In our exceedingly digital world, the traditional office job held between the hours of nine to five is becoming almost archaic. If you have a laptop and a phone, you can often make your own hours and even work from home—a triumph for those averse to following the status quo or with family to take care of during the day. As wonderful as the freedom to make your own hours and work in your pj’s may sound, it can be a challenge to create a productive environment that allows you to keep your work life separate from your home life.
That’s just the dilemma faced by graphic designer, blogger, and style expert Kim Lapides of Eat Sleep Wear. “Both my husband and I work from home. So that means we need to find ways to be able to truly ‘go to work’ and stay focused when we are home,” Lapides explains. Cue the home office redesign Lapides took on. You’ll want to scoop up all the home office organization ideas she learned from experience. Take a look inside her functional but design-minded office nook, and be inspired to organize and design your own workspace wherever that may be.
These are the smart organization ideas you need to know before working from home.
Add Warmth in the Details
For Lapides, remembering the details was an important part of her design process. “A lot of times I tend to want a stark white space and forget to add elements to warm it up.” She utilized a light colored rug, faux-fur throws, and a variety of pillows to cozy up her home office. The space wouldn’t be complete without art on the walls for a little midday inspiration. Lapides went for a gallery wall, but even one piece of art has a way of giving life to any room. If you’re looking for affordable prints, she recommends HomeGoods, but you can also find art worthy of your home office from Tappan Collective and Saatchi Art.
The final detail not to be forgotten: flowers. “Never underestimate the power of fresh flowers and a scented candle to make your space more tranquil,” she adds.
Think About Function
“Look at office design the same as the rest of your house. It’s all about form and function. Allow yourself a space to be inspired and really sink into,” Lapides recommends. Storage is the key to an organized and fully functional office space. You’ll never stay focused on work if clutter is constantly catching your eye. “I always incorporate different types of storage when I am creating a space. I live in these spaces, and it’s important to me that they function well,” she says.
For her space, this meant a console table to stow away all the things that are better kept out of sight. A console table is a great way to add a décor element to your home office because it’s functional for storage and organization, yet warm and homey—perfect for holding coffee table books and flowers. Function also means creating a space to take a break from your work to refresh and get inspired. “By adding an armchair with a footstool, I could easily take a break from my computer screen while having a cup of coffee and getting inspired with some of my favorite magazines.”
Match the Rest of Your Home Décor
Just because you’re dedicating a space in your home to your work doesn’t mean you need to scrap the décor of the rest of your home in the process. Allow the spaces to flow together. “I think it was about creating a space that we could live in for all aspects of our work,” Lapides says.
You want to be able to focus in your home office, but it’s still part of your home. “When I was deciding on the color scheme of our office, I wanted it to blend seamlessly with the rest of our home décor,” Lapides explains. For her, this meant cool neutrals to create a sense of calm and to complement the rest of her home. Add some accent colors to pull the space together and give it a bit of personality, and you’ll be ready to get down to business.
Don't Forget the Desk Essentials
The desk is a crucial part of the home office, and you’ll want to keep it organized for maximum productivity. Yes, you’ll need your computer for working and you’ll stay organized with applications for your calendar, to-do lists, and projects, but Lapides prefers to stick with the basics. “Hands down one of my favorite desk essentials is a notebook and a pen. No matter how digitized our world tends to get, there is nothing like jotting down my notes and to-do list with pen and paper,” she says. You’ll also want to make sure you have plenty of drawers, bins, and paper trays to keep all your documents and projects in order, just as you would in any other office space.
Do you work from home? Share your home office organization ideas in the comments below.