How to: Design a Home Office

Having a home office that is both functional and inspiring to you is one of the most important things you can do ensure success if you’re working from home.

First, location – If you have a large home, maybe there’s an extra room you can turn into an office. If you have a smaller home, you’ll have to be a bit more strategic by utilizing space in an existing room. Either way, knowing how easily distracted you are and proximity to other areas of the house is a key component in planning your office space.

Once you have a location picked out, lay out your office to suit your needs – Do you need meeting space, project workspace, multiple computers or monitors? You’ll need to configure the space to fit your needs, within your size constraints and not worry about what you think a home office is “supposed” to look like.

Next comes decorating your home office:

  • You can save money on budget decorations, storage options, even your desk, but spend money on an ergonomic chair and adequate lighting.
  • You’re not in the office building anymore, so it doesn’t have to resemble a cubicle farm. Paint the walls a color that inspires you, add photos you love and other accessories that make you happy to be in your office.
  • Make sure you have enough storage for paper files, bills and other items. Use multiple types of storage to make the most of your space. Use filing cabinets, boxes and shelving to mix it up.

Do you work at home? Show us what your home office looks like on Facebook!

Spring Cleaning

Spring is officially here! You know what that means – Time for spring cleaning! Here’s a list to start you on the right track. So blast the music, throw open the windows and get to work! Cleaning Supplies

  1. Wash windows – Pro tip: Do it on a cloudy day to avoid streaks
  2. Vacuum/sweep/mop floors
  3. Deep clean carpets
  4. Clean beneath furniture and appliances
  5. Wash slipcovers and clean upholstery
  6. Vacuum window treatments
  7. Wash walls and baseboards
  8. Clean ceiling fans – Pro tip: Use a pillowcase to prevent dust from flying everywhere
  9. Dust light fixtures and light bulbs – Pro tip: Make sure the light bulbs are cool to the touch first
  10. Go through paper files and shred or toss what you no longer need
  11. Go through your clothing and donate, sell or toss things you no longer wear or fit into
  12. Wash bed linens, pillows, duvets, comforters, etc.
  13. Deep clean the bathroom sink, shower/tub and toilet
  14. Clean out your fridge and freezer – Toss out anything expired and wipe down all surfaces
  15. Shake out or wash floor mats and small area rugs
  16. Dust furniture

Of course, this isn’t a complete list, but this will get you started. Let us know what else you’d add to the list in the comments!

What’s Your Design Style?

Knowing your home design style can make decorating your home easier to buy pieces. Knowing your design style can allow you to buy pieces more strategically and give your home a cohesive design look.

Do any of these popular design styles fit you?

Coastal
Pops of ocean-inspired blues and turquoises
Light and breezy fabrics
Neutral colors like white and sand
Beach or nautical themed accessories and patterns

Contemporary
Straight lines
Bold solid colors
Furniture in basic shapes with sharp corners
Open spaces with lots of light

Country
Rustic feel
Lots of wood, found metal and antique or vintage finds
Muted hues

Modern
Minimal look
Geometric shapes
Neutral colors
Lacquered or polished finishes

Midcentury Modern
Glass walls and wide windows to let light in and connect with outdoors
Simple furniture designed with functionality in mind
Graphic wallpaper
Pops of deep rich colors

Traditional
More formal, but still comfortable and inviting
Curved furniture and plush fabrics
Neutrals and classic colors that complement rich darker wood tones
Luxe fabrics and classic styling

Transitional
Mix between contemporary and traditional
Soft colors and neutrals
Understated patterns
Clean lines and simple shapes
Lots of texture to make up for lack of color
Minimal accessories
Calm, homey feel

Which style sounds like you? Let us know in the comments!

Engineered Hardwood vs Solid Wood

Installing hardwood flooring adds appeal and increases the resale value of your home. Bolivia-765_Plank_LGYou can choose between solid wood flooring and engineered hardwood flooring. Both options give you beautiful floors, but there are differences between the flooring types including construction and humidity resistance.

Construction
Solid wood is made from a single piece of hardwood, usually about ¾” thick.

Engineered hardwood is made from three to five layers bonded together under extreme heat and pressure. Generally, the lower layers are made of plywood and only the top layer is hardwood.

Humidity Resistance
Solid wood will expand and contract, warping the floors, depending on a home’s humidity levels. To prevent this, humidity levels in a home with solid wood flooring should be kept between 35% and 55%.

Engineered hardwood is more resistant to moisture than solid wood; however, a moisture barrier needs to be installed between the subfloor and the hardwood to protect it.

Install Location
Solid wood shouldn’t be installed in below grade—below ground level—areas due to moisture issues.

Engineered hardwood can be installed in below grade areas of the home such as the basement, as long as precautions against moisture problems are taken.

If you are interest in installing hardwood flooring in your home, but still aren’t sure whether you should go with engineered hardwood or solid wood, stop into one of our five locations today to learn more!