As a freelance writer who works from home, it’s come to my attention that running my business from the island in our kitchen is just not going to cut it anymore. And I’m sure some (many?) of you are in agreement. As workers continue to toil from home due to the pandemic, some have had to get creative with setting up their home office spaces. My best friend’s husband works from a corner in their hearth room (to her utter chagrin), and I’ve been tricking out our backyard shed to become my new studio/workspace.
In older farmhouses, finding office space can seem like an exercise in futility. But it doesn’t have to be. While most farmers didn’t need a home office back in the olden days when most original farmhouses were built, farmhouses usually have perfect little nooks and areas that can be turned into lovely small home office spaces.
Before jumping into creating your home office space, make a list of everything you think you’ll need to make it a comfortable and efficient place to work from. Here are a few questions you should answer to make sure you create the best office space possible for yourself!
- What “look” are you going for? Unlike a corporate office, you can design your home office any way you like (well, within reason and within budget of course). Do you like a cottagey feel? Modern? Would some Ikea furnishings work or are you envisioning a more vintagey vibe?
- Do you need an entire room devoted to your office where you can close the door, or would a small corner of the dining room be okay?
- How much space will you need? Will you be running meetings from your home office with clients coming in and out or will it just be you working away all day? Do you need a separate table for designing or laying materials out? Extra chairs? How much storage will you need? All of this will help dictate the size of a space you will require.
- Can you work in a space with no windows (if you can’t, then rigging up a closet as an office space might not work well), or do you require natural light? My sister recently had a corner in her garage retrofitted into an office. She has a beautiful window that looks out onto the front yard, plus the privacy she needs to get her work done.
- What kind of chair do you require? I have a little stool with a small back rest that I’ve been using forever. It’s not that comfortable and I’d love something that was softer, as I sit at my desk/island (wink) a lot while writing. Or are you okay working on your laptop from the couch? Would a lap desk be better?
- What about practical things like a paper shredder, noise canceling headphones, etc.?
- Lighting is important. What type of task lighting do you need? Mood lighting?
- What about decor? Art? Shelving? A rug? Curtains?
- Will you need a lot of storage for files? Where will the printer go? Printer paper? A label printer? Shippping labels? Boxes? Fabric?
- And think about all the other items that go along with your specific job. If you’re a designer, will you need a big inspiration board? An extra computer? Certain art supplies?
If You Only Have a Corner in a Room…
If you’re planning on placing your office space in the corner of a room in your home, remember that you’ll be dealing with many home life distractions that come with it: noise from family members, knocks on the front door, loud neighbors. And you’ll want to make sure the office space blends in well with the rest of your home. Consider tall plants to act as a natural boundary or even some type of screen or shelving unit that can function almost like a wall between your office space and the rest of the room.
Years ago, I thought it would be bright to place my desk and office space in our master bedroom. That wasn’t a great idea. The electronic lights and the constant reminder of having to work didn’t work well. It made the room feel chaotic, and I had a hard time separating work from sleep! But if you happen to have a closet in your bedroom that is large enough to house a desk and some work-related paraphernalia, then that’s a good option. You can at least close the door to your office before hitting the hay.
Got any creative tips for creating office space in your home? Share below!