Whether you call it a home office or not, we all need a space in our home where we do our paperwork. That might mean a place just to spread out and pay bills and do the taxes or a place for the kids to do homework or a place for the computer and all the online surfing you enjoy. A home office in its grandest iteration is for someone who works from home and needs storage for invoices and manuals, copier and fax and all the ‘stuff’ that goes with owning a business. In its most basic, it’s a place for a laptop.
You Have Room for a Dedicated Office
If you’re lucky enough to have a whole room to set aside for a home office, it still requires some thought to most effectively organize and store all the stuff you’ll need. And the bonus? Because it’s an at-home office, you can decorate. It shouldn’t be a sterile, cubicle space like in an office building, but a warm, personalized space where you enjoy spending time. Even if it’s on work.
This office is making good use of the smallest bedroom or extra room in the house – it looks like it might only be 8′ wide or so. The owner wasn’t afraid to use a dark wall color in the small room – it makes the room cozy but the good use of storage shelves keeps the space from being cluttered which would surely make it feel too tiny. The generous desk placed under the window creates an appealing place to sit and work. I can tell you from experience it’s much nicer to have a window view, any view, than stare at a blank wall. If you can manage it, place your desk near a window.
Another small room adapted for an office. Those extensive shelves certainly organize what looks like an extensive reference library. Desk under a window, check. Cool patterned rug for style, check.
The extra room in our new house that we’re using for an office space is luxuriously large and bright – by far the nicest space we’ve ever had. And there’s my computer, facing out those windows – even though I’m usually looking at the screen, not outdoors, it’s still there on the edges of my vision, making me happy.
Who wouldn’t love staying home to work in this light filled corner office? Although I love the idea of the huge abacus, I think I’d hang it on a wall somewhere and free up the desk space. But that’s just me. A layout like this would be easy to customize and cost effective to build using Craigs List file cabinets topped with painted board or maybe remnant laminate countertops. Mix up the under desk storage to suit your needs – open, drawers or bins, whatever works for you.
Another arrangement that might maximize your space better is to utilize 2 desks facing each other, away from the walls. We’ve preached the value of this technique in other rooms – pull your furniture away from the walls to increase flow and usually make the room seem larger. You can see the file storage to the left of the desks. If the room ended behind the chair and there was no room for the file cabinet there, then perhaps at the end of the desks would work to let you have this arrangement, even in a quite small room.
Many newer homes have these little loft areas tucked at the top of the stairs or off the kitchen. You can see the shelving is used to store equipment and the shelves over the desk are used decoratively. If you need more storage, add pretty bins or baskets.
This narrow space looks to be only 8-9′ wide with 2 desk spaces along one side and storage for equipment and supplies behind the desks. While not a particularly pretty arrangement, it’s very efficient and filled with storage. The bright colors (orange on the ceiling, whew!) make it very energizing.
Many of us must make our rooms serve multiple functions. Here’s a good blending of an office space in a room that might get only occasional guest use. The color is bright and energizing, encouraging you to stay and finish your work!
Another version of a green office with style flair. The zebra rug adds a great punch of pattern doesn’t it? The cubes for storage are SO efficient – perfect for notebooks or bins – customize however works for you. I see the edge of a sofa which makes me think it might also double as a guest room.
This lucky homeowner has a fabulous home office/crafting space. Look at all those storage cabinets, hiding the mess that is a home office. And I just love that giant bulletin board – perfect for displaying kids’ art, reminders, letters or cards you want to save, etc.
Determine Your Office Needs
What do you need in a home office? What function will it serve – what needs to be accomplished? Once you make a list of what functions you need to accommodate, you can begin deciding on furnishings/storage to accomplish that goal. Cindy wrote a great post on creative storage last week – by incorporating some of those ideas you can personalize your space while introducing plenty of organization at the same time.
Check back tomorrow for part 2 – how to make an office space when you don’t have the space!