Five Tips For Building A Spacious Home Office With Examples

Aug 2 2012

In many cases, you aren’t necessarily planning on having a home office when you first buy your house. Starting a business (or creating a workspace so you can work from home) is all too often an afterthought.

What usually winds up happening is that some small space – often originally intended for storage – becomes your workspace. For some solo entrepreneurs, it might even mean working at your dining room table all day, every day.

One of the key concerns when building a home office is space. You want a workspace that doesn’t feel constrained, where you’re not closed in. Unfortunately, you often just don’t have that much space to work with.

Fortunately, there are some ways to create a spacious feeling in your home office while still working within the existing dimensions of the room or space:

Start with the right lighting.
How you light your room has a huge impact on the overall feeling of the room, including how the space feels. For example, if you wanted to create a cozy, tight atmosphere, you’d use a chandelier in the center of the room. Track lighting tends to emphasize one section of the room, helping it feel larger than the overall room. If the room has a window, keeping that window visible will also add to the feeling of space.

Get the right furniture.
Furniture for a home office can be tricky. On the one hand, you want furniture that’s big enough for you to do what you need to do. On the other hand, you want to create that feeling of space. One way to do this is to choose a smaller desk size. A smaller desk size leaves less workspace, of course; but in many cases it can simply mean that your printer, decorations, and office supplies have to be stored somewhere else. Even a printer stand across the room that takes up as much space as a larger desk would can create more of an open feeling.

Accordingly, you need to remove any furniture from the room that’s not necessary. Going back to lighting for a moment, that means replacing floor lamps with ceiling lighting whenever possible. That can eliminate the need for an end table or lamp stand.

Keep your files (and other items) somewhere else.
There are fewer and fewer reasons today to have a filing cabinet full of papers. If you don’t need your paper records very often (most of us only access those filing cabinets at tax time) consider keeping it somewhere else in the home.

For documents and papers you do need to have access to, consider electronic filing. A scanner designed to work with business materials such as invoices and business cards can reduce a huge amount of clutter, as well as your filing needs.

The same goes for other types of storage; if your business relies on inventory, for example, consider storing it in the garage or the basement if it’s a viable option. On a daily basis, bring in the inventory you need to work with.

Take advantage of the walls.
Anything you can store up against a wall should be. The more open space there is in the center of the room, the more spacious it will feel. Try not to store anything on the wall that contains a window, or this will actually have the opposite effect.

Consider using more narrow shelving than standard, unless for some reason you need to store oversized items in the home office. A 6” shelving unit will often function just as well as a 10” shelving unit, but its narrow profile both creates space and creates the perception of space.

Consider talking to an interior designer.
Some interior designers will be willing to visit your home and discuss ideas with you for a fee, even if you’re not going to hire them to do design. They can help you determine which colors will give the most open feel (hint: it’s usually lighter, brighter colors) for your office.?In some cases, the interior design professional can get you access to certain furniture, lighting, or storage options that you wouldn’t come across walking through your local office supply store or furniture store, as well.

A home office doesn’t have to feel like a cage. Follow these tips and you’ll find that your home office space can feel open and inviting, with plenty of room to work and breathe.

About the Author:
Rob Maxwell is Social Media Coordinator at Starfine Furniture, a leading provider of kid’s furniture in Galveston, TX. Their furniture store prides itself for hand selecting everything in the store, from living room furniture to mattresses.
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