Working from home is becoming more and more common, yet the home office remains one of the most neglected rooms in the house. At home, we generally don’t have the interpersonal stimulation that helps keep us on task, so it’s important to develop a space that encourages creativity and productivity. The challenge is that most of our home offices are created from hand-me-downs and leftovers that are anything but inspiring.
Where to begin? Start simple, and find a desk that really works for you. Then, build the office of your dreams around it.
We’ve got seven ideas to get you started:
1. Try a standing desk.
According to Science Daily, the average office worker sits for nearly six hours each day. Besides offering health benefits, a standing desk is very practical in smaller spaces, and can be created to suit any design style. Keep a simple stool nearby for those moments when you do need to sit, or a comfy club chair in the corner for reading, studying and proofing your work. A Beautiful Mess has a great post on building your own standing desk.
2. Surround yourself with inspiration.
Many of us are inspired by the connections we have to people, objects and activities we love. To keep your creative juices flowing, use your desk as a display case for family photos, beloved mementos, and well-deserved awards. Keeping those connections alive reminds you why you do what you do and helps keep you on task when distraction hits. Be careful to arrange your pieces carefully so that personal items don’t read as clutter.
3. Bring the outdoors in.
If at all possible, move your home office into a room where you can position the desk directly in front of a great view. You’re already isolated from a typical work environment, and just having something pleasant or at least distracting to look at can keep the gears cranking as the day wears on. Natural light is a stimulant and can bring a room to life, even just as a supplement to the rest of the lighting in the room.
4. Create an artistic environment.
If, on the other hand, a desk with a view is not a possibility in your home office, give yourself an interior view. Find a simple and functional desk in a very muted tone—white is really the best option. Keep shelving, storage and filing similarly shaded. Now, choose several pieces of art that really grab your attention, and group them, or spread them out through the space. Keep frames simple so as not to overwhelm, and you’ll find yourself at the helm of your desk, free-floating in a sea of inspiration.
5. Rethink tired antiques into colorful and functional desks.
Those great old desks in our parents’ offices really were special—and not just for nostalgic reasons. Designed for efficiency and functionality, you could often fit an entire office into the desk alone. Now just add a fresh coat of contemporary color—the contrast of something old in a new setting is just the thing to get those juices flowing. Here, too, keep the rest of the background muted, or add complementary and contrasting color for still more energy. We love the look of this minty makeover from Love Grows Wild.
6. Discover the functionality of free-floating desks.
There’s just something about a desk with no legs that takes a split second more for your brain to make sense of—and nothing could be better for inspiration and stimulation. It brings the added benefits of efficiency and affordability. Add the storage you need with a simple twin-track shelving system and binders and cubbies to keep the look pulled together. White or black two-drawer filing cabinets placed beneath fade to the background and give you that much more room to work with.
7. Keep it simple and sleek.
If you’re at your best with the fewest distractions, create a cool, monochromatic space that fades to the background so all you see is the project at hand. Contemporary style will serve you well here for its clean lines and low profile. Bonus: Finding filing, storage and desk accessories in vibrant colors and clean lines is a snap.
What does your dream desk look like, and how would you design a space around it?
About the Author:
Kerrie Kelly 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 room design and furniture, including desks. To view Home Depot’s wide selection of desks, including styles reviewed by Kerrie, you can visit Home Depot’s website.
Recommended Books on Setting Up an Inspiring Home Office:
- How To Set Up Your Desk: Hack Your Desk To Get More Done In Less Time: Workplace Organization & Home Office Organization That Works!
- Taunton’s Home Workspace Idea Book (Taunton Home Idea Books)
- Home Office, Library & Den Design (Schiffer Design Books)
- A Space of My Own: Inspirational Ideas for Home Offices, Craft Rooms Studies