoxville to find a retailer less than a mile from The Daniel!
Home Office Placement
Remember, designing a home office is all about being honest with yourself. In this step, you will need to be honest about your attention-span. Take some time to reflect on scenarios that motivate you to focus. Do you work more effectively in front of a window or a wall? Do you strive in complete quiet or go mad?
Once you have discovered your ideal work conditions, position your home office in a way that duplicates them as best as possible.
The important thing is to minimize distractions for yourself. There are specific strategies for each orientation option that will aid in this. If you decide to put your desk in front of a wall, hang something interesting above your desk to give your eyes a break and stimulate your mind. For a desk facing the window, put elements outside your window that are serene and non-distracting, such as plants or fountain.
Whichever orientation you choose, don’t use a dividing wall to close off your office from the rest of your home. In an apartment, a dividing wall takes up valuable space and segments your office from the rest of your home. Instead, try incorporating your office as part of your home by positioning it in a corner or facing it towards the door. Facing the door is also a great way to create room if you have clients visiting your home office.
Make It Your Own
Finally, your home office is, first and foremost, part of your home. Make it your own by decorating it in a way that it blends with the rest of your house. Incorporate colors that motivate you to work, hang inspirational prints on the walls, or use a decorative mug as a pencil holder!
Your home office doesn’t have to be strictly utilitarian and bland! Play around with your space to find your balance of a fun and functional work environment for your home.