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Design a Dream Workspace

Setting up a home office is an exciting endeavor – one that comes with a satisfying sense of freedom and self-reliance. Thanks to today's forward-thinking modes of communication, working from your home is more commonplace than ever before.

However, before you go gonzo on picking out your home office furniture – from desks, bookshelves, and filing cabinets to office chairs, display boards, and desk sets, it's a good idea to step back, pause, and evaluate your home office needs and the space available so you can generate the best ideas for your work area.

First, ask yourself a few simple but important questions:

1. What are you going to be doing here? Consider the type of work you do and how large the desk for your home office should be. Is it just for “homework,” like paying bills, surfing online, and personal correspondence, or are you completing work tasks from home?

2. Will clients or colleagues need to meet with you in person for collaborative work? Think about the space and what kind of impression or presentation you would like to make to guests.

3. Do you use a lot of materials – books, folders, binders, etc. – that need storage space?

4. What type of equipment do you require? Consider the storage space for computers, printers, monitors, work tables, etc.

5. Measure your dimensions. Will you need a desk that fits snugly in a corner or against a wall, or do you have space to feature your desk in the middle of the room?

Now that you've given a workout to your trusty tape measure and thought about the must-haves for your office and where you might place them all, now consider the style and design of furniture you would like, as there are types to fit everyone's tastes.

  • Modern: Do clean lines float your boat? A modern design gives your home office a sleek and trend-conscious atmosphere, with the use of materials like metal, melamine, and glass.
  • Traditional: Maybe you want a more familiar and reassuring atmosphere. Furniture in woods, with a matching desk, credenza and bookshelf give a sense of stability and security.
  • Industrial: Perhaps you're looking for more of a city vibe where you have open shelving and a workable open space. Industrial elements create a blend of hard-working tradition and contemporary style.
  • Eclectic: We all need to be inspired, so take into account office pieces that are lively and colorful if you want to stir your imagination.

Another piece to examine is the lighting. If you have natural lighting, take advantage of it. You don't want to waste your work hours away by staring out a window daydreaming, but natural light can be a great mood enhancer that allows you to work more productively and effectively. If you have windows, consider placing your office furniture accordingly so that you're not staring at a blank wall when you could be enjoying warm sunlight. Supplement natural light with task lighting solutions, or a standout desk lamp.

Now that you have covered the basics, have fun choosing accessories to add some personality to your office. Desk sets, wall art, and even your trash can be add the pop of visual interest your space needs while still keeping a professional and inviting look.