Tools

Home Office

Creating a functional & stylish

By By Toni Suratsingh Interior Designer

The trend in homes is having a home office. Whether you are an executive that needs to check emails and send correspondence in the evening or just can't ever take a full day off or a stay-at-home mom looking for some extra income, you need a space that you can call your own and is organised.

Here are some steps to consider when you are converting that guest room or an awkward space into that much needed home office.

STEP 1: REMOVE ALL CHAOS: Make sure everything in your office is relevant.

I'm sure there are random trophies, old textbooks from college/university, unfinished projects and old product samples; you think you'll one day need. NEWS FLASH: throw it out!! It's liberating and besides those things are just cluttering up your life. Move on and make space for more relevant and new fresh décor.

STEP 2: ADD COLOUR: Pick your favourite colour.

Surround yourself in your favourite colour or pick a colour that really appeals to you. That doesn't mean you should go neon, all you stuck in the 80s lovers!!! Pick a colour that helps your focus and makes you feel at ease. Pick a colour depending on how much natural light you receive in the room. Don't pick the darkest colour on your paint swatches if you don't have a nice big window. Remember you need to have task lighting, whether it's natural or some great, bright, accurate overhead or lamp lighting, especially if you are working with the accuracy of colours and measurements in your job. Eyestrain is not something you want to complain about.

STEP 3: DON'T HURT YOURSELF: Indulge in ergonomics!

Make sure the placement of your computer is appropriate. Don't constantly work with your laptop on your lap or lying on the floor late night as you pass out on your computer! Invest in a great office chair. Style is important but should be secondary to comfort and function.

STEP 4: KNOW YOU ARE NOT ALONE: All your neighbours are doing it.

Ask your friends, family and colleagues. Most people have a home office these days. With the amount of aging baby boomers, the ease of technology at our fingertips, the cost of retirement increasing and the economy, many people are retiring later in life or looking for some side income. Take the time to set up an appropriate space to make sure you are comfortable and safe. You will save a lot of headaches and frustration, if you take the time, do the research and be a savvy shopper. If you don't have time or you're not creative, consult an Interior Designer; they will help you consider things you have not.

STEP 5: STORAGE, STORAGE, STORAGE!

Whether you have a professional woodworker make you custom built-ins designed by an interior designer or you buy some ready made shelving, make sure you have ample storage. You will want hidden storage and multi-functioning pieces. Make sure you mix in some of your favourite objects, whether it's your travel finds, favourite vases or picture frames. Mix these in with your books, manuals and binders.

You can highlight and arrange your items in a decorative manner, especially if your office is a space in your home that is not hidden. If you buy large storage pieces, you can also move them around your home or take them with you when you move, which you could not do with custom built-ins. You can also rearrange your space as your needs change and your business flourishes.

STEP 6: REUSE, RENEW& RECYCLE: Look around your house.

Whether you can recover an old dining room chair and use it as your office chair or you find some unique storage items, be smart with what you have!

ToniCrockett Design, author of this column, is a boutique style Design & Decorating Firm. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know!

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