How To Decorate Your Home Office Like A Boss
Photo: Westend61, Getty Images.
Working from home might sound like a dream come true…until you realize that your former office was far more well-equipped than your telecommuting-from-the-kitchen-table set-up. Here’s a checklist of home office must-haves for optimal efficiency and comfort. (Laptop not included!)
You’ve heard that sitting is the new smoking, right? In the interest of your health, ditch the standard desk and get a standing one instead. It will save space, help you burn more calories throughout the day, and increase productivity. Options for standing desks abound: the Stork Stand attaches to office chairs, Varidesk offers tabletop models that rise and lower, and major retailers like Ikea and Target have multiple variations on the standing desk theme in their online inventories.
You will need to sit down eventually, especially if you meet with clients in-house. A pair of plush and stylish armchairs is the answer. Invest well in these pieces of furniture, keep them clean, adorn with daring throw pillows, and don’t allow pets anywhere near them. Add a small table in between your armchairs for a place to rest beverages or electronic devices.
Natural light is the best light, hands down, but at some point you’ll be working in the wee hours of the morning, late into the night, or will simply need a little more illumination. Just say no to overhead lighting and brighten up your work space, subtly, with lamps. A clip-on lamp with an adjustable arm is ideal for the desk area while statement lamps are more appropriate for the seating section of the room. Whatever the style of lamps you choose, make sure the bulbs won’t require an extra trip to a specialty store when they burn out. (The last thing you need is more errands.) If you live in a wintry climate, consider a light therapy lamp to keep the blues away.
Yes, you’re stuck inside for the next eight hours, but that doesn’t mean you should shut out nature. Plants clean the air of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which come from printers and copiers (among many other sources). Spider plants, snake plants, peace lilies, golden pothos, and cacti are all hardy varieties that do well in home office spaces.
Just because you’ll have your face in a screen all day doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a few funky, eye-catching accessories scattered about your home office space. Consort Design’s online store offers a badass series of brass hands in varying degrees of offensive gestures, insect sculptures, print surfboards, and Softheads wall mounts in bull, deer, horse, and bulldog shapes because why wouldn’t you want to be surrounded by any–or all–of those things?
Stress balls, Slinkys, Zen gardens, bobbleheads–don’t be afraid to include a few childish items among your office decor. They give your hands something to fidget with while on the phone and act as ice breakers when you meet with clients. Just don’t let them overrun your desk or distract you from your real work.
A home office contains a multitude of easy-to-misplace items. Make sure yours don’t stray from where they’re supposed to be with desk accessories that keep everything in its place. Wall organizers are a great way to take advantage of vertical storage space. Desktop cubes keep like-minded items together and within reach. Shelves hold books or display framed photographs. File trays keep your papers prioritized. This is a place where you can add pops of color and personality to your work space. Go wild–as long as everything gets put away!
Yeah, yeah, you schedule your days with Google invites, but an app doesn’t give you a big-picture view like a wall calendar does. Do-it-yourself with a clipboard calendar or go big and bold with a wall full of dated squares, then get your red pen out and fill ’em up.
No, they’re not just for chicks. Vision boards are a fun and inexpensive reminder of what you’re working so hard to achieve. To create, buy a piece of posterboard, a glue stick, and three or four magazines that focus on fitness, architecture, travel, finance, or style. Snip whatever images, words, phrases, or products inspire you from the glossies. When you have a plentiful pile, do a dry lay-out on the posterboard. Once you’re satisfied with your arrangement, get gluing. Hang in a spot where your eyes frequently wander (but one out of view from your web cam to avoid an embarrassing Skype session with your boss) and watch your deepest desires manifest.
Rare is the stress-free work day. Release tension and get the kinks out of your hard-working bod with a stretching break once per day. A quality yoga mat, when used correctly, is the spendthrift’s substitute for on-call masseuse. Grab one of Gaiam‘s “sticky-grip” varieties and cue up an easy asana video on YouTube; in as little as ten minutes, you’ll feel feel refreshed and ready to get back on the horse.