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July 30, 2020

Home Office Design Ideas: Welcome To My Office

At the time of this writing, my office is my backyard. If it rains later, I will migrate to the dining room table. If the dogs decide that anything, I mean anything, moving outside warrants a barkfest, then its on to the bedroom where I can spread out and hopefully stay awake!

Sound familiar?! And this still happens even though I have a perfectly good studio space walking distance from the house!

It’s human nature for most of us to just make it work. And winging it is fine for an occasional late night or mandatory work over the weekend kind of gig, but if this pandemic has taught us one thing (and it’s taught us a lot!), it’s that we should take control where we can… and that can start with your home office.

We have changed, perhaps forever, the way we work, educate and play. And now when it’s so easy to blur the lines (and the days and the meals and the workout plans), it’s more important than ever to set aside space to work, attend school, pay bills and all the other tasks that deserve their rightful space in your home, and your brain.

We have some tips on how to make even your office feel like a sanctuary and a place you might actual enjoy taking a Zoom call!

photo credit McGee & Co

Tip 1- Walk to Work

It’s important to create a physical space between work and home. Studies show that having your home office in your bedroom, while perhaps convenient, reduces your ability to get a good nights sleep and makes it difficult for your brain to ever truly turn off.

So when this is your view, go ahead a break the no office in the bedroom rule!photo credit Onekindesign
So when this is your view, go ahead a break the no office in the bedroom rule! photo credit Onekindesign

Ideally, pick a space that requires you to retreat from the rest of the house. Be creative- An extra closet in a guest room might work, or the guest room itself. Basements and attics are a luxury for their space and get away from it all ability, but make sure you have ample light and fresh air. And if you are the lucky few, a shed or Folly House might have you begging to stay at work!

A simple back door space can do the trick!
Consider unused space under the stairs
A little used pantry can be a perfect office getaway

Tip 2- Dress for Success

Make sure your work space has everything you need to do your job. This might sound like a no brainer, but it’s the little stuff that can drive you crazy! Do you have enough outlets? Is your internet connection good enough? Is your workspace big enough? And how is your storage? Investing in a few good tables and filing cabinets can make a world of difference. And think outside of the box. That extra dining table in storage waiting for your grown up kids, might be the perfect place to spread out a project.

A wall size cork board can help organize your thoughts and dreams…
Ample storage frees up desk space. And when short on wall space, consider shelving for creative ways to hang artwork.

Tip 3- Color You Productive

If you know me, you know I have a fasten your seatbelt approach to color. I never met a color I didn’t like (except that green they used in hospitals in the ‘70’s!), but knowing what helps you focus and what does not is really important.

Benjamin Moore Coventry Grayphoto credit
Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray photo credit

Yellows have a tendency to stimulate the brain as do oranges and reds. I love to use those as a spritzer in a room. Think about a fabulous drawer or the inside of a cabinet.

The pop of color behind the bookcases allows for a playful distraction

Try those colors in pillow or a throw, but not your walls. Blues and greens are the worlds most prevalent colors and, for the most part, the brain sees them as safe and calming. These tones can set the mood for a productive and calm space that allows work and study to have it’s time.

Calke Green by Farrow and Ball

Tip 4- Style Your Zoom, But Keep it Real

You’ve seen it. That amazing bookshelf filled with perfectly proportioned objects and sculpture and books on the art of neurophysics along with the occasional photo of someone shaking someone’s very important hand. Zoom shelves have become a snapshot of our lives and homes, but not always an accurate one.

This simple background doesn’t distract from your calls and is actually really functional! photo credit Arhaus
Substantial and visually interesting bookends create interest as well as a much needed assist for books

Let the backdrop to  your video calls represent who you really are. Avid golfer? Adored grandparent? Collector of Comic-Con art? Go for it. But let it be you. And if it’s not you, hey that’s ok too. A few rules to remember include not sitting in front of a light facing into your computer screen or in front of a window.  And check yourself in your screen before the call to avoid anything embarrassing like vases that give you Micky Mouse ears or showing up in boxers, true story.

Tip 5- Be Inspired

This artwork is both calming and inspiring Essentially Nomadic on Etsy

We may not be able to get out the way we used to, but that doesn’t mean leaving the world behind. Adorn your new space with things that inspire you…travel, inspirational quotes, family, friends and, my favorite, an inspiration board of bucket list items. Keep moral high and give your mind a moment to wander.

Soothing colors and serene imagery keep you focused photo credit apartment

Tip 6- Embrace the Moment

Embrace the idea that we are the fortunate ones, having the opportunity to work from home. And as much as we yearn for our connections to be face to face, we can find gratitude in the opportunity to work and work from home. Try to find time to celebrate those you have at home with you and give a heart felt thanks to those on the front lines for us each day.

Double office by Mandeville Canyon Designs
Double office by Mandeville Canyon Designs

Capture a space that allows you to focus, produce and move forward. The only thing that is constant is change. Change and Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. That’s my new constant.

For more inspiration check out our Pinterest board!

Be well,

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Renee possesses a rare combination of artistic creativity and intuitive design.  Her warmth and compassion extended beyond working with us to understanding the style and feel of our home and how we live in it.  We felt fortunate to work with and get to know Renee and absolutely love the updates she made to our home- from windows and walls to artwork and furniture!

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