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The room design of a home office can use elements from the rest of the house

October 18, 2013

Home offices need to be practical, but keeping them from becoming austere is a challenge. There are ways that a well-equipped office can have stylish, but useful features - roman shades instead of stark window blinds, baskets used to organize and store supplies and durable, but beautiful wood floors like those in Anderson's Rushmore collection.

Hardwood FloorsHome offices need to be practical, but keeping them from becoming austere is a challenge. There are ways that a well-equipped office can have stylish, but useful features - roman shades instead of stark window blinds, baskets used to organize and store supplies and durable, but beautiful wood floors like those in Anderson's Rushmore collection.

By incorporating the best design elements from other parts of one's house, an office can make a smooth transition from the rest of the dwelling. They can also reflect the personality of those who use them by adding favorite colors, memorabilia and a style of furniture that suits business needs as well as their personal tastes.

Work with the space
Built-in cabinetry can be customized to fit a residential workstation using all the available space from ceiling to floor. Another good idea is to attach a vertical bulletin board the size of a full-length mirror on a side wall. That keeps the post-it notes and paperwork readily available without cluttering the space above the desk.

If homeowners have some unique architecture in their home design, they should work around it, advised Houzz.com. For instance, an office under the eaves of a renovated attic can be outfitted with a collection of cubby holes for storage. Rather than use a standard desk, some spaces may work better with a desk surface held up by filing cabinets.

Choosing fabrics
When it comes to choosing soft furnishings for the office - slipcovers for chairs, window treatments and pillows on a loveseat – IdeasForHomeDecorating.com recommended creating the right balance of fabrics that complement, but don't compete. Patterns are often overlooked in favor of more subdued solids, but the room design of an office that's located at home doesn't have to be kept to corporate standards.

Choosing a selection of fabric patterns often causes people to doubt their judgment about how much is too much, and that's particularly true for an area they are trying to keep "professional." To avoid fabric clashes, it's best to follow some designer guidelines.

For instance, no single print should stand out as dominant over the rest when several are used. One large-scale pattern will balance two smaller designs, and different types of fabric will bring textural value to the mix.

Decorating with smaller patterns can be deceiving, because they sometimes become indistinct from a distance. Stepping away to get the full view presents a clearer picture about how it will look to someone entering the room.