Creating a Stylish Home Office

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Creating a home office should be more than picking up cheap, ready-to-assemble furniture, a few shelves, and some filing cabinets. Your workspace should reflect your personality and make work a pleasure, not a pain. Luckily, it’s easily done. With a few carefully appointed pieces, a splash of color, and some personal flourishes, you can create an office that inspires you and impresses others. Here are a few handy tips for creating a stylish home office.

Go Green—or Blue!

Resist the urge to go with an institutional beige or grey for your workspace. Leave those colors to the offices downtown. Some pros suggest a light or pale green as a nonintrusive color that enhances mental efficiency and stimulates your mind. Blue, especially a light blue, also aids in concentration by reducing distraction. Both green and blue provide a nice canvas for the rest of the room, giving furniture, bulletin boards, or wipe boards a background that won’t cause them to pop distractingly into your visual field. Suggestion: If you like to plan out loud, consider treating one wall with wipeable dry erase paint so you can write down notes as you talk about ideas.

Storage Space

The old joke states that a clean desk is the product of a messy mind, but that’s nonsense. A mess never looks good, and if it’s in your field of vision while you work, you might be tempted to stop everything and clean it up. That said, you need to determine what stays in sight and what needs to be hidden (until you need it, of course). If you have an adjoining closet space, use it to store filing cabinets and files, office supplies, stationery, and any electronic devices (routers, printers, scanners, and the like) that could get in the way. Purchase modular organizers—don’t just throw everything in there and shut the door. Your office space will look much more streamlined.

Shelving

A set of custom-made bookshelves isn’t as pricey as you might think, and they go a long way toward giving an office that extra stamp of professionalism and personality. The books on the shelves can be related to your profession or reflect your tastes—but the shelves can also host odds and ends that tell your story without saying a word. They can display awards, commendations, statuary, important photographs of your family and influential friends, and more. However, remember to leave some empty space around each piece for a visual break, otherwise the bookshelf will simply look cluttered.

The Right Desk

One key element to creating a stylish home office is picking the right centerpiece for it all: a desk that not only impresses visitors but also entices you to use it. If it’s within your means, spring for a classic hardwood worktable. For a rugged and unique look, live edge wood slab furniture can make a beautiful addition to any office, not to mention a family keepsake. Antique furniture and more modern styles have their appeal as well. Whatever you create your workspace to be, make sure it’s ultimately the perfect place where you want to sit, stay, dream, and create for hours on end.

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