Where is the Best Place for Your Home Office?Home offices usually find themselves in one of three places, according to Jena Hall, American Furniture Hall of Famer, Designer and Creative Strategist. “The kitchen is the nerve center of the home. The family room or a spare bedroom will also work,” Hall says. Kitchen – “New homes are commonly built with open floor plans. Following this trend, people who renovate their older homes often take out walls to open up the space – usually the wall between the kitchen and dining or the kitchen and family room,” Hall says. “Since modern families no longer do the majority of their entertaining in the dining room, getting rid of these walls makes the dining table a more accessible surface. When the kitchen-dining room space is opened up, the dining table now becomes a possible homework station, study center or a place to play games.” Hall goes on to discuss alternate kitchen work surface options. “Some kitchens include built-in desks. These surfaces are sometimes equipped with drawers and offer enough space for desktop computers. This is a step up from the dining table-kitchen counter work surface. Should you have enough space after opening up your dining room and kitchen, you can always add a small desk if your kitchen doesn’t have one built-in. ActiveLife™ adjustable height desks from Twin Star Home™ make great office workstations and can double as a bar when entertaining.” Uptown Loft™ Command Central Desk and Lift Top Coffee Table from Twin Star Home Family Room/Den – If you want to be close to your family while you work, the family room might be another good option. “Multipurpose furniture helps transition the family room from lounging to working and back again. ActiveLife lift top coffee tables will raise the top surface, making it easier to use it as a desk while you sit and have a snack on your sofa. There is a little extra storage space under the top, so you can keep some small supplies there as well. Rolling filing cabinets can also be used as side tables and include file and storage drawers. You can place your printer on an open shelf or unused surface,” Hall advises. Spare Bedroom – For the entrepreneur or at-home 9-to-5’er, the dual kitchen or family room may not be enough. You may need a dedicated space to plan and accomplish daily and long-term goals. “Since it’s likely you will be sitting for a long time, make sure your chair is comfortable,” Hall says. It’s just as important as getting the right desk. An ill-suited chair will keep you from getting work done, the antithesis of your goal.
How to Choose the Perfect Desk for Your Home OfficeDepending on how you work, the desk is presumably where you’ll make all those high-level decisions and crank out important projects. Before picking out your desk, keep the following points in mind.
- Are you sharing the office? You may want to have separate desks or share a partners desk, such as the Uptown Loft™ Command Central Desk from Twin Star Home. These desks allow one person to work on either side and will save a lot of space in a two-person office.
- Do you want the option to expand your workspace? Some desks have expandable sides, like the Swedish Classics™ Writing Desk, so you can benefit from extra space.
- What kind of surface do you need? Glass tops are much easier to clean than wood, making them more kid friendly and dry erase compatible.
- Do you prefer to stand while you work? ActiveLife adjustable height desks from Twin Star Home are great home office desks that let you sit and stand with a light touch of the control panel. If you already have a desk, but you’d still like the option to stand, desk converters can be placed on any existing surface to turn it into a sit-stand workstation. Intermittent standing has several health benefits, as discussed in our blog titled 5 Ideas to Help You Work and Live Healthier.
- Will a single desk not give you enough workspace? Hall suggests considering an L-shaped configuration or a U configuration.
How to Choose Storage for Your Home Office?What should you do with all your stuff? How should you organize it? Start with what you need and go from there. The only items you need at an arm’s length away is what you reach for frequently. Anything more, and your workspace could become too cluttered, causing you to lose focus.
- Filing cabinets – store all your documents in hanging folders and label them so you can get to what you need quickly. Jena Hall suggests using the closet for dated document storage. “As much as we’d like to go paperless, there are some important documents that you can’t get rid of. Keeping a filing system in your closet keeps these papers safe and separate from your day-to-day work. A well-organized home office will help you find everything you need at a moment’s notice, thus allowing you to work more quickly and efficiently. “A place for everything and everything in its place,” says Hall.
- Bookcases & bookshelves – anything you want displayed can go directly on the shelf. Organize these items in baskets if you need them to be concealed. Tall storage solutions let you use the vertical space and are great for small home offices.
- Credenza – keep office supplies out of the way and add another surface. You can place it behind you, or even use it as a return.