FOR YOUR OFFICE
of one’s own
BY REYNA GOBEL
EVEN IF you’re not one of the approximately ;; million Americans who works
from home, you may be one of the more
than ;; million who telecommute, according to ;;;; U.S. census data. Creating a
home o;ce that’s more comfortable than
a cubicle and equally e;cient is key.
The starting point is always deciding
what functions your home office should
have. Designers call this programming of
space. “Typical programming is generally
divided into three areas: a home office
strictly for business, a shared space, or a
mom or dad cave,” says New Jersey–based
interior designer Sharon Sherman.
A home o;ce for business has di;erent
needs than a home o;ce used to take care
of household bills or to give a stay-at-home
parent their own area.
For instance, a home o;ce for a stay-at-home parent can be as simple as a ;-by-;-foot space. Sherman has converted butler
pantries and walk-in closets into work areas.
An o;ce dedicated to business needs more
space to house the tools of one’s trade, such
as computers, printers, ;le cabinets, space
for paperwork, etc.
Avoid feeling claustrophobic in a small
working space, Sherman recommends using
French doors with glass to close o; the area.
“Whatever you do, don’t consider your
home office as an afterthought,” says
Adrienne Hart, an Arizona-based interior
designer and Costco member.
For instance, people often store leftover
items from the rest of the home in the
home o;ce. “This is where you produce
your income,” says Hart, “thus, it’s one of
the most important rooms. Have paint that
makes you feel good and encourages pro-
ductivity, possibly in one of your company
colors. Have ergonomic furniture for your
workspace. Choose o;ce chairs carefully,
and always have a thinking space such as a
recliner, a window seat or a daybed that
doubles as a guest bed.”
Most importantly, don’t forget those you
share your space with. “If you do want your
kids with you at times, have a quiet place such
as a library table [where they can] do their
homework,” says Pennsylvania-based
designer Kathleen Penney. For dogs and
cats, put pet beds and toys in strategic places.
“I’ve integrated several spots for my
cats into my home office so they can be
nearby while I’m working—without actually
sitting on my keyboard,” says Kate Benjamin
(pictured above), editor of Hauspanther.
com, and a New York Times best-selling
author on cat décor.
“I have a large desk with an area that’s
been cleared o; speci;cally for cat beds,
which are usually occupied,” she says. “There
are also cat perches on the wall leading to
the top of the storage cabinets over my desk.
These are popular hangouts allowing the
cats to keep an eye on me from above.”
Your home o;ce is an investment. “The
more comfortable in your space, the more
productive you are,” says Sherman. “Thus,
you’ll grow the revenue to not only pay for
your o;ce, but boost your whole lifestyle.” C
Reyna Gobel is a freelance writer from
Brooklyn, New York.
perfect home office
Costco members will find many items at
Costco and on Costco.com to stock and
furnish their home office.
HOME OFFICE ESSENTIALS
Storage. File cabinets should be
saved for people who still work with a
lot of paper. Drawers, bins and cubbies
allow for multiple uses.
Noise-proofing. Fabric, such as fabric wallpaper or an area rug, reduces
noise levels in your office.
A shredder. For bills and paperwork
with personal or confidential information.
A desk cover and/or coasters. When
you spend money on a nice desk, you
don’t want it damaged by a water glass.
Space for paperwork that’s separate from the digital space. Everyone
has bills to open and some degree of
paper or nondigital materials to work
with. To stay organized, have a separate area of your desk or another surface for working with other items than
Awards. Seeing your awards and
degrees reminds you how much you
Your toys. Whether it’s a fidget spinner or a magic wand, the silliness can
calm you down in a stressful situation.
A reminder of why you work.
Family pictures fall in this category, but
it can also be a vision board showcasing your next vacation.—RG