Home Office

Ten Common Mistakes Made When Creating a Home Office

Creating or designing a home office on a budget is a simple do-it-yourself project  - it only takes a weekend to transform an unused den or junk room into a functional, well-used home office space.  But make sure you know what NOT to do when you take on this project.

  1. Don’t buy a complete matching office suite of furniture – you know, with the matching desk, chair, hutch and file cabinet.  They usually overwhelm the room, you usually don’t need all four pieces and chances are the room is too small to hold them all anyway.
  2. Don’t buy the laminates and wood veneers.  The price makes them very tempting, I know, but they look cheap and they’re a pain to put together.
  3. Don’t spend a fortune on special desk lamps and office lighting.  You probably have something in the house that will work just fine.  If not, you can find something really cool at an antique store or consignment shop for much less than you will find at the major office supply retailers.
  4. Don’t turn your home office into an impersonal office cubicle.  Just because it’s a place to work, doesn’t mean it has to look like the set of “The Office”.  This is YOUR space, there are no rules for what you can and can’t put up on the walls.  
  5. Don’t skimp on the office chair.  You need something comfortable for your work space.  Choose something that supports your lower back, has armrests, has ample padding and swivels.
  6. Don’t forget to add decorative touches.  Just because it’s an office doesn’t mean it has to be sterile.  Add a plant, artwork and photographs to make it a more pleasant, personal space.
  7. Don’t let household noise ruin your home office space.  You need to be able to concentrate, talk on the phone and have uninterrupted time to work.  You’ll need to make sure you’re home office has a door to ensure that people on the other end of the phone call don’t hear your three year old screeching in the background.
  8. Don’t buy a desk that’s too dark.  The dark color tends to recede within the room, and often your desk may need to be the focal point of the room.
  9. Don't use your home phone for your home office.  Do you really want call-waiting to click in during your conference call, or your kids picking up the phone to tell you the dog has to go out when your talking to a client?
  10. Don't let your budget stop you from creating a warm, personal space where you don't mind the fact that you're actually working. Try to find discounts online so your desk can have a little more style.

Creating a home office space is one of the easier budget home makeovers.  Just avoid the 10 most common mistakes made, and you will end up with a functional, pleasant space without spending a fortune.