We often design our homes while making our best attempts at “future-proofing” them. Yet as time marches on and things change, we need to keep refreshing the spaces that we live in so that they can keep supporting us in whichever season of life we find ourselves in. For me personally, this became a very real task as I decided to launch the webstore for Modern Ornament last year, before moving into the store space we have today in Livingston, New Jersey.
Throughout our home ownership, I had my own space and process already established for working from home: a small home office with a comfortable furniture layout, cozy lighting, books for reference and a few electronics for business equipment. Yet as I worked from my webstore “pre-launch” season to my webstore “post-launch” season, many things in my interior setup and process had to change. Why? Because as we change the work we do we have to change the way we do work. A well-designed interior space will support the tasks you perform in it each day and help you be efficient with your process and your tasks.
To support my new business, I had to really give some thought to what tasks my work required me to do and what kind of amenities I needed to build into the design of my workspace. As I took on this exercise, I had to really re-think my home office. I've always loved working in my small home office, but as I added an e-commerce component to my business, it became clear that I needed more room for inventory and counter spaces for wrapping, storing shipping supplies, etc. For a long time we had a multi-function room which housed laundry equipment, seating areas, bookcases, small fitness equipment, and a small game table. Although I really loved the convenience and feel of this particular room along with the retreat that it offered, given my new business needs this room made the most (and easiest!) sense to reconfigure. As I delved into this project, the goal was not to change or remove the things that I loved in this room in order to add the things that I needed to this room, rather the goal was to keep the things that I loved about this room, and add the things that I needed, in a way that complemented the room and added to it increased functionality. As I needed to maintain the process simple and not include any construction in the process, taking advantage of every available space the room really became key. Organization and practicality became top priorities, with the reconfiguration of the room mainly consisting of lots of purging and re-organization, and adding shelving where necessary while making room in as many existing drawers as possible from existing storage areas.
As you take on the designing or re-designing of your home office, here are a few key things to keep in mind:
- When designing a space, in order to make it a successful design, we need to think about the things we do in that interior space and how we do them as much as we have to think about what we want the space to look and feel like.
- When incorporating a home office into your "regular living spaces", find ways to tie in the new additions into your existing décor, while incorporating the look and feel that will make you more comfortable to work in. In the process you may realize that the look and feel of your home may not be the same look and feel that is comfortable for you to work in, so employ creative ways to merge both styles to make the room as a whole work for you.
- Storage will always be at a premium and can never be sacrificed. When incorporating a home office into an existing space, consider what you can store in unconventional spaces, in other words, what do you need to include that doesn’t require full height headroom. This will help you determine how to fill the nooks and crannies in your space to get the most out of them.
Home office needs are ever changing. You may need something today that you won't tomorrow, so be flexible and ready to re-arrange things in order to make your home office consistently work for you.