Take Heart in Your Home Office
Gone are the days when the home office was a repository for a clunky desktop computer and an unsightly stack of files. Today’s home office is both a workplace and a space for quiet time, reading and reflection. How can you put your home office to best use? KBC provides answers.
Three questions to ask when designing or refreshing your home office
First and foremost, ask “Who is going to use this space?” Determine if it’s being used by one individual or by the entire family as a multi-functional room.
Next, ask “What’s it going to be used for?” Some of us want a basic workspace with a simple credenza and desk, while others want a home office that doubles as a den or library.
Finally, ask yourself “How detailed do I want to get?” Decide if you’re interested in a no-frills study or one replete with intricate details such as custom casework and built-in storage that can conceal items small and large — from notepads to shredders.
Once you ask who, what and how, you can drill down further into specifics like “Will I be meeting with clients in my home office?” Ultimately, you want to take on any home office design project with a clear sense of end goals.
Strike a balance between visual appeal and functionality
We all want a home office that is pleasing to the eye and encourages productivity. To achieve both, we recommend following some of the basic tenets of Feng Shui. First, situate your desk or main workspace so that it faces the door. You want to be able to immediately see and greet anyone who enters.
Equally important is choosing an anchor for the space. Your anchor doesn’t have to be the desk or a cabinet. It can be a work of art on your walls, a sculpture or a family photo. You want your anchor to act as the center, the focal point of your home office. Sketch the layout of your home office with your anchor in mind, knowing that it will serve as the backdrop for the entire space.
A home office infused with style
As with any room, you want to be sure that the style of your home office is consistent with the rest of your home, that a natural flow exits from one room to the next. Add visual texture and infuse personality with stand-out items, such as an antique table in the seating area.
Another way to ensure that style reigns supreme is through smart storage. It’s easy to let a home office become a space that spills over with papers, folders and other supplies. How can you avoid unsightly desk items? Customization. At KBC, we create custom cabinetry specific to your home office. Our goal is for you to maximize the amount of storage in your home office while minimizing clutter. From containers that hold paper clips to cabinets that disguise printers and entertainment systems, we customize home offices so that all elements — interior and exterior — are refined, visually pleasing and inspire you to work at your best.
At KBC, we are dedicated to reimagining the space you call home. If you’re considering designing or refreshing your dream closet, contact us. We’d love to discuss how we can bring our expertise to work for you and your whole home. Reach us at kbcpgh.com, and get social with us on Facebook @KitchenBathConceptsofPittsburgh and on Instagram @kbcpittsburgh.
A Remote State of Mind
– By Andrea Bernstein Rodarte
Working from home has so many positive benefits. However, it does take some research and tech upgrades to be as, if not more, productive as you would be when working in a traditional office environment.
Laptops, smartphones and tablets allow us to easily have a mobile workspace. You're not tethered to a desk! Synchronize your mobile devices to your 4-in-1 and have faxes and hard copies waiting for you when you get home.
A fan of tech gear? Check out IFTTT (If This Then That), a useful tool for automating actions between your webapps. IFTTT integration with a Flic button, or Microsoft Flow to connect to Microsoft's Cloud service, can make your work day more productive, from building an 'away' BRB (be right back) button when you take a coffee break, to a pre-set change of lighting color when your work day should be over (it's easy to work much longer hours when you work remote).
Keep your home office a clutter-free zone by wrangling power cords in a streamlined, wall-hung docking station such as Adorne Mobile Phone or Tablet Cradles to charge electronics.
If your home is wired with a state-of-the-art system such as RING, or NEST that controls temperature, alarms, doorbell, and outdoor cameras, you may choose the home office as the location for the system's brain and monitors. A glance at the door monitor from your computer allows you to check on package deliveries without leaving your chair, or use your smartphone for the same access.
If you haven't already heard of GTD (Getting Things Done), Personal Kanban or the Pomodoro Technique, Google them! Put simply, GTD is a method for organizing your to-dos, priorities, and schedule in a way that makes them all manageable. Kanban is a productivity system designed to give a simple, visual look at what's on your plate, what your priorities are, and what you've accomplished. The Pomodoro Technique can help you power through distractions, hyper-focus, and get things done in short bursts, while taking frequent breaks to come up for air and relax.
Adding tech upgrades and productivity techniques to your remote work routine will increase the enjoyment you get out of your home office.
Andrea Bernstein Rodarte is an executive editor and author for national publications including home design publications. She has written extensively about topics ranging from luxurious kitchens and baths to gourmet outdoor kitchens, exterior living spaces, sophisticated child-proof pool fencing, and high tech home security systems. With her extensive history in kitchen and bath products and trends, Andrea brings a knowledgeable and unique perspective to her work.