Whether you began working from home during the pandemic or you work remotely for other reasons, a home office makes work inescapable.
At least, the work-life balance is blurred if your home office lacks simple design decisions that keep work out of sight and mind outside your working hours.
Creating the PERFECT home office space is not just about choosing the best furniture or finishes…it’s about protecting your downtime. It’s also about being more productive when you ARE working.
The right office design to separate home and work supports two complementary states of mind. In one state, you’re productive and work-focused. In the other, you are focused on living your best life…in the home you love, with those you love, doing what you love most.
Home design ideas that separate work from home
Some of us find it hard to turn off “work mode.” Some of us feel the pressure of our work responsibilities bearing down on every precious minute we SHOULD be playing with the kids, or going to the movies, or boating, or doing literally anything else!
The following design ideas for your home office range from putting walls up to updating your window treatments. They are helpful for anyone who works from home, no matter your personality type.
If it’s about walls…
Ideally, your work area will be behind a closed door. Perhaps your home has an area of a larger room that can be gutted and remodeled as a separate room. You can even section a space off from an existing environment with standing panels. Some standing panels today are discrete and sleek and DON’T have to become an eyesore!
If you don’t have a devoted room for your home office, you can repurpose part of a room that is still behind some other door, thus blocking distractions from the rest of your home. Putting up walls or creating a “room feel” where there isn’t a room might feel daunting. However, it’s worth leveraging whatever you can to ensure you have that dedicated office space.
If you already have a separate room set up or one just isn’t in the cards for you, these additional design points can give you MAJOR benefits…
Keep your desk out of sight from the door
This is as much about aesthetics as it is about classic psychology.
If your desk is out of sight when passing your work area from adjacent rooms, you’ll think about work LESS.
If your work area is also kind of a disaster, you’ll save yourself the embarrassment if guests walk by and see it, too…
This is a simple decision you can make that can provide a WORLD of difference. Look at your office setup and decide where the desk can be that isn’t visible through the doorway…
Use a draft excluder on the door
This is the quickest and easiest way to add a sense of separation between your home office and the rest of your home. A draft excluder, in this context, protects you from noise.
That means you focus better on work when you are in your office…
It also means your home life is NOT polluted with the sounds of notifications. You shouldn’t be interrupted during lunch or time with family by “ding, ding, ding…”
Upgrade your window coverings
One design feature you’ll be surprised to see on this list are window treatments. Your window covering selection has the power to do several things:
- Offer more sound control (going both ways, remember…)
- Offer light control for comfort and temperature management
- And, if you install remote lift blinds, you’ll be more likely to USE the feature and will block work out no matter where the windows are facing
Seriously…should you see your office from the back yard? Do you really need that constant reminder of what’s pending? Of course not!!
What to think about in the interior design of your home office…
The design features above are about separating home from work.
There are also interior design (more aesthetic) decisions that help you get the most out of your home office.
These are some of the key details to focus on while staying comfortable, inspired, and productive…
Lighting is a tool. It’s a tool to ensure optimal visibility…but it’s also a tool to create ambience.
Use some kind of colored lighting on an accent wall or in one corner of the room to add visual interest. Ensure the lighting around your desk and computer area is even, just like the perfect lighting around a bathroom vanity. Above all, ensure your lighting has DIMMERS!! Light control is crucial to avoid tired eyes later…
Add more visual interest…
This comes down to what we call “rich environments.” A rich environment is one that stimulates the senses (…in a good way). Part of this is done with color psychology…you know, the color of paint you choose, the color of fabric, etc. Another element is using texture and mixed materials in your furniture and finish selections.
And HOW CONVENIENT!! Those VERY features are what’s just been seen at High Point Market. Your options are limitless. Check out our gallery of finds for examples…
Rich environments stimulate alertness and they keep you engaged with your surroundings. If you haven’t worked in a rich environment yet, just try it and you’ll understand the hype.
Always have inspiration around you
Beyond stimulating the senses with a rich environment, be intentional about your sources of inspiration. Surround yourself with them.
Your inspiration might be industry-specific. If you’re an architect, maybe you would love drawings of the most extraordinary edifices of the generation. If you’re a lawyer, maybe Lady Justice would be welcomed on your desk.
There are some IT-related decisions you can also make that create true separation between home and work. But those are for someone else to write.
If one of these design concepts resonated with you, why do you think it stood out?
Join the conversation on our private design community!!