Let Your Home Office Reflect Your Personality
By Lisa Kanarek
What I don’t miss about a corporate office is having a standard-issue office that looks the same as everyone else’s office. When I was a corporate employee, my desk accessories were smoke gray, my desk with a return was tan and nondescript, and my guest chairs looked like something from my dentist’s office.
Working from home has changed all that. My home office has a mocha-color L-shape desk, a comfy animal print chair, family pictures and two bookcases.
One of the best parts about working from home is that your home office can reflect your style and taste. Just as you don’t have to wear a suit or dress to work, you don’t have to have a home office that matches your corporate counterparts. Instead, consider these four ways to make your home office reflect your needs and taste.
Bring your family into your office
Some companies don’t allow personal items anywhere in an office. When you work from home, adding artwork and personal photos can warm up and improve the overall look of where you work.
The perfect resource for artwork is right under your nose — just ask your children. Your budding Picasso or Annie Leibovitz can provide inspirational art and photos for every wall of your home office.
If you don’t have access to kid art, frame photos from your last vacation. The photos will add a bit of color and interest to your home office and you’ll always have a reminder of the great time you had on vacation.
Take a different view
What do you see when you look out your home office window? Depending on where you’ve set up your home office, you can change the feel of your office and even your mood, from the outside in. I changed the landscaping in my backyard because the dead plants and bushes barely hanging onto life weren’t very inspirational. Now when I look out my home office window, I see beautiful plants and (most of the year) blooming bushes.
Limit extra furniture
Take out old furniture that you moved into your home office because it didn’t fit the décor of your home. I’ve seen some incredibly ugly chairs make their way into a home office when they should have been donated or in some cases, burned. Also, don’t move extra furniture into your home office unless it does something other than take up room.
Let your office reflect your interests
If you enjoy gardening or playing golf, hang photos in your home office from your garden or your last golf game. Use desk accessories and mugs that reflect your hobbies and interests. If you’re a sports nut, hang memorabilia from your favorite team on your walls. Your office should be a reflection of you and your interests.
When you work from home, you can set up your home office any way you want. Just make sure it’s a place where you want to work, especially when the commute is only a few seconds long.
How have you personalized your home office?
Lisa Kanarek is one of the nation’s leading home office experts and the author of five books, including Organize Your Home Office for Success and Working Naked: A guide to the bare essentials of home office life. As one of only a few home office experts who is also an interior designer, Lisa combines her organization and design skills to create hard-working, productive home offices around the country. She is the founder of the work-from-home blog, WorkingNaked.com.