A big discussion this year has been about working form home. Will big corporations that have figured out how to allow employees to work from home ever return to the skyscraper? Not that we have too many skyscrapers in Southern Illinois; but working from home has become a reality for many.
Many folks were forced to their kitchen table do work from home during COVID and many of these same people are planning a home office. Most will try to work within the square footage of their current home and “find” the space needed. While a busy mom might enjoy having a desk in the kitchen, a hardworking professional on Zoom calls all day may require a bit more privacy. Perhaps the spare bedroom could do double duty, or an empty corner of the basement could allow the space needed.
When a commercial designer is planning cubical space, their rule of thumb is 60” x 84” which would encompass the desk and chair area. You will want to think about the space needed to do your work and especially the size of desk. Do you need room for two computer monitors? Do you keep files on the desk along with an adding machine? Do you need room to review reports? Almost the minimum for a desk is 46”, but 60” is more common. And don’t forget the chair! If you will be at the computer for hours a day, make sure to invest in a good quality chair that is adjustable.
If you have not gone completely digital, you are going to need some storage. Depending on your needs, a small file cabinet might be sufficient, but if you have lots of binders and manuals, you will require more storage space. Also keep in mind storage for envelopes, scissors, extra copy paper, etc. Be sure to measure before purchasing your new office furniture to plan on exactly where things will be placed and that there is sufficient room for it all.
Will you need to meet with clients or sales representatives? You could meet in the living room or plan to have a few stylish chairs in the desk area for meetings. If you are turning your spare bedroom into double duty and you do meet with others, you should plan on ditching the bed and replacing it with a sleeper sofa or a murphy bed.
Ideally, a home office should have natural light and an outdoor view. If this is not possible, think about placing your favorite piece of artwork or a motivational board in your line of vision to stimulate you when looking away from your work. If you do have natural light in the area, be mindful of glare on your computer screen. Overhead lighting is a must in a home office as is a desk lamp to offer task lighting that is free from shadows.
Plan to go wireless with a s much as possible. Cords and wires running in a tangled mess are unsightly. Plan for a wireless printer, wireless mouse, and use electrical zip ties to neatly tame the wires. Place the wires as close to the desk leg or through a grommet hole in the desk to “hide” them.
Finally, make the space yours. Bring your decorating style and that of your home into play. Have fun and use what motivates and inspires you. Be it bright and bold or subtle and quiet, make it your own.
AT HOME is a series of articles including current trends in interior decorating and design. All content is provided courtesy of Angela Rowe, DDCD, owner and interior designer of Decorating Den Interiors.
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