Home offices are quite common these days, so designing an office layout that will separate the 'home' from the 'office' is crucial.
If you’re building an office from scratch, the first thing you need to do is make a design plan. This first set of tips will get you thinking about where to start.
Define Your Space
The first thing you need to do is decide where your office is going to be. Do you have a whole room to dedicate to it? Or maybe just a corner of a room? Whatever the case, it’s important to clearly define your office space.
Questions to Ask
You’re going to want to ask yourself some important questions while considering your home office. Questions like: • What furniture do I already have (desk, chair, lamp)?
• Will clients need to come in my office?
• Is my space big enough that I won’t feel crowded?
Draw Your Work Area
It’s a good idea to plan out your work area. Where is your desk going? Do you have room for shelves? If you can see everything on paper, It’ll be a lot easier when you move things to where they need to be.
After drawing your office, get out a measuring tape and measure everything. Be sure you measure your office space and all of your furniture. Even if you don’t yet have all the furniture that you need, at least you’ll have the measurements of what will fit.
Give Yourself a Space to Write
When planning your office, make sure you give yourself room to write. With all of your computer equipment, lamps, printers, etc., you can easily forget to give yourself space to write. Even the most technology-savvy individual needs to simply jot down an idea sometimes.
Many people don’t have room for a home office, so they need to make room. All it takes is a little creativity. This next set of tips will give you some ideas and hopefully get those creative juices flowing.
Using Long, Narrow Spaces
If you have a long wall, you can use it as a make-shift office. Just look around for a narrow desk, and you’re halfway there. You can even use some cinder blocks and a sturdy piece of wood.
Use a Wall Separator
Wall separators do wonders for would-be-rooms. They’re not very expensive and can make any corner look like a real room. You also can use the extra “wall” for calendars, sticky notes, etc.
Look For Nooks
You’d be surprised at the little nooks and spaces you can use for an office.
Look for things like:
• Under stairs
• Laundry room corner
• Walk-in closet
Garage or Basement
Don’t forget to consider your garage or basement for a make-shift home office. You may need to do some temperature and lighting control, but in the end, either could make a great office.
There are several types of room layouts for your home office. This next set of tips will help you get an idea of what yours might look like.
The “U” Layout is great for giving you lots of room.
Remember that when you share your home office with another room, like a bedroom, living room or kitchen, it’s important to find a way to separate your office from the other part of the room. If you can’t afford a partition, get creative with folding room dividers, large plants/trees, backs of couches or home-made curtains.
Not all of us can afford to go out and buy new office furniture. This next set of tips will give you some creative ideas about building your home office on a shoe-string budget.
Use Things You Already Have
Start by looking around for things that you already have. Go through your attic, garage or storage unit. You’ll be surprised at what you find you already have.
Build Your Desk
Need a custom-made desk for a tight space? Build one! You’ll be surprised at what you can do with three sturdy pieces of wood and some nails. I’m sure the employees at your local hardware store can give you some great tips as well.
Second Hand Stores
Second hand stores are great places to find gently-used furniture. If you can’t find what you need on your first visit, keep going back every few days. If you’re persistent, you’ll find just what you need.
Don’t forget about garage and yard sales. Many treasures are found every week at these. Just start early one Saturday, newspaper in hand, and hit as many as you can. You’re bound to find something for your home office.
Swap With Friends
It’s fun to ask a friend if they want to swap furniture with you. Maybe that ugly end-table in your garage is just what she’s been looking for. And maybe the desk gathering dust in her basement is exactly what would work great in your home office.
Visit Professional Offices
Be sure to visit professional offices to see if they are redecorating. Quality hotels redecorate guest rooms every 4 or 5 years. They’ll sell their old furniture to you dirt cheap.