Home Office Help
Here's how to divide the space into zones to ensure that it is hardworking and good-looking.
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A home office must be an organized environment. Ideally it encourages creativity, aids productivity and helps efficiently accomplish the task at hand. Divide the space into zones to ensure that it is hardworking, not merely good-looking.
- Zone One. This is the immediate work area and contains essential materials arranged for easy access. A calendar, telephone, pens, notepads and computer are common essentials that are best kept no more than 30 inches away from the desk chair. Frequently used phone or reference books can be kept on a bookshelf or in a cabinet that's connected to or near the primary workstation. The work surface itself must allow enough room to work on projects or pay bills.
- Zone Two. Items that get only occasional use can be placed several steps away from the primary work area. If space allows put these items on shelves and in filing cabinets around the perimeter of the room. In a kitchen consider designating one cabinet for office items. If your office is an armoire-style computer station in a living room or bedroom, maximize storage with ottomans that have lift-up tops, end tables that have drawers or a trunk that rests at the foot of the bed or serves as a coffee table.
- Zone Three. The final zone is for nonessential items. Because most home offices are strapped for storage, find other areas of the home to stow infrequently used items such as supplies you've purchased in bulk or old tax records. Designate an inexpensive plastic or metal shelf in the basement or the upper two shelves of a linen closet for extra office-related items.
Designer Mike Patrick created a Northern Plains-style office that is both sophisticated and rustic.