Idea Notebook - Atlanta Home Improvement Blog

Expert Tip Monday: How to make your home office POP!

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that at least 1 in 4 of employed Americans work at least some hours from home.  These days, your workplace is not just your home away from home. Your home might need to be, at least occasionally, an office away from your office!

Enter Stacia Pierce, life coach and small business expert. She's got some great tips for us today that will show how to transform your home into office a warm, inviting and extremely productive place!

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Atlanta Home Improvement Q&A with Stacia Pierce, CEO of Ultimate Lifestyle Enterprises

What are some color schemes that increase productivity?
Color affects the mood and productivity in our work environment. Blue is good for mind stimulation and helps you to be at ease in the workspace. Green is also invigorating for creative people. Steer clear from red or yellow walls, they tend to negatively affect emotions. White seems very cold and sterile, I prefer an eggshell white or very pale lavender to create neutral walls. 

My office walls are painted neutral and the room is accessorized in bright colors. My office has a neutral base of cream and gold complimented by a bright fuchsia desk chair and a matching fuchsia sofa that is accented with multi-colored throw pillows. I also added bold statement-making art pieces to enhance the wall space with a lot of color. With this color scheme, I was able to achieve a harmonious balance of vibrancy and relaxation so that I can get a lot done in my office.

More furniture or less?

The amount of furniture depends a lot on the available space. At minimum you need the basics for functionality: a desk and a chair. If the space allows, add filing cabinets and a sofa or other seating for guests. The key is choosing furniture that fits. You don’t want oversize furniture in a small room or vice versa. My desk is the center point of my office. I added a unique dual-seat bench that sits right in front of it. The walls are also lined with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves to house all of my books and binders.  The most important thing about the office is making sure it is organized with furniture that has flow and flare. You want it to be stylish but also functional enough so that you can be creative and productive.

How to configure the lighting, with lamps or overhead?

A home office should have good lighting; from lamps on the desk to recessed ceiling lights or floor lamps. I think both lamps and overhead lighting is good for the office. We use lamps as a part of the décor. I’ve acquired a collection of unique desk lamps and floor lamps to add style to the room and brighten the corners. The floor lamps are good space fillers since my office has high ceilings. I use my desk lamp to brighten my books while I’m reading. During meetings, I prefer bright lights to energize the team and keep everyone alert.
 

What are some unique storage ideas?

To maximize the space, opt for multi-purpose storage ideas. For example a sleek sofa table is good storage for books, photos and accessories. Buffet style file cabinets can provide storage plus a workspace. In our general work area, we installed a tall work desk with built-in shelves. Our team uses the large top for assembling special projects and the shelves to store supplies. We also added color-coded baskets that fit the cubbyhole perfectly for a neat appearance.

What are some questions to ask before designing my office? What are some common mistakes?

Before designing a home office, you must consider the your main objective for the space.  Ask yourself, “What am I trying to accomplish here?” You have to be aware of the main use for the space. For example a writer’s needs are different from an artist.

Also, ask yourself, “How can I maximize this space?” Get the space properly measured before you begin decorating to avoid buying items that are too large or small. Starting the design project without proper measurement is a common mistake in decorating. Not only do you need the measurements, it is good to have a planned theme to avoid random shopping sprees that can lead to frustration and confusion.

To ensure you’re goals are met when designing your dream home office, make a list of five most important features your dream office needs for you to be most creative and productive.

My list includes:

1.    Sunshine. Windows are a must! I live in sunny Florida and love having my office glow from the sunshine beaming in.

2.    Tall Ceilings. I have a very large book collection. We use tall floor-to-ceiling bookcases to store our reading materials. The high ceilings help us create extra storage space by expanding our books shelves upward.

3.    Carpet. I prefer carpet in my home office for a warm cozy feel.

4.    Wall Space. Good wall space for hanging art or wallpapering is necessary. I love art and always decorate my walls.

5.    Climate Control. I cannot function at my best if I am too cold or hot. We have climate control that is separate from other parts of the house so that I can create the best environment for me to be productive. 

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