• February 1, 2016

5 Essential Elements for Creating the Perfect Home Office

Regardless of whether you use your home office to work from home full-time or part-time, having it set up just right is essential to optimise your work performance. It is important for you to take the time to set your office up so that it is not only functional, but also elegant and comfortable. You want to have everything you need at hand ready to proceed. Also, you want to be sure that the time that you spend in the office is productive and inspiring for the long hours that you could potentially have to spend there.

Here are our 5 essential elements that will help you to create the perfect home office space, which will ultimately not only help you to stay organised, but also make you feel in control:

1. The right desk

The most basic, and some would argue, the most important item in your home office, is your desk. Having an aesthetically appealing and functional desk is key and so too is understanding the type of work you’ll be doing.

Do you need a large amount of space where you can lay everything out in order to visualise the ‘big picture’? Or is the work you do more digitally based and therefore require minimal space – perhaps just enough for your computer and a few other essentials?

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Laura Desk by Phloem Studio

At the very least I recommend that my clients invest in a desk which has one or two shallow drawers to store pens, pencil, rulers, etc.

2. A comfortable and appropriate chair

This is the other vital component of a comprehensive office space. Since for most of your time you will be sitting at your desk, an ergonomic and comfortable chair is essential…it’s also beneficial if it’s beautiful to look at.

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Aeron Chair by Herman Miller at Living Edge

This is one area of your office décor where you can expect to invest your money.

  • Take care in your selection because even many of the ‘designer’ office chairs aren’t as comfortable as they should be; sit in the chair and make sure that both the seat and back padding of the chair are comfortable.
  • Assure yourself that the chair you like the look of has adjustable height and tilt options.
  • It’s helpful if you can get a chair which runs on casters; however, this can be tough on carpet.
  • Be mindful of the height of armrests and whether the chair will push under the desk without banging into it for when it’s not in use.
  • By placing a very small ‘lumber’ cushion at the back of the chair you will not only guarantee comfort but it will help the chair from looking too corporate in your home environment!
  • More and more chair designs are now coming in a range of colours which allow an ‘office’ chair to more easily fit into an elegant and sumptuous home environment; however, if you anticipate spending a lot of time at your desk, comfort and ergonomics are for more important considerations.

3. The proper lighting

Sure, that cute, stylish and sleek lamp is all the rave – but does it do the job that it is supposed to? Life at the desk is too miserable if you don’t have ideal lighting. Whilst ambience is important you need to have very clear, LED lighting which reduces the strain on your eyes.

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Kelvin LED desk lamp by Flos at Euroluce

Think along the lines of a lamp which has adjustable wattage, flexible enough to shine light where you need it most and doesn’t take up too much desk area.

4. Space solutions

Home offices always need cabinet space at some point for filing or storing, so it makes sense to choose a cabinet, or cabinets, that are multipurpose. I find for my clients custom built cabinetry which can be discrete and if necessary, can also incorporate a tiny fridge or a display area for their collections or sporting memorabilia, is the best option. Otherwise, a sideboard with ample drawers and shelving that does not overpower the room – but that is large enough to store the necessary files.

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Segreto desk by Molteni at Hub Furniture

If you are operating in a tight space, you will need to take care to utilise your space as efficiently as possible. Not every home has a full room that can be dedicated to an office. If this applies to you, then you might find yourself in search of the perfect spot to claim as your work area. When on the lookout, take care to select a spot that is as quiet and distraction-free as possible. Preferably, an area furthest away from where main activities take place.

5. Utilise technology

Technology these days has made its way to more functional, efficient and effective tools. Instead of big and bulky equipment, you can now invest in combo units that service multiple purposes and free up desk space. For instance, a fax machine/scanner/printer all in one, portable laptop instead of a desktop computer and the office phone replaced by a mobile phone. Additionally, running your home office wirelessly will help to declutter and further simplify your setup. It does vary however, as some of my clients have an external work office space so they can operate with just a notepad and pen on their dining table, whereas others require a more permanent home office set up.

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Aerin Lauder’s East Hampton library/office in Elle Decor

Your home office is a personal area. It should be a space that not only fits your needs, but also a sanctuary that reflects who you are. Taking the time to include the above essentials, will ultimately aid in creating a space that proves to be functional, purposeful and enjoyable to your life – which, at the end of the day is all you need out of your home office.

Kym Lackmann

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