Since early 2020, a lot more people have been working from home. This, of course, was reciprocated in many ways. For some, it was exciting (Zoom meetings in jammies, anyone?). For others, it was a challenge because they just didn’t have a suitable space to get their work done. As the months went on, however, it’s likely that the necessary adjustments were made to accommodate the need to work from home effectively— which in some homes, meant the addition of a home office.
Now, just to clarify, a home office doesn’t necessarily have to be an entire room dedicated for that particular function (although it certainly can!). And in many cases, it’s likely that only a section of a room was able to be blocked off for a dedicated workspace. And that’s totally okay!
Regardless of whether you’re new to needing a home office, or someone who’s had a home office for years, there are some good rules of thumb to follow. If you want an office that fuels creativity, there are certain things you should do, as well as things you should avoid when it comes to designing and/or decorating it.
Today, we’re going to focus on what you should avoid doing. If you’re guilty of these mistakes, no worries! In most cases, they can be corrected. For those who haven’t started the project, here is a list of home office decorating mistakes you should avoid. For those who already have a home office, hopefully, these tips will help you make it even better.
1. Neglecting the walls and floor
Just because it’s work, doesn’t mean your surroundings have to be stale. Think about it. Would you rather take care of business in a boring cubicle-like space or would you rather be inspired by a space that’s inviting? Whatever you do, don’t neglect those walls or that floor! A fresh coat of paint in a favorite color, window treatments to block light when necessary, eye-catching artwork, and an area rug beneath, are all great ways to create a space that feels warm and stimulating.
2. Buying the wrong seating
There’s nothing wrong with wanting a nice-looking office chair, but it could pose long-term problems if it’s uncomfortable. In fact, the wrong desk chair can lead to poor blood circulation, weight gain, decreased concentration, increased fatigue, digestive problems, and pain in your back and shoulders. All of which can be reduced by picking a better seat.
If you spend long hours in the space, let function take the lead. With all the designs out there, it shouldn’t be too challenging to find something that suits you.
When it comes to office chairs, there are six things you should take into consideration before buying: adjustable height, armrests, a deep seat depth, a reclining back, proper wheels, and lumbar support that can be adjusted as necessary.
Save the prettier seating for a wingchair or a loveseat. That is if your space allows. If it does, you can always pick a patterned fabric you love and use it for the upholstery.
3. Skimping on storage and workspace
Cabinets and shelves are a must in a home office otherwise you’ll be left with a cluttered mess. Do your best to have a few pieces of furniture that allow you to store things out of sight. If you don’t have room for big storage pieces, however, shoot for smaller decorative, yet functional pieces with hidden storage.
Another problem is failing to allot for enough workspace. If the top of your desk is enough, then you don’t have anything to worry about, but if your job requires you to spread things out, then incorporate more room. This could be accomplished with a bigger L-shaped desk, two smaller desks put together, or a table somewhere else in the room. Just do whatever will make the job easier.
Cables and wires don’t look great exposed in the living or entertainment room, and they don’t look great in an office either. Try bundling all the cables together and then strapping them to the inside of the desk leg with a zip tie. Or, invest in one of the many cable-hiding products that are available. It’s also a good idea to consolidate where you can by using a power strip.
As much as possible, keep the clutter hidden. Be sure to take care of it early on because if you don’t, it’s not likely you’ll get around to doing it at all.
5. Choosing poor lighting
Take time to think about the lighting in your office. Windows are wonderful and bring in work-friendly natural light, but there are times when you won’t be able to rely on them. Your desk might need to be positioned away from the windows to avoid glare. Maybe there will be times when you have to work late. These are things to keep in mind when you choose your lighting. If you already have a suitable overhead fixture, then consider adding a lamp on your desk for added light— preferably one that has USB and power ports in the base that give you the flexibility to charge a couple of devices at your desk while you keep working.
Looking to bring some life into your home office space? Stop by one of our showrooms to browse our office-worthy fabrics and accessories. We’re also available to give great advice and even better deals on all the fabric you’ll need to make your home office dreams come true.