Tuesday, August 28, 2007

10 Tips for a Sleek Home Office

Decorate for an Efficient Work Space
© Victoria Foley

Feb 9, 2007

Using a little creative thinking can turn your home office into a modern and attractive work space that will be sleek enough to blend in with your decor and inspire you!
When setting up a home office, there are some things you know you need: pens, a printer, a telephone, a computer and a desk to put it all on. But how all of the necessities come together is what makes a work space your own. Organization and decoration are key tools in your home-office toolbox, so use them wisely.

No matter your budget, you can design a work space that will be as beautiful as it is functional. Many items you already own can be reassigned to desk duty if buying new doodads isn't on the agenda. Remember to follow your own taste before any trend - the idea is for your home office to be an extension of your home. Here are some tips for creating the right office for you.

LAYOUT First, look at the layout of the room. Think about where your desk should fit - will a window view distract you, or do you crave sunlight? Place furniture accordingly.
DESKTOP REAL ESTATE Your desk should be sized appropriately to the kind of work you do - if you mostly use the computer, a smaller table may suffice. If you like to spread out projects and use the desktop for writing, look into larger desks or tables.
COLOR SCHEME If your office is in a room of its own, think about a color scheme that will inspire you. Bright but tasteful colors such as french blue or spring green can creative a happy atmosphere without overwhelming your senses.
ACCENT COLORS If the walls are a more subdued hue and you can't paint, think accents. A piece of patterned or textured paper from an art store can dress up a bulletin board or tabletop. A colorful bedspread or slipcover can camouflage the guest bed or sofa and brighten the room.
BLENDING IN For home offices that need to blend into a larger room, consider the theme of the space. An upholstered armchair may work for a living room, while a simple wooden stool might be just right for the kitchen. Choose a desk or tabletop that complements the other pieces in the room without fading into the background.
STORAGE To streamline the look of your work space, look for storage options that hide your excess paper and files. A small plastic box in the closet can hold less-used supplies like tape and note cards.
ACCESSORIES Look for desktop accessories that can be repurposed from things you already have. Pretty glasses can double as pencil cups, serving dishes can hold paper clips and pushpins, and deeper pottery bowls can hold cords for electronics. Keep the items you use most in easy reach so you don't waste time searching for them.
BOOKS Decorative bookends can dress up your reference book collection. You can make almost any pair of heavy objects into a corral for your dictionary and thesaurus. Statuettes or trophies can substitute for more ordinary bookends if you like the look.
ART Wall art can add an extra dose of personality to your home office. Choose images that inspire you. Frame degrees and special photographs. Add a bulletin board where you can pin up motivational quotes or funny cards.
KEEP IT SLEEK However you choose to decorate, remember to keep clutter under control. Piles of disorganized papers make an otherwise stylish office seem unkempt and out of control. Likewise, try not to overload your desktop with photos and knickknacks. Keep it simple and clean to make the most of your home work space!

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