Welcoming your new home office

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

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When guests come over, I like to leave all of the room doors open. I feel like it contributes to a sense of welcoming and also makes your space feel larger. However, our home office door is one I usually like to keep shut. I am ashamed to admit this room has gone largely untouched since my husband Scott and I moved in.

That is not to say we don’t use the room. Scott uses the closet, and we both use the desktop computer and printer. However, the room’s clunky arrangement and lack of décor leaves us wanting to get out as soon as we finish what needs to get done. Considering we will hit the two-year mark of living in this home in just a few weeks, it finally is time to tackle this space. If you also have a home office you need to get in order, consider some of these tips:

Before you start, think about what you need to get out of it. Our office also is the space for my husband’s closet and his bike. It also needs to hold a desk, desktop computer, printer and all of our important documents. It has to serve the purpose of a workspace, while leaving enough room for Scott to easily access his things.

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Be specific about your plan. Measure the space and the objects that absolutely must go in it. Input your measurements into an online program to help you map it out. There are many available that are easy to use and free of charge, such as those offered by Pottery Barn, Better Homes and Gardens, and Ikea‘s websites. Others like Planner 5D (planner5d. com) have features that allow you to add in materials and visualize the space in either 2D or 3D perspectives.

Put form before function. Map out technical considerations, such as placement of electrical outlets in relation to where they are needed. Keep essential items, like the printer, computer and trash bin within arms’ reach of one another.

Make it comfortable. Invest in a chair that is specifically designed for office use. Test it out before you purchase it. If multiple people will be using it, make sure it is adjustable.

Roll on. Before you add an area rug, make sure it is large enough that you can roll your chair back and forth without rolling off the rug. You also may need to purchase a floor mat to go over the rug to make the rolling easier.

Email questions to thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.