August 2018

Hardworking Home Office

It’s not uncommon nowadays to find people working from home. With flexible working hours and work that can be done almost anywhere, a lot of former nine-to-five office workers are now able to work remotely. For most, it simply makes sense to forgo the commute, but that also means you need a space to effectively get your tasks done. Working from home has its perks such as more time with the furry friends and kids, but the sofa and dining table is not always the solution. Let’s get down to business and go over what you need for a hardworking home office. Read on!

The Essentials

You need some horizontal working space and that does not necessarily mean you need a huge desk. Think about the kind of work that you do and assess how much space you need to do it. Maybe just a small nook with a few feet of built-in countertop is enough for you and your laptop. We have turned an unused closet into a desk and storage space for clients. Or a very cost effective solution is a piece like this shelving unit from CB2 with an integral desk, also requires minimum space. If you need a desktop monitor (or two), keyboard and some space to lay out paperwork, you will likely need a desk with some depth. Do you find that you are glued to your work for hours on end? Consider getting a height adjustable desk. Studies have found that alternating between seated and standing work throughout the day is good for your health and keeps you engaged and productive. You can find a relatively affordable option like the Skarsta from IKEA! Have a bigger budget? Why not consider Steelcase’s AirTouch height adjustable for anyone, anywhere. Already have a desk? Why not consider one of the Ergtron solutions available from Haworth. They have a variety of space-saving mounting options. Your next investment should be a good chair. A task chair that is fully adjustable should not be optional. Look for one that is height adjustable and has good lumbar support at the minimum. Your back will thank us! If you have the budget, there are some great task chairs from Herman Miller (we are partial to the Sayl which can be found in our office).

Bonus Material

Although a task lamp is usually an afterthought, it should really be one of the first few items you buy. You can get really inexpensive ones from IKEA or some really beautifully designed ones from places like Inform Interiors and YLighting ]. We like to think that a nice desk lamp is like the jewelry for your desk – and it glows! Why do you need a desk lamp? They help to reduce eye strain and if you get one that is dimmable, you can adjust it throughout the day. Of course, we cannot forget about storage. If you run your own business from home you will likely need room for filing amongst other things such as stationary, a printer, and other miscellaneous items. Do you have a small home office? Consider getting a custom millwork solution that gives you plenty of working space, open shelves, and storage behind cabinet doors. By keeping the messy clutter out of sight (but organized) you are able to make your small office feel more spacious. Need some inspiration? We designed some lovely home offices for The Smith and Berkeley Village that illustrates a hardworking home office.

 

 

What does your dream home office include? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designhomeoffice

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5 Things to look for when buying a home

 

Looking for a new home is both extremely exciting and daunting. You have done your research and have found a few that you would like to see. Before you take the leap and make the big purchase there are a few things that you should check for. It’s always important to go into your home search with a clear objective and a list that you can refer back to. You might find something that is a deal breaker! Keep reading for 5 things you should look for in a new home.

Don’t Judge a Home by its Cover

The same way you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you shouldn’t judge a house by its cover – or paint. Look beyond the fresh coat of color and focus on the structural stuff. A house with good bones is important and so are appliances, plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems. Also look for big cracks – especially where extensions are joined and bay windows which can bow away from the rest of the house. Décor is pretty, but it won’t last. Don’t be fooled by staging! There are many tricks that make a home more appealing to buyers such as cleverly placed mirrors, lighting, yummy smells (candles and freshly baked cookies), and a strategically placed electric fireplace. Will these items stay? It may make the home warm, inviting and look move-in ready, but can hide and distract you from the important things to check for.

Cause You’re Hot and You’re Cold

Like the Katy Perry song, you should check if you are hot or cold because that can determine your yes or no to a house. Heating and cooling systems are expensive to fix and replace, and inefficiency can add up and cost you in the long run. No one likes a big utility bill right? Check that the furnace is up to date and does not need to be replaced. If you live in a climate that can become very hot in the summer or cold in the winter (possibly both), good heating and cooling systems are important. No one wants to feel like they are being roasted in their home or sitting in a freezer. If you absolutely cannot stand the heat, find a home that has central air conditioning in place as it is quite costly to put it in and the work is fairly disruptive.

Beneath the Surface

Look beneath the countertops, open the cupboards and look under the sink at the pipes and check for leaks, water damage and mold. Not only is mold foul smelling and unsightly, but can cause health problems. It is especially important to check for it if you have asthma, a baby, or live with an elderly person. Also, check for watermarked walls or ceilings – signs that there are some leaky pipes that could be covered up by paint.

Get Your Hands on it

Get your hands on everything – be careful of course! You should definitely test every light switch, power outlet, and faucet. You can assume that they should all work, but you don’t want to be taken by surprise. Open all the windows and doors, flush the toilets, run the bath and taste the water. Make sure everything works and is up to par. This way you can address the problems if there are any and see if there is a cost-effective solution.

Get an Inspection

You’ve done your initial check, now get a professional to do one. They will check that the foundation and structure is solid and everything is up to code. They can even check for things such as lead paint and pests that you won’t see. This is absolutely something you shouldn’t skimp on and is well worth the money. Houses have defects and some are obvious while others are not. Many of these are fixable, but you should know what they are before you buy so you can negotiate a lower price and you are aware and prepared for any necessary repairs. Small renovations can be fun, but big overhauls to your new home are probably not. Happy house hunting!

What have you looked for in a new home? Let us know with the hashtag #Area3designnewhome

 

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