10 Steps to a Home Office You’ll Love
(via Apartment Therapy with some Poppin pictures and commentary mixed in)
What makes a good home office? Is it the chair or desk? The photos and pieces you display? Or is it the technology and equipment that you use throughout the day? We say it’s all of these things and more as we present our ten steps to making your home office a better place to be.
Poppin’s Biggest Tip for Creating Your Home Office: Remember this is still your home! It’s just as important that your office is beautiful and comfortable for you as it is any other room in your home. So skip the ugly black wire desk set and purchase items (supplies, furniture, decor) that you genuinely LIKE. Just because you NEED certain things to get your work done, doesn’t mean you can’t actually LOVE them too.
1) Don’t get too techy. It’s the first and second rules of Tech Club. Remember, this is your home, not your office. Don’t let your tech dominate the space.
At Poppin we tend to be major Apple-groupies. If you have a Mac, it’s equal to one wire and it’s actually pretty decent to look at. Also, with a Mac you don’t really need much else, you can play music, watch movies, download apps, do work using Windows, etc. A computer and a cell phone get a lot done. If you need a printer, you might as well get one with a scanner and fax machine built in, total space saver and less is truly more with tech.
2) Choose comfy but attractive furniture. The office aesthetic might have a stylish side if your company affords Herman Miller and other designer furniture, but quite possibly it’s just cubicles and crappy office chairs. Select furniture you’d want in your home and that fits your design aesthetics. Orient yourself and furniture in the room so you’re most comfortable. There are no constraints based on rules and requirements at the office – you can move your desk if you want to!
Please do your home some justice and skip those oversized faux-leather chairs. You can find sleek (Herman Miller-esque) office chairs for affordable prices.
** Poppin is working on crafting furniture that combines great design, comfort and affordability. Look for our desks and desk chairs in the Fall and if possible, hold out on office furniture purchases until then
3) Hide away and organize your cables and tech. You want to maintain a clean and organized home, and your home office shouldn’t be an exception.
When not using them, keep your cables organized neatly in a desk or filing cabinet drawer, and if necessary, use a piece of tape and a magic marker to label each one so you don’t get them confused.
4) Make it personal.
Add photographs not as you would place simple frames on your desk at the real office, but consider the room a space in your house first and how you would decorate it that way.
Choose picture that make you smile and put them in frames on your desk. Also, consider an inspiration board or hanging artwork or posters.
5) Let there be light! You’re not living and working in a dungeon and you don’t have to deal with crappy overhead fluorescent lighting if you don’t want to. Natural light’s warm glow is ideal but given a lack of window options choose lamps with soft bulbs. Be wary of monitor placement in relation to the window so you’re not dealing with glare coming off the screen.
6) Bring in the greenery. Mother nature helps us breathe better and brings a warm touch to the space.
I love having flowers on my desk, however, the lifetime of most flowers is not very long. Try to purchase things that last a bit longer, orchids are a great example.
7) Get comfy under your feet. Get a nice comfy rug instead of the traditional office chair mat or commercial grade carpet. Kick off your shoes and relax your feet as you work. While at the office this would probably draw stares (and a few wrinkled noses) but there’s no shoes required at home!
Get a rug in a pretty color, buy slippers that you leave in the office, whatever makes you feel at home while you work.
Let the tunes roll! Is your office like a library with the librarian throwing you dirty glances and shushing you as you rock out in your cubicle? If you like listening to music while you work by all means turn it up! This is also helpful if the kids are being noisy and you need to get some work done.
We always play music in our office. ALWAYS. We almost can’t work without music at this point. And when you work from home you get to be the DJ everyday. Make a playlist using Spotify or iTunes or if you’d like a more random selection of music use Pandora Radio (if you pay a little bit for a subscription there won’t be any commercials, definitely a worthy investment).
9) Let the pets in! It’s rare an office that allows pets in the building. From our own personal experience it puts us in an amazing mood when our puppy is laying at our feet. We’re relaxed and can focus on our work in a good mood. We get things done so we can finish up and go play!
No better working moment then when you look under your desk and your dog is curled up right there.
10) Who’s the boss? You are! Remember, at your home you’re your own boss and you make up the rules! Particularly when it comes to knowing yourself and what makes you work at your best so you can get out of their sooner with your work done and go enjoy the lovelier things in life.
11) Keep your desk colorful! Studies show that color inspires great work (and we clearly believe that too). Paint your home office your favorite color, buy a multi-colored carpet, create an inspiration board full of color and life, hang art, buy colorful office supplies and furniture (sorry, couldn’t help myself with that last one!). Do something to add some color to your office, your work and your day-to-day life. A little color can go a long way