Architects and remodelers in Silicon Valley have been flooded with requests for home offices in the past year – whereas only some homeowners had the need for a dedicated workspace in 2019, 68% more of us have seen the value in a custom home office design in 2020 (AIA Home Design Trends Survey). As you read this from your kitchen table, couch, or spare room, you’re probably not surprised to hear that your neighbors have been thinking of ditching their temporary workspaces, too. A corner at the kitchen table worked in the past because it was only for the occasional late night, but homeowners are now realizing the importance of having a space that’s dedicated solely to work. It allows us to stay motivated and inspired as we start the day, and when it’s time to log off, it feels easier to separate work and play.
You don’t have to start your home office from scratch – 45% more homeowners have converted a multi-purpose space into something more specific this year (AIA). For some, that’s been a home office; for others, an exercise or yoga room. Since we’re spending most of our time at home these days, it’s the perfect moment to consider how we could design our favorite spaces to more closely meet our needs. Keep reading for a remodeler’s take on how we can design our home offices for a changing world:
Converting a Drop-Zone into a Work-Zone
For many homeowners, it is possible to get a more suitable workspace without adding any square footage. In the case of this home in Saratoga, a rarely-used dining room fit the bill. Instead of it becoming a dropzone for clutter, this new work station could now provide enough room for a sizeable built-in desk, and was designed to include other office essentials like ample storage and easy access to power sources. The set of nearby French doors keeps this work hub feeling warm and cozy, and a beautiful backyard and pool in view certainly doesn’t hurt!
To maximize the comfort of your new home office, choose a chair that’s comfortable, decorate with calming, natural colors, and add cozy accents like blankets and family photos to take advantage of the comforts of home while you work.
The Ideal Work Station
We’ve all settled into our favorite cushion of the couch, or quiet(er) corner of the kitchen table, but without a dedicated space to work, it’s been more and more challenging to feel the same level of motivation that we were able to achieve at the office. Because both adults and students will be working from home for the time being, a newly minted workspace should be able to easily accommodate multiple needs. A space separate from common areas like the kitchen and living room could be helpful for conference calls and classes, while a desk set up aside from the kitchen could be useful for homework, crafts, or paying the bills.
An important element of that, in addition to storage and overall design, is a smooth and durable surface to work on. A laminate or wood veneer is ideal because they’re both scratch and stain-resistant, and fairly easy to maintain. When designing your home office with a remodeler, don’t forget to consider where these commonly used items will go:
- Webcam (if needed)
- Personal Devices
Organized By Design
It’s not always easy to stay organized, but a home office can be designed to make maintaining order and completing daily tasks much easier. To accomplish this, you can:
- Keep only the essentials on your desktop – everything else can be stored away
- Organize and label your office tools by category. Binders, folders, and supplies can be laid out on floating shelves for an added design element
- Secondary surfaces like drawers and cabinets can keep the remaining supplies at arm’s length, but out of eyesight
Decisions, Decisions: Choosing a Color Palette
When choosing a color palette, remember how you want the home office to make you feel. A paint color alone can’t erase stress, but choosing a calming color like blue can have more positive effects on your mood. Some people also prefer a clean, pure white palette.
A pop of color from an accent wall or a decor item can spark creativity, while a more relaxed color can keep your eyes from wandering too far from the task at hand. Picking a neutral color will give you the freedom to style the space a bit more creatively when it comes to decor, while an accent paint color will be better complemented with more neutral furniture.
With these home office design tips, you’re ready to start planning. Reach out to a member of our team today to discuss your home remodeling goals for 2021!