Home offices are notorious dumping grounds for furniture that doesn’t fit anywhere else (either style-wise or physically). Whenever someone remodels their home, the odd chair or wobbly table usually ends up in their home office. Most of the time the extra furniture is in the way and leaves little room to move around. Sound familiar?
The right furniture, combined with a little creativity (and the right tips), can help you make the most of your home office space.
1. Use modular furniture. With the exception of one home office, I’ve used modular furniture in all of my home offices. Modular furniture is easy to move around and lets you change your office as your needs change. When you use built-ins, you limit your options. The exception to built-ins is when you’re using a non-traditional space, for example a dining room, for a home office. While the cabinets and drawers in a dining room could be designed for home office use, the same cabinets and drawers could hold dishes and anything else someone may use in a dining room.
2. Add more storage. Sturdy shelves or tall bookcases can make a big difference in a home office. One of the biggest problems I see in home offices is not enough storage. If you don’t have a closet or a cabinet to store supplies, books and sales materials, most of that information gets stacked all over the floor. When you move everything off the ground and onto shelves, you have more room to work and you don’t risk tripping over something in your home office.
3. Make one piece of furniture serve more than one purpose. The top of a lateral file cabinet can double as an extra surface for an all-in-one machine or an extra stand-alone printer. Look in your garage, attic, basement or storage room for a dresser you could hold use to hold extra supplies in drawers or behind doors. Even a simple bench with storage below can give you extra home office seating along with room to hold files or supplies below.
4. Be creative. Need a new desk? Use two file cabinets with a board across them. If you need more workspace, add more cabinets and a board. This trick used to be reserved for starving college students, but I’ve seen expensive home offices furnished this way using high-quality file cabinets and durable surfaces. This is an inexpensive, yet stylish way to create a functional workspace.
When you work from home, it’s important to be flexible with your time and schedule. Why not do the same with your furniture?