With more and more people choosing to work from home, decorating a home office is a bigger concern than ever. High speed, “always on” internet means working from home is a very viable option in a number of fields. Of course, there are also those who are self employed, who may operate out of their own home. So how do you best go about home office decor?
As it is a fairly new field, there isn’t a socially known set of guidelines. Decorating a kitchen or bathroom is pretty easy for most, as they’ve always grown up in a house which features both rooms. But if this is your first crack at decorating a home office, or you just want to freshen up your existing one, here are some tips.
Match style to occupation
The first mistake most rookies are going to make is by choosing a style out of a catalogue. These made-up offices can act as idea generators, but they have been designed with two purposes, above all other things –
1) To sell the items advertised;
2) To be as generic as possible, as so to appeal to the largest number of people.
What you should do is match the design to your occupation. If you work in IT, or a similarly cutting edge medium, you may want to go for the sleek look most catalogues push, complete with quartz worktops, angular edges, and a binary colour scheme. If your occupation is more traditional, then decorate accordingly. A sculpture, for example, can afford to have a “classic” look, with armchairs, liberal use of wood, and a brighter colour scheme.
A messy place of work won’t help you at all, that much is clear. Anybody who has tried to work in an environment surrounded by piles of paper, mounds of clothes, or every single bobblehead that money could ever possibly buy, you’ll know how hard it can be to stay productive.
So be meticulous with keeping things clean. We don’t mean hygienically “clean” either – that should certainly be part of it, but make sure everything everything in your office serves a point. That point can be aesthetic, but you should leave anything unnecessary to either the decoration or your work at the door.
Balance inspiration and distraction
For anybody who thought it odd for us to not include things like ornaments and other small scale decor choices in the above paragraph, the fact is that they can actually be helpful. Your work office isn’t just a place where you do work. It can be that basic, but ideally, you’ll want every facet of the room geared towards making your work as easy and as good as it possibly can be. And smaller decorations can help with this.
If that little globe on your desk has sparked ideas before, keep it there. If you are a painter, and like to surround yourself with mood boards in order to find sparks of inspiration, then so be it. You just have to know where to draw the line. Anything that prohibits you from working, or is a distraction 9 times out of 10, remove it.
360 degree design
Just a quick tip – don’t forget about the ceiling and the floor. They make up a third of the wall space in your four wall home office, so should be treated with as much care and attention as the rest of the walls. Once your colour scheme has been decided, work out what colour best compliments it, and paint the ceiling with it. The floor shouldn’t be overpowering, so no multi-colour zig-zags, but it should also compliment the rest of the walls. This all round decoration will make the room feel more complete and cosy.
Build for comfort
Speaking of comfy, you’re number 1 goal should be to make your office as comfy for you as possible. You might think that being too comfort will actually have a negative effect on output, but it is nothing compared to the reduction in output when people are uncomfy.
So don’t buy the fanciest looking chair. Buy the chair that you can sit in the best. Not many people are going to see your home office, so who cares if it isn’t the most executive looking thing. Work around your needs, and you’ll find that you will have made the best home office for you. Work should be flying out the door from day 1!