It seems like an agreed upon conclusion that working from home will continue its upward climb for a while to come. Because of this, more and more people are wondering what would be the best room in their home to use as an office space.
If you have a sunroom, you can turn it into a beautiful, stylish home office. If you are struggling to do your work on a dining table, in a bedroom, or even a kitchen island, it’s likely you have encountered many distractions from various sources. Having an isolated location that is distraction free is an ideal space for a home office. The sunroom can provide a place of solitude and peace to focus on your daily work.
Benefits to Using Your Sunroom as an Office
- Sunlight is beneficial for your mind – it can improve concentration
- It can decrease stress levels
- Leads to better sleep
- Natural surroundings (ie: plants), can help relaxation
- Provides a separation between your ‘work’ space and your ‘home’ space
- Less distractions from family and noise
- If you use the sunroom solely as an office you may be able to use it as an office deduction
1. Before Adding Anything – Declutter
To turn your sunroom into an office, you’ll need to assess the space and what is in it. Generally, workspaces do best with the “less is more” vibe.
Is your sunroom being used as a relaxation area, dining area, or a place to entertain? What do you feel can be left in the room and what definitely needs to go out? For instance, a comfortable lounge chair and bookcase may seem suitable for staying, but you may want to put the dog toys into another room.
Especially make sure to keep clutter away from your glorious windows!
If you are the kind of person who is easily distracted, having too many objects can be overwhelming and take you away from the task at hand. Take a good, hard look at your sunroom and decide what needs to be placed elsewhere in the home.
2. Time For a Little Maintenance
Now that you have decided what stays and what goes, it’s now time to make any needed changes. General cleaning of the room is probably in order. Do the walls need repainting? Do the windows or screens need replacing? Are the outlets all working? After general maintenance is done then you can decide where to put your furniture.
3. A Place for Everything
To help organize how your home office will look. Think of your home office as having specific areas or zones. One area or zone is for your desk and chair. Another zone for office supplies, cabinets, a printer, etc. An area with comfy chairs. Having an area for a bookshelf or organizing shelves. A zone for an extra table, if needed. Perhaps even a zone for plants if you prefer them in one area.
4. Adding Plants
There are many plants suitable for a sunroom . They are a natural and colorful fit. If you already have them in the sunroom you may want to rearrange them according to your new furniture placement. You can even use plants to hide computer cords.
5. Add a Little Organization
This is where your style and personality can really go into a home office. Since you are at your home and you don’t have the same rules that would apply in an office building, you are able to decorate and choose what you want. Elements that help keep your office organized:
- A filing cabinet(s) for papers
- A book shelf for reference books
- Small baskets for small items like pens, notebooks, sticky notes that can be placed on the bookshelf
- A larger table if you need to lay out hard copy to plan projects
- A small table and coffee maker to make coffee/tea
Adding a Little Style
If you are planning on having a permanent home office, you owe it to yourself to work in an atmosphere that suits you. You will want the space to be comfortable while being conducive to working.
You may choose neutral tones for your walls (especially if you have in person clients), but try adding pops of your favorite colors in small amounts and add wall paintings or decorations that are pleasing to your eye. Adding personal items such as family photos will complete the transformation.
To go along with your sunroom theme or style, you can add home office furniture in that same style. You don’t have to bring your workplace office into your sunroom, instead you can transform your sunroom into a stylish home office.
Office furniture these days comes in many styles and materials. Take the time to shop for furniture that matches your taste.
Traditional style: desk made of solid wood with embellishments and lots of drawers. Leather or wooden chairs on wheels.
Contemporary/modern: desks are made with simple, straight lines made of metal, wood, plastic, or pressed glass. Chairs have angular, straight lines, made of leather, fabric, or mesh fabric.
Other styles include: Mid century modern, Rustic, Industrial, and Farmhouse.
Add a Seating Area
Having a seating area away from your desk can work double duty. It can give you a place to chill when you need a break but also provide a place for family to visit during lunch times or other breaks. It’s also important, if you have clients, to have a proper seating area. Try a couple of comfy arm chairs and maybe a side table and bookcase with some lovely looking books and ornaments or plants.
Ergonomics is Important
Your choice of work chair should be guided by comfort and ergonomics. If you have any issues in your back, neck, circulation, etc. and spend a lot of time sitting, an ergonomic chair, with height control, lumbar support, and tilting options will be important.
If you are spending many hours at your desk, another option is to get a sit-to-stand desk. These are often electronically controlled so that you can raise and lower the height of the desk at the touch of a finger. Being able to change position and stretch your legs is not only good for your health but can maximize productivity.
Placing Your Desk for Optimal Usage
Many sources suggest facing your desk away from your garden or where your sunroom faces. This is to make sure that you are not distracted while working. Even better is to place your desk at right angles to a window and at least 3 feet away from the window. This allows for the least amount of glare falling onto your computer screen but also allows for ample lighting. It’s also just a quick head turn to look out at a lovely garden or wherever your sunroom faces when you need a breather.
Sunshine on Your Screen?
Because a sunroom takes full advantage of natural light and is probably the most sunlit room in your home, you may need to guard against glare on your screen. After placing your desk so that the glare on the screen is lessened, you still may need to safeguard against glare when the sunlight is at its height. Tips to prevent glare:
- UV protected glass windows help reduce glare.
- At peak sunlight times, you may need to have curtains or blinds to block rays.
- For East/West facing windows use vertical blinds.
- For North/South facing windows use horizontal blinds.
- Try an anti-glare screen. Adjust contrast and brightness on your screen.
Hopefully these suggestions have sparked your imagination and you’re on the road to assembling a sunroom home office that maximizes your productivity and satisfaction.
Sunshine Sunrooms has been helping homeowners design and build beautiful sunrooms since 1993. Call us at (972) 243-5390 for all your sunroom design, construction, and repair needs or contact us online to request a quote.