Design 101: Your home is your…office?

The times they are a changin’. As we contemplate the best way to adapt our business to the new realities of working from home, many of us question what’s the best way to set up our office. This month we answer some of your pressing WFH questions.

Where do I even begin? 

The first step in any project is always to consider your needs. What functions do you have to perform? From there we select the forms that allow you to fulfil that function. Do you need a computer, fax, and/or shredder? Do you need seating for clients? How many people might be in your office at one time, and what will they need when they are there? Ideally each of those questions will be answered in a”branded” manner consistent with your businesses values.
Pro-tip: Overwhelmed? You don’t have to go it alone. In our most self-serving pro-tip ever, you can always hire a pro. 

I hate seeing cords running across the floor. Is there anything I can do about them?

Aside from using cordless items, yes. Cords can be run across, up, down, or through. Across is generally accomplished using cord management solutions such as cable or “zip” ties. Up to an overhead powersource is not just for lights, many commercial spaces utilize this solution. Down is similar to up, locating an outlet in the floor is a great solution that often is the best for hiding wires. Through can be achieved with grommets installed in desks or ports installed in walls.
Pro-tip: Once again, as we have cautioned many times before, always have a licensed and insured electrician complete any work. Potentially saving a few dollars is never worth the risk and liability.

What temperature light bulb should I use? 

This is a very big consideration, and we are well aware that people have very strong feelings on the topic. Personally we like warm lights with a high “CRI” (color rendering index). 2700K is good; however for some applications a significant shift all the way to 5000K is more appropriate. The best practice is to establish multiple overlapping zones of lighting — general, task, and accent —  consistent with the specific needs of your industry.
Pro-tip: Make sure to consider the sources of light in the room when determining the location from which you will be videoconferencing. A strong backlight is very detrimental to the visual quality of a video call.

My home office is so noisy, will hanging curtains help muffle the sound?

Alas, no. While technically the treatments will absorb some quantity of sound, the amount is not significant. Drapes make poor acoustical baffles. Applying a second layer of drywall or covering the walls and floors with cork is a better alternative.
Pro-tip: Sound is carried through the air. Your room is not airtight, so it will not be soundproof. The areas behind outlets, vents, and under doors let in more sound, but your top culprit is normally windows. 

Yaron Linett
About Yaron Linett 37 Articles
Yaron Linett is the principal designer of Formal Traditional, a full-service design firm located in Warrenton. To submit your interior design questions, drop him a note at or visit

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