In March of 2018, the DC-Baltimore-Virginia area witnessed a freak spring snowstorm, with icy conditions shutting down the metropolitan area. But it doesn’t take a huge storm to bring the region to a halt: sometimes as little as an inch of snow closes school, offices, and even the federal government. But weather doesn’t mean that work can’t get done. And that’s why having a home office is becoming more and more important.
Telecommuting is changing the way we work. Up to 40% of all employees have a telecommute option, skyrocketing from the numbers 10 years ago. But while the way we work may be changing, the number of spare rooms you have may not be. If you don’t have a room dedicated to being the home office, you may need a way to transform a living room space into an office.
Sounds tricky? Many people think it is. They worry that it’ll make their living room less livable, while also not having the privacy and functional workspace that they need. But it doesn’t have to be that way. At Closet America, we specialize in creating home offices that work in your house. We can help you install a beautiful home office in your living room that matches your aesthetic while making sure that you can get your work done when you need to and live your life when you want to. Here in Virginia, Maryland, and DC, we’re your partners in installing a home office in your living room. We want you to work and to live. We’ll get you there.
Understanding Space to Make A Home Office in Your Living Room
When discussing what you need to make a home office in your living room, you have to ask yourself what makes a good office. And that combines two different parts: the furniture itself and the way it interacts with the room.
Let’s start with the physical. It does you no good to set up an office if you’re just going to have a folding table and an old box to toss your files in. Not only is that a bit flimsy, it also doesn’t fit your needs. You need a space that actually helps you work.
A sturdy desk. Never undercut the importance of a sturdy desk made out of the best materials. When you have something solid, you can lean into your work. And a real desk looks so much better.
A cord management system. It’s hard to concentrate when you have a rat’s nest of wires. It’s also hard to physically maneuver your phone, printer, charger, laptop, tablet, second phone, second laptop, fax, etc. (ok, probably not fax, but that’s cool if you do). A cord management system helps you make sense of the tangle and keeps things neat.
Drawers, shelving, and storage. You want accessibility and enough space to store everything. You also want the flexibility to store items in an intuitive way so they remain neat and are never misplaced.
You might have noticed that we’ve been emphasizing neatness and good looks. There’s a reason for that. Maybe at your office at work, you have things kind of strewn about. But that won’t fly in your living room. You live there, after all, and entertain there, and relax there. And that brings up the way your office interacts with the room.
Your office has to be a part of your living room. It has to fit and not interfere with the overall flow. It has to be comfortable for you to work in and has to be a natural part of the room when you’re not working. To do that, there needs to be a plan; you need the experts at Closet America. It’s our job to help you do your job.
How We Make a Custom Home Office in Your Living Room
At Closet America, we have a dedicated system to make sure your home office fits as part of your living room. It starts with a free visit to your home for a consultation. In this consultation, we talk to you about your wants and needs. We study the existing furniture in your house and take precise, 3D measurements of your space. We work with you in order to design the components that fit all your work needs while existing holistically in your living room.
Some of the things we consider are:
The way light comes in the windows at different times during the day. We want to avoid glare as much as possible
The overall shape of your room and the way you use it
The way you intend to use your office
The look and feel of your room
Taking all of this into account, we utilize high-quality hardware in order to make a secure, sturdy, and long-lasting office set. It’s created to precise measurements by our craftspeople, finished by hand, and cut to the exact measurements created by the 3D modeling. There’s no need to wonder if it’s a right fit because the components are completely customized.
Set Boundaries To Make Your Home Office a True Home Office
Now, of course, having a workspace in your living space can be tricky, no matter how beautiful the design and how fully and subtly into your room it integrates. What you have to be able to do is create space to work and create a space to live. Otherwise, you’re either always working or you never are. Neither is ideal.
So here are a few tips to set boundaries and to keep your workspace productive.
Have dedicated work equipment. If you can, have a dedicated computer just for your work. If you drag over the laptop you were watching videos on the night before, you might be distracted. On the flip side, if you bring your work computer over to the couch, you might not have the separation to stop working, even when your workday is over.
Stay at your desk during the day. You can get a snack and go to the bathroom and go for a walk, but don’t mosey on to the couch or in your bedroom. You might find it harder to work. And even worse, you might associate the couch and the bed with work. That’s not good.
Set hours. We know that work seems like it can happen all day now. But try to give yourself a set time to work. It can be really easy to “head back to the office,” but then your living room becomes the office—permanently. When you have friends over to watch the game, you don’t want to think you’re at work.
Hire security to keep visitors out. OK, not literally. But just as your kids probably don’t just come traipsing into your office to hang out, they shouldn’t do it at home either.
Be comfortable. This is most important. If your home office is miserable, you will be too. And then all the rules above are broken and you don’t have an office or a living room.
That’s why we want you to have a custom-designed home office in your living room. It helps you keep your work life and your home separate.
Let’s Get to Work
Telecommuting isn’t just the rage: it’s the future of work. It makes us less car-dependent and eases the stress of commute. It saves money for everyone. But to make it successful, you need a custom home office in your living room or anywhere else that works for you. We can put a comfortable, beautiful, and work-friendly one anywhere. Contact us today to get started.
Lead Photo by Nathan Riley