Work From Home? Consider These 7 Design Features

From custom office cabinetry to bespoke, built-in shelving, plus a work desk that is a work of art, designed just for you… You can have it all with a custom-designed home office. Your new home office will make work easy by creating a place for everything you use—sized and shaped especially for all your tools-of-the-trade, supplies, computer equipment, and more. Whether you are a software engineer, serial entrepreneur, psychologist, astrophysicist, or clothing designer, your custom home builder can build the ideal home office space–around you. Whatever your comfort, personal taste, and productivity needs call for, can be custom-built.

Keep these aspects in mind as you create your ideal home office:

  1. Work Desk: Do you need a computer desk, a desk that converts to a standing desk (without appearing institutional), or perhaps a podium instead? Anything is possible with a custom home office. How about a desk for two, such as perpendicular desks with cabinets above and on each side, each facing its wall or window? Make the most of an awkward space, like a jutting corner extending into the room, with a wrap-around desk.
  2. Work Table: If your work requires a large, flat surface or project area on which to spread your materials, you’ll need a work table instead of (or in addition to) a desk. You might have a custom-made office desk as your primary workplace, and a work table that disappears by sliding into the wall or folding up onto it. If your main focus is the work table, you can have any shape and size you need, from rectangular and blocky or triangular and quirky, or L-shaped or circular—or kidney-shaped, if it works best for you.
  3. Custom Cabinets, Drawers, and Shelving: Custom open shelves allow you to display, as well as store, commonly used items within arm’s reach. Or your custom wood shelving can take the shape of a bookcase, even in this modern day-and-age. Corner shelving is always an option as well. Drawers can be shallow or deep depending on your needs. What about a window seat or bench with a drawer, or custom-sized storage bins/cubbies beneath? Get custom made storage cabinets to fit even the most challenging wall and ceiling configurations, like angled attic walls and slanted ceilings. Commission wall-to-wall custom cabinetry for the home office, made to look like a built-in, original to the home. Cabinet doors that reach the ceiling can be quite impressive. If you are extremely dedicated to your work, or want your office to double as a guest bedroom, a larger section of the wall cabinetry could conceal a Murphy bed.
  4. Lighting: Workspace lighting is often overlooked and can end up as an afterthought. It’s frustrating when lighting is not “just right” for your need, so make a plan with your builder and/or decorator. You could begin with ambient lighting, such as recessed ceiling lighting to provide a basis. Then, use accent lighting to highlight awards, displayed product designs, or artwork. Your task-oriented desk area will need a separate lighting plan. Design your lighting to suit your style and support the type of work you do.
  5. Windows: Dramatic, floor-to-ceiling windows might provide creative inspiration as you work. What about large, round “porthole” windows? You might consider large loft-style windows for a modernistic space or a bay window with window seat for casual, vintage appeal.
  6. Meeting and Greeting Space: If your office includes a dedicated conversation area, you might adorn it with a sofa and upholstered chairs, and add a fireplace. For a different look and feel, the meeting area could feature a streamlined conference table with iconic Eames-style chairs.
  7. Overall Concept: When creating your desired ambiance and atmosphere, it is often inspiring to conceive an overall theme for your office’s appearance. You need not follow the model exactly, but can use the idea to guide your choice of furnishings, floor lamps, and artwork, to suggest window size/shape, and more. For instance, would you like an office that suggests a modern loft with a streamlined, industrial appearance? What about channeling a nautical or steampunk style for your office? What about creating your space with the Oval Office in mind or the mid-century style office in Mad Men? Consider a minimalist art gallery or a traditional library as models to use as a base for your office structure and décor.

Your private home office isn’t about anyone else but you, so have fun with it. (If you see patients or clients, create a separate office for those sessions or consultations.) Make your home office a place you look forward to spending time in. It IS possible, when you partner with an expert design-build company. Contact Miller’s Residential Creations in Martinsburg, WV, today.

Brian Miller is the owner of Miller's Residential Creations, a custom home builder and remodeling company servicing Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan Counties of West Virginia since 2004.
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