So, you want to create a home office that you LOVE, not just kinda, sorta put up with?
I am definitely not above grabbing my laptop and vegging out on the couch (in fact, I secretly love it), but there is something about having a dedicated office space that makes me feel exponentially more productive. Whenever I am taking a meeting, whenever I’m working on a challenging task, I always find it easier to focus when I’m seated at a desk. But it wasn’t until moving to the apartment I live in now that I was able to really create a space that is 100% dedicated to my work. Now, I couldn’t imagine operating without it!
As someone who constantly juggles a full-time job, running a business, and maintaining this blog, I can’t stress enough how crucial it is to create a little area in your home that is entirely devoted to getting things done. You don’t need a giant space or a spare bedroom – even a nook or a couple feet of unused square footage should do.
Here is my list of home office essentials, plus some accessories to make the space your own!
Creating Your Home Office Space: My Essentials List
Choosing the Right Space
Determining where your office will be in your home or apartment is a crucial first step. Whether you’re just moving in or trying to decide whether to overhaul and rearrange your current space, where your office physically sits in your home will play a huge role in your overall productivity and happiness at work! Here are some considerations to make:
Dedicated Area: Do you have a space in your house that easily lends itself to being a dedicated office? A den, a spare bedroom, or a nook within a larger room are some good options. If you have any of these available in your space, you’re off to a good start!
Windows: I’ve read this countless times and I personally believe it to be true – if you have some natural light where you work and a direct line of sight to the outside world (the sky, some trees, or depending on where you live, a view of what’s happening on the streets below you), you’ll be much happier when you work. Picture a bleak corporate office with cubicles and drop ceilings. Are you imagining natural light? A great view? No? Make sure your home office is way better than that!
Proximity to Living Room: Depending on your preference, proximity to the living room can be a good or bad thing. Are you someone that gets easily tempted by TV, or thrown off by distractions? If so, try to keep your workspace out of the living room.
Proximity to Kitchen: When it comes to the kitchen, it’s the same idea as above. Are you someone that gets easily tempted by snacking? If running to the kitchen every few minutes to ‘take a break’ is a problem, having an office space with a view of the kitchen might not be a great idea.
Proximity to Bed: It’s been said that keeping your work (along with your TV) out of your bedroom helps your brain to associate the space with rest and relaxation. Of course, in certain living spaces like apartments and smaller homes, you may not have a choice. If your office area and your bed need to share the same space, so be it. Consider positioning your desk so that it faces a wall or a window, which will help change your perspective and give you a fresh outlook when transitioning from sleep to cleaning out your inbox.
Proximity to your Significant Other’s Workspace: If you are cohabitating with a significant other, you should have a conversation about whether you want to share a workspace, have separate workspaces, or (if you’re short on square footage) just have one desk that you take turns using. My boyfriend and I actually took turns between the desk and the kitchen table in our old studio because we didn’t have room for two desks. Now that we have the space, we actually bought a large 6’ dining table to use as a shared desk. Since we work together sometimes, this setup allows us to collaborate easily when we need to.
The Office Essentials List
There are so many things to consider when creating an office space that works for you, but let’s start with the essentials!
The most important thing to consider in your home office is the desk! It is the natural focal point of any office space, but in addition to being nice to look at, it should also suit the various needs you’ll have for it. Whether you’re sharing your office with another person, working with a small space, or hoping to work while standing, here are some great options to consider:
Small Space Desks
My ideal office chair is one that’s nice to look at. Maybe yours is one that has wheels. Either way, it’s important that you choose a chair that won’t make you want to get out of it every few minutes. It should be comfortable, functional, and just tall enough so that you aren’t slouching or struggling to see your screen. Unsure of measurements? Try this ergonomic desk chair and height calculator!
Chairs With Wheels
Chairs Without Wheels
I can’t tell you how often noise-cancelling headphones have saved me, both in traditional office settings and at home. They’re a must, especially if you share an office and need a way of tuning out your significant other or roommate.
Computer / Laptop Stands
The right lighting can have a huge impact on your focus in the evenings if you’re the kind of person that likes to burn the midnight oil! I love my desk light, but if you don’t have space on your desk, a wall sconce or pendant light will also do just the trick.
Organization / Decluttering Pieces
If your line of work needs special storage or tools to help you get your job done, consider how these pieces will fit in your space. The tools you need will vary from person to person. For me, having file storage, a bookshelf, and a way to store the gear I use for photo shoots and creative work are all extremely important.
Anti-Static Desk Pad, $13
Pen / Paper Holders
Bali Desk Organizer, $12
What’s an office space without some tasteful clutter? I kid, I kid. But in all seriousness, what IS an office space without a little pop of personality? Making your workspace into a place you want to hang out in will only add to your overall satisfaction, positive headspace, and willingness to actually, you know, work!
Here are some workplace accents that I swear by. These little touches have easily transformed my home office into one of the cutest corners in my entire apartment, no contest.
Mendes Area Rug, $328
Brass Turtle Box, $19
Maisonette Tray, $22
Travel Prints, $24
Planters and Plant Holders
What things do you love about your home office space? Which of these recommendations are you itching to get your hands on to help take your home office to the next level? Let me know in the comments below!