5 Design Tips to Make “Working from Home” Work for You
These days, many homeowners are finding themselves spending more time working from home. Whether making calls, answering emails, or closing deals, homeowners are searching for comfortable areas to get the job done—and recharge throughout the day. And when it comes to designing these spaces, professionals agree: get creative with natural materials, like cypress.
Tuck it Away
Working from home may sound like a dream to some, but for others, distractions abound. That’s why it’s important to find a quiet space with some privacy. If traditional doors are too basic, architect Geoff Chick from Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, suggests sliding barn doors.
“I recently worked with a homeowner who wanted a secret office space that he could close off to the house as needed,” Chick says. “Aesthetically, we chose to build a barn door from cypress because of the wood’s natural beauty and character. And all said and done, the cypress barn door steals the show—open or closed.”
Dress it Up
Falling victim to a productivity pitfall? A well-designed home office that incorporates natural lighting and materials can enhance the space’s ambience and get your creative juices flowing.
“No matter the size of your home office, consider dressing up plain walls with shiplap,” Chick says. “For example, pecky cypress paneling can add a layer of detail and texture to a boring nook in a master bedroom, which would be otherwise overlooked and underutilized.”
Make Sure it Functions
Whether with a laptop or tablet, you could set up shop anywhere with a reliable WiFi signal—but that doesn’t mean you should. Having a dedicated workspace helps keep you on task. And when it comes to selecting a suitable desk, Jane Frederick of Frederick + Frederick Architects in Beaufort, South Carolina, says there are two important factors to consider: design and comfort.
“Touching a solid surface speaks to the quality of construction,” she adds. “I once designed a desk made out of solid, river-recovered cypress, with a live-edge walnut top and plenty of storage. It’s built to last and stunningly beautiful.”
Keep it Flexible
Have you heard of adjustable height desks? Whether you choose to sit or stand, these surface solutions are highly popular and simple to build—even for novice-to-expert DIYers.
“Creating a custom desk is easier than it sounds,” says Julian Murphy of LucyDIYdesigns in Houma, Louisiana. “For desk tops, I like cypress, particularly pecky or sinker cypress, because it’s easy to work with, offers natural character, and slabs can be found in intriguing shapes. When selecting a finish, I prefer epoxy resins, which are durable and really show off the wood’s beauty. My most important advice is to strictly follow the epoxy resin instructions to ensure proper curing.”
Once your desk surface is ready, Murphy says you can easily attach motorized, adjustable-height desk legs or a traditional base.
Create a Place to Unwind
At the end of the day—or if you need a quick, mid-day break—it’s always refreshing to have a peaceful space to recharge.
“When designing a room that’s intended for relaxation, I like working with natural materials and light finishes to evoke calmness and serenity,” Chick says. “A pecky cypress ceiling is perfect for these rooms because the wood has a unique way of making spaces feel more authentic. The material exudes timelessness and irreplicable character.”