MARTIN's WORKSHOP

Working in Style from HOME

BY MARTIN AMADO ON JANUARY 1ST, 2017

Nowadays having a home office is as necessary as a kitchen or bathroom. Not only do many moms (and dads) run small businesses out of their home, which allows them to spend more time with their children, but it’s also nice to have a dedicated area to pay the bills, study, or simply use the computer when necessary. If you’re lucky enough to have a room on its own for this very purpose, the biggest mistake I find is that homeowners don’t decorate this space to complement the rest of the home’s décor.

Instead, what I find is a mismatch of furniture, very “office-looking” pieces and lots of disorganization that can be counter-productive. Here are some decorator solutions to help you achieve the perfect balance between function and style.

The two most important design elements in a home office are space planning and organization. For example, it’s best to take advantage of the entire perimeter and height of the room and also assign each wall a specific task: desk for working, bookshelves for storage, and if possible, incorporate a seating area as well for relaxing/reading or possibly receiving clients. I’m a big fan of modular office systems that allow you to configure many different layouts in the space for a custom built-in look. However, you can also create your own on a budget by buying long table tops and using two file cabinets as a base or pre-fabricated kitchen countertops and cabinets from any home improvement store! You can buy furniture legs that are sold individually at the same store and easily screw-on. If you’re looking for a desk with a bit more character, then shop at second-hand stores or antique shops to find a piece you can personalize with your own artistic flair and have it become the highlight of the room.

Keeping things neat and tidy is a big challenge for many. The first thing I recommend if you are using a spare bedroom as a home office is to convert the closet into storage central. Closet organizing systems are available in different wood finishes and can still be used for this purpose with ample shelving and drawers for papers, office supplies, books, etc.

In the actual space, shop for furniture pieces and accents that will give your home office a sense of style. For example, consider using leaning ladder bookcases or floating shelves for their architectural aesthetic. Be bold and paint the room in a color scheme that reflects your personality and flows with the rest of the home’s decor. Use an upholstered or tufted chair with more ornate details behind the desk to give it a more sophisticated look. Think about covering an entire wall with corkboard tiles or fabric panels that allow you to pin ideas, images, or anything else that you like that relates to your work and/or passions. Typography is a hot design trend and we see it everywhere in artwork, pillows and furniture.

The idea is to fill the home office with beautiful artwork and decorative items that feed your soul and creativity! Remember these tips can also help you create the perfect room for scrapbooking, painting, photography, or any hobby you might have, so it doesn’t have to be all about work.