by: Taylor Duvall for InteriorCrowd
March 2, 2016
March 2, 2016
The ideal home office offers a combination of function and style, although sometimes it’s tricky to create a home office environment that doesn’t favor one of these qualities over another. But don’t worry: gone are the days of overstuffed rolodexes and bland beige file cabinets: today’s organized home office can look as put together and polished as the rest of your space with the help of a new class of organizing tools that will keep your office orderly and save time without sacrificing style.
No matter what you do, your desk is likely the anchor of your home office. We love a desk that offers a combination of strong storage potential with an elegant, modern aesthetic. A desk with clean lines can be especially nice if the rest of your office tends to feels busy or boisterous with mood boards, papers, materials samples, or whatever other tools of the trade you tend to use. One desk that fits the bill is the Modern Desk from West Elm. The simple shape of the desktop combined with the visual interest of the angled legs creates just the right amount of impact, and the airy shape will help make your home office look more spacious. Drawers underneath the desktop provide storage space to keep clutter and papers out of sight but still at hand. If a handcrafted look is more in line with your aesthetic, the Wood and Metal Teagan Desk from World Market offers a rustic, retro feel. Built in shelving and roomy drawers make this another top option.
Working with a smaller space? If you’ve carved out a nook for yourself that can’t accommodate a large desk with drawers and storage, try a rolling cart for stashing paper clips, documents, and any other items that can leave your workspace looking cluttered. The Stow 2-Drawer Rolling Filing Cabinet from the office organization pros at Poppin comes in a variety of bright colors or neutrals to suit your design scheme and keep documents tucked away right at your side.
Bookcases and glass cabinets can be beautiful in a home office, but if you’re working with a smaller space, you’ll want something more efficient that really uses your wall space well. Wall shelving placed next to or above a desk combines the best of both worlds by maximizing your office’s storage potential without requiring any floor space and spares you the trouble of constantly walking across the room to retrieve notebooks, binders, and papers. However, all wall shelves are not created equal, at least when it comes to creating a smartly designed home office. Some wall shelf options are better suited for small vignettes and curio displays, and may offer too little functional storage space. Unless your storage needs are truly minimal, we recommend that you opt for a hard working staple like long floating shelves (the Ekby Mossby stainless steel shelves from Ikea are always a strong pick) to provide enough surface area to give you the high-capacity storage you’ll need within an arm’s reach.
The temptation to over-accessorize a home office can be difficult to overcome. The market is flooded with so many inventive, attractive odds and ends designed to keep you organized, it can be easy to splurge on something that ends up being more fussy than functional. Too many office accessories can defeat the purpose of getting organized in the first place and ultimately make you less efficient, even if they were bought with good intentions. Knowing how you work and what your habits are will help you choose wisely when it comes to which pieces you’ll want to keep on display on your desk. What are some of our favorite time-saving tips?
Instead of the standard tray-style inbox, a vertical solution might help you keep track of your mail and daily documents and receipts, rather than letting them get buried under stacks of incoming papers.(The balance rose gold letter holder from CB2 is a pretty yet functional option.) You’ll save yourself a lot of energy that would otherwise be spent sifting paper. Magnetic or wall-mounted bins help clear precious workspace on your desk. The Urbio line, available at everyone’s favorite organization mecca, The Container Store, has some sleek magnetic options that allow you to customize your work area. And, no matter what your trade, we all know how annoying and unsightly it can be to deal with a tangled mess of cords underneath your desk. Keep them straight by labeling them with washi tape, or opt for an organizer like Cordies to keep them separate and spare yourself that awkward five-minute crouch under your desk as you try to figure out which one of the gnarled cords is your printer cable.
The best home offices create a sense of sanctuary, where it is easy to get work done and feel inspired, without providing too many distractions. Your home office might not be the best place to display the snapshots from your nights out with friends, but you should feel comfortable and inspired by the right amount of homey touches. Whether that’s a beautiful fig tree in the corner, a framed poster of featuring an art exhibit you loved, a bright patterned rug, or a soft throw draped over the back of your chair, you’ll work better in a calm and comfortable space that you’ll want to spend time in.
Caitlin is a freelance writer and editor living in Brooklyn. She is a life-long flea market junkie and you can find her vintage shop, Save Me Vintage, on Etsy. She is also a regular seller at Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene and Franklin Flea in Philadelphia. Follow her on Instagram @SaveMeVintage as she searches high and low for forgotten treasures and design inspiration.