As the number of people working from home continues to grow, there has become a renewed focus on how to effectively design and decorate a home office space that inspires, motivates, and reflects individual style and taste. The simple floral bouquet has become a popular fixture in today’s digital meetings and Zoom teleconferences - but it is only one part of a larger equation that makes for a successful home office space.
Whether you’ve been working from home for years, or you’re just starting to realize that the couch, dining-room table, or bedroom are not useful long-term solutions, here are a few helpful design tips from Blooms by Heinau® to help you feel energized, productive, and proud of the space where you work.
1. Location. Location. Location.
Where a space is located within the home has a tremendous impact on what people do there. This is why kitchens are most commonly found towards the center of the home, while bathrooms and bedrooms are in more private sections. Your home office should be a place where you can work relatively free of constant distractions like TV or the activities of others. Ideally, it should have a desk or designated work space with appropriate seating to reinforce your own productivity. All too often, people who carry around their laptops from room to room find it difficult to stay on task or face too many distractions. Being able to set aside a space - even if it is a corner of another room - tells yourself and others you are there to work.
A couple of points to consider:
Kitchen countertops and dining tables may seem convenient at first. After all, it is seating that already exists in your home. However, every time these spaces need to be used for their original purpose, your work must stop and possibly even relocate. This is particularly challenging for projects that cannot be completed in an hour or may take several days to finish.
In this era of online meetings, work-from-home professionals need to minimize background distractions from others who pass by within view of webcams. Having a designated area helps signal to family members and others that they should try and avoid those spaces during your set work hours.
2. Balance Style with Substance
One of the best benefits people list about working from home is the ability to decorate their space however they wish. Unlike traditional offices and cubicles which may limit your stylistic expressions to a few family photos or personal items, a home office grants you the opportunity to showcase your personality while also surrounding yourself with pieces that inspire you and bring positive energy into your work environment.
As stated at the beginning of this article, many people enjoy floral arrangements. However, since social distancing makes multiple trips to the store for cut flowers difficult (not to mention expensive), finding innovative alternatives is a smart choice. Blooms by Heinau’s stylish white textured ceramic Egyptian linen style cube is filled with 9 natural roses specially created to last 12 months or longer without any watering or extra care.
Interesting Fact: Numerous studies have shown that simply by including plants and flowers in the office, people feel less anxious and also report feeling less angry or frustrated. Some believe this is because flowers remind us of nature - and the space just beyond the office walls. By looking at lovely floral arrangements, people can mentally take a quick journey outside and ‘reset’ for additional tasks.
Even if floral arrangements aren’t your personal design aesthetic, selecting a painting, sculpture, or other pieces of art can be an equally welcome focal point of your home office design. Don’t be afraid to experiment with what works best for you and your space.
3. Comfortable - but Not TOO Comfortable
Since you will be spending multiple hours utilizing your home office space, it pays to make a small investment in comfort. This is why dining rooms and kitchens quickly become problematic as they are not designed for many hours at a desk-top task. Eye-strain, cramped necks and shoulders, fatigued hands and wrists, and lower back problems are all attributable to improper placement of keyboards, screens, seating, and desktops. Opt instead for chairs and surfaces that allow you to stay seated comfortably, without straining to type or use the computer.
At the same time, resist the urge to go too far in the direction of comfort - which can be counterproductive to actually getting work done. A large oversized beanbag and a lap desk may seem like a good idea at first, but if you’re thinking about relaxing rather than working, you might find yourself missing deadlines.
It also pays to have a space that allows you to focus while you’re there, but also allows you to walk away when you’re done with work for the day. Work-from-homers often notice that it becomes challenging to stick to a 9 to 5 schedule when you’re always “on” and available. An effective home office should allow you to “clock out” for the day which helps you avoid burnout and reinforces being productive during your “in the office” hours.
One way to set aside a space and make it comfortable is with color. Use monochromatic themes to create a soothing environment that doesn’t compete for your attention. We recommend using different hues and shades of light blue or green, as these two colors are scientifically proven to help with concentration and productivity.
4.Maximize your Vertical Square Footage
It doesn’t take a lot of space to create a home office that truly succeeds in being work friendly. The secret is looking beyond floor space to maximize the available area for your various work tasks. Smart shelving solutions can hold printers, books, and other supplies. Wall-mounted desks and rolling file cabinets that double as foot rests can also be handy ways to make the most of a limited footprint. Remember that you are not limited by traditional office furniture - you might find that you can repurpose a small closet to function as a mini office. Or, perhaps an old armoire can be re-imagined with a fold-out desk so it works as an office space while open, but looks like a normal piece of living room furniture when closed.
Your decor can make smart use of vertical space as well by looking into wall-mounted pieces or those that do not require table-top surfaces. One piece from Blooms by Heinau which is popular in this regard is this versatile decor which can be either hung on the wall or set on a surface.
5. Coordinate with Matching Elements
Whether you choose to unify the look of your space with similarly styled furniture, a few key focal items that are the same color, or multiple pieces of art or photography, aim for consistency to make your space feel complete, rather than cluttered. Small details like matching picture frames make your design choices seem deliberate and intentional. Items that share a theme or color enhance each other and give each item a bit more presence and meaning. By being thoughtful in your approach, you make your space welcoming and inviting, which in turn inspires you to want to spend more time there. Simply by committing to a consistent, coordinated look, you can improve your productivity considerably.