May 26, 2020

Written by Deborah Van Plew and brought to you by 501 South Studio - the interior Designers of Court Atkins Group.

Having a home office is certainly not a new idea, but working from home has quickly become the new normal these days. Whether you’re running a business, occasionally working from home, or simply need a space to pay bills and organize your schedule, the convenience of a dedicated workspace in your home brings many benefits.

Here are a few tips for creating an efficient and comfortable home office that will nourish your productivity and make you happy to be there.

Get Inspired
Start by browsing your favorite design magazines, Pinterest, or Houzz for stylish home office spaces and take notes on what speaks to you. However, keep in mind that the highly curated images you see may be styled for editorial photos and not necessarily designed for a 40-hour workweek. An antique writing desk may look great aesthetically but may not be large enough to spread out your paperwork. The same applies to a heavily saturated wall color or boldly patterned wallpaper: if there is too much visual stimulation, it could easily become a distraction. Use these sources as inspiration but look around your home and take cues from the rest of your home décor.

Let There Be Light
Ideally you want three kinds of light in your office space: natural light, ambient light, and task lighting. Natural light connects us to the world outside and provides warmth to a room. When possible, place your desk or work surface close to a window. Most overhead lighting is not conducive to desk work, but if dimmed it can provide enough ambient light. Even with natural and ambient light, you’ll want additional lighting for darker periods of the day to avoid eye strain. Lamps not only provide concentrated light but also add an interesting design element to your workspace.

Comfort Is Key
If you spend a great deal of time working on a computer, investing in a good quality chair is an absolute must. Whether you prefer a traditional office chair or an elegant tufted piece, the chair you choose should provide good ergonomic design – allowing your eyes to be level with your computer screen with your feet resting firmly on the floor. And it should be comfortable. (While that Hitchcock chair you found on a daytrip antiquing in Savannah is a beautiful statement piece, it will never offer the needed support for a day’s work, no matter how many pillows you pile on it.)

Make Storage Attractive
Even with technology, we still seem to have endless amounts of paperwork, files, and office equipment such as computers and printers. Using clever and attractive storage pieces to organize (i.e. hide) your stuff brings organization and style to your home office area. If you have the space, bookshelves can become a beautiful focal point when tastefully accessorized with personal objects, mementos, and compartmentalized storage.

Go Green
Plants bring many benefits to the home. Not only do they improve air quality, but research shows that also improve health, mood, and productivity. Bring the outdoors in and soften your workspace with a plant or two. Just remember that plants need attention, so make sure you choose a plant that works in your home office (space, lighting, and water).

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Photo 1, J.Savage Gibson Photography: Interior designers of Court Atkins Group share their tips on how to make your home office both functional and stylish.

Photo 2, J.Savage Gibson Photography: Your work area should provide inspiration but aim to have subtle visual stimulation in order to avoid distractions.

Photo 3, J. Savage Gibson Photography: Accessorize your bookshelves to provide inspiration and compartmentalized storage.

Photo 4, Deborah Van Plew: Add fresh greenery to soften your work zone and bring calm to your surroundings.

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