In most families, the home office plays a wide variety of roles. If you work from home, it is your 9-to-5 place of business; for others, it's a place to pay the bills, go through mail or store important documents. For kids, it's a homework spot, or maybe the place to play hours and hours of computer games. It can be a library, a sitting room or just a quiet place for taking good naps. If space is limited, it can be paired with a guest room or added into the nook of any bedroom, living room or kitchen. There are many options, so determine what's best for your family.
If you're planning on renovating and redecorating your office, storage is your No. 1 priority. With so many papers, books and supplies to store, be sure to accommodate it all with shelves, drawers, and cabinets galore. Once you have that under control, find a desk that's stocked with everything you need: plenty of surface space, deep drawers and a high-quality material. Finally, take the time to personalize your room with plenty of photographs and interesting knickknacks.
Office organization is key, especially with all the bills, mail and statements you receive and keep throughout the year. The best way to store your papers is by investing in a nice filing cabinet. A rolling file cabinet can help with convenience, or splurge on a more permanent, lockable one if you have a lot of sensitive documents. Be sure to label and color code so that everything is easy to find. With shelves and cabinets, built-ins are your best options. Built-in shelves are an elegant way to store your vast book collection, while drawers with tray organizers keep track of staples like pens, pencils, highlighters, tape and calculators.
When picking out your desk (or desks, for a large family space), be sure to consider its overall function. If you work from home , pick an over sized, sturdy desk that can contain all your work documents in one space. It should look professional (think a dark wood professor's desk) and be double sided so you can hold meetings. To prevent any work/home mix-ups, have a separate desk for the rest of the family to use, and ensure your work space is off limits. If your kids use the room as a homework spot, try a two-person desk or even an extended built-in counter where several can sit at one time. If you primarily use the space for odds and ends, a smaller, fashionable secretary desk might do the trick, as long as you have additional storage options.
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