Thousands of Canadians, now call home their workplace. With the uptick in those working from home, the need for a dedicated home office space has increased. Now, some families are carving them into nooks, others are transforming bedrooms and some are converting that one-time guest casita into an office.
At OFWD, we are seeing more and more requests for home office design help today. While not every one of our clients works from home, many of them still want a space to get away and sit down and think, and do work while at home, even though that’s not their primary location for work.
Here’s a look at some of today’s home office design trends, along with some considerations to keep in mind when creating a home office to suit your needs.
Colour can be an important factor in making any space comfortable and productive. To get you started in the right direction, here is how certain colours can influence an office space.
Although, be very mindful that any colour you choose in your space must have a sense of a harmonious balance. Too much of one colour can sometimes have the opposite effect you’re going for. So when you’re choosing bold colours like the ones we will cover below, think about breaking it up with a lighter shade or accent wall of a corresponding harmonious colour.
REDS (HOVER OVER FOR DESCRIPTION )
Red stimulates, rouses circulation, helps anemia and sadness, but too much can be overstimulating.
GREENS (HOVER OVER FOR DESCRIPTION )
Green acts as a sedative to the nervous system and is helpful for sleeplessness and exhaustion.
BLUES (HOVER OVER FOR DESCRIPTION )
Blue is useful for calming emotional stress, though if too strong it can cause tiredness. So utilize blue with that in mind.
YELLOWS (HOVER OVER FOR DESCRIPTION )
Yellow, on the other hand, stimulates and is a good colour for mental work.
With the increased emphasis on ergonomics in desk and chair design for the past decade, height-adjustable desks are now one of the biggest home office furniture requests. Homeowners seem to prefer desks with power lift features.
Corner desks are a thing of the past, and if homeowners don’t want an adjustable desk, they tend to want one that’s fashionable and flexible. OFWD has been seeing an uptick of requests for longer desks that can double as decor pieces with a stool or seats under them.
The whole idea of a desk is that it’s not just a desk. Even bookcases are open and decorative, and it’s more of an accessory piece. Bookcases with metal finishes, in particular, are also popular office accent pieces.
How the desk is situated in the space is also important. You want to make sure that you have access to everything within reach, so you don’t want the circulation part of your desk area bigger than about 4′ x 4′. You also want to orient your desk so that you see people entering and leaving the room; it’s an old feng shui trick that can have a much more calming effect.
Most of our clients want everything within a short distance. Drawers, lateral files, pullout trays, whatever it might be, the shape is not as important as function. You want to do as little as possible in terms of confining yourself.
Positioning the desk near a window so you can glance away into a space with natural light in order to relieve eye strain. So if you can be looking out at nature, even if it’s a planter box outside your window, the more calming it will be. Nature is the ultimate antidote for balancing, and good old sunshine is an essential part of nature’s healing effects.
For larger rooms, we suggest making a smaller desk area and a separate lounge area with a sofa or reading chair in it to unwind between tasks. We like to incorporate a chaise lounge into some offices for clients who like to take midday power naps.
We also can’t stress the emphasizes and importance of a good chair, especially for those who work from home and spend a lot of hours in the office space. Our top recommendation is the OPEL Multi-Function office chair. A very reasonably priced ergonomic chair, that provides all the comforts and adjustability for your size and preference. it’s money well-spent.
Staying on top of technology in office space design is important. Our customers demand tablets, desktops, digital television programs and cellphone apps all be integrated and seamlessly used through different monitors and televisions. Charging ports, video conferencing capabilities and the ability to hop from one device to another are also common requests.
With more technology, wire and cable management also becomes a design concern. Sometimes, cavities need to be created within furniture and desks to make the technology ecosystem work without leaving eyesore cord bundles at people’s feet or along walls.
With sleeker, more modern designs using glass, steel, plastics and carbon fiber, our team is forced to be more creative with finding places to run cables than when he worked with bulkier, traditional or Mediterranean-style home office furnishings.
We also find lighting in office spaces to be very important. Try to incorporate as much natural light in your designs as possible, and we always encourages clients to have lighting from more than one source — lamps, can lights, natural light — to reduce computer glare and eye fatigue.