The Best Home Office Ideas for Close Quarters
When space is limited, sometimes it can feel like your options are also limited. However, when it comes to home offices, you can carve out a functional workspace without a lot of square footage. Whether you’re going back to school, ready to start working from home, or just need a better spot for paying the bills, there are some great choices available to you, even in close quarters.
Trade your spaces
Sometimes the answers to square footage conundrums come in the form of making a conversion. For example, trading off a guest bedroom for your home office could be an ideal solution. If you do so carefully, you can even flip the room back for your occasional overnight guest. Another idea is to convert a garage or shed into your new office, which has the bonus of getting you away from family interruptions which can encourage better focus. If you don’t already have an outbuilding, or you just don’t want to give up parking inside, another option is to install a prefab steel garage. They’re affordable and durable and provide a professional presentation.
Budget your project
Whether you’re looking to revamp a large space or a small one, establishing a practical budget is a key to your project’s success. If you’re doing a remodel, HouseLogic recommends connecting with a contractor for a ballpark figure to get you rolling. Then decide how much you’re willing to spend and where the funds will come from, get some hard quotes, and prioritize your needs versus your wants, since all too often projects end up costing more than expected. Note that when looking for contractors, it’s in your best interests to do some research. Get references, ask at professional organizations for recommendations, and be alert to common scams.
Squeezing in your spot
Sometimes it’s necessary to install a workspace in a room or area that already has a purpose. When that happens, it’s important to remember who else will be using the room, and how they will use it, such as a desk area in your kitchen. If you’re the mom of active kids, turning the space which is already a hub of activity into your work area could either mean keeping your finger on the family’s pulse, or it could mean you never get anything accomplished. Think through the impact of activity levels and daily schedules when making plans.
Create a great layout
It’s crucial for your home office to function well, and the overall effect can impact your work and comfort. Think about what features will be practical in your space, what financial restrictions you have, and if you’re converting an existing area, what that area dictates. Windows, foot traffic, and proximity to doorways will all weigh into your layout. You don’t need to be an architect to design a great space, and there are free online design tools to help you out.
Outfitting your space
When it comes time to put together your actual workspace, some items are essential. For instance, a comfortable office chair will help you stay relaxed and productive. When it comes to your desk, you should decide between a traditional option and standing version. Think about what style will fit with the room, such as how kitchen cabinets or bedroom furniture will look with your choice. If you’re in need of storage, consider whether you need flexible options or fixed ones. Rollaway carts and a desk on casters could be helpful in some circumstances, or a wall-mounted desk might be your best choice. Also take into account how you will light your space. You could install sconces, use a traditional desk lamp or under-cabinet lighting, or add a floor lamp if necessary.
Putting together a great home office is very doable, even when space is restricted. Think of rooms which can be revamped, and plan your project thoughtfully. Even in close quarters, you can have a functional, practical, and efficient home office.