A well-designed home office can provide a space that encourages productivity, not to mention comfort and creativity. Some experts have said that there are only two essentials for a functional home office: a comfortable chair and a door that closes. For me, however, there are a few more requirements.
I have found with our design clients that the basic elements of designing a room include smart space planning, adequate lighting and sufficient storage. When thinking of the home office, I also consider functionality and inspirational comfort. Start with your work surface and work your way down. Chairs need to be functional, but a home office chair isn’t your only choice. If you’ll be spending a lot of time working at your desk, choose a chair with an adjustable seat and armrests to protect your spine and help reduce aches and pains — who doesn’t love a great swivel chair!?!
Alternatively, if you find you may be doing a lot of standing while working, you may want to consider an area rug. We find an area rug provides the most warmth and comfort of any floor covering. As an added benefit, area rugs provide a noise dampening effect — it especially helps with spirited conference calls and copy machine chatter! It also doesn’t show dust like hard surfaces. Today’s technologies have created an even greater variety of textures, colors and cuts.
Affordable and stylish, sisal and other natural-fiber area rugs, such as jute and hemp, are very versatile, giving office spaces a more relaxed, organic feel. They can provide a great “anchoring” foundation to the more traditional furnishings and instantly make a space feel more approachable. This is what is underfoot in my office, too!
Working well with both casual and modern furnishings, sisal and jute are surprisingly soft and textural underfoot. They can be taken outdoors and beaten, but deep cleaning is a bit trickier. They aren’t the best rugs for high-traffic areas such as entryways, as the sisal can splinter over time, however, the flatter the weave, the less likely this is to happen.
Finish and Cleaning
Stain-resistant finishes mean easy care and less worry. Solid colors are always a safe choice and can add pop of color if you select from the brighter palettes. I am always on the hunt for the latest in the graphic pattern options. Select a neutral area rug version that provides softness underfoot but won’t stand out visually within your home office scene. As a general rule of thumb, medium- to high-pile area rugs should be professionally cleaned once a year to remove dust, allergens and accumulated dirt that isn’t easily removed with daily or weekly vacuuming.
Patterns and Design
Patterned area rugs will have an immediate impact when you enter a room. But if the pattern is too busy, it will be difficult to decorate around. That being said, our team loves how a beautiful area rug can be the focal point of any room without being too distracting in your home office environment.
Low-pile and flat-weave carpets provide fewer “hiding spaces” for dirt and are more easily spot cleaned, but they require a twice-yearly old-fashioned rug beating to remove accumulated dust. Many can be dry cleaned.
A typical area rug is designed to cover large portions of the floor while still allowing part of it to show. Such rugs make a room feel cozy, especially over concrete, tile or stone floors. Area rugs can be the centerpiece of a room, used to define one specific area or placed over an existing carpet to create added dimension. A well-chosen floor rug placed in the right spot with a basic rug pad underneath can enhance anything you dream up for your home office space.
How will you accentuate your home office floors?
About the Author:
Kerrie Kelly http://www.kerriekelly.com/ is an award-winning interior designer who writes on home decor for Home Depot. The author of the book Home Decor: A Sunset Design Guide, Kerrie provides advice and guidance to homeowners on flooring and floor care, including hardwood flooring and area rugs. To view Home Depot’s complete selection of area rugs, click here.
Recommended Books on The Do’s and Don’ts of Office Decor:
- A Space of My Own: Inspirational Ideas for Home Offices, Craft Rooms Studies
- Total Office Design: 50 Contemporary Workplaces
- Planning Office Spaces: A Practical Guide for Managers and Designers
- I Wish I Worked There!: A Look Inside the Most Creative Spaces in Business
- Office Space Planning: Designing For Tomorrow’s Workplace (Professional Architecture)