Designing Your Office at Home or at Work


By Alice Duthie, Interior Designer

Great interior design is based on common sense and logic. Using these principles, begin planning you office space with a blank palette by clearing out the space completely. Then sit in the middle of the empty space. Think carefully about how you want this space to feel. What tasks will you performed in this space?

The obvious essential elements t accomplish your tasks will be a computer, printer/copier, desk, file cabinets, comfortable chair, small work table and storage areas.

It’s best to plan the office space logically by arranging your desk with computer and accoutrements, file cabinets, and storage in a triangle so that you can minimize steps to reach what you need. Open shelving and open file storage on wheels can be very effective, since all files and paper requirements are visible instantly. Current files are easy to access, which is particularly importabt when multitasking.

Because office work requires many visual tasks, it is essential to implement smart lighting designs that will enable those working there to be comfortable with reading and computer use. Provide light from the ceiling to illuminate the work areas and serve as general lighting as well as task lighting. To personalize office space within a larger organization, workers may want to have individual lighting fixtures to make their office a more pleasurable place. Natural light, of course, is very desirable. If possible, try to have a window in your workspace.

Banish clutter. The old axiom “a place for everything and everything in its place” was never truer. Untold hours could be gained by organizing files and storage areas with a network mentality. Not only will the individual be able to access information needed, but with common-sense organization, all office staff will be able to find needed items or files.

The color in an office can provide an atmosphere conducive to productivity. Your color choices should reflect the business you’re in. Offices of bankers, attorneys, financial advisers and other professionals will use calm, serene colors, stripes and minimal decorating. Offices of interior designers and other creative types will reflect their choice of color. The use of appropriate color and practical interior design will help to improve productivity, enhance creativity and reduce stress.

Every office tells a personal story — you story, your space. If you feel good about working in your space, that attitude will be evident when speaking with clients and interacting with office personnel. To create a mood and personalize the space, surround yourself with memorable photographs, and use posters, paintings and sculpture — even plants — to create a harmonious milieu.

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