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  • designing your home office

Designed to Work: How Colour, Decor Affects Your Home Office

Colour and decor can make your work-at-home days more productive.

For the 30 million of us who work at least one day a week from home, keeping that home office space inspiring and motivating is essential to staying on task.

And your home office can actually make you work smarter and faster, if you know how to use the power of design.

Paint colour. Not every colour motivates every kind of task, and not all of us do the same kind of work at home. While blue walls might be a perfect choice for someone who needs concentration at home, it could be un-stimulating for a designer. Designers are inspired by yellow and orange—colours that tend to make us feel optimistic and creative. And if you need to get your heart rate racing to do your work, incorporate some red into your office.

Storage with style. As much as we want to say that the home office is only used as an official “work” space, it rarely stays that way. While it might feel OK to leave a pile of papers at a desk that’s not at home, it can be disruptive mentally and physically at a home office. Our pets are around, potentially knocking stuff over. There’s a party we’re planning with our friends on Facebook, gifts that might be wrapped in there, and household bills paid. Including ways to store needed items, like files inside a tufted ottoman, a printer inside an upcycled crate or charming box, and little cubbies for current work to be placed instead of laying out on the desk where the accidental spill may occur… since we’re all eating at that “work” space, too.

Kid space. A home office becomes a space where kids are magnetically attracted. They can’t help it. It’s the same phenomenon where a phone call stirs your kid’s desire to need you desperately at that moment of hello. I embrace this, instead of fighting it. So there should be a space that can accommodate your child’s homework, or artistic endeavors while you work. You’ll spend more time trying to enforce the ‘Mommy is at work’ rule than just going with their flow. And if you plan for it, you can segment a space for them, and you won’t need to find a way to squeeze your child at your desk, or on your lap, while you are on that conference call to London.