Decorating Your Home Office
One of the biggest perks of working from home is getting to design and decorate your office how you want. Okay, some may not see this as a perk, but trust me—it is! As I’ve discussed in a few previous posts, my college degree is in interior design and I’ve been in enough office spaces to truly appreciate the beauty and flexibility of the home office. You don’t have to deal with gray cubicles, boring desks, and institutional white walls. This topic may scare some people, but I’m here to provide some easy tips to help you get started. Trust me, as a medical transcriptionist, you’re going to want to make sure your office space is comfortable and inviting. You’ll be spending A LOT of time in that space.
Decorate the Desk
Your desk doesn’t have to be boring and utilitarian (unless you really like that utilitarian style). You can make that thing comfortable and handsome!
Probably the easiest way to change a desk’s look is to paint or stain it. You can even breathe new life into a desk that has seen better days. I bought a small desk at Ikea about 2 years ago and since then it had become all dinged up and the paint was starting to peel. It was a fun weekend project to sand it down and repaint it with a new “suit of armor.” I went with a simple semi-gloss black color to complement my décor, but the sky’s the limit. I have even seen desks painted with chalkboard paint so they can be drawn on, wiped clean, and redecorated.
Maybe you don’t have a ton of desk space and you want to use the wall right in front of or behind it for organization. There are so many store-bought options, but you can also go the DIY route and come up with some really clever and fun options. This article has just a few ideas to get you excited.
Decorate the Keyboard
As a medical transcriptionist, you are going to be more intimately acquainted with your keyboard than almost anything else in life. I love keyboards and personally own 6 of varying styles and design. In an upcoming post, I will be going through selecting the perfect keyboard for you, so we’re just going to discuss making the keyboard your own in this post.
There are 3 main kinds of desktop keyboard styles. There are the membrane keyboards that have fairly standard key caps, the membrane keyboards that have chiclet style key caps, and mechanical keyboards with customizable keycaps. It’s super easy to jazz up any keyboard and it shouldn’t cost a ton of money.
If you’ve got a membrane keyboard, either the chiclet style or regular style keycaps, you can jazz those up with awesome products like Washi tape. Washi tape is removable so you aren’t permanently committing to a design, but you can use it on the keycaps to add a bit of interest. You could decorate the entire keyboard or only the keycaps you want to stand out (such as keys used in your editing software shortcuts or commonly used transcription commands). They don’t significantly change the feeling of the keys and, again, they come right off if you change your mind. You can find a great article about it here.
If you’ve got a mechanical keyboard, there are options to change out the actual keycaps themselves. I own two mechanical keyboards and one has custom keycaps for the tasks I perform with it. I didn’t switch out all of the keycaps, but I did switch out the ones I wanted to be able to see quickly in peripheral vision while I’m working on that computer.
Decorate the Walls
Wallpaper may seem like something straight out of the 60s, but it really is coming back into style and it is not your grandma’s wallpaper. Making an accent wall of a cool graphical print can bring some great life to your office and make it more inviting. I wouldn’t recommend making the accent wall in front of your desk because it might distract you, but putting it on a wall behind you or to the side adds some weight to it. If bold prints aren’t your thing, you can still find some more mellow designs that speak to you. Check out some awesome wallpaper designs to get your creativity wheel spinning here.
If wallpaper just isn’t your thing, paint can make a world of difference. You want to pick colors that are inviting and comforting. Try to steer clear of colors that make you feel anxious or hurried. Those will be different for each person. For example, red is a strong color that can elicit strength, warmth, and excitement, but it can also be aggressive, defiant, and demanding. It all has to do with the shade and application of the colors. If you want to learn more about color psychology, check out this British site. Personally, I’m currently a bit obsessed with a green/gray color as a neutral tone and I think it looks great in an office with white accents. Here’s a sample:
I like the warmth of the color, and I feel like it’s just enough of a punch of color to avoid boringness.
Lastly, if neither wallpaper nor paint quite does it for you, bookcases or built-in shelves are excellent, functional options to give some interest and depth to your wall. If you plan on keeping physical resources in addition to your online ones, bookcases are easy to come by and there are so many styles to choose from. For example, Target sells simple bookcases in a variety of sizes and shapes at very affordable prices. You could even repaint them to match your décor, just like the desk.
I hope these ideas help you to get your creative juices flowing. Now, go forth and decorate your office space!