Working from home seems like a comfortable alternative to commuting every day to an office. But it's also the perfect opportunity for work to creep up on you and take over every free space in your home. Keeping it contained on your desk or in a special room is difficult and you'll be surprised at how many times you'll end up working on your couch with the telly on. In order keep your productivity up, you'll need to focus your energy on work-related tasks. And to achieve that, your workspace has to be tidy, harmonious and, above all, comfortable. You don't need a huge space to arrange that, just some ingenuity to make the most out of what you have and turn it into a creative environment.
To relieve your memory from keeping track of everything, hang up a cork-board on a wall or door. We recommend getting the biggest sheet to maximise the available space. A well managed cork-board will give you a bird's-eye-view of your current projects, provide ideas for the ones you are working on or remind you of a meeting or phone number. More than anything else, your cork-board should be a place to hang up things you need to see every day. Inspirational images and quotes also belong on your cork-board. At the end of the day, remember to update the cork-board as needed, hanging up new info or taking it down.
There's no need to invest on an expensive hardwood desk with shelves and drawers. You can turn any tabletop into your workspace, as long as the surface is big enough. Putting wheels on your desk is a great idea if you plan on rearranging your workspace frequently, or if the space calls for it. Place your desk in a well-lit spot and paint it white. You'll see how your colourful ideas start coming into shape.
If you already have a desk, you can still expand its functionality by adding shelves, wicker baskets, drawers, cork- or black-boards and cans or other containers. These are all especially useful if your job involves different supplies or crafts. And even if it's not that kind of a job, it's always better to arrange things in drawers according to their relative importance to your everyday life, than to stack them up in a corner. Pencil-cases and holders, paperweights, clips and cutting-mats will help you keep your desk tidy in no time at all.
Take advantage of your dresser
Old houses tend to have nooks and alcoves that are not of much use nowadays. Like this dresser to the left. But there are always new ways to take advantage of them. Doors take up a lot of space, it's a good idea to remove them. You can always hang up a curtain to hide your home-office when you are done for the day. The enclosed space makes setting up shelves very easy, and if it's not too small, you could even fit a chair in there. Since it can get rather dark, you should set up good lighting and paint it in a light colour.
Don't throw anything away
An old shelf, a ladder, wicker baskets, logs of wood, cables and frames can all transform an empty room into the perfect home-office. Screwing the ladder to the wall and setting up some shelves on the steps can make a great bookcase. You can make a simple collage within your old frame and hang it up on the wall and a wicker basket can be a great place to store your files. So don't throw that stuff away, you never know what you could do with it later.
You might not have noticed it, but a boring office is not really inspiring and can actually bring you down. To innovate, try out applying some blackboard paint to your walls. This new trend is not only visually appealing, it also opens up a whole range of possibilities: you'll be able to sketch ideas directly on the wall and correct them as many times as you need. You'll be able to jot down phone numbers, dates and ideas on them, and also decorate them however you wish. And it doesn't need to be black since, in spite of its name, blackboard paint comes in many different colours.
Your place in the attic
If your home has an attic, however small, you shouldn't hesitate to use it as your home-office. Far away from the noise of daily life, there's no better place than a quiet attic to work in. Redecorating the room will prepare you to do your best work in it. You could set some drawers where the roof meets the floor, or set up special storage solutions for your particular attic. The slanted ceiling, far from being a limitation, can be very interesting to work with, to hang decorations from and try out different design alternatives.
Recycle and improve
Do you need a lot of things to work on? If you still own a desktop computer, you'll have at least a monitor, the central processing unit's tower, a keyboard, a mouse, and probably a printer and/or scanner. That set-up needs space, both on your desk and beneath it, or to the sides. If the room allows, a big tabletop is your best option. If not, you'll have to get creative with some sort of shelving system or a secondary table. Recycling furniture is inexpensive, and could also add a vintage vibe to your workspace.
Let your creativity speak for itself
Colour has a great influence on us, even if we are not constantly aware of it. You shouldn't take a room's colour for granted. Some colours can be stressful for your eyesight while others could have a negative impact on your mood. Your best bet is a bright and warm colour, since those never go out of style. As for the furniture, you should go with natural light-coloured wood or paint it white. And don't hesitate to use drawers and shelves: this is your workspace, not your room. Let everybody know you need space to store your ideas!
Related: 18 Must-see cooking and food hacks
If you are short on space, multi-purpose furniture is your best ally. You'll save up space by having furniture that can store different types of objects. A table with shelves instead of legs can drastically reduce your shelving requirements. You'll be able to save anything without having to get extra bookcases or drawers. Build an island in the middle of the room and it'll turn into the best bookcase you have ever had.