Tag Archives: traditional design ideas

Modern Home Office Ideas

When it comes to a home office space, no single design idea will work for everyone –there is a wide range of different needs for a workspace, depending on the work being done there.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t create the perfect home office for you, though!  Here are some universally appealing suggestions to help you create a home office space that’s both functional and attractive.

Specific Task Areas

When envisioning a design for your home office, it’s important to take into consideration all of the activities you’ll complete in a given workday/week.  While a desk is an obvious starting point for most offices, to tackle paperwork or writing, those are likely not your only activities, so creating separate focus areas for tasks can be useful.

While your desk is the likely workhorse in an office space, don’t forget about incorporating a seating area for hosting and meeting with clients, and having a face-to-face discussion.  Additionally, if the office space hosts multiple users who need to share the office, you can help keep things organized and make the space work for everyone by giving each person an individual workstation.    

Home office seating

Courtesy of californiaclosets.com

Be Careful with Color

Since your office is a place where you need to be able to stay focused, it can be useful to set big punches of color — and the emotional responses they bring — aside. Instead, focus on choosing a largely neutral color palette that will allow you to put the bulk of your attention on the task at hand.  You can add small pops of color to keep the space visually interesting, with easily swapped-out elements like throw pillows or area rugs, but the more permanent parts of the design – furniture and wall color – should be calm and neutral.

Neutral color home office

Image courtesy of idekohome.com

Make your Office Personal

As much as we’ve emphasized that you need to be able to focus within your workspace, it’s also important to create an office where you’ll enjoy working and spending time. So while keeping the workspace décor neutral is key, so is accenting your office with things that highlight your personal taste and make you happy.  Those might be pieces of artwork, or items from favorite travels, for example.

An easy way to add personal elements and keep a cohesive scheme in the home office is to use your personal items as a jump-off point for accent colors in the room.  Draw out a bold color from a favorite painting on the wall and use that hue for pillows or a throw in the seating area, or mimic the pattern on a piece of displayed pottery in your window treatment or area rug.

Home office decor

A Place for Everything

Staying organized is a perpetual struggle in any office space, yet it’s crucial to efficiency. So for any workspace, and especially if you’re prone to becoming buried under your desk, it’s imperative to work lots of storage solutions into the design.  Ideally, if you have the space for them, built-in cabinetry helps store large items and hides clutter; you can repurpose a sideboard into file and supplies storage.  Bookcases and open shelves are also a great way to keep things organized and provide display space for both functional and decorative elements.

home office organization

Bearing in mind just a few important themes – organization, a neutral palette to encourage focus, task areas, and making the space personal – you can carve out a functional workspace in your home that you won’t want to leave.

Cooling Your Home Down without A/C

For centuries, older houses had no such thing as air conditioning for relief during the warmer months. Instead of flipping a switch, the following eco-friendly, old-school methods were used to get air flowing through the house during the dog days of summer.

Using the passive-cooling principles that hot air rises, and cool air moves toward warmer air, you can design or retrofit your house to make use of fresh air to stay cool and invite in those long hot days of July and August.

Open Up the Room

Open windows for ventilation in the summer

Since hot air rises, and cool air moves toward warmer air, a house that has vented openings on both sides of the building has a lot more airflow – and any air movement is a good thing. Using operable windows on the cooler side of the house, you can open them wide to draw the air through from the hotter side of your home.

Shutters Aren’t Just for Outdoors

Shutters can be useful inside too. Shutters aren’t just a decorative alternative to curtains and blinds, they’re also a green way to ventilate – you can open up the windows behind them to let in air, and close the shutters to keep out the sun, and voila! The room is cooled down the old-fashioned way.

It’s Obvious, but: Fans

living room ceiling fan

Courtesy of housesen.com

Fans have been used since ancient times to keep things cool, since any air movement is good and a fan can suck away the warm air and push cooler breezes around a space. Ceiling fans are available in every conceivable design, whether you want something unobtrusive or bold.  Fans are even offered in retro palm-frond styles, and most fans also offer a light fixture combination if you don’t want to lose overhead lighting when you install the fan. Look for fans with a reverse switch or feature for winter, which helps push warmer air (it rises, remember?) back down into the room.

Take it Outside

Screened in porch sunroom

Courtesy of jpandcompany.net

Screened-in porches have long been an architectural staple in hot regions, and they deserve a comeback. Consider enclosing your covered porch, or enclosing a deck with screens, and you will have created an airy, insect-free outdoor living space. You can use a screened room for months, provided you furnish it with pieces made from materials that can withstand some rain, like wicker or metal. Bonus: a generous couch with some indoor-outdoor cushions becomes an ideal spot to sleep on hot summer nights!

How you can avoid “Couch Ouch”

I talk with clients all the time who have spent weekend after weekend searching for the perfect couch only to settle for what was close, but not quite it. Either the style was a bit off or the fabric wasn’t exactly what they wanted, so they pop in and make a project out of it. Many of them didn’t even realize custom ordered couches were a readily available choice, but hear me when I say this: It is easily the best way to get exactly what you are looking for in your living room centerpiece.

Not too long ago we explained how a couch should be just as much functional as it is aesthetically pleasing. Today we are going to go further and help you tailor your sofa to your living room design, as well as your body.

Custom Sofa Option Sheet

First, let’s start with fitting the sofa to your body type. The key dimensions here are seat height and depth. For those with long legs, you will need a sofa that sits higher up so that both your thighs lay flat on the seat cushion and your feet are flat on the ground. Likewise, longer legs will require a deeper back so that you can sit upright without being scrunched. For those who are shorter, the opposite is required. The most common size range for seat height for sofas are between 18 -21 inches. Size in this range will be suitable to accommodate the most people.

Traditional Living Room and Tufted Sofa

Seat depth ranges from 20 – 24 inches. The key point here is to choose a depth that when seated, your shoulders are square with your hips. After you’ve solved the ergonomics equation, it is time to get into the fun part – style.

Those in the city may want a more contemporary look to go with their modern lofts and apartments. To achieve this effect you want to incorporate sharp edges while keeping the total build minimal. The arms should be Track-styled, with a box cushion and square back (no ear). Avoid a round or skirted base, as they will clash with the rest of the squared features.

Modern or Contemporary Living Room Sofa

A traditional look will do well for those with homes out in the suburbs. Rounded arms are a staple in traditional sofas, and you can complete a classic look with a tufted back and spindled foot.

blue floral patterned wallpaper ceiling

If you aren’t incoportating your ceiling, you should

With our heads constantly bent down, buried in our phones, it’s no surprise that highest opportunity in the room goes unnoticed in most homes. A wallpapered ceiling can add a unique and outstanding effect to a room when used as an alternative to the more common accent choices. By utilizing dark or lighter colored prints, you can make a rooms smaller or larger. Create texture where was none before or add the perfect back drop to your favorite ceiling fixture. The uses are limitless.

When choosing the right wall covering for a ceiling, my one preference is to go bold. I look to use either bright colors or detailed designs that draw the eye. I want my guests to gaze at my ceiling, mouths agape, as if it were the Sistine Chapel (photos are permitted). If you aren’t looking to break any necks then I would suggest using a neutral pallet and a design that involves simple geometric shapes. Oh, and lots of white space.

wallpaper ceiling light design

Unsure of how the wallpaper will play out? Try the look on the smallest rooms in your house – your closets. After a few days of testing you can choose whether to go fully commit or maybe even test out a different color or pattern.

Yet there is one small caveat. If you aren’t hiring a service to apply the wallpaper for you, the task is a bit difficult. Instead of a one man (or woman) job, you would need at least one partner to help you as you move along the ceiling flattening out the material. But as usual, hard work pays off. After a bit of frustration and a good amount of effort you will have a truly unique feature that will have your guests stunned.

bedroom with wallpaper ceiling

In my opinion, the bed room is the perfect place to apply a covered ceiling. I find that I can appreciate my work more laying face up in my bed then when I am taking the rare nap in my living room (or trying to sip the last drop of wine from my glass in the dining area). It becomes the first image to greet me when I wake up in the morning, and the last to wish me goodnight.