By Kerrie Kelly, ASID

These days, the line between working and living in our homes has become blurred. In fact, reports that one in five Americans work from home. If you are a part of that statistic, having an inspiring home office all your own is something you may wish for — but have you ever considered that it may increase your productivity, too?

A well-designed office can provide a space that encourages efficiency and reflects the style of the rest of your home. Some experts have said that there are only two essentials for a functional home office: a comfortable chair and a door that closes. For go-getters, though, there are a few more requirements. Ready, set, let’s get to work!

Smart Space Planning

Start with the largest part of the office design — your work surface. Stock desk units come in a variety of materials, but may be difficult to fit in with your room; modular office furniture is more flexible. For added flair, look to repurpose furniture  — flea market finds and antiques can be turned into acceptable home office elements with a fresh coat of paint and new hardware.

If your office space doesn’t have a door, you can establish a sense of privacy by the way you orient your work surface, or simply add that door. We love the idea of using a sliding barn door for extra panache and privacy.

Adequate Lighting

Make sure you allow for proper lighting in your office. Natural light is great, but you’ll need ambient and task lighting, too. Consider recessed can lighting on a dimmer, and pendants and under cabinet lighting for a layered effect. Watch out for the possibility of glare, especially when finding a place for your computer screen. Window coverings such as shutters, Roman shades or paneled window treatments provide texture, interest and the lighting control you’ll need to address glare and privacy.

Sufficient Storage

Credenzas or repurposed buffets are my favorite storage pieces for an office because they are stylish and able to hold loads of office items. They can close off a day’s work and eliminate desk clutter while keeping papers and books organized. Get the best of both worlds by having a credenza that provides hidden room for office supplies and extra work space, flanked by bookcases or open shelving above that will give you even more storage.

Inspirational Comfort

The little things make all the difference. Collect stacks of your favorite inspirational books and top them with beautiful objects. Instead of settling for boring office basics, use offbeat finds to hold supplies and stay organized.

Just because your workspace isn’t a part of a big office building, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat your work zone with the same respect you would if you were surrounded by colleagues. Try setting out your business cards on a lacquered tray. Put matching pens or pencils in a gleaming metal holder and use real stationery to pen thank-yous from time to time instead of emailing. Even if you can’t redo your whole office right now, try to revamp a few details.

Click here to view a wide selection of window treatments available on the Home Depot website that may be of value to your home office.

What office design essentials inspire the go-getter in you?