The appearance of your home office has a tremendous impact on making you feel productive and motivated. As working from home already requires self-discipline, it helps to have a dedicated space for a home office to allow for creative flow and isolation from daily distractions. Here are six key steps to consider when designing your home office: 1.Assess your current office space. Analyze the space in which you will be working in by sitting at your desk and looking around the room. Take in the size, shape and features such as the fireplace or windows. Is the room comfortable? Is it too homely? Establish if clients will be coming to your office. If they will be, it is imperative that the space be kept well organized as you are gaining their respect and trust. Imagine you are a client. What things would you expect to see and what things should be stored out of sight? Does your office seem too small to meet clients in? Does your office equipment need to be updated? What statement does your office currently say about you and your business? 2.Create the look you want. Determine what type of environment you are most productive in. Now think about how you feel in your current office space. Do you feel inspired, drowsy or stressed out? Are you focused? Reflect on what tone you want this room to have. It can be casual, creative, contemporary or classic. One word of caution: Keep in mind who your clients are and what their interests may be. You don’t want this space to be too radical if your clients are primarily seniors. Consider your budget and decide on a time frame for the renovations to take place that works best for you and your family. 3.Select a paint color to reflect this mood. Color is the easiest way to improve a space and an effective way to alter it. Color creates an impression, and will affect all that come into your office. It can give a welcoming sense or make people feel too cramped and uncomfortable. Warm hues – reds, yellows and oranges create excitement, cheer and make people feel lively. Cool colors – blues, greens and purples create a calmer, more serene and restful atmosphere. You can cozy up a large room with warm colors and cool tones can open up a smaller space. Trendy office colors include tints of yellow and turquoise, beige and white. 4.Choose the necessary elements. Many home offices are decorated with mismatched pieces obtained from other rooms around the home. Is there an intermingling of fine wood, steel and metal furniture in your office? Decide what pieces work best together and part with the ones that don’t. The furniture, wall covering, flooring, lighting and window treatments should all work together in mood, function and harmony. Are there noticeable distractions that don’t belong? These may include laundry, ironing board, posters and busy wallpaper. If there is clutter, sort through it and neatly file important documents and discard items that haven’t been used for more than a year. Save yourself money by recovering, refinishing, repairing and repainting pieces. 5.Add accessories for a final touch. Introduce accessories into your work space to pull all design components together. Situate houseplants and aromatherapy scents around the room to increase alertness and performance. Display certificates and diplomas on the wall as they will help build credibility and impress your clients. Add a pleasant calendar to your wall. Purchase a desk organizer set. Lay a daily planner out so you will stay organized. Place a small radio in your office so you can listen to soft music as you work. Arrange fresh flowers on a table near where your clients will be seated. Position framed pictures on the walls that will motivate you to work. Design consultants will advise you to go through decorating magazines and clip out photos you like. This will allow you and the designer to get a better sense of what design aspects you like and possibly take some ideas from these pages and implement them into your area. They can offer a variety of placement and design options for you to choose from while suggesting cost-efficient ways of getting the look you want on a smaller budget. Have fun decorating your home office and remember that renovations don’t last forever!
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