For most people, the idea of a clean and calm office space trumps the natural chaos of life every time. This is why even people who aren’t minimalists on a normal day find themselves veering towards the white paint, Scandi furniture and organization techniques for a minimalist home office.
Though the minimalist office might sound difficult to achieve, really it is just about figuring out the best way to organize your things and working out ways to store things properly. As long as there is a place for everything, everything can go in its place and at the end of every day, you can close the door on perfection rather than run away from the mess!
So what are the basic rules for a minimalist office? Well, first you need to start with the color scheme.
5 Easy Tips For Minimalist Home Office Style
Ideal Office Colors
While you are trying to concentrate, the last thing you need is a lot of bright colors in your face. Bright colors are naturally stimulating so while they might make you feel more enthusiastic they will probably end up being distracting as well.
Your walls should be clear of too much pattern so you might like to avoid wallpapers and go for a simple paint finish instead. This doesn’t mean that you have to stick with white, however classic a color this is for a minimalist home office! Soft pastels are a good way to introduce a hint of tint as well as richer colors that Farrow and Ball are popular for. Have a look at this list from Elle Decor to get some inspiration for minimalist home office paint colors.
Before you paint, though, do think about the color of the furniture you would like to go for. Lots of units are now available in white as well as natural woods and wood effect. While white looks great when it is well cared for, natural woods can lend a bit of natural character to an otherwise flat space. Even darker woods can be very effective with an otherwise pale color scheme.
If you have a darkroom to work with, don’t be afraid to go with a deeper color and then add mirrors around the room to bounce the light around. You would be surprised how well this method works, especially since the right color can trick the eye into believing that space is much bigger than it would have looked in white.
Getting the Right Storage Furniture
There are two ways to go with office furniture for a minimalist home office: closed cabinetry and open shelves. Both have their advantages and a mixture of the two is probably for the best. If you have a lot of paperwork that needs storing, open shelves can be a good way to make everything easily accessible, especially if you use nice magazine racks and folders to organize everything neatly.
Open shelves are also ideal for adding a few ornaments and decorations like picture frames to break up the monotony. Cabinetry, on the other hand, is great for closing everything away and creating a plain background. You could use built-in wardrobes if you are in a spare bedroom or go for office-specific furniture.
A good trick to create the illusion of space is to choose taller furniture in a Scandi style. The pale wood and sleek design is perfect for minimalists and much more spacious inside than it lets on. Plus, if you can find furniture with skinny legs, this will also add to the airiness of the room and create the illusion of lightness in a minimalist home office.
Simple Methods for Organizing
Magazine racks are definitely one of the best ways for gathering up lots of loose bits of paper and can be used to break up lots of stacks of things. Similarly, you could use simple wire racks to create trays of papers if you still have a lot. The best thing for the modern minimalist home office, though, is always going to be as paper-free as possible. If you can, try to store as little paper as possible and instead use online methods like Google Docs to store everything you need. This way you will be able to find anything almost immediately and it won’t ever get lost.
Another common complaint in office spaces is the number of wires that inevitably get tangled up together. As far as possible you should try to go without the wires by using things like wireless internet and a wireless printer. However, there are still some wires you can’t get rid of so try organizing these by threading them through bulldog clips at the back of your desk. You should also use labels to make sure that you know which wire is which and resolve any confusion before you unplug something vital!
The more things you can cut back on, the tidier and calmer your space will be. Always make sure that everything gets tidied up at the end of the day into categorized files so that you can find them again later on. Plus, if you dust your desk each day, you will quickly get into the habit of putting everything where it belongs and get a cleaner environment!
Bringing in Some Inspiration
Every office space needs some sort of inspiration and even if you are going for a minimalist home office, consider adding some detail or decoration that you can enjoy while you are in there. For example, if you have a clear wall, a painting could be a good idea to make space feel homier and to give you something to look at while you think.
Adding a rug is another way to bring in some pattern or decoration without creating a tempting distraction. Rugs are also ideal for zoning a room and making space feel bigger. Try experimenting with where you put your rug and how it fits in with the room. For example, putting a rug in the middle of the room will show off its balanced proportions (or highlight imbalances, but putting the rug in a corner underneath the desk and chair creates a smaller section in the room.
Plants are another great addition to any office and succulents or spider plants seem to do best in this kind of environment. Spider plants are particularly easy to look after once they are established and will live on top of a bookcase or in a hanging basket over your desk for several years with good care and attention. Plants are ideal because they help to oxygenate the air and create a fresher atmosphere in any room. Plus, they are a natural decoration in an otherwise quite stark interior.
Finding the Best Chair
Finally, the chair you sit in all day to work is quite possibly the most important seat in the entire house. Not only does it need to be comfortable enough to stop you fidgeting, but it also needs to be supportive enough to ensure that you don’t end up with back problems.
There are two ways of going about finding the perfect chair: either pick out a chair that just so happens to completely fit your body shape or go for a chair that will allow you to make adjustments to fit your body shape. Either method works and has advantages and disadvantages. The first method is great for finding a chair that will fit stylishly into your minimalist office but uncomfortable by the end of the day. The second method is great for staying comfortable as you can change the chair to suit your needs, but it is more likely to be bulky and come with lots of handles and levers.
Chairs are really personal so it is worth trying as many as possible before you buy. As you can see from this guide in The Telegraph, chairs can also set you back a lot of money, depending on where you get them from. With this in mind, you should set a reasonably high budget compared to the rest of your office furniture because it is about keeping your body healthy.
While it is easy to go overboard with your office design, keeping to a minimalist mindset can actually help you to create a tidy space, with just enough room for everything. By following some of the most simple rules of minimalism (limited color palette, just a few decorations and a place for everything) you can turn even the smallest area into office heaven.