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Designing a Home Office

Drawing up Home Office Furniture Plans

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Once you carefully plan out your home office so that you understand what your needs are and have weighed your options for your new work environment, the next step in designing a home office is to create one or more home office furniture plans on paper.

Why Home Office Furniture Plans are Important when Designing a Home Office

You may be asking, "Who needs a home office furniture plan - why not just do it?" Like anything else, a little prior planning will go a long way in saving you time, money and aggravation in designing and setting up your home office.

Laying out home office furniture plans on paper has several advantages:

  • By sketching your ideas on paper you can try different layouts without physically moving doors, walls, or furniture.
  • By drawing up a design with a home office furniture plan, you can share your ideas with someone else for feedback and input before you make any actual changes.
  • Sometimes a sketch will show that one or more home office furniture plans are just not feasible or practical.
  • Placing furniture and equipment locations on paper while you are designing a home office can help you discover other inadequacies, such as an insufficient number of electrical outlets or obstructions in the room.
  • It costs next to nothing to sketch home office furniture plans on paper and could save you thousands of dollars in mistakes and backaches from repeatedly moving furniture in locations where it doesn't fit or buying expensive furniture that doesn't match the scale of your room.

How Do I Make My Own Home Office Furniture Plans?

Sketching your own home office doesn't have to be complicated or overly time-consuming. It should be fun! Here are a few tips you can follow to make your home office furniture plans more useful and make the process of designing a home office and setting it up much easier:

  • If you already have the furniture and equipment you need, you have a tight budget or you've at least already identified what you'll need to buy, you'll want the measurements of each piece of furniture and equipment you plan to use. That includes length, width and depth, while height is not as critical unless you have low ceilings or need to place some of your home office furniture under windows.
  • While preliminary home office furniture plans can be sketched freehand, there is a tremendous benefit to using graph (blocked) paper and designing your home office to scale. Doing so will help you get a feel for the way your office space will look when it's done.
  • Determine the overall dimensions of your office space - whether it's a separate room, a closet, an area in the basement or what have you - before you start sketching your home office furniture plans so you can best center your sketch on the graph paper. If you like, you can use one sheet of graph paper for the overall office on a smaller scale, and then a separate sheet for any areas you want to be able to "zoom in on" in your home office furniture plans.
  • Using a ruler instead of an unmarked straight edge can not only keep your drawing neat, it can help prevent you from needing to count the blocks on your paper so that you stay within your scale. For example, if there are eight blocks to an inch on the paper you're using for designing a home office and you want to scale your sketch so that two blocks equal one foot, you'll know that one inch on the ruler = four feet, an inch-and-a-half equals six feet, and so on.
  • Don't forget to include windows, doors and shelving because they'll restrict where you can place your home office furniture and may impede what would otherwise seem like a good traffic flow around the work area. Again, you'll want to get and record accurate measurements of these items so you can keep your home office furniture plans to scale.
  • The easiest way to start designing a home office is to start with its overall perimeter and then add in any partition walls, windows and doors. Once you have a to-scale sketch with these basic items in place, make copies of your home office outline so you can create multiple home office furniture plans without having to start over from scratch. Having several sharpened pencils or a mechanical pencil and a good eraser comes in very handy when designing a home office.
  • Create to-scale cutouts of the major furniture and/or equipment that will be used in your home office - such as your desk, file cabinets, etc. using the same scale used for your drawing.
  • Label each cutout so you'll remember what it is, especially if a breeze comes along and dumps your little scrap cutouts you want to use in your home office furniture plans all over the floor.
  • Place the furniture on your plan using the cutouts. You can "rearrange the furniture" just by sliding the cutouts on your drawing.
  • Once you have an arrangement you like, either draw it in on another sheet of graph paper, or tape your cutouts directly to your original perimeter sketch to keep them in place.
  • When you feel like you have everything where you want it, put your drawing away and sleep on it. Get feedback from your partner or others in your family.While this will be your home office, there's no reason not to make sure you have buy in from others in your family while designing your home office, especially if your design or furniture placement will affect them.

Next Step - Make Your Home Office Design Plan a Reality

Once you're set with a workable design for your home office space and have given your home office furniture plans due consideration, you'll be ready to put your design into action and start making your home office a reality. Seeing your work space come together is one of the rewards you'll get from designing a home office properly.

If you determine you will need to do some remodeling while designing your home office, having your drawing with a home office furniture plan will guide you through the process and provide you with something to work with if you need to hire one or more contractors to make alterations, such as adding electrical outlets, putting up shelving, adding organizers, etc. And, when your new home office furniture is delivered or brought back into the space, you'll know exactly where it will go.

Next: Home Office Ideas - How to Set Up Your Home Office

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