Many of us are working from home, but not all of us have the luxury of being able to convert an entire room into a work from home office. By now, we’ve all heard of the cloffice, a combination of a closet and an office, which blends clever space-saving solutions with inspiring décor to create a productive home office. If you’re not familiar with the term, check out our post, “How To Create the Hottest Work From Home Trend in 2021 | The Cloffice.”
If you are one of the many space-challenged people working from home, there are plenty of ways to get the most out of your limited space. Let’s take a look at one designer’s approach to how to make this happen. Back in 2011, Gigi Day, interior designer and founder of The Mod Daily blog, transformed an itsy-bitsy 210 s.f. space in the North End of Boston into a stunning, efficient design studio. It feels far roomier than its meager footage because every square inch was put to use.
The project showcases Day’s tastes, sensibilities, and talents. A decade has passed since then, and even though styles, color trends, and technology have changed, the basics of her designs are timeless. The techniques she used can help you maximize your home office space, too.
Create the Illusion of Roominess with Color
Using her keen sense of color and pattern, Day created a space that is sophisticated yet playful. Knowing that light paint colors make a room look bigger and brighter, she chose an inviting soft white finish for most of the walls, cabinetry, seating, and dishware on display in the kitchen.
The dramatic, deep red wallpaper adorned with pairs of purple flowers was used because the ascending floral design draws the eye towards the ceiling to accentuate its height. As a skilled designer, Gigi knows that its repeat pattern gives the illusion of making it look larger than it actually is. Checkerboard-patterned ceiling tiles, half of them backlit, create a sense of expansiveness on the ceiling.
The studio’s kitchen and storage area occupy the center of the space. Cream-colored grasscloth wallpaper with a metallic finish reflects light to make the room appear large and bright, a common technique used by designers in the know.
For your home office design, choose bright, light colors for the walls, a splash of drama by way of a colorful wallpaper with a repeat pattern, and metallic accents for their reflective appeal.
The Use of Pattern to Make a Space Appear Larger
Vertical stripes will make a room appear higher while thin, horizontal lines give the appearance of a stretched, extended look. According to Day, “A home should have a sense of space that is both horizontal and vertical. Horizontal lines give the illusion of expanded space, while vertical lines draw the eye upward.”
But there are many ways to create direction and pattern without the use of stripes. For example, the long marble desk, big enough to accommodate four computer stations, and a horizontal dimensional wall above it, lend an illusion of endlessness.
Wood flooring throughout the space adds to the sense of distance, stretching into infinity. Books lining the area above the closet and black track lighting along the ceiling help lengthen the narrow span.
You can use columns and windows with floor-to-ceiling curtains to create vertical lines and beams and wainscotting to make horizontal lines. Use striped wallpaper, artwork hung in a horizontal or vertical pattern, and tall furniture to expand your space.
Let There be Light – And Mirrors
Natural light opens up the interior of any room, making it look larger. That’s why Day placed the work area in the entryway, framed by a large window. And it’s well-known that mirrors make space appear larger and more open, creating the illusion of depth. They reflect both natural and artificial light. Day used mirrored walls strategically in the tiny bathroom that measures just 5 feet wide and 3 feet deep. Delicate, aubergine-hued pendants draw the eye upward and create a mesmerizing glow.
Your home office décor should include as much natural daylight as possible, so try to place your office near a window or under a skylight. Choose artificial lighting that mimics natural light as closely as possible. Backlit semi-opaque ceiling panels will create height. And of course, don’t forget the mirrors.
Selling a Home with a Home Office
If you’re considering selling your home, you can’t go wrong by investing in a well-organized #WFH space. 2020 saw an increase of almost 17% in the number of listings that contain the word “office.”
According to Melissa Cummings, a realtor in Orange County, California, buyers are looking for dedicated work areas. “There has been a noticeable increase in the demand for homes with a home office. Maybe that’s why they want to move in the first place!”
The ideal work from home office is located in a quiet zone, comfortable, and attractive. Even the smallest of spaces can provide what you need. With a bit of planning and creativity, you can have a home office in complete alignment with your personal style. It will add enjoyment to your day and value to your home.
“Designer uses her keen sense of color, patterns, and materials to give the illusion of roominess.”Ami Albernaz