Clean, Bright & Expressive

Top tips for styling your home office.

Author Desha Peacock works and writes in several locations in her Vermont home but her favorite is a space she carved out in her master bedroom. Other than a single wall of wallpaper, the room is painted white. “It’s great for clarity,” Peacock says.
Author Desha Peacock works and writes in several locations in her Vermont home but her favorite is a space she carved out in her master bedroom. Other than a single wall of wallpaper, the room is painted white. “It’s great for clarity,” Peacock says.
Photo courtesy of Desha Peacock

There are several key factors to consider when creating a home work space, says author Desha Peacock. “I have several creative work spaces in my home,” she explains. “In the summer, you’ll often find me on my front porch.” But when it comes time for serious work, she retreats to an office in her bedroom. “This is my favorite place to work.”

Here are Peacock’s top tips:

• Tidy up and organize: “Clutter overwhelms us, so reduce all that paper,” Peacock suggests. Have a designated spot for all printed material: Memos, bills, invitations, coupons. Junk mail immediately goes in the recycle bin; newspapers and magazines follow as soon as they are read.

• Less is more: How much furniture do you really need? A desk, a chair, a cabinet? Keep it minimal. And remember, the file cabinet doesn’t have to be an ugly metal contraption, and the desk needn’t be a wooden monstrosity. Attractive options are available at minimal cost. More important is the chair, which should provide support and comfort.

• Make it bright: Natural light is best. If you are lucky enough to have windows, avoid curtains; bare windows allow more natural sunlight (but make sure they don’t create glare on your laptop screen). Fluorescent lights are a no-no. They can cause headaches and eye strain. Instead, get a few desk lamps with adjustable-watt bulbs.

• Make it your own: It’s your space, so make sure it reflects who you are. You want to feel welcome and inspired every time you enter.

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