Updated: Apr 23, 2020
Happy Monday from my desk to yours!
An office is a place where we spend 5 days a week, and almost 90,000 hours over a lifetime. It is a place of productivity, where we perform our life's work. But not all offices are created equally!
Before I had the luxury of working from home, I spent many-a-days in work settings that left me uneasy, unproductive and depressed. In the world of interior design it is not uncommon for designers to work out of their homes, so my first few jobs out of design school, I did just that - But, I worked out of OTHER PEOPLE'S homes. I worked in a dark and dreary basement that smelled like mildew, a second floor bedroom "office" with a Jack and Jill bathroom connecting my office to the boss's office. We literally worked with the doors open so that we could communicate to each other THROUGH THE BATHROOM. Needless to say it was WEIRD, unprofessional, and not an ideal workday! When I finally did get out of home offices, I ended up in commercial office that had harsh lighting, no air circulation and and absolutely no natural light. When I was ready to transition into my own businesses, I knew that I had make my work environment WORK FOR ME!
Here are my number one tips to design an office that will make the work day pass with ease, drive profit into your business, and allow you to be productive and healthy!\
A home office can have many distractions including screaming children, barking dogs, chatty spouses, and snacks in your kitchen pantry. Sometimes it's hard to even remember what the task at hand is.
Designing with your profession in mind can help you to stay on track. Let's say you are a social media influencer who focuses on fitness. Adoring your walls with before and after photos of your clients will show you how much you have helped people. As an interior designer, I have fabric samples and home decor magazine pages up on my walls to remind me of my goals.
Cork boards or wall grid organizers will help you stay organized, but can also be stylish. Place a cork board on floating shelf with other work-related books and inspirational images like I did
below in my home office.
When Designing the Law Office of Antonia Milleli in Morristown, NJ this past year, I wanted symbols of her profession to be sprinkles all over her commercial space. She had clients coming in regularly for meetings so it not only had to work for her, it also had to brand itself for her clients. With the use of graphics and art, such as a Lady Justice wall decal and the abstract judge's gavel painting, the ambiance was set with a sense of purpose for both my client and my client's clients!
Even if you have a home office rather than a commercial space, your work area should be representative of who you are and what you do.
Just because it's your office, doesn't mean it can't also be your vacation. I am lucky enough to love my job enough that it's not always a daunting task when I sit down at my desk, but that doesn't mean at times I don't also get stressed. Just as it is important that you be productive in your office, it is also detrimental that you feel calm and comfort, especially on the days of overdrive and deadlines.
For this Beach Chic client, I decided to draw from her love of the ocean in more ways that just the wall photography. Pulling colors from nature, and the beach in particular, gives an easy, breezy feeling to this home office. Blues and greens are known to evoke feelings of tranquility, while natural elements such as real plants purify the air and have been shown to increase productivity up to 15%! A day at the office can feel like a day at the beach if you make the right design choices!
According to FundEra.com the U.S. has 2.3 million women-owned businesses. Women run multi-million dollar conglomerates, influence on social media and operate small businesses, so why not capitalize on the BOSS BABE movement and showcase femininity in your office - but in a remixed way.
For this Chic Boss Babe Office, I found artwork that showed strong women representative of my client, but decided not to go the traditional girly color scheme of pinks. Navy blue is so hot right now and in my eyes, will always be gender neutral. A floral wallpaper in grey puts a modern twist on the classic print while acrylic everything can help a small room look less cluttered.
I cannot lie, I start my day at the desk with coffee, but I end it with a glass of wine (many more nights than I care to admit). So why shouldn't your office also double as a lounge?
For this Masculine Office Lounge, my client wanted his office to be a place where he can conquer the world, but also have a glass of scotch at the end of the day. Your office shouldn't be a place where you solely slave over the computer, it should also be an environment for you to wind down after a day's work. Add a bar cart and spot to sit down with a glass of wine. Nothing gets the creative juices flowing like alcohol!