At the one-year anniversary of COVID-19, work from home has become normalized in a way it was never before.
Overnight, many were forced to create some kind of home office space, forcing us to rethink the way our homes are designed with new needs and functions.
The big question is, how to find the right space to work when all our rooms already have their own purpose?
While some of us are lucky to have a larger space or have a spare room that can easily convert to a home office, many of us need to get more creative to compact and maximize our space with organization.
Lison Ouellette is an interior and furniture designer with over 30 years of experience and the founder and president of Lison Design. She has a large variety of ongoing projects, from commercial spaces such as restaurants, retail stores, hair salons, and more, to residential projects ranging from large properties to compact condos.
Even after the pandemic is over, working from home is most likely here to stay. There is no time like the present to improve our home work areas.
Ouellette offers these easy tips for redesigning your home to integrate work into your living area.
Find the best working space for you
Where will you put your work space? The free space we have available might not necessarily be the best one to work in. Are you easily distracted by what’s going on outside your window? Maybe you shouldn’t set yourself up next to a street-facing window. Do you prefer a darker, quieter work space? That bright south-facing room is not necessarily for you.
“Interior design is all about feeling and space organization more than making a pretty room. It’s about personalizing and making sure to fulfil all needs by figuring out our lifestyle and who we are, making sure the space is designed in accordance with our needs and feelings,” Ouellette says.
Declutter your rooms
“We can remove a large per cent of what people have to create space,” Ouellette says.
Always keep in mind the one-year rule. If an item hasn’t been used in the last year, let it go. Unless it is something we cherish, such as a souvenir or art, let go of the things you hold onto needlessly.
Question yourself. Is this something you actually need and use? Does it bring you joy in some way? If not, toss or donate it. It’s amazing how much space we actually have in our homes if it isn’t filled with unnecessary clutter.
Determine your budget
Do you have a lot or a little to invest in your redesign project?
“I never reject a client depending on budget,” Ouellette says.
“Sometimes the lack of budget helps us to be more creative and make magic.”
Establishing your budget ahead of time helps to determine whether you’ll be able to buy new furniture or redesign the space with custom furniture, or if you will have to get creative working with what you currently have and take on some DYI projects.
Get creative with your space
“Why not upgrade the kids’ bedroom? People have this idea that kids need to have their own space but kids sleeping in the same room will bond and be more attached,” Ouellette says.
“We can upgrade their room into a fun space they can share and free up the second bedroom for a home office where mom and dad can work in peace.”
No doors? No problem. Get creative with room dividers to create a defined working space, using furniture as dividers, different types of floor to ceiling paneling, draperies or sliding doors to create a partition.
Make sure you’re getting the most out of your space
Be honest, are you really using that home gym? Or would that area be better served by being turned into a working space from which you’d get a lot more use?
Also, with children doing more online activities from home, consider modular spaces where the living room can be moved and reconfigured easily for the purpose at the moment.
“As we need our homes for a wider range of activities, consider the flexibility of the space,” Ouellette says.
To learn more about enhancing your living space and the services offered by Lison Design, visit lisondesign.com.