Working from home is still new to a lot of people. And many homeowners have had to get creative when establishing a home office. That often means converting a small space — a spare bedroom, a window nook, a former closet — into a dedicated work area. With the right design approach, compact spaces can work hard and look great.
Here are somethings to keep in mind, when creating a small but stylish and functional home office.
There are many upsides to working from home. But it’s important to carve out space that separates the job from personal life. That will help you get focused on the work at the start of the day and allow you to step away at the end.
When it comes to rooms with less square footage, maximizing floor space is at the top of the priority list.
Wall-mounted anything frees up a huge amount of physical and visual space, so consider a wall-mounted desk, as well as wall-mounted lighting. This is especially helpful in a super narrow room where a traditional desk might not fit comfortably.
The overall look of a workspace should be clean and fuss-free. This limits distractions so you can focus. The floating look certainly fits the bill when it comes to creating a sleek aesthetic.
The ability to customize the height of a floating work surface is also one of the strong points of going this route. If you prefer your work surface to be taller or lower than standard, 30 inches, depending on your height or level you like to work at, then going this direction makes sense. It also allows you to make adequate room for your chair, file cabinets or printing equipment.
Another bonus is that cleaning below a floating surface is easier than going under and around a standalone piece.
But there are a couple of downsides to consider. A floating desk is difficult to relocate if you want to change its location or if you move homes. You can’t exactly pick it up or scoot it to another area. Plus, a floating desk is usually smaller than a traditional desk, especially in depth. They work great for a laptop or other compact tasks. If your work requires you to spread out a bit, then you might want to consider another option.
Research has shown that engaging in cultural activities, including viewing artwork, correlates with better health, more satisfaction with one’s life and lower rates of anxiety and depression.
That’s why filling your home with art pieces that you feel a deep connection with is especially important in a home office.
The reality is, work can sometimes make us stressed and anxious, and if we can take even a few moments out of our day to pause and engage with something that brings us joy, we should do it.
Of course, viewing nature has a strong effect as well. So if you have a great view from your home office, focus on that and use art as a secondary focal point, such as behind your chair or on an opposite wall.
If your desk faces a blank wall, art becomes even more important. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to choosing art, except maybe to listen to your heart. Try not to let someone else tell you what to like.
And despite what you may have been told, art doesn’t have to match the style of your office. This is one area where you can always get a bit eclectic.
Good interior lighting plans are all about combining the right lighting in the right places. When we’re limited on floor space, we can naturally look to ceilings and walls for opportunities to shine light down.
Wall sconces can be used to create excellent task lighting in an office setting. Plus, it gives you an opportunity to add some visual adornment that ups the style in the room. You can hardwire sconces — usually with the help of an electrician — behind a wall to eliminate seeing the cord, helping with a sleek aesthetic. Or you can easily install plug-in sconces yourself.
There are also stylish clip-on options, that give you the same look and feel without the need for drilling.
To get the most out of your wall lights, placement is key. A good starting guideline is to hang them at approximately eye level, about 5½ to 6 feet, although the height of your ceilings and the size of the fixture will come into play.
A critical point to remember is that whatever height you hang your wall light, you shouldn’t come eye to eye with an exposed bulb, unless the bulb is decorative and meant to be viewed directly.
Your workplace greatly affects your psychological and physical health, so it’s important to make sure your space reinforces that. Therefore, the furniture pieces should be the highest possible quality within your budget. This is not an area where you want to skimp.
Invest in a good chair, choose a soothing color palette and don’t forget to add some style with art and accessories. When you feel good in your environment and know that you’ve invested in it, your motivation and productivity will benefit.