Month: October 2016

Home Office Desk Ideas: Combining Style with Function

Published On: October 18, 2016

 

Do you think a Blog about Home Office Desk Ideas won’t interest you because you don’t work from home as part of your job? You may want to reconsider because the big questions really are: Who needs a space in their home to organize and pay bills, read and write emails or store basic office supplies? We all do!

The first step in planning a home office space is determining your needs. Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Who will be using the office space? Will multiple people be working at one time?
  • How will they be using it? What technology accommodations are needed? How much desktop surface is needed, is there work involving over-sized materials?
  • Where in your home will it be located? Is there a designated room for it or will it share with your kitchen or guest room for example?
  • How much storage and/or filing space is needed?

Once you’ve determined who will use the space and how they will use it, the next step is to match your needs to the right home office furniture and the right home office furniture to your space.

The Star of the Home Office Furniture Show

The big star of a Home Office is the desk. Home Office Desks can be found in many Carlyle - Large Storage Desk - H371-27sizes and styles. Crowley Furniture offers Home Office collections that can fill the needs for any home office area regardless of size or shape. From mission to traditional to modern you can furnish your space to be functional AND enjoyable.

If you’d prefer to go off the grid with your Home Office Desk Idea think about these suggestions to create a one-of-a-kind desk:

  • Use two file cabinets or 30” high bookcases as bases with a door across the top. This is a creative solution with an extra large work surface and tucked away storage.
  • Many Sofa Tables or Media Consoles are perfect to double as a small desk. These are ideal for adding function and character to a cozy space.
  • Skip a desk entirely by putting a wall to work by painting it with chalkboard paint, dry erase paint or magnetic paint (or a combination of the three!). You can hang, post and clip everything you need right to the wall.Vintage Gray - Console Table - T500-504

Whatever style of desk you get be sure it has the technological capabilities you need. This is especially important to pay attention to when planning a DIY desk.

Some features to look for:

  • Access holes for cords to reach from your devices to electrical outlets so you don’t have unsightly cords draped over your furniture.
  • Built in outlets and USB ports for easy access to charge cell phones and laptops.
  • Storage and organization-do you need drawers to hold files, extra space for craft or art supplies?

The Home Office Supporting Cast

There are many other furniture pieces created specifically for an office environment. Whether you use a collection piece or a repurposed find keep these in mind as you plan out what is best for you:

  • File Cabinets
    • Vertical
      • PRO: Uses a minimum amount of wall space.
      • CON: Stretches far into the room especially when open so be sure to have ample walk space.
    • Lateral
      • PRO: Able to hold different size files in a single drawer.
      • CON: Slightly higher in price
  • Bookcases
    • Sizes-Choose the height that works best in your space or combine heights for added interest.Grove - Bookcases - DG3460/72/84
    • Doors-Doors on the bottom will hide things you want to keep out of sight.
  • Credenzas-A credenza often houses the printer and provides additional storage.
  • Hutches
    • Lo-A short hutch that sits on top of a desk or credenza that offers additional shelving and storage space.
    • Hi-A tall hutch that sits on top of a desk or credenza that offers an abundance of shelving and storage space.
  • Corner Table-The corner table fills in the corner space created by “L” or “U” shaped arrangements to provide additional surface area. This is often a great place for a printer.

Home Office Configuration Options

The size and shape of your home office space, as well as how you use it, will help determine the best configuration for you. With so many pieces available in our Home Office collections, you have many arrangement alternatives to choose from:

  • L-shaped: A common configuration that consists of three pieces: a desk, a credenza or return and a corner table.
  • U-shaped: This arrangement is useful to someone who works at their home office space full time and requires abundant storage and surface space. Typically this configuration consists of a desk, a return and a credenza.
  • Back-to-Back: This set-up is popular for offices where two people share a work space, often for many hours a day, and each requires his or her own desk. The two desks are placed back to back down the middle of the space.
  • Floating: This configuration can be combined with other pieces but is often seen in a work area that consists only of a desk that sits away from the wall with its back to a corner. If the room is right, this is a great way to arrange your office furniture and presents a welcoming feel when you enter the room.
  • Window Facing: If you’re the type to be easily distracted this may not be the arrangement for you. Some people, however, thrive when flooded with light and the ability to keep an eye on the world.

 

Other pieces you may need to complete your space or make you more efficient:

  • DESK CHAIRS: Standard office chairs that swivel, allow you to select the desired height and are ergonomically designed are ideal for situations where you’ll be sitting for long periods of time. For a less institutional look you could consider straight back chairs that are more decorative. These come in hundreds of options allowing you to choose style, finish, wood or upholstered seat, arms or armless.
  • ROOM FILLERS: If you have extra space you may want to place a chair with an ottoman, a recliner or a loveseat in the area to give you a change of scenery without getting too far from your tasks. These are also great for power naps!
  • ADJACENT SPACES: If your Home Office is in a garage or side building, consider a small kitchen or coffee bar for convenient lunches or breaks. A TV Stand may also be helpful to house a TV and DVR for an early morning yoga session or mid-day news reports. Some collections cross over with Home Office pieces, Home Entertainment pieces and Occasional Tables such as Cross Island, Hamlyn and Carlysle. These groups provide even more options to complete your space.
  • CLIENT VISITS: If you need to host client meetings in your Home Office space be Quail Run - Dining Set - DQT13636sure to provide appropriate seating for guests. A small conference table may also be in order. Storage and organization is especially important when clients are entering your domain to keep it neat and uncluttered. Be sure to design your space to reflect your business and clients.

Are accessories important in a Home Office area?

FOR SURE! While a Home Office space is very utilitarian, it still needs to have some personalization and personality. Consider these options:

  • Book Ends: They add interest and variety to shelves that otherwise are very uniform. Try using them on two different shelves, each one holding in place books that are resting against the side of the bookcase on the other end.
  • Area Rugs: Whether you have wall-to-wall carpet or hard surface flooring an Area Rug can spice up your space. It can also define the work area when it’s a shared space such as a guest room or den.
  • Window Treatments: You’ll most likely need some sort of light control so you won’t have to plan your schedule around the location of the sun. You’ll want to be able to clearly see all of your device screens without glare.
  • Lamps/Overhead Lights: Choose lamps and ceiling fixtures that can provide the proper wattage for your personal requirements. These will need to give off brighter task lighting versus low ambient lighting.

Stay motivated!

While you want to be able to stay focused in your work space you can still make it fun and motivating. Surround yourself with a favorite shade of paint or a to-die-for wallpaper pattern. Choose things for this space that you love and that inspire you. Whether you have a designated room for your Home Office or not, you can transform your space into an area you love. Here are some ideas to create the room you’ve always dreamed of:

  • Gentleman’s Library-You’ve probably seen this style many times in your life but it remains a classic. Reminiscent of a castle library or smoking lounge, it’s decorated with dark, heavy furnishings and traditionally styled pieces. Popular colors to create this effect are deep greens, reds and golds.
  • Peaceful Tranquility-This is the space that will make you feel like you’ve entered a spa and your chi is flowing freely. Simple furnishings and items that have a light and airy look to them are best. Be careful that you don’t get too relaxed, that will probably not be productive for a work space. Cool, light colors such as sage, sky blue and sandy beige can help create this zen effect.
  • Mom Cave-The Mom Cave may lean more toward arts and crafts than documents and spreadsheets so a larger work surface and abundant storage may be needed. The Mom Cave would be filled with pretty finds that create a world where she can escape. Colors could go in just about any direction but most likely will be happy and welcoming.
  • Vintage Chic-This space will be filled with unique finds and repurposed pieces. Nothing matches and everything has a story. That very popular gray/beige color would surely come into play somewhere in this space.
  • Super Sleek-If you love clean, streamlined rooms this will be the office style for you. Modern touches such as fuss-free furnishings and shiny metal accents will give this room its signature look. Neutrals and tone-on-tone are common color themes for a sleek space often with a small burst of a single, bold color like bright yellow or cobalt blue to give the room spark.

Multi-Purpose Spaces

What if your Home Office shares a space with your Guest Room or Master Bedroom? Moonstruck - Queen Sleeper - 2409It can still be an efficient, functional space but you want to be sure it plays well with others. Your office furnishings and accessories should flow with what is going on in the rest of the room so they appear to be one well-planned, cohesive space. Be sure your Guest Room is equipped with charging stations for your guests’ phones and laptops. To conserve space in a Guest Room consider a Sleeper Sofa or Daybed that can be expanded when guests arrive.

One crucial consideration if your office area is sharing a space with another function in your home or is located where there is a lot of traffic, you must keep it organized! It’s easy for this area to turn into a dumping ground that quickly becomes an area you do not want to spend time in. Our friends at HGTV have these great tips to offer for organizing and decluttering your work space:

  1. 1.Purge Paper Get control of the paper in your office using the System of Three: shred/toss it, file it or take action from it.
  2. 2.Color-Code Your Filing System Separate your files into categories:
    1. A.Green-Financial
    2. B.Red-Medical
    3. C.Orange-Personal
    4. D.Yellow-Insurance
    5. E.Blue-House
  3. 3.Create a Mail Station Make a folder for incoming and outgoing mail, mail to file, bills and a folder for every family member. As soon as the mail comes in, file it in the mail station. Once a week go through each folder.
  4. 4.Create a Printing Station Designate a space in your office area to house the printer and its supplies. If you have a wireless printer, it doesn’t have to go on your desk, place it on a credenza or a corner table to free up your desktop for other things.
  5. 5.Store in Containers Store office supplies in containers, bins, baskets and drawers. Keeping these items out of sight will give your office a decluttered look.
  6. 6.Use a Label Maker Invest in a good label maker and label your files, drawers and boxes. You’ll always know exactly where everything is. Be careful though, label making can be addictive!
  7. 7.Categorize Make your space more functional by organizing like items together. These universal group ideas will work for most people but you’ll also want to personalize based on your personal needs:
    1. A.Stickies (notes, tabs, stickers)
    2. B.Tools (straight cutter, stapler, staple remover, hole puncher)
    3. C.Budget (checkbook, calculator, bill calendar)
    4. D.Writing Tools (markers, pens, pencils)
    5. E.Mail (envelopes, stamps, address labels)
    6. F.Labeling (labeler and label tape)
  8. 8.Go Vertical-One trick people often miss when organizing an office is to utilize wall space to hang filing systems, calendars, whiteboards, shelving and more. Just remember these will always be on display so be sure they coordinate with your room design.

Hopefully some of these Home Office desk ideas and other tips will help make your work space a fun and inspirational place to spend time. Whatever size, style or layout you choose always remember to work happier, not harder!