What was once considered a luxury, having a home office is now a necessity for many workers. The global pandemic accelerated the trend toward remote work, and the need for a functional workspace – ideally away from the rest of the household— is a top priority.
When designing your home office, it should be unique, inspiring, and functional. This is the prime opportunity to create your ideal workspace, making the best out of an unfortunate situation.
Here are some of the most unique and unexpected design ideas for your home office for inspiration.
Create a Coffee Station
The workplace coffee station is a transitional place where people could take a break, gather, and rejuvenate themselves before getting back into the swing of things. As many of us mourn the freedom of the morning commute and the camaraderie of interacting with co-workers, it’s nice to have something that feels normal.
Create a coffee station in your home office as a reminder to transition gently into your day and take breaks. Businesses like Cabinet City offer standalone cabinet units that you can use for a small, built-in coffee station that takes up minimal space. Adding a couple of cabinets also adds a place for functional storage, so you can keep your office clutter-free.
Having a coffee station in your office will also help you avoid the distractions of the rest of your house. Rather than venturing out to the kitchen and noticing the dishes you should put away or wondering what snacks are in the fridge, an in-office coffee bar will keep you caffeinated and focused.
Opt for a Flip-Down Desk
One of the challenges with working from home is limited space for a proper office set-up. A flip-down desk helps minimize the footprint of your workspace and allows you to tuck everything away during your off-hours.
There are various options for flip-down desks, including those with built-in storage that operate similar to a Murphy bed. Alternatively, you can reinforce a framed piece of art, add hinges, and create a DIY flip-down desk that doubles as a decor piece. This option is the ideal solution if your workspace is in the living room or another common area.
Add a Living Wall
Incorporating living plants into your decor scheme can help boost productivity, reduce stress, and create an energetic, inspiring workspace. Take this experience to the next level by installing a living wall— a semi-permanent installation that creates a wall of green plants.
You don’t have to dedicate an entire wall to this piece— you can adjust the sizing to your preferences. In addition to the mood-boosting benefits listed above, living walls also help improve air quality and act as sound-absorbing insulation to help keep your workspace calm and quiet.
Opt for a Shed Makeover
If you have the space and an old outbuilding that isn’t being used, consider a shed makeover for your home office. Creating your own shedquarters will help you create separation between your work and home life and ensure quiet as you go about your tasks. It’s an ideal option if there’s minimal space in your home and a relatively affordable project.
The main challenges you’ll face when setting up an office in the shed are expanding the power and internet. Fortunately, a small electricity extension is relatively affordable, and there are plenty of portable wifi extenders available.
Use a Filing Chest
Filing cabinets are considered an evil necessity in an office setting. They’re bulky, ugly, and detract from the decor around them. Instead of bringing one of these beasts into your home office, opt for a filing chest instead.
Purchase a simple wooden chest and add a couple of wood slats on the sides to hang file folders from. You can also add a few trays to hold office supplies for a practical storage option that looks great and doubles as a bench. You can even add a corkboard to the inside of the cover to help you stay organized, creating an office in a box!
Consider a Secret Office
While a flip-down desk is kind of a hidden office feature, there’s more you can do to minimize the space you use to get work done. Create a secret office that you can close away when not in use by repurposing an old wardrobe or cabinet or building it into a small closet.
In addition to minimizing the space used for your office, this will also help you create a better work-life balance during the weekends and downtime.
Create Lighting Options
Having ample lighting is essential for staying focused and productive while working from home— the more natural light, the better. Enhance the natural light in your office by using sheer curtains around the window and letting the light shine in. Place a few mirrors around the office as decor pieces to reflect the natural light and make the room appear bigger.
Consider incorporating a few different light fixtures to adjust the tone in the room. For example, you might want a bright desk lamp for when you’re going through paperwork or something more ambient and relaxing when engaging in creative tasks.
Create a Zen Space
The best ideas come to us when we’re unplugged and able to let our minds wander. Whether you have a creative job or problems to solve, creating a zen space in your office can help. This space can be elegant with an oversized, comfortable chair or a creative nook filled with pillows and twinkling lights— whatever enables you to relax and feel inspired.
Set a rule that no technology is allowed in your zen space; this area is for transitioning into your day, brainstorming, and unwinding.
Take a Luxurious Approach
We tend to think of home offices as functional spaces— which they are— but there’s no rule stating that you can’t make it luxurious and over the top.
Rather than using purely functional, utilitarian decor and furniture, add a sense of luxury. Swap out the dull ceiling light for a chandelier. Add a plush, fur rug. Replace the floor with faux marble. This is your space, and you have the freedom to make it as lavish as you want.
The thing to remember when designing an office is that it should inspire you and provide the structure you need to stay focused. Make it yours and enjoy this upside of working from home.