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How to Create a Productive Home Office When #WFH Becomes Permanent

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If you run your own business or are able to work from home for your employer, you might have thrown together an office on the fly. That temporary office at the dining room table or in the empty corner of your storage room might have become your accidentally permanent place of business. Even if you started with good intentions by setting up a designated office space, something might still feel frustratingly off.

Regardless of where you find yourself on the spectrum of work-from-home woes, you’ll be inspired by these actionable design tips for turning your office area into the professional space you deserve.

Choose the Right Room
Ideally, select a room in your home that has a door you can close, for obvious productivity reasons. If you don’t have a spare room for this, you could also use a large walk-in closet or guest room.

Unless you have tons of clothes that you don’t want to sort out Marie Kondo-style or frequent house guests, re-purposing either of those spaces will have more pros than cons.

Arrange the Furniture
Place your desk facing the door or a window. Many people block their own creativity by facing a wall all day long. That’s great for timeouts, but not for productivity. You want a position of power.

If square footage allows, you could allow your desk to float in the middle of the room, giving you space to pace and easily access your printer, idea board and filing cabinet. If you don’t have a lot of space, such as in the situation of a re-purposed walk-in closet, position your desk so that you can look into the main room from where you are seated rather than having your back to the door. While you’ll still face the wall, you’ll only have to turn your head to get a better view.

Pay Attention to Detail
Be sure to hide all cords as much as possible by tucking them behind or under furniture. If you have an extra-long cord, coil it up and secure it with a rubber band before stowing it away.

Add a decorative chandelier that is sized appropriately for the room; this won’t work in a re-purposed closet, so opt for an easy-on-the-eyes LED desk lamp and can lights. Each room in your home should have two to three layers of lighting for functionality and aesthetics; your office is no exception.

Add an area rug under your desk, apply wallpaper to an accent wall, hang window treatments, create a collage of photos or certificates; this is your domain. Don’t be shy about claiming every inch.

DESIGN TREND – Go Custom or Go Home
Built-in storage is an increasingly requested feature of custom home offices. It solves the problem of ugly filing cabinets, creates space for meaningful décor and clears the floor of superfluous furniture, giving you space to think. 

PRO TIP – Don’t Follow the Crowd
Choose your office color palette based on colors that speak to you personally. Don’t select sea foam green if that color doesn’t personally soothe you. Don’t avoid heavy black accents if you secretly love them. This is your space.

Written by: Kathleen Jennison 

Kathleen Jennison is principal designer of KTJ Design Co. at 404 N. Harrison Street, Stockton, California. Kathleen and her team create trendsetting, contemporary interiors for ambitious Millennials. Their design experience helps clients design, furnish and complete their new homes so they can have a one-of-a-kind retreat.