Decorate your study

Decorate your study

To begin decorating your home office or study, think through some of the basic concepts important to this space:

Location: Will you need an entire room or just a portion of a room? For the heavy use home office, an entire room (if you have one to spare ) may be warranted. Or you may want to create a combination home office/guest room using a spare bedroom. Also consider the type of space you'd like to work in. If you crave natural light and views of the outdoors, try to select an area where you'll have easy access to a window. Also make sure you are near electrical outlets and a phone plug, so you won't have long cords running all over the place.

Furnishings: A desk and chair will probably be at the top of your list of furniture needs. You may also need a filing cabinet, a printer stand, and bookshelves. Go for double-duty furnishings if your space is small. For instance, forget a printer stand and place your printer on top of a short filing cabinet or on your bookshelf.

Lighting: Proper lighting is crucial to every work environment. You will need overhead lighting (a fixture on the ceiling that throws bright light over the entire space ) and task lighting (a lamp on your desk, eg, to simplify reading ).

Accessories: This may be a workspace, but don't forget, it's in your home, so you can decorate it in any way you please. Forget traditional office accessories like boring Lucite desk clocks and bland art. Accessorise your home office with things that you love, whether that means framed Picasso prints, a collection of teddy bears, or sports memorabilia.

Storage. Things, things, and more things — where can you put them all? Think outside the box — the plastic black in-box, that is. Try baskets for files, books, even supplies. For a printer stand, consider using an old bench painted in the shade of your choice. A large cupboard (why not an antique one? ) can house all your office supplies, and your filing cabinet can get an easy makeover if you toss a beautiful tablecloth over it. Business cards don't have to be slipped into a boring card file. I keep mine in an antique box I bought in Cobwebs. They are neat, organised alphabetically, and always within reach.

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