Photos: Jan Showers
While the notion of the ideal office is fairly straightforward (an organized and comfortable space where efficiency meets productivity), achieving it is often difficult to do. Enter today’s guest blogger Tim Conry, owner of Favorite Spaces in Hot Springs. As a highly trained home organization expert, Tim makes use of innovative methods to turn even the most unorganized spaces into practical, well-designed areas where you can both live and work with the utmost pleasure. One visit with Tim and his staff, and you’ll want to revamp the whole house!
Below, Tim lets us in on a few of his design-savvy secrets for an organized home office.
Changes in technology and lifestyle have lead to an increasing popularity of working at home either full or part time. Even people without a business reason for a home office enjoy having a separate space to use the computer, read and attend to home finances. Creating a home office space presents more challenging home organization tasks. A well designed space is not only well organized but also productive, comfortable and calming.
Evaluate and plan
Spend some time reflecting on how you will use the space. What tasks will you be doing? Will you be using the space for long stretches of time or short? What equipment, tools, books, etc. will you be using? Do you need privacy and solitude or do you need to stay connected to other members of the family? The answers to these questions will help you choose the space and prioritize its features.
First things first
The essential elements of any home office plan will include a chair, a work surface, lighting, storage and accessories. In planning the space, I like to start with the chair and work outward. Choosing a chair is its own subject. If youâre going to be spending a few hours at a time sitting in your office though, it is worth investigating. For a space to be productive, it first needs to be comfortable. Fortunately, the folks at 3M have created great online resources for office ergonomics. Start at http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/ergonomics/home/advice/workspacecomfortguide/
Think like an engineer
After comfort, the layout and arrangement of your space is next in importance. Industrial engineers, who are experts in productivity, conduct time and motion studies to optimize a workspace. In a nutshell, the things that you use most often should be the most accessible. Hereâs where that earlier reflection pays off. The size and shape of the work surface, the spatial relationship between the surface and storage can have a big impact. Accessories should also be chosen with time and motion in mind. Simple items like letter trays, phone stands and drawer organizers can help put what you need where it needs to be.
Light the way
Lighting your home office is critical but not difficult. Separate ambient and task lighting. Ambient light, whether natural or artificial, should be chosen to be sufficient but not overpowering. Use task lighting where needed. A desk lamp or two may be all you need. Youâll likely save energy and create a more calming space.
Enough with the practical. Now itâs time to really personalize the space. The colors, textures and decorative items should reflect your style and bring a sense of peace and calm. Donât be afraid to take advantage of the fact that this is your home and not a sterile cubicle.
For more office organization tips, follow this link: http://athomearkansas.com/At-Home-Arkansas/January-February-2010/Color-Coding/
From editor Diane Carroll: “How fashion and home interiors overlap has been on our minds all month in putting together our October issue with our fall fashion stylebook. Here’s a great example of fashion turning into textiles. Love Diane von Furstenberg’s prints!” (“Fashion Forward Fabric” from Shayla Copas Interiors)
From art director Mandy Keener: “This would be perfect for Thanksgiving at my family’s farm…” (“Modernly Natural Tables” from mertinsdykehome)
From associate editor Paulette Pearson: “My little sister, Diana, starts college this year, and these Parisian window box decals would be lovely for a French flair in her dorm room.” (“Window Boxes” from For the Love of Design…)
From advertising coordinator Laura LaRue: “I love these wooden push pins, and all of Signed Sealed Delivered’s other products for that matter! They look so much better than the old plastic onesâ¦.stylish & functionalâ¦I love that!” (“Wooden push pins featured in Southern Living!” from Signed Sealed Delivered)
Stylish account executive Katie Rawlings is ready to get noticed in this Napa-inspired look, also ideal for the cooler (we hope) fall months in Arkansas. (“Napa: Part Two” from Sage & Style)
From marketing coordinator/account executive Lauren Strother: “I adore this sweet little room. The muted colors and antique pieces give it just the right amount of sophistication without being too stuffy for a child. LOVE IT!” (“Luxurious Girl’s Room” from French Quarters)
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