Zooming In

Are you working from a home office or the dining room? Are you finding that your desk is an appropriate size, or are you at the breakfast table? How about your chair? Is it comfortable, or are you sitting on a barstool? And those walls behind your Zoom calls? Are they bare or filled with artwork that highlights your personality? We are happy to share with you that this month’s newsletter is focused on the importance of your home office.

Interior Matter enlisted its colleague Danielle Glosser, Founder and Principal of Client Raiser, a DC-based consulting firm that works with visual artists, to articulate the importance of having a functional and aesthetically pleasing home office during this time. “Everyone is working from home right now, so the elements of your home office not only reflect your interests and style but also offer a way for your colleagues and clients to connect with you on a different level. By featuring a unique piece of art or special embellishment in your space, you are sharing more about yourself, which people are craving right now”, said Danielle. She also stated that “just like first impressions when making business connections based on how you are dressed, shake hands (or elbow bump) and manage eye contact, the look of your home office impacts people’s opinions of you at this time.” We have developed some ideas for you to consider about how your home office is speaking to folks on the other side of your screen.

The design of a space can spark joy and curiosity or conversely, make people feel depressed or unwelcome. Think about how you feel sitting in most doctors’ waiting rooms versus that of a salon. Offering a little bit of color with a throw pillow, piece of art or even a plant can add life to any room. Likewise, selecting comfortable furniture and strategically placing it can put someone at ease versus adding to a stressful situation.

When thinking about your home office, the functionality of the space is key. If there is a window, then you want to be facing it versus having it behind you for a natural glow while online. A task light is probably still necessary to keep your eyes from being strained. And overhead lighting is helpful as well.

While your mind is at work, your body is too. Be sure that you have furniture that supports your posture rather than making you arch in awkward positions. Check to see if your desk is a good height to avoid straining your back and neck. Likewise, be sure that your chair allows you to easily maneuver to reach all of your equipment and files. Work from home ergonomics are important for feeling well all day.

As far as the rest of the furniture is concerned, consider having a set of handsome drawers as well as a coordinating bookcase. Alternatively, built-in bookshelves offer an elegant look while a funky set of shelves could be more of your vibe. Finally, the art that you select certainly impacts the overall environment that you create.

Art serves as a mirror into your world. Some people are drawn to family heirlooms to keep their memories alive, while others collect wild, modern work that evokes conversation. Intellectual art can add to a contemplative atmosphere while other pieces remind us to take risks and be bold. Many studies have been done on the importance of art to the healing process, as well as the impact of its colors. Ultimately, art can provide an opportunity to rest, reflect, and reconnect which is needed during the workday.

There are a number of decisions to make when selecting art. Thinking about your taste is paramount. Focusing on what type of art draws you in and why is a good start. Such factors will help you hone in on whether original paintings by local artists or lithographs by the masters are more appealing. Then there are professional photographs and wall sculptures to consider as well. Of course, your budget is a factor, but there are many options on how to pay for art these days. Once acquired, a proper frame can add the perfect finish to your selection. How work is hung also impacts the experience of the viewer (even those online).

All of our work lives have changed. Time will tell as to how offices are reconfigured to create the safest possible environments for all of us. Most likely, more people will be working from home as a matter of preference or economics. We encourage you to take the time to think through your ideal home office as you most likely have more flexibility in your schedule now. We are here to help. Interior Matter’s Design During Distancing program can assist you to create a space that fits your needs, style, and budget. Likewise, Danielle is happy to help you find the perfect artwork for your walls. Please contact her for a complimentary consultation.