To Office or Not to Office…?
Welcome to the 21st century. More and more, we are telecommuting and working from home. And, also more and more, the chaos and stress of the workplace is trickling over into our home lives. One possible solution? A dedicated space…
Dining Room? Nope. It’s an Office.
I know. I know. An awful lot of you use that formal dining room once, maybe even twice a year!! Considering the cost of real estate per square foot these days that may or may not be utilizing your home to its fullest. I guess it all depends upon your priorities but lately, it seems like more and more homeowners are converting this seldom used space into a more productive room; the home office.
There is nothing like a dedicated space to have uninterrupted computer time, bill paying time, writing time (like now) or even an overly ambitious national headquarters for your small business start up. No longer will you be handling conference calls from your couch while the kiddies play Legos at your feet and your significant other watches Wheel of Fortune in the adjoining room. No. Now you will have a dedicated, off-limits space and your productivity and (sanity) will soar to new heights. Sounds good doesn’t it?
Let’s Do It!
So what does this marvelous conversion entail? Surprisingly not much. It’s pretty simple really. Your dining table can function as an uber desk. You will have plenty of room for pretty much any task and it’s already paid for. Winning! The only possible downside to this option is that your dining table may actually just be too large and not that’s not great. If that’s the case, you’ll have to spring for an actual desk. Just make sure you have plenty of workspace for all your monitors, paperwork, and elbows. If you go too small, life will be hard.
Chances are you already have a chandelier, which is a pretty cool office must have (in my humble opinion). Just be sure it’s bright enough. If you don’t already have a chandelier, some pretty stylish and fantastic choices can be found at sites like houzz.com or wayfair.com. Lighting is very important. Don’t underestimate this design detail, especially in an office. You’ll be reading documents and invoices and teensy tiny little print. If the budget permits, install recessed lighting for additional back up on those late, late nights. Save your peepers.
Go ahead and splurge for a decent office chair. Standard dining room chairs will only wreak havoc on your back and neck after a couple of hours, if not sooner. Get a rolling version. Scooting a chair in and out all day long is a pain in the #beentheredonethat.
You can thank me later.
Next, storage. You want to make sure that you have plenty of storage and cabinet space to organize your tasks and projects. You need to be efficient and organized, right? Already have a buffet? Take a look at this genius repurposing in the below pic. Voila! It is now an office cabinet and it didn’t cost an extra cent. Also, don’t forget to make sure you have all your electrical lined up for your computers and accouterments ..unless you’re Amish, in which case you’re not even reading this….
Buy a door – or two. This may take some finagling as a majority of dining rooms are open to adjoining areas of the home. If you have them, great! But if you don’t, buy and install them. The goal is to achieve an isolated, dedicated space. No distractions. If you don’t actually feel like you’re at work then you’re not going to be as disciplined. You will be tempted to solve every single last one of those Wheel of Fortune puzzles instead of completing invoices (and writing your blog). Don’t buy a vowel, buy a door..
Embrace the Dark
Notice the black and dark walls and accents in most of the pics. I personally LOVE this look, as if you couldn’t tell. To me, the blacks and the dark accents say “I am all business.” It adds a sense of importance and deliberateness to the room – not to mention some glamorous drama and gravitas. Some really serious work is going to get done in this room!
If you do work from home part time or full time, establishing a dedicated, private, home office will help you separate the stressors of the corporate world from your living space. Work is work and home is home. The two really shouldn’t mix. A line of demarcation will protect your business and your sanity. Your family will thank you. The In-Laws can sit somewhere else for holiday dinners. It will be worth it.