Make your home office work for you

Some ideas to spruce up a home work space include a chalkboard wall, vintage task lighting, and vintage accessories. PHOTO: Roni Brown

With summer nearing its end and kids and parents alike prepping for back-to-school, new beginnings are in the air.

Back to school time is always a bit melancholy, as we dread the cold weather to come – at least I do – and the end of summer freedom. But with the new season and school starting soon, there is also the excitement of something fresh and new about to happen.

It’s the perfect time to start thinking about making a great working space – either to get homework done, or for a home office.

So many of us work from home these days, and many don’t have an actual space dedicated to this. There are a few things to consider when making a homework nook or home office space.  You want it to feel inviting and not too stark or office-like.

I asked Leslieville Flea vendor and Beach resident Roni Brown of MDA (Modern Design, Artistic) Interiors to share some photos and ideas from one of her recent home office makeovers.

Some ideas to spruce up a home work space include a chalkboard wall, vintage task lighting, and vintage accessories.

Roni strives to bring the homeowner’s personality into their space. Being a strong advocate of vintage furnishings and accessories, she often incorporates them into her clients’ spaces. This adds a unique vibe, along with added quality.

One of the major concerns in any home office is storage. You need space to store all your office/homework essentials, but you also want it to look great since this area is often shared, often in a kitchen or spare bedroom.

It’s always a good idea to use more interesting items to store things rather than the standard office furniture/accessories.

Use a mix of vintage along with modern items and your room will be unique and custom to you. Instead of using a typical desk, try finding a vintage desk or even a small dining table.

It’s always a good idea to have another surface in addition to your desk, and a vintage teak sideboard or similar piece will store all your office supplies and give you a spot to put your printer and other essentials on.

Instead of buying new filing cabinets, use a vintage metal or wood cabinet. They are so much more interesting (and often better built than new). Vintage ‘In and Out’ trays are functional and fun.

Be sure to invest in good lighting and a comfortable and ergonomic desk chair. You should have general overhead lighting as well as task lighting on the work surface (always put desk lighting on the opposite side of the hand you write with). Vintage desk lamps can add a bit of style to any work area.

Wood crates and boxes make excellent storage pieces for office supplies, and keep messy items out of site. Putting down an area carpet will help define the space, as well as add some warmth underneath.

A chalk or cork board is a great idea for keeping organized. Try to find an oversized board (you can get handcrafted ones that look fabulous) or paint an area of the wall in chalkboard paint and use for doodling, writing notes or sketching out ideas.

By taking a bit of extra time and adding some unique details you can make your home office or homework area more enjoyable to be in – and  then work won’t seem so tasking.

Photos and editorial contributions by Roni Brown of MDA Interiors –

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