Why I spent $3k on home office design
…….and how I did it
One of the most wonderful things about being a copywriter is that you have the ability to work from anywhere. All you need in order to do your job is your laptop and a strong coffee right? We’ve all seen the pictures of writers on Instagram sitting in some hipster café sipping from a coffee mug the size of their head and laughing at some joke that nobody else is in on. But the truth is that for many copywriters, the reality is quite different. Days are often spent huddled over a bright laptop screen in some murky corner of the house away from the sound of children and all sources of daylight.
This sort of environment is not in the least bit conducive to creativity and is unlikely to inspire the sort of genius that most clients demand. It’s for this very reason that I decided to banish my dark and dusty desk and spend several thousand hard-earned dollars on a home office design that motivates me, stimulates my creative juices and generally makes me happy.
Is it really worth it?
Renovating my home office cost several thousand dollars but it was part of a bigger strategy to grow and develop my business. While not ready or willing to move into a ‘proper office space’ I did want an area that was dedicated to my business, that looked professional in photos, that could facilitate client meetings and that inspired creativity.
How do you design a home office?
My top tips
- Do your research
- Choose your colours
- Select practical home office storage solutions
- Make the most of natural light
- Don’t forget about efficient home office technology
- Add a bit of greenery
1) Do your research
My experience in home office design involved a lot of looking at photos online, stalking furniture and design pages on Instagram, and an addiction to Three Birds Renovations that I have still not been able to kick. While this did involve a lot of lost time in the web world, it gave me a clear idea of the feel and functionality I wanted to achieve for my office space.
2) Choose your colours
Your home office is the central hub of your business….and it should look that way. Splash your brand colours around the room and include your logo somewhere prominent.
I chose Dulux White on White as the main colour and used bursts of my primary brand colour blue in various spots across the room. The white on the main walls has a clean and fresh feel and gives the impression of space. White also happens to look very good in photos for social media – good for business marketing and content creation. On my desk wall, I used brand coloured acrylic panels that I picked up from Bunnings to add some character.
3) Select practical home office storage solutions
I am a firm believer that a cluttered space creates a cluttered mind so, for me, a well thought out storage system is important. Consider your workflow – where does work come in, where do you keep work in progress, how is it all filed when it’s completed? As a general rule, keep work in progress within arms reach and have your filing system nearby.
Built-ins are great if you have them, but if you don’t, look for practical storage solutions that keep everything neat, tidy and organised but don’t take up too much room.
4) Make the most of natural light
Lighting is an important point of consideration for any home office. Where possible a window that provides a good dose of natural light and gives you something nice to look at is ideal. Otherwise, a mix of good quality ceiling lights and lamps will give you sufficient lighting and the use of a mirror will enhance the light you have in the room.
5) Don’t forget about efficient home office technology
Aside from the obvious computer and printer – one of the most important points of consideration for anyone running a business from home is connection. By this, I mean internet – fast internet at that. My office sits away from the main house meaning the wi-fi signal is poor. To overcome this I picked up a wi-fi extender from JB-Hi fi.
6) Add some greenery
Indoor plants not only look great, but they also have mental and physical health benefits. They are said to reduce stress levels and increase productivity by up to 15%. In addition to this, they can improve the quality of the air we breathe and research suggests that they can help lower background noise.
7) Incorporate your personality
It’s perfectly acceptable to include items in your home office that offer no practical function other than to make you smile. I decided to invest in a range of dried flowers, a full-sized floor to ceiling mirror, and some sheer curtains. It’s a nice idea to match your office with the style of the rest of your house but what’s more important is that the design inspires you, motivates you and makes you feel good.
Why it’s worth the $$$$
Payscale.com estimates that the average person spends more than 13 years of their lives at work – and even more if you work additional hours on evenings/weekends etc.
While a home office renovation might seem like an unnecessary expense, when you consider the time we spend in them, a home office design that is comfortable, can increase productivity, promotes well being and makes us happy doesn’t seem like such a waste of money after all.