How to Revamp Your Home Office Space

When lockdown was first announced here in the Philippines back in March 2020, everybody thought it would only last for two weeks. Thinking that our setup would not last long, my husband and I just worked in our dining room. Because I’m a software developer, I use a laptop and a second monitor. Can you imagine how I need to remove all my things from the dining table when it’s time for lunch and return everything after? 

Around May 2020 when we enrolled Zayne for a one-month trial class in preparation for preschool, we just setup her old arts and crafts table inside the bedroom. When we realized that the pandemic was not going to end soon, my husband and I decided to convert an unused room in our house into an office space for me slash study room for Zayne just before her school year started.

We didn’t go all out all at once in designing our home office. It was rather a slow progress because we only relied to online shopping for fear that we catch the virus. We started with buying my table and reusing Zayne’s old table. Slowly, it turned into something like this.   

Before you can start feeling motivated to work or attend school, you need the right environment. No one wants to be in a cluttered and noisy space that is not conducive for creativity. Below are some tips on how to make your space help you feel more productive.

Designate a Work Area

Keep your work area away from distractions like the TV, your bed, or anything that makes you lose focus. Our home office is at the third level of our house, so it’s definitely quieter. I mentioned earlier that my daughter spent her first month of online school in our bedroom. Although it works for some, I wanted her to have some sort of a routine because it was her first time to go to school. I wanted her to learn that it’s school time when she’s in the study room. Our bedroom is for sleeping and family time.

Zayne in our bedroom using her old arts and crafts tables

In my case, since I spent the first few months of working from home in the dining table, I find our pantry so distracting! I always felt hungry even if I wasn’t. I definitely blame that for the start of my weight gain! Hahaha! But more importantly, having a designated work area helps in setting up boundaries for work and family time which is something that is very hard to set when you’re working from home.

Choose the Right Lighting

Find the lighting that works best for you. Natural light is always best but if it’s not an option, then use the right light bulbs. This is especially true for programmers like me who work in front of the computer for eight hours or more. On some occasions when I have team meetings that require me to be in a video call, good lighting is also important. :p

Invest in Quality Furniture

Investing in quality furniture and personalized d├ęcor is recommended to create the perfect atmosphere for you when you’re working. That way, you’ll be more likely to want to work in your space. Just remember that it doesn’t have to be expensive. We bought my table from a local seller at a very reasonable price. We also got lucky that my husband’s company was discarding all of their office furniture because they were going into a merger, so we got Zayne’s table at a much cheaper price! It was definitely a steal!

We bought this table from my husband’s office at a very low price!

Create an Ergonomic Workstation

Items like a standup desk or using a large workout ball to sit on are ways that you can stay active while working. Sitting on a traditional desk all day has been shown to cause many health related issues. Sitting on a dining chair during meals is fine, but it’s definitely not designed to be sat on for eight hours. I started feeling back and shoulder pains because of that. A couple of months after, the dining chair I was using broke! I posted it on my Instagram stories, and a friend saw it. Good thing that she sent me and Zayne the office chairs (both the chairs in the photos above) that they were not using anymore. (While writing this, I realized God’s providence through other people’s generosity helped us a lot in creating a nice work and study area for our family!)

Paint Your Walls

Home offices can be a lonely place with many of us working from home on a regular basis. It’s important to make your office feel like your own, so you’ll want to think about the colors that you want to paint the walls. Choosing colors or patterns that make you feel more productive are helpful in making the space more personalized. 

Our house is purely black and white, and I’m fine with that. But I was so amazed when my teammate, Jessie, showed us how he painted his home office! If you’re from the Philippines, I’m pretty sure you know the Facebook group Home Buddies. That’s where Jessie got the idea!

Jessie’s workstation

It’s also recommended to add wall art for inspirational quotes or picturesque scenes. I wanted to do this, but I don’t have a single creative bone in my body, so I just settled with putting this frame on my table.

Add Storage

I get so anxious when I see clutter and mess. Having a preschooler who loves doing arts and crafts proved to be a challenge, but adding storage bins that keep everything organized is the key. Aside from a book shelf, we also placed a cabinet for Zayne’s art materials in our home office.

Put Plants

Being on lockdown for nearly two years, I found comfort in gardening. Plants definitely make any space livelier. It’s not only a nice way to liven up your home office, but it’s also good in keeping the air clean. 

Use Essential Oils

After you’re done with making your office look good, don’t forget to make it smell good, too! With all the stress I get from work and my daughter’s online schooling, I make it a habit to diffuse natural essential oils. I love using Peppermint to keep me alert and awake. Lemon and Orange are also good for my mood. I also diffuse different blends depending on my mental and emotional needs for the day. Hihi.

Lantern Diffuser and a small part of my EO stash from Young Living

When things get so messy in the house, I find myself watching Dream Home Makeover on Netflix and visiting sites like Calgary homes for sale. My husband and I dream of having a second home outside the city. It would be nice to have a garden for my plants and a bigger kitchen because I love to cook. I love our humble home office now, but it wouldn’t hurt to dream of having a bigger and nicer home office with a view of either a beach or tons of trees. ^_^ 

How about you, how did you transform your home office space? :)

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