We were recently featured in Redfin’s “Expert Tips for the Best Home Office Designs.”
You can see the post here: https://www.redfin.com/blog/home-office-designs or read it below…
Expert Tips for the Best Home Office Designs
Let’s face it, your home office likely started out as a makeshift desk with the thought that you’d return to work within a few months. As summer comes to a close and kids turn to online learning, you may still be working from home – and wondering how to upgrade your home office designs. However, if you’re struggling with how to get started, look no further.
We reached out to experts living in Sacramento, CA to those living in Miami, FL to provide their best tips and tricks for creating a functional and creative home office that’ll make the most of your home.
Don’t recreate a typical office space
You really want to make things work for you at home. We want clear surfaces and projects put away. Most people typically put piles of paper and material out as a reminder to do something. Instead, think of the pile as a project and focus on the action. When you are not working on the project put all the materials away and set the action item out. If it is to make a call, put that on a post-it or your online to-do program. – Ben Soreff, House to Home Organizing
If you have the space for it, ‘float’ your workstation (i.e., don’t place it up against a wall). The further out you push your desk into the room’s center, the more important it will feel. – Shelby Greene, Living Spaces
Having a fully functional outdoor space that supports remote work needs will become the standard for many homeowners, especially since exterior renovations can improve happiness and overall well being for the remote employee. Integrating functional stone elements into a backyard, such as an outdoor kitchen or fireplace, can evoke a smooth flow between the indoors and outdoors, while also contributing to style. – Joe Raboine, Belgard
DIY your storage containers
You can use recyclable glass jars, mason jars, and anything else that’s merely taking up space in your house to use for pencil holders, paper clips, or other office supplies without wasting money on buying a new container. Plus, you can personalize it by painting them, twisting a ribbon on it, or other decorations to make it more you. – Lindsey Maxwell, Where You Make It
A pegboard is a great way to bring visual interest to an empty area of the office. Pegboards can be painted and organizers, hangers, and shelves can be attached to the board for additional storage. – Melanie Hartmann, Creo Home Buyers
Embrace building your own workspace
I am currently working at my dining room table, and my wife’s work related belongings quickly began to clutter up our space. So I built an extremely light, but durable, shelf unit that allows her access to needed items (phones, notes, calculators) during working hours, and can easily be tucked away in a corner at the end of the day. This has allowed both her, and I, to work more efficiently, and reclaim our dining room table for dining. – Nathaniel Hovsepian, The Expert Home Buyers
Circulation, Light, and Place
Think about how both you and guests (if applicable) will come into the office. Keep the route short and direct. Natural light is great, but you don’t want it on your screen behind you in a zoom call. Keep a solid wall to your back and the window in front of you, which will help both with light and view. – Sam Gordon, Samuel Gordon Architects
Natural light improves our moods and aids in productivity. Why not create your home office space around a beautiful window view adorned by exterior window flower boxes? Antique doors can make beautiful desktops. A glass top can be added if you prefer a smooth surface. – Rebecca Fernandez, Restyled Homes
Organization is key
Sick of having a mess of cords hanging around and under your desk? Mount your power strip to the bottom of a shoebox, then cut a hole to feed each cord through. Stick the shoebox under your desk and that mess of cords will finally be organized! – Jeneva Aaron, The Housewire
One of the biggest barriers to designing a productive home office is the lack of an organization system. Keep your desk clutter-free and clear of distractions with a place to stash loose papers and stray office supplies. Try fabric drawers – just don’t forget to clean them out regularly! – ClosetMaid
When creating your home office, it’s crucial to remember that you must first be organized. Declutter your workspace for maximum efficiency. The one “extra” thing you should put on your desk is a small plant. This added boost of life will give you energy and spur your creativity… oh and it looks pretty too! – Natalie Zudin, NDZdesigns
Make use of any extra space
Do you have an extra space in your home, such as a closet or nook, that you could convert into a small office? By just adding shelves and a desk with a comfy chair, you have an instant work space. Make it stylish with some fun wallpaper or colorful accessories to help hide any clutter, and close the door when not in use. – Brenna Morgan, Brenna Morgan Interiors
As with all real estate needs, your home office really boils down to location, location, location. Avoid setting up your work from home space anywhere that might affect your concentration – away from kids, not in the bedroom, or adjacent to high traffic areas – if possible. Look for nooks or reach-in closets that don’t get much use, see what you can move elsewhere to max out your private space. – Maud Waterman, Salt & Poppy
Finish out a full basement, dividing it into at least five rooms with walls, doors, and a “lobby” connecting them: two offices, one learning space for the kids, a powder room, and an exercise area. The interior doors provide privacy for online meetings while an exterior basement door acts as a client entrance into the lobby. Include large windows to the outside where possible and consider adding windows on interior walls that face the lobby so you can peek in on the kids as they study. – Dana Watkins, Blythe Building Company
Incorporate ergonomics and comfort
Sit-to-stand desks, ergonomic chairs, mobile pedestal files, and adjustable keyboard trays are just a few items that can help prevent an instance of musculoskeletal disorders, pain, and injury. Utilizing them will create less stress therefore we will be more focused and productive while we work. Being sedentary is not healthy. These suggestions can improve physical posture and movement while working in our home offices. – Leslie Stern, Leslie M. Stern Design
The more comfortable you are in your home office, the more time you are willing to spend and the better quality any work produced in that space will be. Ensuring a comfortable space involves not only an ergonomic desk and chair set up, but also various levels of lighting, elements to help control acoustics, and ample storage space to maintain a calm, controlled environment. – Karlene Baskind, Karlene Baskind Interior Design
I’m a big fan of standing desks in the office as they promote healthier habits, but these desks can be expensive. An effective “hack” to get a standing desk on the cheap is to build a small “table” to sit atop your desk at standing height. Consider building it flush against a back wall to allow for a combination sit/stand desk as you move your laptop or monitor between the original surface and the new one. – Rex Freiberger, Gadget Review
Comfortable work seating is important and doesn’t need to be expensive. Chairs can come in many different varieties and you do not necessarily need an office chair with wheels for a small workspace. Look at upholstered dining chairs for options as not only are these seats the correct ergonomic height but they’re designed for comfort as well and come in many more color options and fabrics than your typical roller chair. – Christina Simon, Mark Ashby Design
Think about wall decor
Focus on the visual personality in your space to make your Zoom backdrop interesting and your at-home-office set up more enjoyable for you. This can be achieved with an artwork-focused accent wall using an easy-to-install, self-adhesive wallcovering, especially one that can be removed and even reused. The wallcovering should reflect your personality, as in this Wave example that adds appealing colors and a calming sensibility in the eye of this Covid-19 storm. – Ashley Spencer, Casart Coverings
Think about what’s behind you. You might not be staring at your background all day—but everyone on your Zoom calls will be. Think about how to create a background that communicates professionalism without being too distracting. Color-coded bookshelves, a statement wallpaper, or a painted accent wall are all good ideas. —Laura Schocker, Editor in Chief, Apartment Therapy
Maximize your personal and group brainstorming sessions in your home office by painting two walls with ReMARKable whiteboard paint. First, paint the wall facing your desk so you can focus on your own private thoughts and to-dos. Next, impress your Zoom audience on the other side of your webcam with the ultimate brainstorming whiteboard wall behind you and your desk. If your available wall space is limited in your home office, you can get creative with where you utilize your whiteboard paint. File cabinets, doors, desks, and tabletops are just a few pieces of home office furniture that you can transform into a dry-erase surface.. – Susan Anspach, co-founder of ReMARKable Whiteboard Paint
Have a designated workspace
When designing your home office, remember that physical boundaries equal mental boundaries. Having a completely separate space lets you dive into your work. Simply closing your office door can help switch your brain into work mode. If that’s not possible, then at least find a way to face your desk away from the action. It’s a simple way to boost your productivity and mentally declutter. – Leslie Eiler, Design Manager, CRD Design Build
In these times where we are all quarantined together, and kids might be remote schooling, it’s important to think creatively about where to set up your home office – as so many family members may need one. Office in a closet – I love commandeering a closet, wallpapering it, and setting up a chic little vintage desk, with cork-board and shelving above. When you’re done for the day, simply close the door, and leave your cares behind. – Caitlin Scanlon, Caitlin Scanlon Design
My favorite home office idea is converting spaces under the stairs, or old wardrobes or outdoor sheds. These “hideaway” offices are great because when the workday is done, it can help you to physically separate from work to avoid feeling overwhelmed in a time when things feel uncertain. – Angel Gonzalez, LL Flooring
By Alison Bentley
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