Make Your Home Office Work For You

Interior design tips to make your home workspace a productive place to be

Working from home is a reality for more and more people, and while it may sound like a dream for many commuters and cubicle dwellers, it can be a nightmare from an organization and decor standpoint. If you're a lucky telecommuter who is still setting up shop on your dining room table, take heed of these tips from interior design expert Michelle Rohrer-Lauer of Grayslake-based Michelle's Interiors. You'll be even more motivated when your workspace rocks.

First, Rohrer-Lauer recommends making your home office as warm, inviting and comfortable as possible -- that way you'll want to stay until your work is done. Position your desk where it feels most accessible and has adequate room for computer equipment and storage. If you need room for two work stations (for those fortunate couples or roommates who both work from home), a peninsula desk system can solve space issues.

Secondly, make sure your home office has good lighting -- you no longer have to succumb to the harsh glare of flourescent office lights! Natural light is ideal for promoting productivity and a sense of calm, but if your room doesn't have windows, use lighting over your desk area to save your eyes from fatigue. Track lighting that can be positioned where you need it is a cost-effective solution.

Stay organized with a variety of storage options. Utilize filing cabinets, bins and bookshelves to ensure you know where things are when you need them (no missed deadlines!) and to keep clutter off of your desk.

And, finally, pay attention to the wall color in your home office. Color has the ability to set the mood of a room, so determine what environment you work best in and the type of work you do, and choose your perfect hue. For example, to imbue energy and vibrancy, select bright shades of yellow or green; for a calmer, more sedate office space, blues and other muted tones work best.

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