We live in a renovation nation. But let’s face it, when it comes to remodeling, the home office is often put on the back burner. It’s an afterthought, similar to the Rec room (which we all know is really nothing more than a glorified storage unit), a place you dream of one day revamping but which remains as outdated as your workstation. You dream of a treadmill desk, a “sky lobby” filled with plants, a workplace whose brightness and temperature you can adjust with a mobile app –the sort of state-of-the-art place the Dutch call a “healing office.” But all you have is an IKEA desk you’ve lugged around since college, and a room with cane-printed wallpaper and industrial gray conference carpet that screams power suits and shoulder pads. You have office envy, and it’s time you did something about it.
Form Follows Function
A home office is more than just a room. It’s an indoor “landscape.” American architect Louis Sullivan coined the phrase “form follows function.” The principle holds particular weight when designing a workspace, as productivity and comfort are integrally connected to indoor climate and design. In other words, the flooring needs to match the furniture, and the furniture needs to be conducive to work.
A Clean, Well-Lighted Space
Light to medium toned hardwood floors are perfect for a home office. The clean, pragmatic design not only emphasizes productivity and peace of mind –light woods reflect more light, creating a crisper environment- but quality hardwoods also stand the test of time. Exotic hardwoods, however, are not a good choice. Not only are exotic hardwoods expensive, but a freestanding desk and chair mat (which is a necessity if you have hardwood floor and a wheeled office chair) will cover up much of the floor space.
Avoid Corporate Blandness
Chances are your home office isn’t going to include astroturf carpeting, a treehouse, game room, or any of the other quirky bells and whistles that companies like Google and BICOM Communications outfit their offices with to stir employee creativity. Still, the last thing you want is for your home office to mimic the dull, corporate blandness that’s common in so many modern offices. The flooring you choose should match your personality. Whether you opt for carpet tiles, cork flooring or laminate, choose a design and color that reflects your style and sensibility.
But remember… a deep shag carpet is not only going to get tangled in the wheels of your office chair (or your office chair will get lost in the deep shag carpet), but the exuberance of an avocado green-colored carpet is less conducive to work, and more conducive to an after work party.
Photo Credit: Artazum