For many, incorporating a work from home design into a Madison WI home has evolved from “nice to have” to essential. The home office is here to stay. Across the country major employers sent their workforce home and realize that business plan works. More and more show little incentive to return to full-blown office settings. High on lists of home renovations are remodeling, modernizing and creating well-thought-out, functional home offices. In addition to traditional office considerations, 21st century work from home (WFH) space has to be “Zoom friendly.” Using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype or another video conferencing method has opened home offices to the world.
A work from home space no longer gets by with a desk in the corner. If you’re serious about working from home it makes sense to create comfortable space you look forward to spending time in doesn’t it? Applying all the professional expertise of a trained interior designer to a work from home design creates space that works. It’s a long-term investment worth the time and effort.
Work From Home Design – Mix Workstyle And Lifestyle
Is a comfortable chair and a laptop all your need to work from home? Or do you need space for monitors, printers and files? How about a door to close out noise and distractions? Your option to “go big” depends upon the space you have. A lot happens in limited spaces.
No matter the size that works best for you, professionals recommend a location with plenty of natural light. If you’ve been in an office environment dominated by cubicles, an office with a window is a real perk isn’t it? If you’ll participate in video conferences, you’ll look best in natural light, too. As long as the window isn’t right behind you when the camera is on!
Unlike a corporate setting where management often likes conformity, with a home office design you surround yourself with your choice of colors, textures and special pieces.
Video meetings can be cold. There’s no personal contact, no shared energy. That’s why you have to inject style and color. But, it is easy to overdo it. What works best for a backdrop? A few items – art work, fabrics or colors – make less distracting backgrounds than a bookcase full of paperbacks. Make the background easy on the eye and not to “busy” it takes viewers away from you. On the flipside, a completely blank wall makes it look like you’re communicating from a cell.
Work From Home Challenge – Project An All-business Image
Where do you draw the line between too much clutter and not enough interest? As with any other remodeling project what goes into a new office space is completely up to you. What do you need to be productive and comfortable? At the same time what is seen by others entering the space via a camera lens has more boundaries. Professional studio designers suggest some dos and don’ts for creating what digital visitors see:
- Do consider – diplomas, maps, tasteful art, plants and special collectables in the background. Maps, artwork and professional citations along with bookshelves (as long as they aren’t cluttered and jammed) provide a “real office” look. Plants soften the space and they clean the air at the same time.
- Avoid – too many souvenirs, personal memorabilia and family photos. Too much of anything is distracting and too many personal items pulls viewers away from the focus of the meeting.
Color makes a difference. Are you bored with “institutional” colors left over from office décor in the 1990? When you remodel, anything goes. Don’t be afraid to add color and “sizzle” to your interior design. Psychologists have proven that colors impact mood and productivity. Consider these colors:
- Green – it’s fresh, balancing and shades of green are said to be easiest on the eyes.
- Blue – is called “brain-friendly” and calming, while it promotes communication and efficiency.
- Yellow – is a top choice for artistic areas because it is supposed to bring out bursts of positivity, creativity and happiness.
- Red – in all its hues represents courage, strength and excitement so use it for stimulating effects.
- Neutral colors – don’t overlook white and other neutrals like gray and even brown. You can bring additional colored accents into play.
Designer-inspired Home Office Walls
When you might consider knocking down a wall or two elsewhere in the house, office walls provide privacy, filter noise and add personality. Even a bare wall, done right, gives character to a work from home design. What are your choices? What do you like? The wall’s finish and décor are up to you. Looking for ideas on how to incorporate elements of your life? A skilled, experienced interior designer will wow you with ideas. Here are some basics to work with a designer to explore:
- Fabrics – fabric panels or hanging tapestries provide color, texture and almost endless pattern options. Even better, they can easily be changed and customized.
- Wallpapers – once thought of as “old-fashioned” or out of date, wallpaper has made a comeback. You can cover all the walls, just one or just part of one. Combined with paint and trim wallpapers represent everything from whimsy to all-business-all-the-time.
- Brick and natural stone – a rustic brick wall is sturdy and goes well with an industrial-style décor. The texture of brick or stone makes for a dramatic backdrop for video meetings.
- Built-in cabinetry – built-in cabinets and cupboards add valuable storage and replace traditional file cabinets and desk credenzas. They help to blend office requirements with your home’s overall decorating style. You want a dedicated work space but it doesn’t have to look out of place with the rest of the house, does it?
Bring Light Into Home Office Design
Is there anything worse than trying to focus on work when the light is all wrong? Too much glare, too many shadows? Not only does a home office remodel focus attention on all the amenities, when video conferences are the norm lighting is more critical than ever. You don’t want too much light on your monitor or laptop so you cannot see who you’re talking too, right? And you want them to see you clearly, of course.
Correct lighting makes a difference between looking like someone who really knows what they’re talking about and someone who inspires no confidence. When you’re planning your new office lighting, avoid bright lights of any kind directly overhead or behind you. Consider these suggestions from video and production company professionals:
- OK lighting options – have a window behind the camera so you’re facing natural light. Be sure to have shades or blinds if the window gets direct sunlight when you may be in a meeting. Bright sun in your eyes makes you squint and that doesn’t come off well.
- Better choice – lamps of some kind other either (or both) side of the camera. Preferably with softer, warmer light and at least enough to light up your face evenly.
- Best lighting option – three sources of light. One on each side of the camera and a third somewhere behind you and off to one side or the other. The third light adds depth to the scene.
Tap The Latest Work From Home Design
If you’re not sure how best to incorporate the needs of your job within a new work from home design, you’re not alone. You can take comfort in knowing that when the time comes to make working at home permanent, the professionals at DC Interiors & Renovations are just a phone call or email away. The interior design team at DC Interiors & Renovations meets challenges like this every day. It has been providing interior design solutions to Madison area homeowners for years. Review our online portfolio, and for additional ideas make an appointment to visit our newly expanded showroom in Fitchburg. Join us, in person or electronically.
The DC Interiors & Renovations designers are available to help define the workspace your need, applying the latest work from home design to your Madison WI residence.