Where to put the home office
Traditionally, when thinking of home offices, we imagine a separate room or spare bedroom that is converted for work purposes, but many of us (aka all of us in New York) don’t have this extra space to spare. As Homepolish’s Cristina Caratzola says, “Find a wall, a corner, or combine your office space with another room, such as a guest bedroom or the kitchen. You’d be surprised what you could do with a 3-4 foot wide patch of wall. Allow the design scheme of the rest of your home to flow into your workspace.”
So now you have a space picked out… now what? We asked our designers what they first consider when it comes to home workspaces and the answers are best summarized in two words: functionality and inspiration. Homepolish designer Shannon Tate tells us, “It’s most important to really identify how you’re inspired when you work and then think about the simple things that you need to function best on your day to day. Factor in practicality in terms of storage solutions, work space, and lighting.” Function appears over and over again when we talk about maximizing a space, but inspiration is a nuanced consideration. Unlike any other part of the house, your home office has to be a source of inspo if you are going to stay consistently productive. Without those personal moments of relief, the work will become mundane and tiresome.
The Foundational Pieces
What, exactly, makes up a home office at the core? First, there is (obviously) the desk. Our designers veered toward larger work surfaces, trying to fit the biggest piece that would make sense in the space. To pair, choose a chair that is (and this is essential) COMFORTABLE. You may find a gorgeous midcentury modern antique piece, but think about what it will feel like to sit in it for 4 hours or more. When it comes to the chair, support and comfort should trump the aesthetic. If you can find one that combines function and form, all the better. Next, storage whether it’s in the form of shelving or cabinets is necessary to keep your work organized and clutter-free. And lastly, lighting is a must. Once you have these foundational parts of the home office, then you can layer in the personal accessories you need to make it “you.”
Desk and Chair Combos
The choice of the desk and chair is mostly a matter of ergonomics, as Homepolish’s Christine Lin points out. “Ergonomic tips include making sure your wrists are just below your elbows when typing, your elbows fall straight below your shoulders and are at a 90 degree angle, and your feet can rest flat on the floor or on a footrest.” Once you consider your posture and how your desk will affect that, you can start looking into aesthetics.
Let’s get personal
Accessories are the really fun part when it comes to designing your office space, because they will allow your personal style to shine through. Let’s admit it… this is the step we all want to do first, but be patient! Set up those foundational pieces first, and then decide how much room you actually have for accessories. Don’t go overboard, otherwise you’ll clutter the workspace. Additionally, be smart with your accessory purchases, making sure that they are both functional as well as aesthetically pleasing (or at least, very personal… who can resist a picture of their adorable newborn?). Add art that speaks to you and your personal story. This will keep you inspired daily.