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How to Make a Home Office: Ideas & More

Posted on March 26, 2020 by KylieMawdsley

Ideas to Make a Home Office for Adults OR KIDS!

If you’re a veteran at-home-worker like me, you likely have a well-established home office. However, these days, many people are trying to carve out space amidst toys, miscellaneous furniture pieces, and free-range toddlers. I’m here to help.

Because there are SO many different layouts, personal needs, space and furniture limitations, these ideas are for mass appeal, rather than specific needs and will hopefully get you thinking about how you can create your own special workplace.

How to make a home office, budget-friendly, affordable for kids schoolwork or work. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, paint colour blog

IDEA 1  PICK A SPECIFIC SPOT

Take a look around your home and find a spot that is not currently being used for something important.

For example:

  • A closet that isn’t vital to your everyday existence. If you have to clear out clothes and boxes, do it. You’ll then have at least eight square feet (if not more) of space all to yourself.
  • The corner of a secondary room. Main rooms like kitchens and living rooms are often the HUBS of household activity. Check out your secondary rooms to see if there’s a corner that can be re-purposed as your own personal office space.
  • If you have a large laundry room or mudroom, these can also be great places that are a bit quieter than primary rooms (maybe not when the washer is running, but you know what I mean).

closet before

Ideas to make a temporary home office in a closet. Affordable tips. Kylie M Interiors Edesign advice

And while I know that space is at a PREMIUM in many homes, if you can help it, don’t choose your island as your workplace. Islands are hubs of activity and if you want to be constantly shuffled and interrupted by kids, snacks and more, then it’s a GREAT place to park yourself. Also, sitting at an island will do a NUMBER on your ergonomics.

If you’re setting things up for kids, don’t use the dining table if you can help it. Space needs to be DEDICATED to work, for your sake AND theirs and this shouldn’t need to be cleared away to eat a meal.

Sherwin Williams Fawn Brindle. Best paint colour that men like or office. Neutral greige with green undertones. Kylie M Interiors Edesign

IDEA 2   PRETEND IT ISN’T TEMPORARY

Whether your ‘work at home’ situation is temporary or long-term, PRETEND it isn’t temporary. With this train of thought, you’ll be more likely to put some extra thought into your space, making it as comfortable and functional as possible.

Sherwin Williams Creamy with glass french door into home office with black feature or accent wall. Kylie M Interiors E-decor and color consulting

TIP 1  BUY A HALF-DECENT CHAIR

Budget-allowing, buy a proper office chair, rather than stealing a dining chair. You might’ve been spoiled by your office chair at work, and trust the Ginger, if you don’t pay attention, you’ll be sorry in a few weeks. What proper looks like to YOU and your personal needs might be different from mine, but I’ve found that the fuglier the better. Most good-looking, sexy office chairs don’t have the best support in place, whereas the standard black office chairs are often more ergonomically friendly, even if they are butt-ugly.

If you have kids, ergonomics isn’t always the most important topic, although it still matters. So, if you’re on a budget, grab a chair that’s around your home, but ideally NOT a chair that gets used for other things daily (remember, we’re thinking long-term here, not short-term).

I’ve picked out a few chairs that have almost EVERY ergonomic function you could ask for, short of a wine-holder.

This first one DOES come in other colours…

Budget friendly and affordable ergonomic desk chair. Kylie M INteriors. Ideas to make temporary home office

ORREN ELLIS DESK CHAIR

If you prefer a happy medium between style and comfort, this one is kind of cool and apparently it’s ribbed, for your pleasure…

Budget friendly and affordable ergonomic desk chair. Kylie M Interiors E-design. Ideas to make temporary home office in a closet or room

SORELLA RIBBED OFFICE CHAIR

But if you just want something cute and easy (you’re talkin’ to the right gal), this one would do the trick and it’s a GREAT price…

Budget friendly and affordable ergonomic desk chair. Kylie M Interiors E-design. Ideas to make temporary home office in a closet.

MITZY TASK CHAIR

TIP 2  BUY A DESK

I recommend finding one that should you go back to work, you can put it in your kid’s room, sell online or repurpose elsewhere.

Wayfair has some great options for simple, affordable desks, for example:

desk for working at home, quick home office ideas. Kylie M Interiors edesign, diy decorating blog

COLBURN DESK

Affordable desk and ideas to make a temporary at home office, work from home tips. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour advice blog

BELOTE WOOD DESK

IDEA 3   ADD COMFORT & FUNCTION

Seeing as you’re already out of your comfort zone and in your pajama bottoms (or no pants at all if you’re my husband, Tim), it’s important that your workspace FEELS good, and it doesn’t take much to make a space feel special.

Home office of interior decorator. Ikea alex desk and tricorn black feature or accent wall. Kylie M Interiors Colour Consulting and virtual e-design

BTW, several of these office photos were created from 99% IKEA furniture!

A FEW BASIC IDEAS FOR A FUNCTIONAL HOME OFFICE…

  • container to hold pens/pencils
  • file folder – and make sure you use it, even if it’s not your usual filing system

OR, satisfy the above with a handy lil unit like this HERE. You might also want to consider…

  • lamp, especially if it’s a low-light room – THIS ONE is actually really cute
  • corkboard – a lifesaver for all those random papers floating around (affordable corkboard HERE or HERE)
  • whiteboard (HERE) (you can kill two birds with one stone with THIS one)
  • box of wine and a funnel

And lastly, a plant. I’m always shocked at the visual value a plant brings to almost any surface. Steal one from somewhere else in your home, pick one out of your garden or grab a wee one at the store. And I recommend you name it. You’re more likely to bond with it and not murder it due to lack of water if you name it.

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore, best dark black paint color in home office with Ikea. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour consultation

If you have kids, have them help. Ask them to pick two things that they’d like at their desk area, pieces that bring them comfort. This could be a framed photo or a decorative figurine (for example).

IDEA 3   HAVE A TIDY ROUTINE

At the end of EVERY day, I encourage you to make it a HABIT to tidy things up. This will pay off every morning as you get to start the day fresh.

IDEA 4   MAKE A SIGN

That’s right, time to get crafty! If you have kids at home, I HIGHLY advise you to make a sign, or even better, have your KIDS make a sign, there’s nothing like free child labor to make the day go by faster. Hang the sign on the door if you have one or on your back if you don’t. This will be VERY important for those times you really have to gear down and focus. Talk to your kids about why it’s important and what it means when that sign is up – it means there’s NO messing around.

Sherwin Williams Sea Salt in home office, kids homework room with gallery wall. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, client photo

Chat soon,

Kylie M Interiors, decorating blog, e-design, online colour consulting expert. signature

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