Finding Space for a Home Office

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Even if you don’t work out of your house, you need a place to take care of running your home: paying bills, dealing with mail, handling repairs. You don’t need a dedicated room or a large footprint but you do need a flat surface and a space for supplies and pending items. We carved our own office out of one narrow end of our living room: a console table, storage ottomans and access to a nearby closet which stores our reference materials. In our last apartment, our office was in our coat closet. We agree that creative thinking, organization and vigilance is involved when your office doubles as your living room, bedroom or dining room. Some ways that work for us, after the jump…

Filing: As Laure blogged yesterday, and we agree, a portable file is plenty of filing space. It holds all our bills and receipts for the year, even though we haven’t gone totally paperless yet. We keep a separate file for important papers that might need to travel with us in an emergency.

Pare your decor: Follow Benita Larsson's lead. We finally tossed all the pens we collected over the years. Now we stick to one kind. It’s the same reason we picked a colour scheme. Not only does it look nice but having everything the same immediately feels orderly.

Drawers top tables: If you don’t want to be constantly policing yourself, some stuff - stapler, tape, label maker, paperclips – will have to be tucked into a drawer. The classic Parsons table from West Elm is one solution that fits into many decors.

Your space, your needs: We blog and write articles so we need a file folder to hold current ideas, magazine tears and publicity packets. A friend writes screenplays. He needs a place to put his outline to keep him on track. Another friend uses her desk primarily for scrapbooking. Small drawers hold the items she needs. Fit your workspace to accommodate your work.

Think creatively: A lamp with a cork base can act as a bulletin board; a piece of
glass cut to fit the top of your desk and can hold your "to do" list so it's in plain view; we use storage ottomans to hold magazine tear sheets and act as seating

Make it fun. We have a silver skull to hold our pens. If your space faces a wall, use that wall to hold a photograph or a piece of art that inspires you.

Who says it can’t be portable? Depending on your needs, a home office can be as small as a portable tote that folds open to reveal a binder that holds office supplies and your laptop.

[Image via House to Home]

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