Designing the perfect home office requires a bit more than just a desk and a filing cabinet if you will also have clients visiting you at home. In this case, you will want to consider a professionally designed space that has been altered to make it a professional addition for work, as opposed to simply some extra space in the spare bedroom. The following interior design and renovation tips can help.
Tip #1: Consider a separate entrance
A separate entrance will ensure that clients don't need to walk through your home to reach your office, so there's no need to interrupt your family or to look less professional to the client. Placing the office in a room that has an outside wall can make it easier to install a direct door. Make sure a dedicated path to the door also exists outside, which leads directly to the area where you want clients to park.
Tip #2: Finish out the space
A popular option for many home offices is to have the garage or a shed renovated into an extra room. While this is an excellent choice, make sure you completely finish the space if clients will be visiting. This means replacing the overhead door with a wall and window, closing in the ceiling and walls with drywall, and covering the concrete floor with some type of flooring. While working in an unfinished space is possible, it doesn't leave the best impression on clients.
Tip #3: Create functional zones
Your home office will need to serve the expectations of a much larger corporate office, which means you will need your immediate office and work zone, a client zone, and possibly a waiting area or beverage station all in a single space. An interior designer can help you find the best layout to achieve all of these needs. For example, you may opt to combine the work and client zones by adding chairs in front of your desk, or it may be a better option to have a small table with two chairs where you can spread out materials for the client to view. A beverage or coffee cart can round out the needs, or the designer may use a screen or partition to create a separate waiting area.
Tip #4: Design for organization
Another challenge is fitting everything into a small home office space. Taking advantage of available space is the first step. For example, if the room has a closet consider having a closet organization system designed and built to your business needs. Also, opt for furniture with storage, such coffee tables with built in storage in the waiting area. Finally, look for unused space. For example, you can install shelving a foot below the ceiling continuously around the room for books or binders. The goal is a visually appealing and uncluttered space that leaves a good impression on your clients.
Talk with an interior designer for more help designing your space.