Whether you’ve always worked from home or it just became part of your routine in the last few months, everyone is much more aware now of the possibility of home working. Working and studying from home has its benefits, and at times is necessary, but is only effective when you can carve out a suitable space to allow you to be productive.  This is particularly challenging when multiple family members are trying to work or study from home at the same time. This blog will explore ideas for creating a home office space, from carving out a niche in the kitchen to remodeling a spare room.

Look around your house and you realize there may be several options where you could put a home office.  Perhaps you already have an office space that needs to be updated, or you have a spare room that needs to be converted into an office, or you want to get creative and carve out a niche for an office space.  Here are a few ideas to inspire you.

Section off a bedroom.

The plus side to using a bedroom for your home office is that it has built-in privacy.  Close the door and you can have a quiet space to work.  If this is your bedroom, try to carve out a workspace that is separate from your sleeping area.  This will be easy in a large bedroom where you might find an alcove or corner away from your bed.  A room divider will help to distinguish your work area from the rest of the room. If it is a spare bedroom figure out where you want to put your workspace, and if necessary, rearrange furniture to suit your working requirements.  For a more permanent office set up, consider including a built-in desk or shelves customized to your needs.

home office

Create space in the kitchen.

The kitchen is a busy place, so may not be an ideal location.  However, if there is no other suitable space or if this is a temporary set up, a kitchen office space can work.  Locate a quiet corner or alcove where you can put a desk, and if possible, position it near a natural light source.  You can work at a kitchen table or island but be aware this may not be positioned at a suitable height, so limit your time with this working arrangement to avoid back and neck strain. If you are planning a kitchen remodel and your work from home plans are longer term, consider adding a home office set up in your kitchen design with a built-in desk and storage.  Try to set working hours with other family members, during which time the kitchen is off limits to avoid constant interruptions.

kitchen design with pendant lights

Find your niche (or alcove or corner).

Depending on the layout of your home, you may find a unique space that better suits your home working requirements.  An area under the stairs, an alcove in a hallway, or a corner in your mud room might be the perfect place to work.  If you are in a hurry, use existing furniture to set up your laptop, but try to find something at the right height.

Home Office

Take over the living or family room.

If your best choice for a home office area is to set up in a living or family room, try to choose a room that is not used during your working hours or at least an enclosed room with a door.  Purpose built furniture and storage will transform the room into a home office that is sure to boost your productivity.

Remodel a spare room.

If you are lucky enough to have a spare, underutilized room in your home this is the ideal space for a home office.  It offers privacy and can be transformed into a proper office set up.  Customized built in storage and a desk is ideal, but a standalone desk and office chair, dedicated bookshelves, and storage drawers will also work.

What else do you need to know?

Lighting

Proper, targeted lighting is key when you are trying to work, especially to avoid eye strain.  Try to pick a location near a window or other source of natural light, like the kitchen design below that positions a desk space below a window neatly tucked between a custom hutch and cabinetry.  After that, approach your lighting scheme like you would other spaces with targeted task lighting at your work area and ambient lighting to set a more relaxed atmosphere. Make sure you have enough light, avoid glare, and review your positioning of light fixtures for video meetings.

kitchen office space

Storage

Storage is key for a home office space to make sure you don’t get buried in clutter and can organize your office supplies and files.  How much depends on your job, how you work, and how long you will be working from home.  Clear space in an existing bookshelf or drawers or consider built-in storage for a longer-term set up.

Backdrops

Today’s home office almost always involves some form of video conferencing, so consider what image you want to present on your Zoom calls.  Shelves displaying books, plants, and personal items make an interesting backdrop, as does a favorite piece of art hanging on the wall.

Noise control

Consider your working hours, the type of work you do, and who else will be around.  Do you need absolute quiet all day? Is there a lot of activity in your house during your working hours? If your house is relatively quiet, then working in a more open setting may be suitable. If not and you need peace and quiet, make sure you pick an office space that is out of the way or where you can close the door on the rest of the house.

If working from home has become part of your routine, whether it is temporary, part time, or a longer term arrangement, it is important to have a home office that allows you to be productive.  Our design experts can advise on cabinetry, workspace, and a layout to create a perfect office for your home. Contact us today!

McDaniels Kitchens and Bath

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