Tips for Decorating Your Home Office
Written by: Laurel Bern
I have written about the Home Office and working from home on several occasions. You may have enjoyed my post on Strategies on Working From Home, or my Dream Offices, today I share with you some realistic home office decorating tips from Bronxville based Interior Designer Laurel Bern. I asked her for some advice that we could all use that would be both practical and pretty.
There are so many variables here but here are some ideas that will perhaps make your working at home life a bit easier, more productive and be pleasing to the eye.
1) Provide yourself with as quiet a place as possible. However, if this is not possible, there are ways around this. I remember living in a one-bedroom apartment and we turned a walk-in closet into our home office. We could close the door and turn on a fan. Fans also work if your work-space is not in a closet but you have noisy kids, dogs, neighbors, leaf blowers, etc.
2) Ensure that you have adequate lighting – what IS adequate lighting? Its not ultra bright lighting– It’s not a laboratory or an operating room. Its balanced and ideally comes from at least 3 different sources. I don’t recommend a lot of over-head lighting. If that’s already in your office, use them on a dimmer. You will need a desk lamp and it doesn’t have to be an ugly “desk lamp.” I have a vintage turquoise ginger jar on my desk. ( know… it looks blue, but the camera is lying. Its definitely a deep, beautiful turquoise!)
3) A lot of experts will recommend supportive seating. This depends. Do you talk on the phone a lot? If so… then yes, that is a good idea. If you are mostly typing, then it doesn’t matter as much as you are sitting forward in your seat. Try, (I said try) to be mindful of your posture. Of course, you knew that already.
4) Alright. Make it attractive. Think living room. Its an office, not a prison. Put ugly filing cabinets in a closet or behind a curtain or in a big cabinet. Or use attractive box-style files and store them in a bookcase. Consider hiring a professional organizer. Do not think that you have to have everything IN the physical space of your office. For instance. I live in a one-bedroom apartment and my office is in a corner of my living room. My desk sometimes becomes a dining room table. I have storage in a big beautiful cabinet. Then, I have more storage in a beautiful bookcase, just outside my living room. I have more storage in my bedroom and in my bedroom closet. Of course, the things I need on a more every-day basis are close at hand.
5) What is the best color for a home office? I think a lot of this depends on personality. Cool colors like blue and green are calming, so if you are a hyper person, those might be best. If you are lethargic and need a bit of a jolt, some shade of red, orange or yellow (but not too bright a yellow) might do the trick. Of course, neutrals like white, cream, grey and beige can also be quite beautiful. Dark or light? That’s a personal preference, but most color experts would advise that the lighter tones will keep you more alert.
6) Alright, you knew it was coming. Clear the clutter, or do as I say, not as I do, haha! In my defense, interior design is a particularly clutter-prone business. I try to clean my desk off at least every 2 or 3 days. Just clear the entire thing off. Better would be to do it every day. of course. it would.