Over the next few posts, I’d like to visualize an exercise that may resonate with you. Designing your home office (or redesigning as the case may be). The pandemic has made working from home a high priority for a vast many people. Therefore the home office has become one of our main interior design considerations lately. You may work from home full time, part time, or not at all. But you’ll benefit from having a dedicated area that provides focus and utility, while offering an atmosphere that inspires you to spend time in it. Consider it a worthwhile investment of your time to imagine your ideal home office.
When planning a work space for maximum effect, it’s easy to focus on the functionality and sideline the aesthetics. But an office is not so different from any other room from a design perspective. It should strike a balance between form and function. And that applies whether it’s a kitchen, a game room, or a space to work. So, as you think about your home office needs, keep the dream of a visually appealing space front and center. The functionality of this room doesn’t have to impose limitations on beauty, and you shouldn’t have to compromise on either.
What are your needs? It makes intuitive sense to start with functionality and build from there. But as you ask yourself this question, get beneath the surface a bit. What inspires and invigorates you? No matter how much convenience and utility your office provides, if you don’t feel great in the space, then it isn’t serving you totally. It’s not just about the desk and the technology and the great backdrop for Zoom calls. It’s about a unified whole that is greater than the sum of its parts, a concept known as gestalt. This can mean the difference between just showing up to work and actually looking forward to it.
Take some time to immerse yourself in the aesthetic aspects of your office. This doesn’t just involve choosing the right colors and textures (although it’s that too!) This is about creating something that supports you as a person. That involves identifying issues. Do you feel confined after a few hours? Maybe you need an option to stand at your desk part time. Are you so focused that you forget to eat? Maybe you need a small fridge in arm’s reach so you don’t wind up hangry by the end of the day. Do you get headaches from eye strain? Perhaps your workstation should look out a window to allow periodic breaks from your screen (it’s amazing what letting your eyes focus on longer distances once in a while can do).
As you can see, the line between a want and a need can be hard to qualify. I think any of these examples could be classified as a need. And solving these issues will definitely help you over the work day. This list is meant to address you, the person, not just you, the professional.
This process should begin by simply identifying for yourself what has been working, what hasn’t been working, and what is missing. No need to be completely practical here. Your list could include your feelings about atmosphere, light, sound, food, exercise or meditation breaks – whatever comes to mind when you picture your perfect office. From there you can begin to envision design solutions.
To be continued…