Certain events are like a rite of passage. Like your Sweet Sixteen, or your first legal drink, or your first apartment... when you bought that really cute but really uncomfortable desk chair. Most of us do it. You just have to learn from your mistakes, move on, and hope that your tastes and talents for decorating your office get better with the next move.
Here are five classic errors:
1. Ignoring the walls... and the floor.
The difference between a cubicle and a warm, inviting home office is all about what's on the walls. A fresh coat of bright paint and a few inspiring prints hung in frames on the walls can make all the difference. And don't skimp on the floors; consider bringing in a coordinating rug to warm things up.
2. Leaving cables undressed. We'll defer to the simple words of the fourth rule of Tech Club: Do not show your wires and cables. Keep cords hidden as much as possible, at all times. If you don't tackle the cable spaghetti behind the desk when you first set up your home office, be honest... you'll never get around to it.
3. Buying a good-looking but uncomfortable office chair. Life's too short to sit in an uncomfortable chair. If you're going to be spending signifigant time in your home office, choose function over form every time. There's 6 things you should look for in a perfect office chair: Adjustable height, a reclining seat back, armrests, a deep seat depth, proper wheels and adjustable lumbar support.
4. Not really thinking about lighting. Overhead flourescents? Good enough, right? Wrong. Spend some time thinking about the light in your office. Complement overhead lighting with a bright task lamp on the desk. And think twice about your lighting and window placement in relation to your monitor to avoid annoying glare. Giving your office lighting plan a second thought will save you from (sometimes literal) headaches down the road.
5. Choosing furniture and features without storage. Sure, that Parsons-desk-and-floating-shelves combo from the showroom looks great, but without cabinet doors and drawers to hide away your paperwork and gear, you'll be left with a mess on your hands. Plan on having at least one or two pieces with lots of hidden storage space.
(Images: Irene's Bright and Happy Home Office, Maurice's Chicago Timber Loft Office, Nick Keppol's Picture Perfect Brooklyn Modern Office, Haily's Heart of the Home Office, Rosa's Wonderful Creative Space)