Working from home should be the best thing in the world, and not having to deal with a daily commute, even better!
But it’s hard to stay motivated and on task if your space feels too casual or cluttered. For example, using a cramped, uncomfortable breakfast nook table for your desk while you stare at the ever-growing mountain of dirty dishes in your kitchen sink is not the ideal work environment.
Your home office should reflect your personality, and incorporate elements that you’ll look forward to walking into with your freshly brewed cup of coffee (or tea) and feel enthusiastic about diving into your daily projects.
A few questions to ask yourself before you start converting your spare bedroom into an office space:
● What tasks will you need to accomplish in your space?
● Do you need filing cabinets, bookshelves, sufficient tabletop space?
● What type of equipment is required?
● Will you be making conference calls or video conferencing?
Home office – Birds-eye view
A spare bedroom turned into a home office, with a sleeper sofa
1. Modular Layout
If you are turning a spare bedroom into a home office, instead of build-ins, consider using modular furniture that can be easily rearranged, giving you the most flexibility for shifting things around as your immediate needs change.
What worked three years ago, might not work today. Maybe you have a different set of professional goals and aspirations. Maybe you are traveling less and participating in video conferences more frequently, or you have to temporarily adjust furniture placement for an impromptu meeting with clients or collaborators in your home office.
2. Selecting Task Seating
One of the first things you should do is invest in a high-quality task chair. This is an item where the saying “what you pay for, is what you get” rings true.
Each component of your chair should be adjustable. Sitting for long periods of time in a chair without adequate lumbar support will eventually make your back and neck start to hurt. A chair without an adjustable seat pan can affect blood circulation in your thighs. Last but not least, adjustable armrests help relax your shoulders.
A high-quality task chair has adjustable lumbar support, armrests, seat depth, and height.
3. Height-adjustable Desk
We sit a lot. Driving, watching TV, and then we sit at work all day. When we are not able to quickly change our posture, we start to feel uncomfortable and possibly moody.
The health benefits of height adjustable desks have been discussed in many medical journals as they improve mood, fatigue, tension, and even help with weight loss among many other health benefits.
Considerations when selecting a height-adjustable desk:
● The typical depth is 30 inches and 4-5’ wide
● Ease of adjusting the height: hand-crank, electric, and pneumatic lifts
● How quickly does it raise/lower, is the mechanism loud and disruptive or physically taxing?
● Weight limitations. Every desk has its limits for how much equipment it can support.
● Some have collision detection, as in sensors that detect if any cables or other objects are obstructing movement.
Natural daylight filtered through curtains.
4. Day and Ambient Lighting
We all know are very important, and so is controlling potential glare from sun or snow reflection.
A general ceiling light fixture is obvious, but having other light sources that are dimmable; as in a desk lamp that lights downward onto your work surface and doesn’t throw a glare onto your computer screen.
Incorporating a mirror to reflect light further into the room to increase natural daylight throughout your office space.
Position your desk and monitor alongside a window rather than in front or behind your screen.
Echoing sounds within your office is distracting. Considerations to slow down reverberations would be:
● Add an area rug
● Window treatments
● Wall textiles or tapestries
Add plants to bring some nature, oxygen, and color into your office space. Just be sure to remember to research how frequently you need to water different types of houseplants to keep them vibrant and healthy. My green thumb is a bit pale, so I don’t hesitate to do a quick internet search to learn more about keeping my indoor greenery more green than brown.
Home office with a view.
Berglind Davis | eDesigner and Owner, BSD Interior Design
Berglind Davis is a native of Iceland and studied Interior Architecture at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. She later studied in an exchange program at the Rhode Island School Of Design. After graduation, Berglind moved to the United States and began working in residential, commercial, and healthcare interior design. Her design aesthetic is an uncommon hybrid of Scandinavian and American influences. She produces bold spaces that are playful, yet comfortable, and practical. Berglind prides herself in creating environments that satisfy her clients’ needs while simultaneously offering eccentric points of interest that spark the imagination.
Learn more about working with Berglind Davis of BSD Interior Design through her eDesign Tribe member profile!