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Designing Your Home Office

busy home office

Make the most of your home office space.

Designing your home office involves making the most of whatever space you have, be it big or small. There are some specific items you’ll need to make sure you have in place no matter what your home based business might be. You’ll also want to allow some space for your own personal creative flair.

Designing Your Home Office Space

Colors

Although that bright lime green might seem like a fresh and modern look for your office, remember that you’ll be working in this space day after day. After a while, the lime green may begin to grate on your nerves. Also keep in mind whether your business is the type that you might need to invite clients into your home office space. If so, lime green may not present the professional image you’d prefer. Instead, go with a neutral color like a warm cocoa brown or gray. You can then weave in the lime green with curtains or picture frames for a burst of your personality.

Basic Necessities

There are some basic necessities that you’ll want to keep in mind when designing your home office. These are things you’ll likely use often and thus need to find space for.

  • Desk
  • Printer and stand (unless your desk is large enough to hold your printer)
  • A place to store paper and mailing supplies
  • Filing cabinets
  • Bookshelves
  • Work table to spread out your work when necessary
  • Comfortable chair that won’t make your back ache

If you have a large enough space, you may want to add a couple of chairs for clients or a small couch for visitors. You can put the finishing touches on designing your home office with plants, personal pictures and knick knacks that have special meaning. Some people keep the first dollar they earn and frame it, for example.

Designing Your Home Office in Small Spaces

If you are just starting out, or your home is very small, and you have limited space, you will need to make the most you have of that space.

  • Armoires: If your office needs to reside in a busy part of your house, an armoire desk is ideal. Most have space for a computer, printer, papers and a few other supplies. Essentially, all your work at home is contained in a very organized space and you can close it up at the end of your work day so your home isn’t cluttered. In addition, utilize the space on the back of the doors to hang post it notes, cork board and file folder holders.
  • Think Up: A rule of thumb in storage solutions is to think “up”. If you have a small closet you are using for your desk area and you need more storage space, look up. There may be empty space on the wall that you are not utilizing.
  • Scatter: Consider scattering your work areas in different sections of your home. Perhaps your desk, printer and mailing supplies could be kept in an armoire in the living room, but you still need a space to package orders. A small table set up in the laundry room might serve this purpose until you can find a more permanent solution.
  • Roll-top Desks: Roll tops are another solution to placing a desk in the center of your home. You can simply roll the top closed to hide away your message desk with the scattered papers. The larger desks come with small built in drawers and filing systems.

As you complete your home office design, keep in mind that what your business is today may not be what it is tomorrow. Can your space be flexible enough to grow with your company? Plan for more space than you’ll need whenever possible. A space that brings a smile to your face is going to be much more pleasant to work in than one that you hate. Add a few items that you love and that make you happy and your new space is sure to be a hit.

About

Lori Soard has worked online designing websites, writing, editing and promoting clients since 1997. Through Promo Warriors, she's consulted with over 100 clients to help them figure out what online presence works best for them. In addition to helping people learn how to start their own businesses, she writes feel-good books about the way love and the world should be.