How many times have we heard “unprecedented” in the last few months? While the Coronavirus pandemic is entirely novel, the idea of a home office is not. Our team has been designing beautiful, high-functioning home work spaces for decades.
The thing about a home office is that not everyone needs one or would continue to use it once we reach the end of this pandemic. That’s why our designers’ approach is to create an in-home flex-space instead. The difference between a flex space and a home office is the idea of extreme adaptability. A flex-space could be used for an array of tasks: working from home, paying bills, video calls with relatives, homework station for children, writing letters, online purchases, etc. Basically, this flex-space can become the command center for your home.
Here are a few essential flex-space features:
- Work Surface
- Selecting a work surface can be overwhelming because of the unlimited options. Things to keep in mind while selecting materials are: clean-ability, longevity, and purpose. We suggest making a selection that is durable, timeless, easy to sanitize/keep clean and appropriate for the application. Consider your needs: Can this be a built-in application to save space? Does it need to be a piece of furniture that can be folded up and tucked away? Should it be height-adjustable due to the range of people potentially using it?
- Storage is sometimes overlooked as a design feature, but in flex space design, it is critical. Adequate storage gives users the ability to switch from task to task quickly and easily while keeping clutter at bay. We suggest taking a mental inventory of things you and your family will need to use in the flex-space and planning accordingly. This will likely involve the designer specifying several types of storage for the space.
- Lighting should be a top consideration when designing a workspace. Does the application call for specific task lighting? Natural lighting increases productivity and mental health immensely, but will it create a glare on any screens/monitors? These are all questions our team can help answer and solve.
- Technology is such a broad topic ranging from wifi accessibility and videoconferencing abilities to dimming switches and LED color rendering. It is also ever-changing and evolving. Our team does our best to keep up with current technology as well as accommodate for adaptations in the future.
- Privacy in the home can take many forms, especially in a shared space. Can you achieve small amounts of privacy through frosted panels, walls and doors, or even a pair of noise cancelling headphones? Any of these efforts will be worthwhile if they increase your ability to get things done while keeping your sanity.
- Just like in a professional office, one major thing to invest in is a well-build and well-designed task chair. Ergonomics are crucial for productivity, in and outside of the typical workplace. As previously mentioned for the work surface, should this task chair be highly flexible for the range in sizes of people potentially using it?
- Physical comfort will come from the many factors listed above, but mental comfort is equally important, especially these days. Adorn your home flex space with a palette full of tones and textures that put your mind at ease and inspire you to create.
The most daunting part about this pandemic, for us, has been the vast number of potential outcomes. Our goal is always to design to withstand the test of time and in-home workspaces are no exception. If your current set-up isn’t functioning the way it should, we’re here to help! Consider this list of questions and take note of your answers. This will help you think about your flex- space’s needs and provide a starting point to consulting with one of our designers or begin a DIY project.
If you’re wanting some additional inspiration, here are some companies that we love.
(When possible be sure to shop local to support small businesses in your community, but this is a list of some socially distant options.)
Hon designs timeless pieces that are focused on performance plus have both affordable and designer options to suite every budget. They have excellent customer service and will let you “sample” their furniture.
Herman Miller is more of a designer option, but their commitment to quality and executing original design to the highest standards is unmatched.
ALLMODERN, if their name doesn’t give it away, has a massive array of modern flex-space furniture options at an affordable price.
The Container Store is one of our favorite places to purchase organizational, storage solutions and it’s budget friendly.
Lightology has a large selection of contemporary LED lighting. This designer option is sure to make your flex space stand out from the crowd.
Ikea, this brand is so popular for a reason. They have a wide variety of styles at an affordable price point, all while being sustainably sourced, what’s not to love? We especially like their lighting selection.
Logitech has options for both Mac and PC’s and is sure to have a tech product to make your flex space suite your needs for work or play.