Make a Small Home Office Feel Bigger With These Tips

Working in a small claustrophobic space can be quite depressing and far from inspiring. However, most of us are not so lucky to be working in an enormous office full of light, so we try to make the most of what we have. How can we redesign our office space so that it seems bigger and brighter without demolishing a few walls or moving to a completely different place? Here are a few tips you can use to change your working environment so that you feel happier and more satisfied.

As White As Light

The first thing you have to think about is your background. In order for it to seem bigger, it has to be light, so make sure that you surround yourself with as much white as possible. As it reflects light, it will illuminate even those spaces that do not have enough or even any windows that would allow natural light inside. White has a calming effect on people, but if it feels a little bit cold to you, it is possible to incorporate a few details in brighter colors, but keep them minimal and not in more than two shades.

Curtainless Windows

When you think about your small office design and what are some of the decorative items you can put in it to make it more personal, avoid using curtains on your windows. As they barely let enough light as it is, closing them up will do you no good. However, if you still feel the need to cover the glass with something from time to time, shades are definitely a better choice.

Only the Most Essential

Whether you are redesigning your office in a company building or your home office, try not to go overboard with the amount of furniture items, especially some larger ones that take up too much space. Now, when you think about an office, you immediately imagine large computer desk and a big comfortable chair, but is it really necessary? Lately, standing desks have become much more popular, not only because they open up the room, but they also proved to be beneficial for your health.

No Hoarding Please

Nothing makes a room look smaller than all the clutter that you never find the time to clean up. So pick up the trash bin and start with throwing all the things that you do not need: old documents, pens that do not work anymore, and put everything else in its place. You will notice just how much bigger your desk looks, and the entire office will seem more spacious at the same time.

Perks of the 21st Century

Finally, the good thing is that that we are living in a digital age so you can save all of your important documents without using large filing cabinets. You can have them all on your computer, tablet or an USB stick, and not only does it save you a lot of office space, this way it will be much easier for you to manage all the important paperwork.

Working in a small and depressing office can affect the pace, as well as the quality of your work in an extremely negative way. If you are not comfortable in it and you feel like it is suffocating, do not get devastated, as there are numerous ways in which you can make it look bigger, happier and more inspirational.

Posted by Lana Hawkins on HomeZada

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Setting Up a Home Office That Works for You

Whether you’re paying a few bills or running a small business, a stylish, comfortable work space will help you stay focused and inspired.

Source: Zillow Digs

Source: Zillow Digs

In recent years, the line between working and living in our homes has become blurred. More people want a home office, whether it’s a simple space for taking care of household matters, a spot for the inevitable papers and projects that make their way home from work, or a dedicated area for a full-time business.

For a few minutes a day or 40 hours a week, working at home is always more fun in an area with loads of function — and some personalization, too. Here’s how to create a snazzy home office space that will make you look forward to clocking in.

The essentials

Some experts have said there are only two essentials for a functional home office: a comfortable chair and a door that closes. Most people, however, probably have a few more requirements.

Basic elements of designing a room include smart space planning, adequate lighting and sufficient storage. When setting up your home office, also consider functionality and comfort.

Get horizontal

Start with your work surface. Stock desk units come in a variety of materials, but may be difficult to fit in with your room. Modular office furniture is more flexible and comes in many styles.

Or look to repurposed furniture. With some judicious changes, you can turn flea market finds and antiques into acceptable home office elements. Don’t hesitate to make a piece your own with a simple coat of paint in your favorite color.

Take a seat

Chairs need to be functional, but an office chair isn’t your only choice.

If you’ll be spending a lot of time working in the office, consider including a lounge chair or chaise. It will make a comfortable spot for reading or coffee breaks.

Source: Zillow Digs

Source: Zillow Digs

For your desk, choose a chair with an adjustable seat and armrests to protect your spine and help reduce aches and injuries. To personalize it, add a throw pillow to coordinate with window coverings or other decorative elements in the room.

Essential details

Make a list of everything you need, from pencils and paper clips to research materials and file folders. Pick a color scheme and purchase the necessities in your favorite palette.

Measure all the electronic equipment you’ll require to determine where it will fit best. And make sure you add some favorite framed photos or artwork to inspire you.

To create softness and texture underfoot, layer on an area rug to anchor your space.

Light it up

Natural light is great, but you’ll need ambient and task lighting as well. Here is another opportunity to add a bit of personal style to your space via lamp shades, crystals and fixture finishes. Watch out for the possibility of glare, especially when finding a place for your computer screen.

If your office space doesn’t have a door, you can establish a sense of privacy by the way you orient your work surface or by using a screen or file cabinets to mark off the area.

Source: Zillow Digs

Source: Zillow Digs

Share your favorite ways to spruce your office space — we can’t wait to see what you come up with!

This post was originally published by Kerrie Kelly on Zillow Blog.

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.

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 (www.kerriekelly.com). 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.

7 Steps to Carving Comfortable Home Office Space

Being able to work from home, whether you telecommute or have your own business, can be wonderful—unless your workspace isn’t.

7 Steps to Carving Comfortable Home Office SpaceBut creating a comfortable home office where you can do your best work takes more thought than just snagging a few cheap Craigslist hand-me-downs.

In a survey conducted by Herman Miller Inc., 500 office workers of all types ranked “having an office that is comfortable to work in” as the most highly valued workstation attribute.

How do you bring that comfort level to your home office space if you can’t tap the expertise and resources of a corporate office manager or ergonomics expert?

Well, here are a few places to start.

Design Your Home Office for Comfort

  1. Make a list. What will you do in your home office? What equipment will you need? What standard things, like a fax machine, could you do without? How’s the lighting? Will the room have any other uses? Will you need a video conferencing setup? Can you adequately keep noise —or small children and other distractions—at bay? All of these questions, and others unique to your situation, will help determine how you furnish your space for maximum comfort.
  2. Choose the right chair.  Ergonomic experts know where you sit has a huge impact on your health, including your back and neck alignment as well as your arms and shoulders. A chair should be comfortable but also be positioned at the correct height for your feet to reach the floor—and the right angle for your arms when you work at a desk.
  3. Make your desk work, too. Your desk should fit all your needs for a working area and storage, as well as the home office space itself. You don’t want to skimp on a small desk that doesn’t support the large-screen monitor you need for graphic design work, or one that only fits in a hard-to-light corner that makes video conferencing a challenge.
  4. Save your eyes with the right lighting. Experts recommend having more than one light source—place one above and another beside a computer to even out the lighting and lessen eye strain. Windows are best—if you spend a lot of time inside, natural light improves your mood as well as your workplace view.
  5. Create lounge space. If you have the room, a place to sit that’s not at your computer desk can give your eyes a break. The slight shift in space could open your mind to looking at things in a new light, and your body might welcome the physical shift from on seat to the other. A comfortable chair, a sofa, a bean bag, a guest bed so the space has more than one use, if needed—there are a host of options to fit your budget, decor and size.
  6. Make use of color. Sanitarium white or industrial gray may not exactly inspire your process. A soothing green might offer the right touch of creative warmth. Or perhaps a bright accent wall could stimulate your senses. Since you’ve ditched the corporate world, why not trade that drab office carpeting for a punch of color on something your feet delight in touching? After all, you don’t need shoes in a home office.
  7. Add a few personal touches. One of the benefits of a home office is you can do whatever you want with the space. You don’t have to wait for the occasional late night alone in the office to surreptitiously blast a little Grateful Dead. Get your hippie on with a small stereo. You don’t have to fret over being “that mom” with too many family photos, or “that guy” with a penchant for plants. Embrace your space. What’s the fun of working from home if you can’t indulge your inner deity a little?

This article was originally published by  on realtor.com. See the original article here.