Creating a Home Office Space for All Ages

The line between working in and living in our homes has become less distinct — for all family members.

A light and bright work space by Thea Home Inc.

A light and bright work space by Thea Home Inc.

More and more people want to have a home office, whether it’s a simple space for taking care of household business, a spot for the inevitable papers from school or the office or a dedicated spot for homework and studying.

Tuck a work station into a hallway. Source: Zillow

A well-designed office area can provide a space that encourages productivity and reflects the style of the rest of your home. Finding space can be a challenge. If you’re fortunate to have a spare room, it’s easy to locate an office there. However, all too often, you’ll need to borrow space from an existing room — diplomatically, so as not to disturb the room’s original purpose. A common spot is a corner of a kitchen or family room.

What was once the spot for a telephone in the kitchen was transformed into a small office. Source: Zillow

The advantage is that the office is not separated from the day-to-day activities in the house; it also allows parents to monitor children’s Internet usage.

A little nook right off the kitchen is perfect for managing the everyday busyness of life. Source: Woodstone Renovation

Guest room and office combination

A corner of a guest bedroom is another popular choice. If your guest room must do double duty, look for furniture that keeps the room from being too businesslike, such as an office armoire, chests, cabinets, side tables and footstools with built-in storage.

Combine the guest room with the office space. Source: DKOR Interiors

Space for home offices and study areas can also be found in some unexpected places, such as an underused closet, space under the stairs, or a place in the attic, basement or even a garage.

With built-in furniture, a corner can be just enough space for a dedicated office. Source: Viscusi Elson Interior Design

Designing a work space

Some experts have said that there are only two essentials for a functional home work space: a comfortable chair and a door that closes. For most people, though, there are probably a few more requirements. Basic elements of designing a room include smart space planning, adequate lighting and sufficient storage. When thinking of the home office or study station, also consider functionality and inspirational comfort.

This incredible home office has loads of storage opportunities. Source: Klopf Architecture

Start with your work surface. Stock desk units come in a variety of materials, but may be difficult to fit in your room. Modular office furniture is more flexible and is available in a number of styles. Flea market finds and antiques can be turned, with some judicious changes, into acceptable home office elements.

A vintage roll-top desk is a beautiful and functional addition to a room. Source: Design Development NYC

If you’ll be spending a lot of time working in the office, make sure to choose a chair with an adjustable seat and armrests to protect the spine and help reduce aches and injuries.

A comfortable chair will make any work space more productive. Source: Zillow

Make a list of everything you need, from pencils and paper clips to research materials. Measure all the electronic equipment you’ll require to see where it will fit best. Don’t forget lighting: Natural light is great, but you’ll need ambient and task lighting too.

Use glass jars to organize small office supplies. Source: Brooke Wagner Design

Most of all, make the space functional, yet fun. You will want to have an area to spread out projects, but also control the clutter when the area isn’t in use.

Chalkboard paint in an office is fun — and an organizational tool. Source: Signature Design

The right furniture, equipment and light will ensure thoughtful school or professional work gets accomplished.

This article was originally published by Kerrie Kelly on Zillow Blog. See the original article here.

Kerrie Kelly is a Northern California interior designer and the founder of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab ( She is an award-winning interior designer, multimedia consultant and an author of two books: “Home Décor: A Sunset Design Guide” and “My Interior Design Kit,” with Pearson Professional and Career Education.


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