The Experimental, Experiential Office: What Workplace Can Learn from Retail, Education, and Airports
Designing the Home Office
Anna Popov, of Interiors by Popov, delves into the ins and outs of designing the Perfect Home Office.
When it comes to designing a home office, there are a multitude of factors to take into consideration. Among them: Will it be a one-use room, or does it need to double as a guest room, gym, closet, or another form of necessary space?
Quality is also an important factor that is frequently overlooked. It is entirely possible to find furnishing that not only satisfy your desired aesthetic but are high performing as well. When you spend eight or more hours sitting in a chair that is not ergonomic or working on a desk that does suit your needs, that’s when you (and your back) will realize the importance of matching function to beauty.
Likewise, place a large emphasis on the correct lighting and incorporating sustainably minded design into your workspace. The wrong lighting (too dim or too bright) can affect your work productivity – appropriate lighting will result in an improved mood and reduce eye fatigue and headaches (and enhance your appearance on Zoom calls for an added bonus) – it’s all about choosing the right lighting for your working environment. Additionally, investing in sustainable, well made, and/or handcrafted pieces equals investing in things that are made to last and that will continue to hold value for you over the years. The world is moving away from a throwaway culture toward a more ingrained, systemic, and artisanal direction where skill and longevity are held in high regard. So why not move with it? Invest in the future with sustainable designs.
What’s the best way to solve all these issues and the myriad of additional problems that will inevitably pop up? Hire an interior designer. It’s like deciding to design your own dress for your wedding. Sure, you might be a great amateur tailor and can easily achieve that goal, but you’re already going to spend a good amount of time, money, and effort, so why not make sure it’s all spent in the best possible way? Designers are trained to think of things that won’t even cross your mind. We know how to maximize the potential of your space and extract the value out of every inch of square footage. We also know how to find quality items that will change the user experience for the better. High-end doesn’t always equal quality, a mistake many people make.
At Interiors by Popov, we specialize in custom solutions and creating flexible spaces that support the way you live and work. When we need a really smart storage solutions or need a work room to double as a guest room for example, Resource Furniture is our go-to company. They have an infinite amount of space-saving and solutions-based furnishings such as hidden storage options, beds that fold into the wall when not in use, foldable desks, and so on. It’s important to pre-plan the function-ability of a room beforehand, envision multiple activity scenarios, and create systems that adapt to the function of the room. For desk chairs? Herman Miller is king. Originally founded in 1905, the company is a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council and carries a prolific amount of innovative office furniture. We particularly love their chairs – they offer a variety of different models, colors, and customizable options for all needs. For office furniture and more, we frequently tap Huppe, a sustainable, Canadian manufacturer that produces exceptional, essential pieces that feature a certain purity in their design. The company’s customization options – which extends to sizing – gives us the flexibility we need as designers.
Photo Credit: Anton Benedikt
When it comes to incorporating lighting into an office, it is somewhat up to the individual and how they like to work. Lighting is a complicated, technical subject but in general, we recommend making sure the color temperature is between 2,700 and 3,000 degrees Kelvin in a residential setting and ensuring the Color Rendering Index, or CRI, has a number above 90. The CRI will tell you how well the light source will render the colors around it. The higher the number, the better the quality of light.
Regardless of how you need your home office to work for you, investing in an expert, high-quality and sustainable materials, and furnishing, along with thoroughly envisioning the flow you need, will save you and infinite amount of time and resources, and will immensely increase your sense of wellbeing.