These days a home office has become a necessity rather than simply a luxury. Any business owner knows that the term “office hours” means far more than a simple 9-5
Put your rooms to work!
Home Office and Garage Remodeling
PREMIER Home Design-Remodeling Your Home, Part 3 of 6
These days a home office has become a necessity rather than simply a luxury. Any business owner knows that the term “office hours” means far more than a simple 9-5 and with the exceptional advances in communication and internet technologies there is no commute necessary to have your entire empire at your fingertips.
When planning your home office remodel, whether you are converting a spare bedroom or simply redesigning a current office space, you want to ensure you create an environment that is both highly functional and still stylish and comfortable. This involves well thought out space planning as well as creative design. We will go over some of the most important questions to ask yourself when planning your layout and organizational systems as well as aesthetic choices that will enhance your working environment for optimal productivity.
Another room in which space planning and organization are at the heart of the function of the space is the garage. Many of the same practical principles apply in choosing your garages organizational systems as in planning your home office. Often a well designed garage can be an important counterpart in handling any storage overflow from the office. Your garage can even be converted into a home office space. With the latest technologies in floor coating and furniture grade cabinetry systems, your clients would never know your impeccable home office was once a place to park your car.
What will you be doing?
Make a list of all the tasks and activities you need to be able to accomplish on a daily basis. From this you can create an accurate inventory of the equipment, services, and furniture needed so that your home office is completely functional, with no need for you to run out to the printer or main offices for certain items.
Making Phone Calls
Accessing Internet/Checking emails
Preparing Mailers, Sending Packages
Sending & Receiving Faxes
Filing/Storing important paperwork
Taking meetings with Clients
What will you need as infrastructure?
The list from above will also function to layout a plan for any internal additions or adjustments that must be made for your office to work. For most home offices the standard wiring, phone, lighting, and cable systems for say, a spare bedroom, will have to be upgraded.
What type of environment best suits your work habits?
This is where you can have some fun and get more personal in your home office design plan. Do you work better with music in the background? Do you prefer your desk to be facing a window so for a moment of peace you can look outside instead of at a wall? Are there particular colors you find more motivating or invigorating?
For a home office many opt for neutral shades to avoid overwhelming the space. You also want to avoid choosing something too trendy that you may tire of quickly since you will be looking at it for many hours each day. Taupe, pale blue, and sea foam green are considered calming shades that can be a good choice to offset a more stress filled environment. If you feel a bright color will enhance your spirit and motivation, a mostly white room with a brightly colored accent wall in your favorite shade of turquoise or orange might be just the boost you need to power through that big project.
Warming up the room even when not lit, a fireplace is a luxurious design element taking any home office to the next level. If your office style is old world traditional an intricately sculpted marble or granite mantel will add elegance and grandeur. Travertine compliments a Mediterranean ambiance and slate in a minimalist design looks sleek and modern for a mantel. Visit a custom stone manufacturer to see all the possibilities.
When designing your office space you don’t have to let the functional concerns dictate or overwhelm your own sense of style. The two work hand in hand. A homey and warm design can still incorporate the highest technology without looking like a decorated cubicle. Hidden raceways for wiring keep the cords at bay and out of sight so your design choices can shine on their own.
The hub of the home office, aside from the computer, is your desk. You spend a lot of time here so choose a desk with plenty of space for your needs and that reflects your design aesthetic. Along with the desk, a comfortable supportive chair is imperative. An achy back is no reward after a long days work.
Implementing Office Design for your Home
Communications/Networking-phone, computer, internet, printing, scanning, faxing- The ideal solution to accommodate all of these needs is installing CAT 5 wiring if you don’t already have it. Cat 5 is a low voltage cable wiring system that provides options for networking appliances, telephone lines and computers all in one, with room for adding technologies as you grow. A licensed contractor can talk to you about wiring your entire home with Cat 5, a good idea for anyone as it is becoming the industry standard.
Lighting-A single overhead light and a few lamps will not do for a home office. There needs to be plenty of ambient and dedicated task lighting for a work environment as opposed to the softer lighting throughout the rest of your home.
Storing Files-If you know that your storage needs will grow as your business grows, plan ahead with more storage than you currently have files for. They will soon be filled. For a greener option look into paperless filing and archiving systems, they will save you space, money, and more than a few trees.
Taking meetings-If clients will be visiting your home office plan for a comfortable area for them to sit. You might want to include an espresso machine and filtered water dispenser so that you don’t need to run to the kitchen to offer them a beverage.
Coating your garage floors takes the space from “warehouse” to “new-room-in-the-house” in one fell swoop. Not only does a floor coating completely transform the look of a garage but it also makes it a room that is as easy to maintain and clean as any other room in your home. The coatings are stain and chemical resistant and there are options to enhance any décor from solid colors to stunning granite and terrazzo looks. The high shine surfaces reflect light, immediately adding brightness to what was once a somewhat dreary place.
Once you have coated garage floors you may find that this is the perfect environment to house your home office, art studio, or workshop. A garage design professional can help you plan a remodel that will not break the bank but will completely transform the space into a livable addition to your home without actually having to build an addition. Finished garages also add value when it is time to sell and might be that extra something that captures a buyer in a competitive market.