Quick Guide for Designing the Perfect Home Office

As more people than ever work from home, opinions remain divided: some people love it and can’t imagine returning to their cubes, while others hate it. Regardless of where you fall on the love/hate spectrum, you’ll still need to carve out a productive little corner of your home for work. But that can be easier said than done! For just a couple of days, setting up shop at your kitchen table may suffice, but long term WFH stints require a dedicated office space.

Here’s a quick guide for designing a comfy home office:

Choose your location wisley 

Let’s face it: you’re going to spend a big portion of your day in your home office. Something in the ballpark of eight hours a day, five days a week (or more). That means you’ll need to choose your new space wisely. In other words, don’t cram yourself into a tiny, windowless nook in your house, or set up shop at the breakfast table where you have no privacy and no reprieve from distractions. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself when choosing the location for your new home office: 

  • How much privacy do you have? 
  • Is it a high-traffic area? 
  • What’s the noise level like? 
  • Do you have enough room to work? 

Depending on your home, you may not be able to check off all of these boxes, but your new office should fulfil most of these needs. 

Lighten the mood 

Light often gets overlooked, but it’s probably the most important feature after room layout. Without the right lighting, you’ll end up with eye strain and headaches. Too-bright lighting can leave you struggling to see past the glare on your screen. 

A few helpful rules of thumb:

Angle your computer monitor away from the window to prevent glare.

You may have to make some adjustments at first., depending on the direction your office faces. East-facing windows will have the worst glare in the morning, but western windows will only get bad later in the afternoon. 

You’ll want a good solution for task lighting. A desk lamp is perfect for evening work hours. Unlike overhead lights, you can move your desk lamp around to adjust for glare. 

And if your office is particularly large or shadowy, you may wish to pair your desk lamp with a floor lamp to lighten the atmosphere. 

Colorize your space 

Don’t be afraid to change the color of the room–even if your new office was once a guest bedroom, storage room, or even a converted garage. Now it’s your office, and you deserve to spend time in a room painted a color you love!

This is where “mood” comes into play. 

Do you need something bold and exciting to get yourself going in the morning? Then try a vibrant color like electric yellow or lime green. But if you find yourself in need of calm during the stressful workday, opt instead for a tranquil shade of seafoam blue or leafy green.

Get organized 

This can be a tricky one, especially if your new office is light on square footage. But it’s important to get an organizational system in place so you know exactly where to find what you need when you need it. Vertical file folders, desk organizers, and small bookshelves are all excellent choices for keeping your papers, office supplies, and technology organized. Floating shelves are a lifesaver if you don’t have a ton of floorspace to work with. 

Get comfortable…

….with a comfy desk and chair! You might feel the urge to nab a chair from your kitchen table or dust off a folding chair from the garage. Don’t do that just yet! Keep in mind that you’re going to spend forty hours a week parked in this chair, so you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor by getting one that’s comfortable and ergonomically correct. Even if you have to shell out some money for a fancy office chair, it’s totally worth it and certainly cheaper than a chiropractor!

Above all, be sure to have fun and get creative when designing your home office. It’s your space! It’s where you’ll think of some of your brightest ideas and accomplish your proudest career milestones. You deserve to have a working space that’s comfortable, productive, and most of all, fun!

Did we miss any tips? Let us know in the comments!

Fall 2020’s Top Design Trends

Fall is in full swing, and seasonal design trends are popping up like bats in a lightning-struck bell tower. Too dark? Well, it’s been kind of a dark year. Maybe that’s why this fall’s looks are trending towards bright, airy, and simple. In a year filled with darkness and uncertainty, people are understandably turning their homes into calm, comforting oases where they can ride out the storm. 

Without further ado, let’s have a look at some of Fall 2020’s hottest interior design trends:

Dried grasses 

This fall, it’s all about natural fibers: wicker, rattan, clay, linen. Dried grasses are also entering the mix and make a perfect down-to-earth accent. Wheat, pampas grass, and cattails are all neutral colored grasses that complement the muted, earthy palette that’s so popular this season.

You can find lots of beautiful dried grasses on Etsy, but they’re fairly fragile–if you’re looking for something more robust, you may want to splurge for artificial grass (Michaels has a good selection).

 

Floral wallpaper

Floral wallpapers are still flourishing this season, busily seeding plain walls with their vibrant foliage. Although wallpaper has been out for some time, the recent love of plant-print fabrics (and plants in general) combined with a zeal for all-things vintage has created fertile ground for a major comeback.

If you’re not quite ready to surrender your walls to mother nature, you can experiment with peel and stick wall coverings; they’re non-permanent and easy to peel off. Perfect for the changing seasons!

Rattan

Drag your rattan patio furniture inside–it’s not just for the outdoors anymore! Rattan furniture is making a big resurgence this fall: couches, armchairs, coffee tables, and matching end tables are just some of the many rattan items you’ll see this season.

If you’re not keen on replacing your entire living room with rattan, you can still get your fix with accessories like a rattan mirror or tea tray. Budget-savvy shoppers should be able to scoop up some great vintage rattan pieces for a steal at resale shops or eBay. 

We also like this Rattan Wicker Sofa Chair and Round Coffee Table by PHI VILLA.

Layered lighting 

Many of us will be stuck at home this fall–working, studying, hosting socially distant gatherings, or simply biding our time until spring. An unintended consequence of social distancing is that our homes are becoming multi-functional spaces where we work, relax, and socialize–sometimes all in the same room!

Having different lighting options–a.k.a. layered lighting–gives you the flexibility to create the right atmosphere for any number of activities. Task lighting, like desk lamps or pendant lights, is great for getting work or chores done. Once you’re wrapped up for the day, you can switch to mood lighting with a chandelier or even light a few scented candles to relax.

(To learn more about different types of lighting and how to use them, check out this post

Canopy beds

The towering silhouette of a canopy bed is unmistakable, which is perhaps why it’s gaining such popularity during the year’s most visually dramatic season. And as bedroom designs trend towards becoming lighter and breezier, a large canopy bed can create a perfect “anchor” point in an otherwise airy space. 

An understated canopy bed like the Raina Queen Canopy Bed by LexMod is perfect as a stand-alone piece or dressed up with earth tone linens.

Vintage decor 

It feels wrong to say that vintage is “back” since it never really went away, but it’s definitely experiencing a popularity surge this season. Thanks to the brutally tumultuous year we’ve experienced, many people are seeking the comfort offered by vintage items. To put it simply, they remind us of a simpler time!

If you’re not comfortable going thrifting this season (which is totally understandable), you can putt a vintage twist on some of your existing accessories by applying a patina finish or pairing it with some of those lovely pampas grasses.

Fall 2020’s Design Trends: Key Takeaways 

Despite this season’s many distinct trends, one thing is certain: it’s all about comfort. From cozy textures to ambient lighting, people are reinvisioning their living spaces to comfortably accommodate both work and leisure.

And remember: you don’t have to totally remodel your home to achieve the look. A few candles, comfy pillows, or dried grasses are more than enough to immerse yourself in this season’s interior design trends without leaving you bankrupt for the holidays.

Color inspiration: Orange

Orange you glad you found this post? If you’re a lover of all things orange, then your answer is probably yes! From stunning orange upholstery to cheerful orange walls, here’s how you can brighten up your home with this tropical, punchy color.

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Color inspiration: Pink!

Would your home look pretty in pink? Check out all the ways you can incorporate this fun, bubbly, vibrant color into your interior decor.

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9 Tricks to Make Small Rooms Feel Bigger

From dorm rooms to studio apartments and modern tiny houses, learning to live within small spaces is becoming the norm. And while you may not be able to knock down the walls and take over your neighbor’s place, that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to feel cooped-up or claustrophobic in your own space. In fact, there are plenty of simple strategies you can use to make even the smallest areas in your home feel bigger and more breathable.

Leggy furniture

This one’s a bit of an optical illusion, but that’s okay–the key behind making small rooms feel larger is optics. Furniture on legs, like the couch and ottoman pictured below, makes the room feel larger and more open.

Photo by Tristan Paolo from Pexels

Big Rugs

This one might sound a little counterintuitive at first…wouldn’t a big rug make a small room look even smaller? Not quite. Large rugs can be used to organize the space into different sections–a trick that’s especially handy in studio apartments or multi-functional rooms.

Source: Apartment Guide

Floating shelves

A set of floating shelves tackles two major hurdles of living in a small space: lack of floorspace for freestanding shelves, and a lack of surface space for your stuff.

Photo by Tranmautritam from Pexels

Hanging baskets

Installing a hanging basket is a great way to tap into your room’s biggest untapped resource: the ceiling. By hanging plants from the ceiling, you’re freeing up the space they would otherwise occupy on the floor or furniture.

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels

Light color walls

If your goal is to make a room feel larger, steer clear of dark walls and flooring. Light colors reflect light better than darker pigments, which tricks the eye into thinking the space is larger than it actually is. You can even take it a step further by painting the trim and crown molding a shade lighter than the walls–this makes them seem further away and opens up the room.

Photo by Hakim Santoso from Pexels

Mirrors

Never underestimate the power of a strategically placed mirror. Hanging a mirror–especially a large one–will make a small room look more open and airy. Placing the mirror near a window is extra effective because it bounces natural light back into the room!

Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels
Source: Lourdes Gabriela Interiors, original photo on Houzz

High ceilings

When your floor space is limited, the only direction to go is up! While low ceilings can create a cramped, cave-like feeling, higher ceilings give the space (and everyone inside it) room to breathe.

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels

Large windows

Floor-to-ceiling windows do a better job at emphasizing a room’s vertical dimensions than smaller windows. Plus, they let lots of natural light in; well-lit rooms feel larger and airier than dim rooms filled with shadowy corners.

Sheer curtains

Breezy and delicate, sheer curtains allow more natural light into your home than thicker curtain styles like blackout, light filtering, and room darkening. Look for curtains made of fabrics like voile, tulle, and steer clear of heavier fabrics like velvet and satin.

Photo by Mary Whitney from Pexels

And there you have it! Put a few of these practices into play and your small space will instantly feel bigger, roomier, and more comfortable.