Whether as a full-time place to work, for a thriving home-based business or an occasional time to work from home, a great home office is a must.

Taking the time to design an intentional space at home dedicated to work can create the right frame of mind for productivity and creativity. Especially if you’ll be spending a lot of time there, then it’s important to make the most of your space so you’ll enjoy the time you spend in it.

It all starts with a little planning.

1. Choose Your Space

Whether it’s a separate room, part of another room or a tiny nook, home offices can be created almost anywhere. What’s important is to choose a space that fits within the layout of your home and how you like to work.

For instance, if you’re the type of person who needs complete silence to work, then choosing a room with a door you can shut will allow you to block out the noise from the rest of the house. Alternatively, if you’re the type, who draws energy from the noise and excitement in a busy household, then the corner of a bonus room or a nook in the kitchen may better suit your work style.

Regardless of where you choose to set up your office, be sure your other family members understand this is your special workspace, and that it is just for you.

2. Planning an Inspiring Space

One of the perks of a home office is that you can make it your own. If inspirational signs motivate you, then be sure to include some. If you want it to feel cozy, then make the most of the opportunity by adding blankets, furry rugs and comfy throws.

home-office-Den_HarlowOne of the best ways to get started and see what you like is to go online for inspiration. See what makes you feel excited and inspired. Pulling an office together from scratch without a plan can feel mismatched and result in a space that’s less than you were hoping for. So, take the time to consider all your different options. Remember this is also your chance to decorate to your tastes, and curate colours, textures and art that inspires you. Once you’ve explored and looked at different styles and office designs, then you’ll have a good idea of what you need to achieve the look you’re going for.

It’s exciting to consider all the possibilities, but you may also need to consider other family members before you decide on your final design. If you’re sharing your office with your kids, you may want to incorporate something for them. Setting up a play space for them with a few books or toys could be the difference between being able to work or not.

3. Design Your Space for Optimal Productivity

Take a good look at your space with the design you’ve chosen in mind. Do you have everything you need? Think about the wall plugs, lighting and layout.

Natural light will keep you feeling alert, positive and motivated throughout the day. If you don’t have a lot of natural light, then it may be a good idea to keep your walls white or light coloured to open up the room.

How do you want to organize your workspace? If you have different work pursuits you want to accommodate, you may want separate areas for them. If you only need a single desk, then consider the placement in relation to the natural light that flows into room and electrical outlets to plug in computers and other technology.

Finally, make sure that you have all the storage you need. Getting the storage right will help you completely clear your desk, keep what you need within arm’s reach and store any office supplies you don’t use regularly. Depending on the location of your workspace in your home, this may require getting storage built into the wall. After all, an organized space minimizes stress and maximizes efficiency.

4. Choosing Your Furniture

While it may be tempting to curl up on the couch to work, there’s plenty of ergonomic research that suggests this may not be the best choice. Finding the right chair is 110% worth it, and there are plenty of options that can match your style without being purely utilitarian. Choosing one that’s comfortable and inviting, while encouraging better posture will let you have the best of both worlds. 

Desks can range from reclaimed wood tables, adjustable standup desks, simple worktops, or custom built speciality ones. Choose one depending on the work you’ll be doing and that will help you be more productive.

You may be resistant to buying additional furniture like filing cabinets or storage cabinets, for fear of it looking too much like a standard office. Keep in mind it can all be personalized to suit your tastes. Sometimes a coat of paint is all that is required to make it fit with your décor and style.

5. Finishing Touches

Once you’ve brought everything into your space and arranged it the way you want it, it’s time to add those personal touches. It may be some art, music, candles, oil diffusers or plants. Surround yourself with items that make you feel energized, and motivated to work.