Style and Home, Furnishing Your Workspace

After determining the space you have to work with in your office, and considering its decor, it is time to think about adding the furniture you will use to get your work done.

Take a look at your needs for your home office.

Do you need...

    A flat work station with large surface area?
    Storage for paperwork or products?
    A place to house a desktop computer?
    Seating for visitors or clients?
    Space for a phone, fax machine, printer, scanner, or other such item?

Depending on what you do with your space, and how much space you have, begin to plan out the furniture that will best suit your needs. At its heart, a home office or workspace will serve two functions; it will provide work surface and storage space. You will also need to consider the seating in your space.

1. Work surface - where you physically do your work.

Are you an architect? Your work space may be a drafting table or desk. A writer's work space can be as large as a desk or as small as a coffee table or even a lap, depending on the computer being used. A painter may not have a traditional desk but rather utilize an easel. A sculptor may have a pottery wheel or table. Once you determine your work space needs, you can furnish your space with the necessary furniture or work station.

In addition to your work taking up space at your work station, office accessories also need a place to stay. The most effective way to cut down on the amount of workspace real estate being given to accessories is to look for ways to streamline what you use. If you scan, fax, print, and copy, look for a printer that has those additional features, or even utilize a local copy shop if space is at enough of a premium in your office. Staplers, pens, legal pads, paper clips, and other office supplies take up space as well and will need a proper home in your work space so they do not take over your whole desk.

2. Storage - where you keep accessories, files and paperwork, finished products, important information, books about your work or trade, etc.

If your work requires a lot of paperwork in hard copy (not able to be scanned and stored electronically), a filing cabinet may be your best bet for a functional way to keep track of all those papers. If you only need to keep a few paper materials on hand, a small portable file box will save space and provide you with all you need to keep your papers organized. Lots of technical manuals, reference books, or logs of past years' sales? You may need a bookshelf or two to keep those organized. An artist with pieces to sell may need to keep items catalogued and stored (if they are not being sold in a gallery or store), and will also need to maintain a supply of mailing materials - envelopes, postage scale, stamps, labels - if works are being sold to mail-order customers.

You can also use storage bins or boxes to add a splash of color that complements your color scheme to stow the office accessories such as pens, staplers, and paper clips discussed earlier.

3. Seating - where you and your guests sit in the office.

Standing computer desks are a recent trend in office furnishings, but the vast majority of people still employ the use of chairs in their home office, both for themselves and for guests or clients in the office. While an artist at her easel may not require a chair, the writer and architect certainly will, and guests will appreciate a place to rest while they meet with you in your workspace. From high-backed, swiveling, executive-style chairs to basic wooden chairs with four legs, consider comfort and extended time spent in the chair in your decision. Look into ergonomic options to seat you at an appropriate height relative to your work, and ensure that your back has adequate support. If there is one thing in your office that you splurge on, it should be your chair. After all, you will be spending several hours each day sitting in it while you work.

Taking these guidelines under consideration as you shop for home office furniture will help ynu outfit your work space appropriately. Consider your work surface, storage, and seating needs and your office will begin to take shape into your ideal workspace.

Article Source: Caitlin Reed

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