Mitchell Parker, Houzz Editorial Staff
The term “home office” is kind of misleading. It suggests that the room is all about being an extension of a day at the office. Though that can be a part of what happens in them, home offices also are a place to do so much more. This is where people manage finances, organize family paperwork, keep track of schedules, plan events and corral digital photos.
A review of recent popular photos uploaded to Houzz between July and September 2016 reveals some design tips that can help you set up your own home office — whether you’re building a business, managing family affairs or looking for a quiet, contemplative space in which to be creative.
Related: 12 Desks That Boost Creativity
1. Find the Power Position
Positioning a desk in a room to face either the entrance or the area where guests or clients sit has a variety of benefits. It makes whoever’s sitting at the desk feel secure because he or she can become aware of when someone enters the room. And it signifies to guests entering the room that the person sitting at the desk is in a position of authority. It’s a good arrangement for anyone who works on sensitive material at home, needs privacy or wants to convey the aforementioned feeling when meeting with clients.
Here, a Dallas office takes on contemporary style with a desk situated in the power position. A contrasting color scheme of black and white-gray exudes a sense of sophistication, as do the complementary textures in the rug and center wall covering.
The power position doesn’t always have to face the entrance, but the desk shouldn’t face away from it. Here, well-scaled furniture lets guests or clients know where they’re supposed to go: to one of the chairs opposite the desk.
Curtain fabric: Custom, Caroline Cecil Textiles
2. Embrace Multitasking
Working from home isn’t always just about checking and replying to email. The following rooms take into account various tasks, such as crafting, printing, meeting with clients and more with things like large or multiple desks and item-specific storage.
This former children’s bedroom became a postproduction office for a professional photographer, with a separate desk area for processing photos and another for meeting with clients or viewing printouts.
Computer desk: Ikea; floor tiles: Flor
A family art studio constitutes an office in the Georgetown, Kentucky, home of Travis and Amanda Hervey, a freelance writer.
3. Go for a Quiet Study
Sometimes work is silent and contemplative. From writing a letter or a novel (or reading one) to learning a new subject to preparing for an important meeting or presentation the following day, a quiet, simple spot can be incredibly beneficial to productivity.
Dark walls, gray stone floors and minimal furnishings set the moody tone in this London office, which opens to an inspiring patio courtyard.
A brightly lit corner desk is sure to get creative juices flowing. In this office in Santa Barbara, California, crisp white walls, picture frames and a desk, plus a clear Lucite chair, help enhance light and clear the mind.
Chair: similar on Houzz; desk: similar on Houzz
4. Consider a Niche
A home office need not take up an entire room. The following homes prove that a little creativity can turn tight nooks and crannies into productive spaces.
In the same home as the previously mentioned family art studio, homeowner Amanda Hervey also carved out a more private, miniature space in which she can work, read and write posts for her blog, Our Storied Home.
This bedroom niche holds court as a command center, with drawers and bins for organizing important documents and mail in a space that’s large enough to get things done yet compact enough to keep tidy on the fly.
5. Get Down to Family Business
Oftentimes people need an office-like space to manage family schedules, budgets, chores, events and more. And it’s vital to have a carved-out space for such family business.
A built-in desk in this new Philadelphia home creates a spacious quiet corner office for catching up on email, organizing family photos and more without distraction.
Two people can get things done simultaneously in this Orange County, California, home office thanks to a wall-spanning built-in unit.
More Info: forbes.com