Home is where the work is
Thanks to advancements in mobile technology including wifi, tablets and phones, being able to work away from the office is becoming more and more feasible.
New Homes spoke to InVogue Design Manager Brad McDonald and Pindan Homes Design and Drafting Manager Steve Haylan for their tips on how best to design a home office.
Both Mr Haylan and Mr McDonald said how the space would be used and where it would be were the key things to consider.
Mr Haylan said he and the Pindan Homes team asked clients a range of questions to determine their requirements.
These questions included who would be using the space, whether it would be shared, whether the user needed complete peace away from distractions and finally, how messy the person who would be using it was.
Mr McDonald said the use of home offices had evolved over the last decade and today he was seeing them being used for more than one purpose.
“It is important to consider how you or your family will use this space and how it can grow with your needs,” Mr McDonald said.
“You also need to consider LGA regulations around the use of the space. There are very tight regulations on the type of business you run from your home office.”
According to Mr Haylan, storage is key to the efficient functioning of a home office. Without a designated space for everything a home office can quickly become a mess and depress productivity.
“Consider under-desk filing drawers and shelves to store your documents,” he said.
“Scanning documents and saving them to cloud-based storage websites can also reduce clutter and reduce physical storage requirements. I would not recommend built-in furniture as your needs may change.”
Mr McDonald said effective storage solutions were a great way to maximise space within a home office and this required a careful selection of furniture.
“By understanding your space and how you’re going to use it you can plan effectively,” he said.
“Combining storage cabinetry with work surfaces creates multi-use areas in your office.
“Carefully select furniture that has storage capabilities as the pieces will help you maximise the space in your office.”
Practicalities aside, Mr Haylan foresees minimalist styling as having a strong impact this year, while Mr McDonald said the continual growth of tech integration would play a big part in home offices.
In terms of colours, Mr McDonald said the choice of palette depended on how the space would be used.
“Some may prefer or require a peaceful colour palette favouring calming, light tones, whereas others may prefer a vibrant, creative atmosphere with a mix of bold colours,” he said.
“Layering different textures into your office will create a large impact no matter the variation in colour palette.
“Incorporating a combination of textures into your home office will bring energy and enhance the mood.”
Mr McDonald said it was important to take into account acoustic requirements when planning your workspace.
Mr Haylan said working from home required discipline, focus and minimal noise disruption. He said one way to keep household noise at bay was to use acoustic bricks.
“Alternatively, try and keep your home office away from active and noisy parts of the home,” he said.
“Another way to reduce noise is to minimise hard surfaces by using carpet for flooring, soft furnishings and plants.”
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Source: The West Australian- Chris Thurmott