6 Do’s and Don’ts of Decorating Your Home Office
Kids are back in school and routines are back to normal. It’s time to buckle back down to work, especially if you’re all alone in your newly-emptied house. A home office is hard to maintain – especially if it’s more of a home corner, instead of a corner office – but sprucing it up a little will revive your drive to get things done. Follow these tips for turning your workspace into an enjoyable (and stylish!) part of your home.
DO: Hang art
Everyone needs a little inspiration now and then. Doing whatever you want with your walls is one of the freedoms of working from home. Take advantage of it and hang an inspirational print, a vintage thrift-store find, a family photo, a diploma, or even some of your own art. It will personalize your space and help you take ownership of what you produce when you’re at your desk.
This little spot is cheered up with the matching yellow print. | CNT-1093
DON’T: Worry about matching supplies
Matching pink paper clips! Monogrammed clipboards! Golden pencils with uplifting sayings about “hustle” printed on them! While they may be good for a little pick-me-up, don’t depend on them for your overall office design. Putting a whole lot of effort into small things, like making sure all your envelopes are foiled on the inside, can drain you for more important things – like your actual work. While it’s okay to snag a few snappy things (like a pair of gold-handled scissors, or a fancy wooden desk organizer), make sure they’re durable and won’t need to be replaced after use.
INSTEAD: Settle on a color scheme
It’s a lot easier to tinge everything in shades of one color than coordinate matching accessories. Focus on the style of the room, instead of your office supplies. Paint the walls or your desk. Get a luxurious blanket to throw over your chair or a throw pillows to lean against. Let go of the image of a “perfect desk” that you’ve seen on Pinterest. You need tool to work – make sure they work like tools. The rest of the room is for decoration.
DO: Get a rug
If you’re going to be walking in and out, seeing visitors, and spinning in your chair a little, you’re going to need something to protect your floors. You need a sturdy rug to stand up to the wheels of your office chair and the feet of visitors. A thin-pile wool or polyester rug will be durable but also stay out of the way, and you can always grab a rug pad too for extra stability. We chose a few of them that would definitely impact the room while standing up to all the important business you’ve got to do.
DON’T: Close your windows
It may be your first impulse to close the door to muffle sound and the shut the blinds to keep from daydreaming about the outdoors. While the door is probably a good idea, think twice about shutting the windows. A steady supply of natural light produces vitamin D and heightens serotonin, which makes people happier. It also helps regulate your circadian rhythm, which can shake off that last bit of sleepiness in the mornings. As long as you keep your screen glare-free and your eyes aren’t strained, let the light shine in!
INSTEAD: Get gauze curtains
If you feel like you’d rather watch the traffic go by instead of making phone calls, install light gauze curtains. The thin, bright white curtains will block your view but allow lots of light.
DO: Get a chair that’s comfortable
This chair is a little less fashionable than a leather sling chair, but your body will thank you. Jazz it up with some of your own fabric if you can’t find a color that matches your decor. | PER05
With such beautiful furniture out there like Eames chairs or slipper chairs, it can be tempting to get one for your own office. But you’ve got to be sitting in this thing for 8 hours a day, and it’s got to be really comfortable. Like, lumbar support and adjustable height comfortable. Get a responsible chair that’s good for you. Then infuse it with a little DIY spirit and cover the original fabric with something more your style. If you’re feeling adventurous, paint the whole thing or sew an entire seat cover!
DON’T: Forget to take breaks… and then get back to work
When you have a beautiful new space to work in, it might be hard to leave! But your mind and body need frequent breaks. Don’t make excuses like already being at home is relaxing enough or checking your phone instead of walking away from the screen.
INSTEAD: Put a yoga mat or ball in a corner
Between emails, do a few stretches on a yoga mat. Yoga balls are great for this too – some people even use them as desk chairs to strengthen their core. Do a few laps around the house. Walk to the mailbox and back. For every hour of work, you should have at least 10 minutes of looking at something other than a screen.