The task of finding a task chair
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The Necessities Of Decorating Your Home Office Homepolish

The Necessities Of Decorating Your Home Office Homepolish The Necessities Of Decorating Your Home Office Homepolish

You want to start by hiring the perfect “employees.” When it comes to desks, our designers veer toward larger work surfaces, and recommend choosing the roomiest piece that fits in your space. However, the caveat to this was brought up by Sara, saying, “If you must have your desk in the bedroom, consider old school secretary desks, which you can flip up and close in the evenings, shielding your eyes from the distracting lights.”

As we explained in our guide to lighting, multiple sources of lighting are important. You’ll want to make sure there’s a mix of task and overhead (aka ambient) lighting, preferably set on a dimmer. One benefits of working from home is you don’t have to fight your coworkers to decide the level of light, saving you eye strain and fatigue. If you are working with a computer often, you want the room darker than what you might think. Industry experts say half as bright as typically found in most offices. Don’t be afraid to close the blinds or kill the overhead lighting altogether. Ideally, have an exterior light come from the side of you. Lighting (in addition to that desk chair) is one of the most important considerations of creating a space where you can work for long amounts of time.

Another necessary component of any home office is lighting. After all, how are you gonna burn that midnight oil if you have no light? Overhead lighting will help brighten the whole room, but be sure to include a good mix of desktop or task lighting, so you can shed some rays on specific areas of the desk, whether it’s paperwork you’re attending to or reference documents. Believe me, in the end, your eyes will thank you that they don’t have to strain.

Need an assistant when it comes to designing your home office? Sign up for Homepolish today.

Remember a time when you imagined that work stopped when you left work? You thought to yourself that when you left the office/restaurant/or whatever workplace that work would simply stop. Of course, now we know better, when you leave your place of work, work doesn’t magically stop. With today’s constantly-connected lifestyle you can work virtually ANYWHERE! But we also know that isn’t true either. Sure you “can” work anywhere, but it’s a lot easier to work in a place where you’ve set yourself up for success instead of perched on the end of your sofa or huddled in your guest room or distracted by your Netflix queue.

Homepolish designer Sara Whitehead came up with a unique use of space, suggesting the laundry room. As she says, “It keeps all the ‘business’ together, allowing you to fluff, fold, and fax all in one room.” Now, that’s an idea…

Who says you need to leave the comfort of home to be productive? Homepolish designer Angela Belt tours some of our best home offices and shows what you need to make your workspace work for you.

If work can ever be fun, than picking accessories for your office is the fun part. But be patient! Set up those foundational pieces first, and then decide how much room you actually have for accessories. Don’t go overboard, otherwise you’ll clutter the workspace. Additionally, be smart with your accessory purchases, making sure that they are both functional as well as aesthetically pleasing (or at least, very personal… who can resist a picture of their adorable newborn?). Additionally, art that speaks to you and your personal story will keep you inspired daily. This was a defining element in Instagrammer Patrick Janelle’s apartment.

Good seating can really make or break your office design. This means not only investing in a chair for yourself (one that is supportive and comfortable for you). Likewise, with guest seating, take the number of seats you expect to use on a regular basis, and add at least one more. You never want to come up short.

In addition to space considerations, consider your personal work style. Are you the type needs to work in complete silence or do you adore distractions (hi family!)? It’s a matter of personal preference. Homepolish’s Rosanna Lee puts it this way: “If your home office is a command center for your household and you don’t mind some noise (or you like watching TV while paying bills), placing it in a central area such as the living or family room might be best. If, however, you need peace and quiet and a bit of separation, then putting the home office in the bedroom might be best.”

You have to invest in the staple pieces of your office, which obviously means your desk and the corresponding task chair. These are arguably the foundation of any office space. When you first start shopping for your new desk and chair, you may have sticker shock. If you need a chair that you can sit in for 40+ hours a week, the entry level price will be roughly $300 and up. Quality office chairs from companies like Herman Miller or Knoll (such as the two Eames models in the picture above) have been around for decades for a reason. They are just what the doctor ordered when it comes to back support and comfort. There is a cost associated with consistent functionality and beautiful design. Luckily, our designers have a few words to say about choosing the right chair for you. Another important point to keep in mind is that the chair should have a residential feel. Don’t go for something that looks too corporate, or it will clash with your home.

If both you and your significant other work from home, there’s nothing wrong with designing a space that can accommodate both of you comfortably. Look for an L-shaped desk and craft a space that has two functioning workspaces. When you’re both working from home, it’s a little unrealistic to think you both can share one work area. One (or both) of your productivity levels will suffer.

Finding a space in your home that is solely dedicated to work is really critical. I know I try to work at the dining table too (and many families have this set up), but inevitably, someone ends up eating a snack, setting up for dinner, coming over to chat… these activities make your mind wander away from work and on to, well, more fun activities. If you carve out a space in your home that is your designated work area, you are far more likely to take working from home seriously and get your assignments done.

For our designers’ thorough guide to designing home offices, see our feature on the the necessities of decorating your home office.

Aas Homepolish’s Christine Lin recommends keeping in mind ergonomics, like “making sure your wrists are just below your elbows when typing, your elbows fall straight below your shoulders and are at a 90-degree angle, and your feet can rest flat on the floor or on a footrest.”

Home offices are growing in popularity as more people work from home. Your office environment can have a major impact on your work performance, so make sure you take the time to set it up right.

Then, choose a chair that is (and this is essential) COMFORTABLE. You may find a gorgeous Mid-Century Modern antique piece, but think about what it will feel like to sit in it for four hours or more. Support and comfort should override aesthetics. If you can find one that combines function and form, all the better.

Homepolish designer Cristina Caratzola says it slightly differently: “When approaching any project, I think about three things: utility, comfort, and beauty. I rarely make a final decision unless the answer includes all three, and this applies to home offices all the same.” Considerations such as desk placement, chair type and height, style of accessories will all fall under these principles. If you approach each piece of your home office with this three-pronged set of qualities, you’ll be able to better discern what should make the cut.

The biggest difference between most commercial office design and home office design is the amount of space you have to work with. Both spaces need to incorporate things like desks, storage, and potentially guest seating, but home offices need to squeeze it all into more limited space. Start by taking painstaking measurements of every area of the room. (This is a good rule for any design work.) You want to size your office furniture so that it’s functional yet fits well within the confines of the space.

Now’s the hard part—you’ll want to keep this space as organized and clutter-free as possible. Storage solutions are a must and should be tailored to your specific needs. Some might need plastic, clear bins so you can easily see the contents inside (which you can then in a closet). However, if you don’t have a closet to stash everything away, opt for more decorative elements such a polished boxes, baskets, and bins. To keep things looking unified, opt for a simple color scheme that blends in with your decor.  And don’t forget, hide away those cords! Nothing throws off a desk area than a tangle of unsightly cords. A simple solution is the IKEA under-desk cord rack, which will discreetly stow away those electronic pieces.

No matter what type of work you do, you’ll likely find that you need some type of storage as part of your home office design. Even in an age where people are moving to paperless worksites, you still need things like charging stations, cords, and power strips. Make storage an important component of the room’s design (instead of an afterthought). That includes your office furniture. Whether you invest in a desk with built-in shelving units, or you coordinate bookcases with your seating area furniture, you need to evaluate your storage needs early on and incorporate them into your overall office plan.

Now your desk could be almost anything, in my opinion. It could be a great vintage table you found out a flea market, a table top from Ikea that you update with some new brass legs, or you can go all-in with a fancy new floating desk like they offer at Humanscale, which is fully height-adjustable (aka you can stand at your desk!). The most important thing about your desk is that it has a good-sized work surface, and the height of it feels comfortable to work on for multiple hours every day.

I promise you with these design tips and a good Homepolish designer, you won’t have to worry about cord cable bundles all over the place or stacks upon stacks of paperwork. You can make the office space of your dreams a reality.

Design Guides 5 Considerations Before Redesigning Your Home Office 01/18/2017 | written by  Homepolish

Home offices are less luxuries and more necessities—and unlike a formal workspace—can be set up to your exact necessities. So we asked our designers to weigh in on how to set up the perfect space.

An often overlooked component of office design also happens to be one of the most important: cost. It’s easy to go overboard with purchasing everything you think you may need, but remember that a home office doesn’t need to have the same panache of a commercial office. To that end, come up with your budget and the essentials of the space. Make a list and stick to it. To cut costs, wait for those sales! After all, you don’t have to buy everything at once. In the end, your office will have the look you want without breaking the bank. Just be sure you stick to the same coherent style throughout your purchases.

Accessories are the really fun part when it comes to designing your office space, because they will allow your personal style to shine through. Let’s both admit it… this is the step we all want to do first. But be patient! Set up the large pieces of furniture first, and then decide how much room you actually have for accessories. Don’t go overboard, otherwise you’ll clutter the workspace. Additionally, be smart with your accessory purchases, making sure that they are both functional as well as aesthetically pleasing (or at least, very personal… who can resist a picture of their adorable newborn?).

Many people know about the impact of color on interiors and take the time to set up a coordinated palette for the room. Some people will go subtle with monotone shades, and others will use bright but complementary colors to create a more dramatic look. One thing that frequently gets overlooked, however, is how wood stains can have a similar impact on the room. If you have hardwood flooring in your home office, you’ll need to take the wood species, grain, and stain color into consideration when you purchase your office furniture. Wood stains and graining have just as big an impact as color on the overall tone of the room. For example, to create a dramatic impact on the room, you may want to mix a light maple floor with a dark, espresso stained desk. To create something subtler, you may mix rosewood with a cherry floor. Just be sure to keep grain patterns similar. Too many patterns in a small space can quickly overwhelm the room.

Commercial Tours Werk that Home Office 08/17/2016 | written by  Angela Belt

But let’s face it. When it comes to being just as productive outside the office as you were inside with your colleagues, the home office can be a bit of a detriment. Not only are there the distractions of home life (chores around the house, family members, or a fully-stocked fridge calling your name), it also is difficult to design a home workspace that is both functional and glamorous. Luckily for your productivity’s sake, I’m going to walk you through the keys to success when it comes to your home office.

But don’t let that stop you. A multi-purpose desk in a bedroom, a roomy kitchen table, or even a converted closet can give you enough space to get things done. The key is allowing the design scheme of the rest of your home to flow into your workspace. We love how Tali Roth incorporated an office behind the living area of this stylish loft.

Often overlooked in both commercial and residential offices, storage is essential to keep paperwork, books, and tools tidy and pretty. I cannot stress this enough, but proper storage and cleanliness will actually up your productivity. (After all, you can’t work if you have 0 desk space.) Designers are so often called in to save the day, because there is a lack of storage in someone’s home. Nine times out of ten one of those spots is the home office. So don’t be one of the nine, and instead be the one who thinks ahead with some cool, collected shelving or artful boxes.

So now you have a space picked out… now what? We asked our designers what they first consider when it comes to home workspaces and the answers are best summarized in two words: functionality and inspiration. Homepolish designer Shannon Tate tells us, “It’s most important to really identify how you’re inspired when you work and then think about the simple things that you need to function best on your day to day. Factor in practicality in terms of storage solutions, work space, and lighting.” Function appears over and over again when we talk about maximizing a space, but inspiration is a nuanced consideration. Unlike any other part of the house, your home office has to be a source of inspo if you are going to stay consistently productive. Without those personal moments of relief, the work will become mundane and tiresome.

When it comes to chairs, the favorite (and one we use in Homepolish HQ) was the Herman Miller Aeron chair. But this was hardly the end-all. In fact, our designers put together a whole article on desk chair sources. But the main qualifier is you—if you like working in it, it works for you.

It’s no secret that the modern workspace is changing, and jobs are no longer 100% tethered to a physical space. Due to this new flexibility, more and more people are able to work from home. And frankly, if my boss asked me to work from home, I’d reply with an enthusiastic “Yes, please!” (And then bolt for the door.)

Traditionally, when thinking of home offices, we imagine a separate room or spare bedroom that is converted for work purposes. But as anyone in NYC knows, there’s not always space to spare.

With that in mind, many designers are quick to note the psychological ramifications of having computers, blinking lights, and work in general in the bedroom. Separating the calm of the bedroom from the hectic buzz of work is, of course, preferred The presence of a desk in your bedroom is a constant reminder of what you’re NOT getting done, and it’s not great for getting your REM on.

Designer Cristina Lin also points out the natural beauty of things like books. “I love to use books as décor, especially in the home office. They are not only informative but beautiful and inspiring. An entire wall lined with interior design reference books in a design firm’s office was one of the most striking things I’ve ever seen. Plus, when you hit a mental block in your work, books provide a constant source of inspiration.” We can’t argue with that.

In our constantly available, digital world, work sometimes follows us home. Our designers weigh in on how to design the ideal space for a home office.

Ask Homepolish The Necessities of Decorating Your Home Office 3 weeks ago | written by  Homepolish

Home offices are no small consideration. If your home or apartment has one, you’ve dedicated the space, laid it out, and made very last decision from wall color to whether to use solid or engineered hardwood flooring. After the foundation is set, it’s time to furnish the space and turn it into the work-from-home haven you know it can be. Before you rush out and purchase pieces solely for function, make sure you also take the time to consider things from a designer perspective. Whether you’ll be entertaining clients in your home office, or you’ll be working there alone each day, you want a space that’s put together, stylish, and also inspiring. Be sure to consider these five things as you search for the perfect home office furniture to help pull it all together.

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