Articles Interior Design Designing The Ideal Organized Home Office: The Basics

Designing The Ideal Organized Home Office: The Basics

Here are 5 basic tips on how to build a home office that screams less "soulless cubicle" and more "creativity corner."

Nowadays, finding a home with space for a home office is just as important as a spacious bathroom or an open floor plan. As more and more people transition to a home-based working arrangement — some even on a permanent basis instead of temporary or hybrid — personal workspaces are becoming prime selling features of residences and properties. (Itching to move to a new space with more, well, space? Check out our property listings for sale here.)

If you're in the process of setting up your own study at home, or want to renovate your existing setup, here are 5 basic steps to take when designing the ideal organized office.

Set up custom storage.

Proper storage and organization make for an orderly space and a productive time at work, even if you're stuck at home performing your salaryman duties. There are certain criteria that your home office storage system must meet: (1) it has to work for current needs and anticipate future item fill-up; (2) it has to make everything quick to find and access; and (3) it has to fit well into the aesthetic of the study and the overall home.

It's very easy to make your storage setup utilitarian and focus on function over form, but there are many ways to go about using your organization system as a decorative element in the room — especially as it tends to take up large visual space. Decorative boxes help categorize smaller items in an office, and one can never be too opposed to color-coding folders and books across shelves. If you're setting up a storage wall, opt for a graphic wallpaper to line your cabinets and create an instant accent wall.

Invest in storage that works for you and your space — at the end of the day, no fancy organization system is worth the money if you can't find your hardbound books or electric cords.

Invest in a quality desk and chair.

Speaking of investments, it is definitely worth looking into the right furniture for your home office. No matter how big or small your available floor space for an office is, a sturdy desk and an ergonomic chair are crucial additions if you ever plan on working from home.

A regular 9-to-5 implies that we work 8 hours on the daily, which means we're more or less on our desks and chairs for the same amount of time. This makes choosing the right furniture, right devices, and right home pieces essential in building a workspace at home that delivers.

Tables have to have enough surface area for all your devices and then some for writing, organizing, and whatever else you do at work, while office seating has to provide ample arm and back support, is made of breathable and sturdy material, and has cushions that have the perfect amount of comfort and softness.

Of course, these requirements don't suggest that your office furniture has to be typical in make and design. Interesting desk setups are coming into play — what with our shift to working from home; examples are standing desks or desk-exercise equipment hybrids. Chairs are anything but simple as well, with designers coming up with versions that's brimming with ornamentation and personalized touches.

Give yourself a killer view.

What's better than working in a well-functioning space with smart storage and high-quality furniture? Doing work in a place with a fantastic outside view that takes your work day from "trapped in a cubicle" to "inspired to create by the great outdoors."

If you're lucky enough, you'll be able to work in a room that boasts beautiful views or even has a door that opens to a terrace or the backyard. A view almost guarantees natural light, which is an advantage when it comes to home offices and real estate in general. It also makes working less suffocating, and offers a source of inspiration that can't be replicated by simply looking through a screen.

All in all, a corner with ample plugs and natural light and views may just be the perfect spot for your home office, but don't be limited with what you think your study should look like. Every house is built differently, and it's up to you to figure out where best to situate your work desk and chair.

Work with technology.

Almost everyone relies on some form of technology to perform their daily tasks, in work even more so. From computers to smartphones and smaller accessories, a workspace is riddled with tech items and in some cases, all sorts of cords and plugs. In an efficient study, then, everything has a home and does not obstruct any work that needs to be done. This means tucking in loose cords, if any, centralizing plugs in a particular station, and making tech accessories easily accessible.

Advances in technology brought about a rise of cordless devices and depending on the type of work that you do, have allowed for multiple functions to be doable using fewer devices and systems. Switching to these newer iterations of your work essentials can make organizing a much easier task, giving you a clutter-free workspace that works for you.

Don't forget lighting.

Not many can affect work productivity as severely as bad lighting. The wrong office lighting can dampen your mood, bring down your energy, and even affect your eyesight and general health.

As mentioned before, natural light is best to avoid screen glare, but if that's not an option, a mix of proper ambient and task lighting should do the trick. Appropriate ambient lighting is diffused and indirect, illuminating the entire space without casting shadows. Task lighting, on the other hand, comes in the form of adjustable desk lamps or under-shelf light bars. And beyond these functional lights, maybe consider decorative lighting that increases the visual appeal of an otherwise drab workspace. The trick is to make sure these artificial lights work with whatever natural light filters through the space.

Extra: Introduce aromatherapy to the space.

Aromatherapy affects brain function and mood, which is why certain scents can easily make or break your day. For the workspace, the right aroma is essential in creating an atmosphere that boosts productivity, decreases stress, and builds focus. Rosemary and cinnamon are known to help you concentrate on a given task and get rid of that afternoon slump, while peppermint helps increase brain stimulation and activity. On the flipside, relaxing scents like jasmine help soothe the nerves.

In addition to the right smells, a hardworking scent diffuser is just as integral in allowing you to enjoy aromatherapy at work. An electronic oil diffuser is standard for most spaces, but you can always go old-school and stick to potpourri in a dish or a scented candle atop a beautifully made warmer.

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