Get Back to School Ready with a Family-friendly Home Office Design the Whole Household Can Enjoy
The back-to-school season is officially upon us, and our Houston interior designers can smell the sweet scent of freshly sharpened pencils and new composition books. As your family transitions from the leisurely days of summer into the fall semester, you might quickly find your living spaces overrun with school and work projects — from the kids’ times-table worksheets and art projects to the grownups’ presentation decks and budget spreadsheets. We’re sharing our Designer Study Guide to help you contain everyone’s workload in a family-friendly home-office design that the entire household can utilize.
The Home Office Design Study Guide
Home offices are becoming more important than ever as an increasing number of adults join the work-from-home lifestyle. While remote work offers the luxuries of a relaxed dress code and a commute steps from the bedroom, it can throw off your work-life balance as projects start creeping into your home’s living areas. A separate home office is key!
As we gear up for the back-to-school season, our Houston design team thought, “Why can’t the home office be a place for the whole family to work together?” With a few tweaks, what’s often considered an “adult-only zone” could easily become another hub for family life where parents and kids can work together and even get in some extra bonding time. We have eight home-office design tips to transform your space into a family-friendly work zone that can handle any project, from end-of-year reporting to science fair volcanoes. (We even have an extra credit tip at the end!)
1. Do Your Homework
Your home office needs to utilize every square inch to accommodate video conference calls, arts & crafts projects, and daily household management. Do your homework and hone in on what everyone in the family really needs before you start designing. A computer workstation is a given, but the kids might also benefit from a cozy reading area or small table to run through flashcards together.
2. Zone Out
We’ve all had a moment where we’ve zoned out during a class lecture, but this type of zoning out will actually be productive. A family-friendly office must work for your family’s upper and lower classmen. Ensure everyone has their own dedicated work zone and design areas around different types of work.
Consider the following three types of spaces:
- Independent Study Stations — Include a desk workstation for everyone in the family. Built-ins are a great way to save space while maximizing work surfaces.
- Group Project Stations — Adding a table in the center of the room creates a communal atmosphere and provides an excellent spot for adults to help kids with homework and for kids to work on group projects together.
- Hangout Stations — Who said the home office couldn’t be fun? Adding casual seating for quiet reading time provides a much-welcomed break from the workday grind.
Make sure your home office is comfortable and functional. Pay attention to desk heights, chair ergonomics, and work surface area.
3. Strategize Storage
Creating a storage strategy early in the design plans will keep your family-friendly home office functional and beautiful. Add built-in bookcases to house textbooks, bins, and a few accessories. Keep the younger kids’ supplies clearly labeled and within reach on lower shelves. Additionally, rolling storage systems can be stored in the closet and moved to your workspace when needed. These are great for crafting supplies!
4. Think of a “Light Bulb” Idea
On the top of the home office must-haves list — proper lighting. Ensure each workstation has adequate task lighting that can be independently controlled. Place table or floor lamps near reading areas and finish off the room with a soft overhead light fixture. Natural light also plays an important role, giving the space a bright, airy, and welcoming feel. Select window coverings that can regulate the light without blocking it all out.
5. Write on the Walls
Our Houston interior designers are giving you permission to write on the walls! Just this once. Chalkboard, magnetic whiteboard, and cork walls offer great functionality and interesting textural wall finishes. These feature walls make for great spots to pin up important documents, brainstorm ideas, and even plan the family’s calendar of events.
6. Plan Your Homeroom Schedule
A family-friendly home office provides a space for the adults’ remote work and kids’ homework time, but the function doesn’t have to stop there. It is also the perfect room to plan and manage family life, from coordinating the calendar of after-school events to paying bills to creating a chore chart. Put the family in your family office and make this room another central hub of the home.
7. Refresh Your Art Class Skills
One of the joys of working from home is controlling your environment. So don’t re-create the gray cubicle. Instead, plan a design that energizes and inspires everyone in your family. Create the perfect home office by selecting peaceful wall colors, personalized art, cute accessories, and comfortable furnishings that make the space welcoming and inviting.
8. Get the Whole Family Involved
Your home office will be a family space, so involve the whole family in the design decision-making. This doesn’t mean letting the kids pick out highlighter yellow for the walls (unless that’s what the adults want, too). Curate a few options alongside your interior designer and work as a family to make the final selections. Having some say in the space will make homework time just a bit more fun.
Extra Credit: Make It Multifunctional
Now it’s time for the extra credit assignment. Interior designers are embracing multifunctional spaces, and home offices are no exception. With the right design, your family-friendly home office can transition from the work week into a weekend hangout spot for crafts, board games, and TV viewing. Now that sounds like an A+ design to us!
Ready for a Design Pop Quiz?
Quiz time! What do you need for a successful family-friendly home office design?
- Workstations for Everyone
- A Spot to Relax
- Proper Lighting
- All of the Above
The answer is D — all of the above! If you don’t know where to begin planning your home office design, enlist the help of a tutor (or an interior designer). Our team of Houston interior designers is here to guide you through the process and ace your office design. It all starts with a consultation.