Your interior design office fulfills many roles. Not only does it act as a living portfolio for your brand when you meet with clients, your office also serves as your cove of creativity. Just like a home should nourish wellbeing, your office should foster resourcefulness and ingenuity.
It’s crucial to create an office that reflects your artistic vision and philosophy. However, for many interior designers, it’s a case of the cobbler’s children have no shoes. Are you designing beautiful spaces for others, but haven’t attempted to set up your own? Looking for advice on how to create a welcoming and professional office space that’s comfortable for you, your staff, and your clients?
Below, we’ll share tips on how to set up an inviting office.
Choose the Right Location
One of the most important things to consider when setting up your interior design office is location. Where will you set up shop?
For new designers, the answer is obvious: in the home. While having a home office will save money, there are some serious drawbacks to consider before settling on home as your interior design office location.
The Pros of Working From Home
- A short commute – When your office space is right down the hall, it’s a lot easier to get to work on time. Avoid traffic, headaches, and high gas prices.
- Added comfort – There’s no space more comfortable than home. Plus, if you’re working by yourself, there’s no need to get dressed up. Every day is casual (or even pajama) Friday.
- Tax write-off – Fortunately, Uncle Sam allows you to deduct many of your home office expenses, including utilities and the portion of the home that you’ll use for your office space.
- Save money – You can definitely save money when working from home. You’re already paying your mortgage (or rent), so working from home doesn’t present an added expense.
The Cons of Working From Home
- Never fully escaping from “work” – Even though you can shut the door to your office, it’s always there. Even worse, there’s an added temptation to work longer hours because you’re technically at home.
- More distractions – When you work from home, it’s tempting to get distracted by family, friends, or chores.
- Less professional setting – If you’re inviting clients or vendors into your office space, you’re also inviting them into your home. Your home is decidedly less professional and more intimate, which may not be the atmosphere you’d like to project. The same is true if you’re working with staff in your home.
- Loneliness – If you’re working by yourself, you may feel isolated. In fact, you may go days without interacting with another human. If being around others is important for your peace of mind, choose a public office space away from home or plan to be out as much as possible.
Now, here are a few tips on how to choose the right location for your office:
- Consider the pricing – How much can you afford to pay each month for an office?
- Choose the right location – You need an office space that’s convenient for you, your staff, and your prospective clients.
- Consider office amenities – What options does your office building provide? Reception space or services? Access to meeting rooms? Easy parking? Security?
Choose Function Over Form
Because your office space will be used on a daily basis, you must focus on function more than form.Because your office space will be used on a daily basis, you must focus on function more than form. Click To Tweet
One key area to consider is seating. It’s essential to invest in ergonomic office furniture, especially chairs, desks, keyboards, monitors, and mice.
Choosing ergonomic furnishing can reduce fatigue, improve health, and reduce injuries. With care, you can prevent carpal tunnel, back aches, neck aches, eyes fatigue, joint pain, and foot pain.
When setting up an ergonomic office, here are some things to consider:
- Use footrests to prevent feet from pressing against the floor. Doing so will reduce lower back pain.
- Set up your desk so that the screen is at the optimal height. Your eyes should line up with the tool bar to prevent slouching and promote the best posture.
- The monitor should be at least 18” away from your face, but up to 30”.
- Ensure that your elbows are at a 90-degree angle and close to the body.
- Also ensure that your wrists are in a neutral position when using the computer.
- Choose a desk chair that has a supportive backrest with a contoured lumbar support.
- Opt for a palm rest for the keyboard and mouse pad.
Another important part of your interior design office is the air quality. If you have a forced air system, be careful with the spread of germs. Respiratory issues abound. Change air filters regularly. If possible, open the windows to encourage air circulation. If that’s not possible, invest in living plants that can clean and recycle the air.
Also consider office equipment that may negatively affect air quality. For example, copier machines and printers emit fumes that can irritate lungs and affect breathing. Keep these electronics near the window or air vent to reduce fume inhalation.
Finally, consider using an essential oil diffuser to enhance the scent in the office. Diffusers are safer than candles and essential oils can boost mood naturally.
Music can positively affect your brain and it’s been proven to increase efficiency and productivity.
While music can improve your imagination, it’s easy to cross the line and go from uplifting to aggravating. When choosing music, look for something that can boost concentration like classical. Jazz can present pleasing variation. Ambient music can also create a delightful atmosphere that boosts creativity.
You can find concentration playlists on tools like Spotify and SoundCloud.
Make Lighting a Top Priority
Because you’re an interior designer, you already understand the ability of light to completely change the room. In an office environment, go for as much natural light as possible. This is especially useful because you’ll primarily work in your office during the day. If you can, position your desk and meeting tables next to windows.
Remember to use adequate lighting in your office, which includes above, ambient, and task lighting. Doing so can reduce visual fatigue and stress headaches while improving a general sense of well-being.
Choose the Right Equipment
Let’s get practical. An interior design office can’t just be aesthetically pleasing, it also needs to be functional. When setting up your office, consider which equipment you need to run your business. Amongst the basic requirements are:
- Internet router
- File cabinets
- Storage folders
- Meeting table
- Coffee maker
- Trash can
- Office supplies (paper, pen, markers, paperclips, etc.)
Don’t Spend Too Much
Keep your budget in mind when setting up your interior design office. Remember that you don’t have to set up a perfect office at one time. Simply start with the basic elements of the office design to create a functional and pleasant looking space. Then, curate more pieces as you go.
Setting up your interior design office is one of the best things you can do for your business. An office provides an ongoing source of inspiration and a convenient way to meet with your clients. Use these tips to create an office space that you, your staff, and your clients will enjoy.