Working from home has become more mainstream, accepted, and encouraged. The advancement of technology gives those working from home the same access to meetings, files, and online storage options as those who commute into the office. If you’ve found that you’re working from home situation has increased recently, and might potentially remain that way for the foreseeable future, then it might be time to take a look at your existing home office design or consider adding one to your home. While the kitchen table is a quick fix, it’s no match for remodeling your home in a way that provides the space you need to be productive but also relatively private. Hammer Design Build Remodel is the premier Washington D.C. design build firm with experience remodeling home offices and additions that are stylish, organized, and flow from one room to the next. Here are our top 10 things that every home office (and every employee working from home) needs:
Natural Light in Your Home Office
If you’re new to working at home, then consider the option of remodeling your home so that the new space has plenty of natural light. It could be a window seat that you convert, a small corner of your bedroom that you re-design, or a space on your main level that’s converted into its own unique space. The space doesn’t have to be large, but what helps get anyone through the work day? Natural light. Big windows, even in a small space, can make a world of difference for your psyche. Plus the natural light makes a small space seem larger than it is!
Add Light Fixtures & Lamps
If you can remodel a home office to include lots of natural light, fantastic! If your space doesn’t have the option, then consider researching the best lamps for your space. Not only on your desk, but ambient lighting around the room is important too. Installing “green” light bulbs that are not detrimental to your vision and/or in the background as you stare at the computer screen are crucial as well. A final idea would be to enhance your decor with a unique light fixture – make your office functional but also intrinsically yours. A beautiful light fixture can make the entrance into your home office every day more delightful than would a single bulb swinging from the ceiling. For example, this stunning light fixture really adds something special to this home office design:
Consider Adjustable Desks
Consider adding a standing desk to your home office. Having a height adjustable desk that complements your overall health and well being by allowing you to work either sitting or standing is a great option. Do you prefer to stand up occasionally? Install a desk with a built in lift for your computer or keyboard. Prefer a desk with no drawers (i.e. you have long legs)? Install a floating desk. Make sure the desk fits your body type well – and if it can be adjusted throughout the day, then you’re on your way to a productive week. (Did you know they even make desks that you can use while walking on the treadmill??)
Add a Comfortable Desk Chair
If you don’t want to get up and down all day with an adjustable desk, then you absolutely need an amazingly comfortable yet also ergonomic desk chair. Some people prefer more lumbar support while others like to rock or turn in their chair; research is needed to find what works best for you. We absolutely recommend finding the best fit for you, both in comfort and in style!
Play With Vertical Space
If your home office remodel ends up being in a small corner of your home, consider that you have walls that are largely unused. The vertical space that is available for floating shelves or built in bookcases could add an immense amount of storage, room for decor, your printer, or other personal items. Floating shelves bring a nice touch to any room, and bookcases provide a calming, studious feeling. If you meet with clients in a home office and have a small conference table, then using vertical space will help make your home office feel much less cluttered as well.
Add a Pop of Color
Gone are the days of neutral office spaces – these days, we love the idea of bringing in a pop of color to a home office! The choices are endless: consider painting just one wall in your color of choice, make a statement wall with vertical lines of various, complementary shades, or, choose wallpaper for one or all walls, which is a hot trend right now. Perhaps there’s a design that speaks to you and brings energy and excitement to your home office – nothing wrong with improving your productivity with color. A lovely way to bring calmness and focus to your home office might be the use of Pantone’s 2020 Color of the Year, Classic Navy.
Add Indoor Plants
Bring the outdoors inside! It’s hard to be indoors all day without a break. Having a few plants in your home office can give you feelings of comfort. Certain plants are better for indoor use, including the rubber plant, English Ivy, and others. Be careful which you choose, however, as certain plants are harmful to pets and humans.
The More Home Organization, The Better
What do we mean by that? Figuring out how you want to organize your home office that fits your personality. Do you prefer filing folders in your desk drawers or do you like them in small shelves on your desktop? Do you like to have a wall calendar in front of you with inspirational sayings or are you a minimalist in your aesthetics? Explore some home decor stores to see what speaks to you – there are so many options to help you create the ambiance you want that also keep you organized and on track!
Add a Personal Touch
If you commute to an office, you likely have personal items throughout to provide reminders of your family, pets, trips, etc. Why not do the same thing in a home office? Books and papers aside, the artwork you picked up on a trip to Europe will bring you more energy than much else! Framed images of your child’s schoolwork is a great way to give your eyes a rest during a long Zoom call and perhaps bring a smile to your face during an otherwise stressful time. Candles, Zen gardens, etc. are all great ways to bring a personal touch to your home office.
It goes without saying..or does it? Having a door is crucial for working from home in your remodeled home office. It’s hard to fully block out the outside world anywhere, but if you’re working from home, the occasional dog barking or family chatting has to be muted. But, you don’t need to just have a simple door – consider a remodel with a set of French doors, or a sliding barn door, which is very trendy at the moment. Upgrade your home office door and make it stylish as well as functional. Working from home these days doesn’t require you to hide in the basement or your closet on an old card table with an outdated desk lamp. If you’ll be spending more time working from home and want to renovate, reach out to us! We can help transform your space into the best possible home office for your needs, and/or create a home office addition that feels like a natural extension from your current home’s footprint. Email us at Consultation@HammerByGB.com.