We just love it when the news media reaches out to the design experts at Home Frosting for home décor and design ideas and insight. That’s what happened during the holidays. A producer at Fox 13 Tampa Bay News called and said they wanted to help viewers be both, productive and looking good in their home offices in light of so many people working remotely from their residences.
If that was not enough for a team high five, the media executive said it would be a weeklong series, four days of featuring our work! We are ecstatic!!!
So, the team got to work and together with FOX News’ producer Kristin Moore we identified three office scenarios and common home office challenges.
Common home office challenges
- Where to begin?
A new construction homeowner who was down-sizing her office and had the luxury of planning and creating the ideal home office in her new high-rise unit.
- How to change a space?
A recent retiree who lives in a historic South Tampa bungalow and needed to re- purpose her office from busy corporate work room to a multi-functioning personal office and overflow guest space.
- How to co-exist?
A married couple (my husband and I) who live under one roof and now both need home offices.
If you missed the week-long segment you can click below to watch & read each segment.
If you want a recap of all the home office tips and ideas, read on. Or if you need a design professional’s touch to get your custom home office designed and done, email me at Karen@homefrosting.com and we will talk.
What we covered
1. How to find the right room in your home and what makes the perfect workspace.
Questions to ask:
- What are your space options?
- Do you have adequate electric power and outlets in that room?
- Is it private and what is the noise level?
- Is there a place for supplies and storage?
Secrets to decluttering and editing down, a universal challenge.
Research shows clutter and pack rat stuff can add to one’s stress, and that lighter, and well-organized spaces can be energizing. With digital documents you don’t need as much paper stuff as you did in the past. If you don’t need it, get rid of it.
As world-renowned organizational guru Marie Kondo states, if it does not spark joy, eliminate it. For me joy is anything inspirational, educational, a special item that has important meaning, memories or magical power.
2. How to find the best chair, where do you put the desk, what should you have in the space and what do you eliminate.
- Your chair – Think about comfort, mobility to move around and style
- Your desk – Evaluate the view and natural light when placing your desk
- Your equipment – Can you access power and keep cables to a minimum
How to maximize storage, hiding the wires and ugly equipment:
- Add built ins in your closet are a great solution
- Camouflage unattractive equipment with a plant, a custom box or screen
- Wrap wires with fabric so they blend into the wall color
Lighting and sound management
3. What kind of lighting is ideal for the office? How do you control the sound and keep your energy level high?
Top tips to manage sound in an office:
- Consider both natural and added lighting like task lamps, sconces and recessed fixtures
- Area rugs will buffer sound
- Window treatments will also control distracting noise
- There are sound-proof paints that will also help
- Sound diffusing panels can be added to wall and behind installed art
4. How do couples (and a dog) both working from home in high stress careers, when they are both loud make it work under one roof?
My husband and I are in this situation. Pre-Covid we had offices next to each other on the first floor. It was rare we were both at home at the same time, so this worked well. Things changed with the pandemic. We now both spend a lot of time working at home remotely. Our solution was to find a new space for my office far away from Eric’s. The only possible choice was the library in our master bedroom.
Our home office plan included:
- Creating a workout room where my office used to be.
- Relocating my office to the third floor, addressing equipment, storage, privacy and of course style. We both can co-exist and be productive.
The final scenario was multi-functional rooms that need to be an office and host overflow guests in a small space – How to make this work and look great too.
5. Small spaces for a multi-function home office ideas:
- Furnishing need to be the proper size, small room, smaller elements.
- This home owner had street and neighbor noise so we added window treatments, wall covering and area rugs to combat the distractions.
- We also maximized the storage in the closet for office and home supplies.
In summary, working at home is the new normal. Even when the pandemic is over. Businesses and professional recognize the value a well-planned and designed work space at home for increased productivity and work life balance. The home furnishing and décor industry is on board too and there are many great products available to create the ideal homework space.