Almost all of us have a home office, whether it's for work or just for paying the bills. Even though the ever-present Internet and email beckons us to keep constant tabs on the world, we all need to step away from our computer screens at some point.
Kimberly M. Stone, owner of the interior design firm Adore Your Décor and author of the FabJob Guide to Become a Home Stager or Redesigner, has worked with a number of clients interested in maintaining work and life balance in their home office setup. She has generously offered to share some of her home office design tips with the readers of LoveToKnow Interior Design.
Use Room Dividers to Create Separate Spaces
One of Ms. Stone's suggestions is to use a room divider or folding screen to separate your desk from the rest of the room. "This will not only help you stay focused while working, it will also hide the office area and make it less noticeable," she said. "For a softer division, you can hang a long drapery on a swing-arm rod or suspend it on a track system."
Create an Office Inside an Armoire
If you don't like the idea of using a room divider for your home office, Ms. Stone suggests taking advantage of strategic furniture purchases to design your workspace. "Invest in an armoire or cabinet that houses an entire office set-up," she said. "When the doors are closed, this office will look like just another piece of furniture in your room. An alternative to this idea is a computer cart on wheels. A computer cart can be rolled easily to any spot in your living room or anywhere in the house. That way, you can work on the desk in one area and then store it in a lower traffic location."
Make the Most of a Spare Closet
Homeowners who are blessed with ample closet space may want to consider converting one of these closets into a functional home office. "Use a series of large shelves to create a desk and a few storage ledges," Ms. Stone said. "You can also use a hollow core door or plywood to make a custom-size desktop. Mount it securely using large L-brackets on the back wall and add some table legs on the front for extra support. For a cohesive look, paint the various pieces the same color or use the existing wall color."
Accessories Complete the Look
Regardless of how you choose to create your home office workspace, don't forget to add a few stylish accessories that reflect your unique personality. Whether it's a colorful painting or a hand painted mug that holds your pens and pencils, these small touches will make your workspace seem much more inviting when it's time for you to focus on business tasks.