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5 Annoying Mistakes To Avoid When Designing Your Home Office

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All Photos By Christa Tippmann

Have you found yourself dreaming more and more of designing your home office lately?

Maybe you get lost in fantasies of walking to “the office” in your slippers while you’re stuck in traffic on your morning commute (again).

Or maybe you currently spend your days working from the dining room table and are finding it hard to walk away at the end of the workday. Who can blame you when the evidence of your never ending to-do list is sitting right in the middle of your living space and making it feel impossible to separate work time from down time.

If you’re looking to upgrade your current home office, plan for an office space in your new build, or even convert an unused space… make sure you check out these 5 mistakes to avoid when designing your home office.

Mistake #1

Choosing the wrong location

Consider the type of work you will do and what environment you need to be able to do that work to the best of your ability. There is no one-size-fits-all perfect location. The perfect home office will look different for every person.

For example, I chose to place our home office on the main floor for convenience. I like to go in and out and swap out loads of laundry, and I like to be able to listen to the kids working or playing from where I am. I want to be close to the action.

On the other hand, if you’re on Zoom meetings a lot, you may want to choose a quieter room far away to reduce distractions.

Also, the space should be big enough to store everything you need to work.

For some people, a small writing desk by a sunny window may be just the ticket. But if you need a large counter space for monitors, electronics and reference materials or supplies… you’re going to need a larger space.

Tip: If this will be your primary office, I would suggest choosing a room with a window so that you can stay connected to the outside world and get a little sunlight.

Mistake #2

Neglecting Comfort

When you dream about designing your home office, you are most likely dreaming about comfort.

A big part of the allure of a home office is saying buh-bye to the cubicles, flourescent lights, and the sterile, cold greyness of the typical office environment.

But if you simply throw together your home office with a cheap desk and a random cast-off kitchen chair, your experience may not be all that much of an improvement.

Here are some suggestions to add more comfort when designing your home office:

  • Invest in a comfortable chair that suits your needs. Look for a swivel, arms, and soft padded seat.
  • Incorporate a soft rug that feels good underfoot.
  • A comfy chair in the corner provides an alternative place to work AND makes an office feel warm and welcoming.
  • If the room tends to get chilly, consider adding a wall mount electric fireplace with heating capabilities.

Mistake #3

Not adding enough storage

Nothing kills productivity faster than surfaces covered with stuff.

It’s so important to consider your storage needs when designing your home office! You can organize your workspace with storage solutions in a wide range of price points.

Some options include:

  • Shelves + Bookcases
  • Filing Cabinets
  • Desktop Organizers
  • Closet Organizers (such as Elfa systems)
  • Wall Mounted Storage (such as a pegboard style unit).

If you are lucky enough to incorporate office built-ins, include a mix of open and closed storage. Here are some things to consider including in your design:

  • Printer Cabinet
  • Storage Drawers
  • Slotted Paper Dividers
  • Closet-style tall cabinet
  • Bookshelves for books and display
  • Workspace/Desktop

Mistake #4

All work and No Fun

Sure, you actually need to work in the space. But the best part about designing your home office is the ability to make it feel less like WORK.

Don’t forget to incorporate personal touches that make the space feel like YOU and bring you pleasure while you work.

I’m talking about things like:

  • Artwork and Framed Photos
  • Plants (Real or Faux)
  • A Speaker (Take Advantage of Getting to Listen to Whatever You Want!)
  • A Candle, Diffuser, or Aromatherapy Source toCreate a Positive Sensory Environment
  • Collectibles and Decor Objects that Make You Smile
  • Pretty Desk Accessories

Remember, it’s a HOME office. Therefore it should make you feel at home (and blend in with the decor in the rest of your home).

If you want more tips on decorating your home office, check out this blog post.



For The Home Office

5. | Not Planning for Tech

You know how to ruin a perfectly beautiful office? Cover every surface with unsightly cords, cables, and ugly electronics.

Tech is a fact of life in most home offices. You can’t avoid it… but you can at least plan to hide it a little bit!

Some tips:

  • Dedicate a place for your internet hardware; plan to incorporate hidden storage close to where your device must be plugged in.
  • Plan for cords and wires when configuring electricity (especially if you’re building or remodeling).
    • Conceal outlets inside of cabinets for things like printers, charging stations, electric pencil sharpeners… anything you will need to plug in.
    • Another idea is to hide some outlets inside a closet, if you have one.
  • Have your cabinet maker drill holes in desktops to allow you to run cables down into cabinets below.
  • If you plan to float a desk in the middle. of the room, add a floor outlet.
  • Use cable organizers or cord covers to minimize visibility of cords if you can’t alter electrical.

Have you made any of these 5 mistakes before? Not anymore!

I hope this has helped you as you’re designing your home office. Happy decorating.



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