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Making A Home Office Divine

Divine Home OfficeMany of us work at least part of the time from a home office. That could be the dining room table or it could be a specific desk in an room designated as the home office in our house.

We had the design challenge of working with someone who has a home office used to run their business, but the location was in a high traffic area and had become a dumping ground for things not at all related to the business.

MISSION:

Transform a cluttered dumping ground into a beautiful, efficient space that allows the homeowner to manage a home based business. This particular business involves lots of shipping, so horizontal surfaces for wrapping and concealed storage for supplies and files were paramount.

CHALLENGES:

There were lots of items “living” in this space that didn't belong there. Things like a piano that their children had outgrown, toys for the grandchildren and pets that were strewn all over and extra kitchen supplies like dishes and serving platters.

This space is located next to the kitchen, so it literally became a catch all. It has lovely french doors and a huge window overlooking the home's entrance. But these beautiful architectural features made it difficult to “hide” the mess that had accumulated.

Built-in Storage around large home office windowSo the design challenge for this space was driven by the need for a large amount of storage and a way to incorporate the space underneath the beautiful window so that it became functional.

Originally, the client had a dark wood finish in mind. After discussing things with the designer, they decided that glazed ivory melamine with raised panel fronts was the perfect choice, as it balanced with all of the other stronger wood features already existing in the home.

Logistically, we put lateral file storage in cabinets under the window. The two tall cabinets to the left of the window now became home for toys. The cabinets on the right side of the window now store shipping supplies, forms and office supplies.  Moving to the right, there's a horizontal work space for getting the shipping jobs done efficiently. The desk does double duty when the granddaughter is around and wants to “play office” with grandma.

Tall, shallow cabinets to the right of the shipping counter house a multitude of items including dishes used for holidays. The main workstation area is equipped with a long counter for really spreading out the daily tasks and allowing space for equipment like printers and fax machines.

There are tack boards above each work station to keep notes visible and organized.

And one of the best features, under counter LED lighting in a glazed light box allows for proper lighting even on the gloomiest of days and, in the evening when work is done, that lighting gives the space a beautiful glow.

With upper cabinets enhanced by an extra large glazed crown molding to the ceiling, a cheerful paint color definitely brought out the feeling of a happy place to spend so many hours of each day.

Pictured below are a few more Elegant Home Office designs from Closet Organizing Systems:

Luxurious Home Office SpaceCustom Home Office Media Center


Big Storage Ideas For Small Home Offices

2 sided work surface

We're hard working Americans. And the more mobile we become with options to be connected via our “devices”, the more we tend to be “on the clock”.

And the higher the expectation of productivity from our bosses (whether our boss is someone else or ourselves).

So setting up your workspace so it's effective can save you lots of time and make you more productive.

Here are some great tips to help you do that:

Go Vertical – Lots of professionals prefer “horizontal” organization (you know, the stacks of paper that are piled up according to projects that are laying all over the desk). We're suggesting you think about going vertical, meaning utilizing wall space as part of your organization system. Think about shelving, hooks, bulletin boards, dry erase board or chalk boards to help you “see” what you're working on and making it easy to access. You can also attach light fixtures with movable arms to wall space so you don't give up any desk surface by having a lamp sitting on your desk top. 

Pull-Out Shelves – Pull-Out shelves can be built into desks or wall units. The beauty of these is that they can be pulled out when you need additional work space and pushed back when you don't need them, so they don't occupy permanent space in your room.

Dual-Sided Work Surfaces – If you're not the only family member who works a lot, then designing your space so that you have a horizontal surface that's deep enough for two people to work opposite each other works great. If space allows, then a counter or desk top surface that is 30” or more allows for the space of two laptops, files and room to work. Just be sure you have enough space for a good office chair and maneuverability when doing the layout and design of the room.

Shelves Below –  When designing closet space, we don't recommend putting shelving below hanging because the hanging is typically deeper than the items you put on the shelves, so access becomes a challenge and things get lost. However, in a desk scenario, where most office supplies are small, we love the idea of having some shelving below your desk surface (as long as you still have space for your knees). You can keep extra supplies or books that you don't need on a daily basis in this hidden storage area.

Have Some Fun With Your Tools – There are more colors and styles and options on the market than ever before, so we did some searching and curated a few top options that we consider the coolest desk accessories available. And not only are they cool, but they're functional. We're always thinking double duty.

usb fishtank and desk traffic light rotary style cellphone holders and thunder bolt power strip

And if you need some double duty design help, please give us a call to book your own personalized consultation to see how we can help improve the functionality and design of your work life (or your homework life).



2012 Top Shelf Design Winners!!!!

Closet Organizing Systems (COS) was selected for two Top Shelf Design Awards to be announced at the 2012 Closet and Home Organizing Expo at the Austin Convention Center on February 15th in Austin, TX.  COS was selected for a melamine office system design and solid/wood veneer closet system. This is the 9th time that COS has been awarded a Top Shelf Design award by Closet Magazine over the last 7 years since its inception.

In the home office category Carey Ekstrom received a Top Shelf Award for her unique office solutions for a sitting/sun room adjacent to the client’s kitchen and living room. The client worked from home and required a functional, yet attractive workspace that blends with the family entertainment activities and compliments the visibility from both the kitchen and living room areas. Transforming a dated, non-functional area into an attractive, warm and inviting multi-purpose area in the home in which the family now looks forward to spending time together.  

In the Wood Veneer category Bill Curran received a Top Shelf Award a cherry stained master closet system simulated leather inserts in the door panels, thicker vertical side panels, full backing, and matching top and bottom moulding throughout the room. The closet was designed with a peninsula island cabinet with his/hers hampers, jewelry drawers, viewing mirror, and granite countertop which doubled for folding and packing clothes. The space also included a window seat bench with drawer storage and an upper lighting valance which is flanked by more hanging storage.

Awards were presented by TV personality Amanda LeBlanc of The Style Networks show “The Amada’s” at the 2012 Top Shelf Design Awards in Austin Texas.



Designing Harmonious Spaces

We all like our homes to feel good. A natural state of “flow” contributes to that home-like, peaceful feeling that says “welcome” when we arrive at the end of a long day.

But if you live in a house that's in an urban environment or is of smaller square footage, this design effort can take more energy because functions in the rooms often overlap.  Or you can easily see from one space to another and you want it all to look like it works together.

And that's the case with this project designed by our team member, Carey Eckstrom.  The client showed Carey a photo of something she liked and Carey used that as the inspiration for these two wall units – one in the bedroom and one in the adjoining home office space.

The client liked the wider vertical dividers, the crown and base molding and the open feel of the upper shelving.

And you can see these elements incorporated into the final designs for their own spaces.

Another feature that adds to the great function of these designs is the clipped corners. By making the ends with 45 degree angles instead of squared-off 90 degree angles, the space feels softer and the pieces fit more easily into the flow of the room.                                           

Carey also took into account the location of the bed when designing the wall unit that's in the bedroom, making sure that the TV was in the sight line with the bed for comfortable viewing.

Both units are manufactured with solid cherry wood veneer with solid wood doors/molding and matching melamine interiors.  This “hybrid” approach saves costs because only the parts you see are actually wood (a more expensive material).

Another feature that really adds to the custom look of these pieces is the built-up columns.  Adding the width on the vertical pieces that divide the sections makes the units feel more substantial and clearly adds to the uniqueness.

So if you're looking for some unique storage for your home, give us a call and we'll design something equally as beautiful and functional that solves your storage challenges.



A Home Office That’s Working

You do all of the work all of the time – so why not utilize home office organization to make your personal workspace really work for and with you.

Try these design and home office organization tips to increase your productivity:

1) Add Bins
- whether inside drawers or on shelves – be they leather or wire or wicker – bins become simple organizers that you can easily drop things into by category or topic.

2) Pop some wheelies – as in furniture that has wheels. Movable carts are easier to move and can be rolled with you and your laptop if you want to work in location other than your desk.

3) Go wireless and cordless – then there’s less to get hung up on! You have flexibility in both placement and function and nothing to hide, camouflage, route or add power strips for.

4) Think “Executive Suite” and add a table or console – either on the side of your desk – or behind you. It provides an added storage spot and can make you feel like the CEO that you know you really are!


home office organization by closet os


How to get the most out of your home storage project

The decision to have a custom storage solution designed and built in your home can bring you long lasting results and satisfaction.

It can also be a daunting process because you’re working with someone to “create a one of a kind original from nothing”, so to speak.

You’ve got the designated space where you want this storage solution to “live” – and you likely have an idea of the kinds of things you need stored there (files, books, clothes, electronic equipment, etc.).

Now you need a design/build professional to work with to make this all happen.

The most important variables to consider as you’re working on this project are form, fit and function.

Form

This is the “look” and “feel” you want your project to have. 

Do you want it to blend in with the rest of your décor, or stand out and make a dramatic statement?

Do you like a rustic, knotted wood or a smooth, high-gloss, lacquered finish?

Do you want open storage, closed storage, or both?

And what about shelves, drawers and doors?

An experienced design consultant can guide you through this part and will be sure to ask you all the questions that you didn’t even know you had to answer!

Fit

Making sure a built-in fits the space is crucial – otherwise – it’s no longer a built in – it’s a mistake.

All obstacles need to be considered in terms of allowing access and making sure the pieces are manufactured so they work and fit correctly.  This includes outlets and vents as well as sprinkler heads and anything else that resides in that space.

Any special AV or office equipment that will be stored within the units need to be measured and incorporated into the design – so there’s no such thing as “it’s just a standard printer” or “40” flat screen” when communicating with your designer.  We need to know the precise measurements of any special equipment that you plan to incorporate into the design.

Function

Function is the place where a skilled designer can really take your project to the next level.  Any woodworker can make a box and add shelves or drawers.  It takes experience to know that 24” deep shelves aren’t good for much in a closet space unless they pull out.  And that shallow shelving as well as deep shelving increase functionality in areas like pantries and home offices.  And that corner shelves in lower cabinets end up becoming “big, black holes”.

Having an experienced design consultant, like one of the team members at Closet Organizing Systems, that can work with you to make your dreams come true – is – well – quite frankly – a dream come true.

So how can we make your dreams come true?




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