Another thank you is due to Apartment Therapy for a second mention of our home office, which was featured in their “Good Questions” series, the question being Office Decor: How Many Shelves is Too Many?
Obviously, this is a very subjective topic! Because our home office was in the middle of our living room, we took a more decorative-minimalist approach to the design. We needed certain things at our disposal, but Oliver being the masterful office-setter-upper he is, set us up with all kinds of wireless technology. For instance:
• Our giant printer was hidden in the console table by the entry, which is also where my files and binders lived
• Our scanner was on the lowest shelf of our “cocktail bar,” covered by a nifty textile
• I kept my scraps, papers, samples, etc off the desk with the help of a cork board we re-covered
• All the computer components and cables were mounted to the bottom of the desk, so we weren’t constantly stepping on wires beneath our feet as we worked. If you got down on the floor, you could see our the parts and wires all zip-tied and screwed into the underside of the desk:
I would venture a guess that at this point, most people have computers at home, whether they work on them or not, and finding a spot for them is always a challenge. Some choose to float around with a laptop, bringing it to the dining table, to the sofa, into bed, while others prefer to carve out a little spot exclusively for computing. I am part of that school. Even if you don’t have a whole room you can dedicate to computing, it’s easier than you might think to beautifully integrate a designated work area into your home without taking up too much visual space or looking too office-y. Here are some favorite home office images:
Use an open bookcase to cordon off a workspace, which lets light in, adds storage but keeps the work area separate:
Re-purposing a snappy piece of furniture is a sure-fire way to slyly integrate a home office into the rest of the house. Whether it’s an armoire, a secretary, a credenza or a console, using a beautiful piece to store your goodies makes the living/working transition seamless–and easy to hide when you’re done:
Via Living Etc.
Wallpaper or paint the inside of an old piece for an unexpected jolt of color
Via Living Etc.
You can also work in a spot to sit in an existing bookcase – just remove a few shelves, add a chair and shoot off some emails!
Via Deborah Burke
An under-the-stair solution fills a potentially awkward, unused (or mis-used) space with something productive!
Got a closet you’re not using? (I don’t understand that concept, but perhaps some of you have more space than I :) Add some shelves, a built-in desk, et voila! Mini-office with a door you can close when you’re done!
Via Martha Stewart
Using furniture for your workspace that works well with the rest of your furnishings is important. If you’re just sitting down to email for a few minutes here and there, perhaps a giant, office-y Aeron chair isn’t necessary, and you can get away with a more interesting dining or side chair:
Design by Todd Romano
But, if you’re going to use the chair a lot, it’s definitely important that it be ergonomic and comfortable. There are plenty of chic options, especially in the vintage realm. I don’t often tout the mid-century modern look (I like it, but it’s a tad overused) but I have to say those mid-century industrial designers had a way with office chairs that are functional AND good-looking!
Design by Jacinta Preston
You can also re-cover a ho-hum office chair with a more interesting fabric, as in the photo below. Chances are, the chair in the back didn’t start out with that gorgeous brown and white upholstery:
Another approach is to embrace the fact that your workspace is plopped in the middle of your living space and really made it sing with jazzy wallpaper, bold colors, zippy furniture and beautiful table lamps–but don’t sacrifice neatness! When you’re done working, it should clean up nicely.
Via Skona Hem
Via House Beautiful
Thanks again to Bethany Nauert for including us in her quest for answers!