The ‘work from home’ lifestyle is no longer uncommon these days.
While some people choose to squeeze it in during the brief interludes of an active job schedule, others actually prefer just sticking to their home space. In this latter case, developing a comfortable room corner (or even an entire study) for work becomes a necessity.
Designing your very own home office might seem like an intimidating idea – at first. But if you have some extra space available in your residence, the process soon turns into a no-brainer. The key is to commit to it.
Form or function? Deciding how to move forward…
This question applies to not only designing a home office, but to going about any type of interior design process. More precisely, you need to determine whether ‘form’ or ‘function’ will decide your design orientation.
But first, you need to know what the two terms actually mean.
The form is the layout of a room.
In simpler words, it is the shape of the room. It not only comprises the room space, but everything else that you add to it. For example, the shape of the furniture in a room adds to its form.
The way a room is utilised is its function.
A good example to explain this concept is a kitchen. A lot of work goes on inside this particular room of a home. And in practically every home setting. Therefore (and for obvious reasons), it’s only natural for most people to design this space in a way that facilitates their regular activities. Good aesthetics become a secondary consideration.
Now, the phrase ‘form follows function’ is quite common within architecture and design circles. It means that the eventual form (look) comes as a consequence of a room’s function (practicality). By extension, it implies that the designer is focused more on the latter than on mere visuals.
In certain rooms (like the example stated), the function is definitely the priority. But it is not impossible to establish a balance between the two extremes.
So when you are designing your home office, try to locate the middle ground between both form and function. Work towards ensuring productivity and pleasing views at the same time.
Now that we have these basic explanations out of the way, let us get to the designing part!
Basics of designing a home office
Here is a brief guide to making a particular room functional and personalised for home office use.
Consider the following points:
Do you have enough space?
Depending on the nature of your employment, you will need a certain amount of space for working mobility.
Some people don’t need much room, so even a room corner can work for them. Others require larger spaces to accommodate an entire working table, along with different hardware equipment.
How much privacy do you need?
It is often impossible to work in an environment susceptible to frequent interruptions. If you are choosing a separate room for your home office, we recommend one that lies far away from the daily hubbub of your house.
In case you’re only converting a corner, choose one in a room that offers the most privacy. For example, a home office corner in your bedroom makes more sense than one in the living room.
Illuminating the home office
Most of us work during the day, so utilising natural lighting in your home office is ideal.
The layers of lighting, i.e. task, accent, and ambient, however, are just as important.
During the day, you can save on energy bills and do your health a favour by letting in more natural light. A large window with blinds will work well in a home office.
Also, try to incorporate design elements that distribute natural light more evenly. Do this by increasing reflective surfaces in the room. Buy that three-piece mirror set that you’ve been skimping on.
Colour palettes for the home office
Until now, we have focused on the functional aspects of designing a home office space. Choosing a colour theme, however, ties in with the whole debate concerning form.
A nice colour palette, in general, uplifts a room’s ambience. But you must be wise with your choices for a home office. Don’t opt for colours that are overly relaxing. For example, don’t choose tints and shades of blue that might make you ‘too calm’ to be efficiently productive.
The best choices in colours are those that don’t distract, but evoke a motivational effect too. Adding accents of revitalising colours like red and yellow are a good idea.
Contemporary or traditional?
Once again, this question is associated with creating the room’s form. While contemporary office designs make more sense in current times, there is no harm in opting for traditional layouts if they suit your needs better.
For a contemporary office space, design elements with cleaner lines and cuts are preferable. Such an office can also be minimalistic.
For the traditionally-designed office, you will have more freedom with layering. You could decorate the walls rather than leaving them bare, and use furniture that is more stylish than ergonomic.
Designing a home office needs more focus on functionality, if your primary goal is to be more productive. But balancing with a well-designed form prevents boring and demotivated days at work.
We love to hear from our readers, so share your ideas on designing a home office in the comments section below.