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A New Look at Your Home Office

A New Look at Your Home Office

“I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be ‘happy.” I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be honorable, to be compassionate. It is, above all, to matter to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.” –Leo C. Rosten

Why do so many of us have inadequate and inconvenient work spaces in our homes? Too often we have home offices, laundries, studies, and project rooms that are shut off in a cramped and ugly corner of an otherwise pretty space. What a shame, when you enjoy the fruits of your labor so much, to create a space for it that makes success more difficult rather than as easy as possible!

Just as a healthy lifestyle integrates work and play into a balanced whole, a well-designed house weaves work stations and living spaces together. Why stick your desk against a blank wall in the guest bedroom when you can set up a lovely spot in the living room next to the window onto the garden? No law requires that your washer and dryer be in the basement or the garage, several flights of stairs and hundreds of steps away from the center of family life. And I have yet to hear a good reason why the handsome table in your dining room can’t double as a desk during the day.

It is very easy for offices to feel too clinical. All work, and no play, often dictates the surroundings, with little focus on making the both functional but also visually pleasing. Your eye needs a chance to rest on something beautiful, to refresh your spirits as you pause for a moment in your labors. Whether it is the pleasing strength of sun filtering through shuttered doors or lovely pieces of art, it is possible to make a place of work a visually enjoyable place.

Utilizing space can be key. You can take a space that doesn’t have an architectural statement of any merit and with floating shelves give it line and define the space so that it says, “I am strong and perfectly proportioned and I’m really handsome.” And they provide terrific storage or display space to boot. Try using thick white shelves and create a contrast by painting out the background wall in a rich dark color.

Work Space Ideas to Remember:
Integrate work spaces throughout the home.
Tables can be used for a variety of purposes in a number of areas.
Bring air and light and art into your work space.
Find a hole and fill it–situate a work area in a location (no matter how unusual) convenient to the task at hand.
Adequate lighting is a must.
A floor-to-ceiling “door” can be a terrific way to screen your home office from view when the room is being used for another purpose.

Adapted from A Good House Is Never Done by John Wheatman ( Conari Press, 2002).

Read more: Crafts & Design, Feng Shui & Organizing, Green Home Decor

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


+ add your own
10:27AM PDT on Jul 6, 2013


6:32PM PDT on May 24, 2011

Thank you for the great info~I am on the right track~our(My partner & I) desk is already in the lounge infront of window facing
our lovely garden & our room is natural,bright & Earthy~*

10:59AM PST on Mar 8, 2011

My office definitly needs a "wake-up", thank you for the ideas.

2:48PM PST on Nov 27, 2010

Thank you!

3:24AM PST on Nov 14, 2010


10:49PM PST on Nov 11, 2010

Thank you, very true.
I recently learned from a Feng Shui website that the desk should be backed up by a wall, not a window, to provide you solid support from the back. The photo on this post is nice because.... WE face the window, not the poor lady working there. It is also said that it is better to FACE a window, or have a view, and in any case, also have the entrance door at sight, not in the back. After reading these advices, I changed my desk position and can feel it's very effective. I love Feng Shui, and power of places, more and more...

12:33AM PDT on Jun 19, 2009

mega kabin

11:17AM PDT on Jul 11, 2008

Funny that you should write this, as I just wrote an article "How to Have an Un-office" on my blog here:

Another case of green minds think alike! I love it!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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