Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Home Office Design

Is your home also your office? Create a work space that serves your business needs and is also a natural extension of your home and personality.

What do you see when you picture your dream home office? Probably something stylish, comfortable, maybe even inspiring. But balancing the comfortable with the practical takes planning. Here's how:
Put Some "Home" In Your Home Office Design
Your main objective, and one that many home-office creators miss, is to retain the "home" in "office." Don't be afraid of the cozy factor invading your professional space, embrace it!

Integrating warm, relaxing lighting, installing comfortable chairs for kids and other family visitors, and perhaps even adding an extra computer so your children can work alongside you are all ways of taking advantage of the familial closeness that working at home can provide. You want your kids to feel at home in your office, but you also need your space to rate high in both function and style. I'm here to tell you: you can have both!

Organize Your Home Office
In terms of basic office furniture and accessories, you'll need some sort of bookshelf-or shelves-and file drawers that look good and are easily accessible without you having to get up. I recommend organizing shelves by topic.

Bulletin and chalk boards are a great way to keep home offices tidy and reminders front and center, and double as a gallery for your family photos.

Home Office Style
You can add your signature to the desktop with stylish, affordable and useful accessories like pencil holders and divided containers.

Ergonomic Home Offices
If you're going to invest in any one item, make it a timeless desk chair that leans back and ergonomically supports the body. You'll be grateful for it every day!

Lighting for Your Home Office
Lighting is also important. Take advantage of natural light, and use every opportunity to add more. Make sure you install blinds, both for privacy and controlling drafts. One illuminating idea is to use interesting lighting to create a focal point for the room. Cable lighting is another functional way to add style. In general, offices should benefit from lots of lighting, but do install dimmers so you can go cozy if you want to.

Personal Touches in Your Home Office
Home offices are an ideal place to show off your personal art and pictures, family portraits, anything that speaks to your unique aesthetic and inspires you. Unlike the dry, neutral palettes you see in most corporate offices, home-based work centers should be fun and colorful, reflecting the personality of their owners. You may be spending many late nights there, why not feel at home? Some people even install a TV to keep them company on late nights.

Above all, the place you spend so much time in each day should be warm and inviting, the professional equivalent of your favorite, over-stuffed chair.

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