By Jennifer Tuohy
As an entrepreneur in the age of “we’re well past 9 to 5,” your home office is your command center — and it’s also most likely located in the corner of your bedroom or, if you’re really lucky, in your spare room surrounded by piles of winter clothing. As this is a space where the really important things get done, whether in the wee hours of the morning or while you’re burning the midnight oil, it’s important to take some time to make it attractive and welcoming.
Earlier this year I wrote this post about how to plan a productive home office. This time, I want to follow that up with five quick and easy tips for decorating your workspace and making it a more colorful and inspirational place to be.
1. Let there be light.
Rearranging your office space is an easy way to change up your decor and create a more stimulating environment. If you can, placing your desk parallel to a window will not only instantly spruce up your interior by welcoming in Mother Nature, but the natural daylight will help you work harder, longer and stay more focused—plus cut down on the need for artificial light. That doesn’t mean you can get away without artificial light however, and here’s another great opportunity to bring some style into your space. A few strategically chosen table lamps or an angular, attractive desk lamp can bring glamour, industrial chic or, in the case of this giraffe lamp, whimsy to your office in an instant.
2. Throw down an eye-catching rug.
Adding an area rug to your home office is a simple, inexpensive way to instantly brighten up the space. A correctly sized rug will give your workspace definition—especially if it’s part of another room, such as a bedroom or living room. Choose a rug with a bright color or bold pattern that will be attractive and invigorating, making sitting down at your desk for a day of work a more pleasant experience. As a bonus, a rug will also protect your floor from your desk and chair, eliminating the need for one of those unsightly plastic office mats.
3. Find a funky yet functional chair.
Another simple way to transform your office space is by introducing a signature chair. I fell in love with a bright red chair for my home office, and it really does brighten my mood when I sit down in it. There’s something about bold colors that just make me smile. Be sure the chair you choose is ergonomic as well as attractive, because you’ll be sitting in it a lot. Of course, you can also go the classic office chair route and simply spruce it up with a colorful pillow or throw.
4. Replace clutter with color.
Another way to introduce color into your home office while decorating is through furniture.
A colorful cabinet, bookshelf or filing drawer will turn the boring chore of clearing the never-ending piles of paperwork off your desk into a fun and satisfying experience. Choose a bright red or soothing blue, depending on your style, and contain clutter in style.
5. Be bold about wallpaper.
Finally, if you’ve tried all of the above and you’re still not feeling wowed, try some bold wallpaper to give your home office a unique, signature look. Even if you just apply the pattern onto one accent wall, it will go a long way toward helping define your workspace.
Does your home office make you feel warm and cozy or clear-headed and invigorated? Share pictures of your space in the comments below and let us know!
Jennifer Tuohy often works from her home office in Charleston, South Carolina. Jennifer writes about her home decor and design ideas for Home Depot’s Home Decorators.com. To view a wide assortment of area rugs, including patterns that Jennifer discusses in her article, you can visit the Home Decorators website.