In this Designer Q&A, our designers provide advice on how to make the most out of your space when designing a home office and how to curate the perfect outdoor space.
Home Office Must Haves
The most important factors when it comes to a home office are comfort and versatility. Typically you will want a 30’’ depth desk as this is the standard depth of a work desk. A depth smaller than 30’’ could be too narrow and feel crowded when trying to work on the computer or write. You may want to find a desk with storage drawers. Generally, open desks are more aesthetically pleasing, but it is quite functional to be able to store miscellaneous office supplies out of sight. Additionally, you may want to consider a sit/stand desk. Sit/stand desks are becoming increasingly popular as they optimize ergonomics and promote a great deal of health benefits/increased productivity.
In cases where limited space is available, consider selecting a desk that can double as a nightstand next to a bed. This option not only saves space but is very versatile. You can incorporate a chair that can double as an office chair and decorative chair, one that can be moved easily to be used at the desk. There are lots of photos on Pinterest that can support this concept with any design style. Crimson Design Group has occasionally selected a Murphy Bed/Desk built-in to accommodate needs for a home office/guest room; this is a really neat option for those who need to conserve space.
For an outdoor space designed for hosting, you may want to make it intimate and unique. Think of all the senses when planning an outdoor dinner party…sight, sound, smell…. Outdoor string lights are a great addition to outdoor spaces as they illuminate any space and create ambiance. Having themes for outdoor events is always fun. With a theme, you can tie everything together from the decor to the food, making for a fantastic experience for your guests.
In terms of outdoor furniture, layering ottomans and small modular pieces is an easy way to create visual layers. This also allows a great deal of flexibility and options for seating arrangements. Make sure to include baskets of blankets for chilly evenings!
Outdoor furniture is tricky to maintain! To prevent running into problems with your outdoor furniture it is best to steer clear of light finishes and fabrics as they get dirty easily and are more difficult to clean. If you prefer to use upholstered or fabric seating and pillows, it is best to choose darker colors with small scale patterns. Dark colors and small scale patterns can help to hide dirt, pollen and dust. That being said, stay away from colors as dark as solid black or navy blue. These colors can get very hot in the sun and will fade in color over time.
Use umbrellas and sail shades to stay cool and shaded in your outdoor space. Not only are these great at keeping you and your guests out of the sun, but also they can be a fun way to add color or pattern to the space. Another way to stay cool is to add outdoor fans to pergola structures.
Even if space is limited, you can still elevate your outdoor space. One way to elevate an outdoor space is to incorporate flowers or greenery. You can even get creative with your potting by using decorative pots and wall planters. Another way to elevate an outdoor space is by ensuring that your furniture is functional and comfortable. If you love the furniture you have, you will be drawn to spend more time in the space, even if space is limited. There are even tabletop fire pits now that can create the inviting/elevated ambiance that a fire pit does, while still conserving space.
You can also incorporate exterior lighting by way of table lamps, hardwired chandeliers and sconces. Having nice lighting can really add so much in terms of the overall feel of the space and offer practical lighting for evenings in your outdoor space.
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