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Start with hardwood floors and design a stylish home office

May 13, 2014

Hardwood FlooringIt's difficult enough to separate your professional life from family time when you work at home. But trying to strike the balance between function and style when you decorate your home office adds another challenge. If you have beautiful hardwood floors like those in Anderson's Urban Loft collection, you've already taken a step in the right direction.

Wood floors give any space natural warmth and class, so they provide a good basis for a room design that needs to get beyond the limits of utilitarian filing cabinets and work stations. For instance, for desk space you might consider using the filing cabinets to hold up a tabletop that's painted or stained to match your floors.

Place this new work area against a wall and you can fill the space with shelving that holds supplies and small office equipment. There's still going to be room for spreading out papers while you work on your laptop. At one end, situate a small all-in-one printer/scanner/copier to have all your office machinery in one place.

The shelves don't have to be strictly for work-related items. Use this space to display collectibles and hang small artworks to brighten up the desk and provide wall art at the same time.

Multi-functional space
If your home office is a room of its own and not just a section of another living space, set up a seating area where you can read reports, browse online or take an occasional break. All it needs is a loveseat or some cushioned, upholstered chairs. A coffee table is another surface where you can continue your work projects or use it to set up an informal lunch with friends or meet with clients.

This set up is also ideal when your home office is one end of a family room or space for guests to stay. If it's guest quarters, the love seat needs to be a convertible bed, and the coffee table can double as a luggage rack and end table for the visitors' belongings.

The filing cabinets and shelving will come in handy not just for storage but for quick cleanup if the room is shared. Keeping papers scattered can turn quickly into piles of clutter where you'll never be able to put your hand on documents when you need them.

Instead of the standard horizontal bulletin board, take up less wall area by turning around the board vertically for a space-saving landing place for your to-do lists, calendar and assorted notes to self.