Home office with big window

6 Amazing Home Office Renovation Ideas

With more people working from home now more than ever, the home office has quickly become the first target renovations to make it feel more like a workspace. But where should you start? What should you update, and what should stay the same?

Below, we’ll cover several amazing home office renovation ideas that will transform how you work from home and get you closer to having that dream workspace!

Take Advantage of Outdoor Space

Load-bearing walls can often prevent homeowners from changing the dimensions of their home office too much, especially if they want to add more space.

However, if your home office lies on the perimeter of your home—specifically on the first floor—consider having a private porch built outside that connects to it through an added door. This way, you have an indoor and outdoor space to do business, and it can be customized in various ways.

For example, while porticos, pavilions, and open porches are often only useable when the weather is nice, sunrooms and screen-covered porches are useable year-round with the proper preparation. They can also be completely closed off with large floor-to-ceiling windows and their own electrical wiring and HVAC system. This allows you to maintain max temperature control and use the space even when the weather isn’t favorable for outdoor activities.

home office with door

Add Walls or Doors for Privacy

If your home office isn’t necessarily a separate room, you could also add walls or doors to make it a more private area so you can take phone calls, host, or join meetings, and quietly work without noise carrying from the rest of the house. This is a perfect renovation for those that work in large open areas or flex spaces.

If you have young children to keep an eye on or prefer to have some access to the rooms outside of your work area, consider having a half or a partial wall built. You could also hang up curtains or set up temporary walls to form a “cubby” to work in if you ever need additional privacy or work alongside a roommate or spouse out of the same office area.

office with shelving

Create Built-In Storage Solutions

Many home offices are cluttered and hard to navigate because there is either not enough room, not enough shelving, or both. In addition to this, the more free-standing furniture you have, the more cluttered the office is visually. Free-standing shelves can also make room for dust and dirt build-up, which can be a haven for insects—and larger shelves can be challenging to maneuver when it’s time to move. Additionally, a free-standing shelf can fall over if not anchored to the wall.

To avoid all these problems, consider having a built-in bookshelf installed in the home office, especially if you are already planning to put in a new wall. This will give you a little more space in your home office to make you feel less cramped and provide more storage space!

If a built-in shelf isn’t an option, ask your contractor about installing fixed-bracket shelves that can handle a high weight limit for large books or small office equipment like a home printer. To hold lighter-weight objects, or if you don’t have a lot to store, opt for floating shelves.

If you do not have an extra wall available to install built-in shelves, add in corner shelves! The corners of home offices are often neglected, especially when a desk takes up most of the wall—so why not take advantage of this extra space?

Recessed Nooks

Speaking of taking advantage of extra space, consider leveraging the space underneath your window and installing a padded bench. This will not only make for a perfect reading area, but you can add storage underneath for items you don’t use often.

Alternatively, if you have the space, you can convert the bench and window into a recessed nook, which adds a little more room to your office overall.

basic home office setup

Mount Office Furniture

Some offices are too small for some of the suggestions above, such as when the “office” only takes up the corner of a bedroom. If this applies to you, try switching to a wall-mounted corner desk. Corner desks give the user two separate sections to work on and provides some organization options.

Wall mounting the desk takes away the extra space required for legs and decreases the clutter underneath the desk. Mounting your computer monitors and having an attached tray for the keyboard can also maximize desk space while minimizing clutter.

Wall mounting is not just a good idea for smaller spaces, though. You can wall-mount most pieces of furniture, even in a larger home office. For instance, if there is room for a secondary seating area, consider mounting a small table and bench or chair.

home office with lights

Add More Lighting

Home offices are often just set up wherever there’s room for them, such as spare bedrooms, unused corners, or kitchen nooks. Due to this, the surroundings of that office are often not conducive to working, specifically in the light department. There are two ways you could brighten up the room: either by adding windows or updating your light fixtures.

Adding Windows

Adding a window to the home office can brighten the space and make it easier to spend time there. As far as options go, you can pick one of any of these popular window types:

  • For larger spaces, arched, picture, and bow windows provide a lot of light while giving off a classy and refined air. This works especially well if your home is in a beautiful area. Bay and garden windows can be combined with shelving or seating to create more storage or a reading nook.
  • Home offices in rainier areas may benefit from awning windows, which swing outward from the bottom and create a waterproof awning.
  • Hopper windows, which swing inward from the top, are a great space-saving solution, and they also help with insulation.
  • For those who need more privacy, glass-block windows are impossible to see clearly through, but they let in almost as much light. Skylights are also a solution to this end, as well, since no one will be able to see the top of your house, let alone down through a window.
  • For areas with more extreme weather, you may want to consider installing storm windows, which can be installed in your current window frames. These windows are also suitable for temperature control and are prevalent in coastal areas.
  • If you currently have most of what you need out of your windows and do not want to remodel everything about them, consider transom windowsas well, which are small and decorative and typically are installed on top of main exterior doors, but they can be found on top of other windows, as well.

Lighting Updates

If adding windows does not work for your home office renovation goals, consider changing the lighting. The following are several lighting options you can choose from to update your workspace:

  • To see the entire room, ambient lighting is your friend. Track lights are a series of lights that run along the ceiling on a track; their individual lights are adjustable as well. This kind of lighting is good when you need to have as few shadows as possible, and therefore want the light to come from as many angles as possible. Track lights typically have a dimmer switch, so you can adjust the light as needed without using more than one fixture.
  • Recessed lighting can achieve this too. Because they are mostly hidden from the eye in a recession in the ceiling, they’re suitable for office users who get distracted by the brightness of a bulb. Adding a cap to the recession can further hide the light source as well.
  • A chandelier can add a lot of personality into an office, especially since some of them can be fairly small. Because chandeliers also have a series of smaller lights, they do not need to be as bright and will be less of a distraction while also serving as a piece of art.
  • Sconces are another artistic option. They are mounted on the wall and are typically decorative. Sconces also work well for accent lighting, and they can be used in conjunction with other light sources.
  • Lighting can be fixed to the undersides of shelves or cabinets to provide focused lighting as well. This option is especially useful when the home office user makes traditional art or anything else they need to see clearly.

Home Office Addition Mountain View

Update the Flooring

Everyone has had the frustrating task of attempting to scoot their nice office chair back and needing to push against the drag of the carpet, even with the aid of a mat. Less stable chairs can tip the sitter over, too, if they’re not careful. If this is you, harder flooring may be the way to go.

Hardwood Floors

Hardwood flooring provides a timelessly classic look, and wood can be refinished to match new decorations. Either engineered or solid hardwood flooring is workable for a home office. While traditional hardwood requires regular maintenance, modern advancements have made wooden floors waterproof, scratch-resistant, and dent-resistant. However, there will still be tiny gaps between the wood, no matter what you do.

Laminate and Vinyl Floors

If you want a completely smooth floor for your office, then laminate or vinyl flooring is a must. Both types of flooring can be heat resistant, scratch-resistant, waterproof, and noise resistant. They’re relatively easy to maintain and can be styled to mimic wood and tile since vinyl is more popular for heavy-traffic areas. Both laminate and vinyl come in tiles, planks, or sheets, and they interlock smoothly together regardless of how they come.

Tile Floors

While there is typically very little moisture in an office, the area’s climate, and the office’s location (say, right next to a bathroom or near a door) may create a need for harder, even more waterproof flooring solutions. Tile is the hardest, most waterproof material, and it requires the least amount of maintenance.

Ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone tile will all work for an office, especially because contractors can give a tiled floor a smooth finish so that a rolling chair will move easily across it. Like laminate and vinyl floors, tiles can also come in many different patterns.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, there are many renovating options for both the smallest and the largest home office spaces, but it can still be difficult to decide what to do.

The good thing is, with the help of an experienced contractor, the sky can be the limit with your home office renovation. It’s recommended that you discuss your goals with your chosen contractor before moving forward with a remodel; they will be able to assess your current office space and let you know what’s possible while staying within your vision.

Element Home Remodeling is a Mountain View based contractor specializing in Home Office renovations.  We serve the entire Bay Area and offer free consultations. Contact us today to schedule a free consult.

 

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