Offices are generally quiet, focused spaces reserved for, well, working. However, when you create a home office space, your private life often spills over into your work life, including all of the pets, children and general traffic that come in and out of your home. With this in mind, home offices need durable paint, hardware, furnishings and accessories. Here we’ve come up with a few solutions to help keep your home office looking crisp and calm, despite little paws and fingers leaving prints wherever they go.
Keep an Eye on Price
Though there’s no such thing as an indestructible interior, you can come pretty close with certain types of paints and sealants. When selecting your paint, keep in mind what you’ll need from it. Easy to clean? Low maintenance or little need for touch-ups? When perusing the aisles of your local home good store, be sure to always check the price of the paint. Usually, higher-priced paints will be better quality. Cost can be a good indicator of how well your paint will stand up to wear and tear.
Go for a Heavier Paint
Another determinant of the paint you’re picking? Its weight. High-quality paint contains less water and more solid material, as well as other important paint components like titanium oxide and resin. Knowing the weight of the paint and its ingredients is extremely important before you start applying it to the walls in your home office. The heavier the weight, the less likely you’ll be doing paint touch-ups when you should be answering emails.
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Choose Water-Based over Oil-Based
Most cans of paint are either water-based or oil-based. Oil-based paint has traditionally been considered the tougher and more durable of the two, but thanks to new technology, water-based paint is quickly climbing the ranks. We recommend choosing a water-based paint if you can find one in a shade you like. It’s less likely to smell, release gases or involve painstaking cleanup.
Hide Scuffs with an Eggshell Finish
Now, for the most important part of the process: choosing the finish. If you have clients—or just kids and pets—coming in and out of your office every day, it’s important to grab a durable paint that has a little bit of sheen. It will help mask spots and scuffs, and makes the wall itself a lot easier to clean should you need to do any touching up. We recommend an eggshell finish for because it has a low sheen and is easy to clean. Flat paints, though beautiful and matte, show dirt and marks incredibly well and are difficult to clean and touch up. Eggshell finishes have the appeal of a flat finish without the painstaking cleaning process. Should eggshell be unavailable, satin finish is a similar, though it’s a bit more reflective.
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Our favorite colors to use in a home office are bright and clean, like white, light grey or soft blue, which inspire productivity and focus. Stay away from colors that are too dark, like burgundy or black, for they can make you drift off to sleep before you hit 5 o’clock. Introducing a patterned accent wall or high-contrast element can help liven the space and keep you on track to finish the work day off strong.
California-based interior designer Kerrie Kelly advises many of her clients on home office decor, including paint colors that help achieve a highly productive and pleasant ambiance. Kerrie offers her advice online for The Home Depot. Home Depot’s extensive collection of paint styles can be reviewed online here.