Design the home office | Furniture Lighting and Decoration
With the abrupt shift to most consumers working and learning remotely, the spaces within their homes have become mixed. For many, the home office is also the dining room, and the kitchen is also the classroom. As a result, consumers are looking for home furnishings that combine form and function, whether by repurposing products, incorporating color into a space, or using the latest product technology.
Furniture all categories
In 2021, consumers created home offices using a wide range of furniture, trying to make the most of their spaces. As home office product lines have become increasingly popular, the use of non-desk items repurposed for work has also increased – long-legged tables have been used as standing desks, bar carts as organization tables and more.
As a result of this change, retailers began to group products from all categories into an overall “work from home” segment.
“Not everyone has a dedicated home office,” says Neil MacKenzie, vice president of marketing at Universal Furniture. “Even if that means turning a second bedroom into a mixed-use space where one could work, we’ve seen several unexpected products meet the needs of things that would be more traditional.”
Universal’s home office line includes consoles, desks, chairs and more, though not all products fall under the traditional home office cohort. The group recently launched a vanity desk, for example, which is suitable for both a bedroom and a home office.
“Nowadays, we’re not creating the traditional executive office,” MacKenzie says. “Since the product is a hybrid of desk and vanity, depending on your needs, it could serve either. Some people might just need a sleek desk with some storage. other needs.
MacKenzie says he also saw several shelves from Universal used for storage.
“I think people are looking for ways to create a bit of storage, but still have the space to spread out for a while,” he says, “We’ve seen customers opt for vertical shelving instead of “horizontal, depending on the constraints of their space. We’ve even seen small kitchen items, like bar-height tables, being used in spaces they weren’t intended for, but it’s totally functional.”
Universal’s Elena Counter Table lives the double life that MacKenzie has familiarized us with. Although it works as extra seating in a living room, its three bar-height stools make it versatile.
“It can definitely work [as intended], but we’ve seen that it also creates a really functional workspace, almost like you’re sitting and working in an airport lounge,” says MacKenzie. “You could easily have two people sitting on either side working for a while, if you wanted to.”
Technological benefits, health benefits
The pandemic has also created seismic shifts in customer behavior. With consumers finding themselves working and studying at home, they needed furniture and other supplies to stay productive.
At Twin Star, the group is seeing an increase in performance, especially in electronic height-adjustable desks, according to Lisa Cody, the company’s senior vice president.
“The continued proliferation of electronic devices to support office activities has spurred demand for desks and tables with built-in outlets, cable management systems and other compatible features,” she says.
The band’s mechanically adjustable standing desk, for example, has garnered widespread attention during the pandemic, even going viral on TikTok.
The desk allows users to program three different height settings via an integrated control panel. To combat the increasingly sedentary lifestyle of working from home, a built-in timer also reminds them to stand up throughout the day.
“It’s benefited customers in terms of productivity and promoting a healthier lifestyle,” Cody says.
The desk also features wireless charging and a multiport dock for additional devices. The partitioned drawer stores office supplies to keep the essentials close at hand.
“The glass top is also dry-erase compatible, so you can keep reminders or goals in view at all times,” says Cody.
Wildwood Furniture’s Laurie Acree, Director of Design and Visual Merchandising, has been focused on incorporating color and vibrancy into her home office designs during the pandemic. Its recent Bamboo Office series has been a great success.
With the Bamboo Series, customers have the option of adding pops of Benjamin Moore paint color to any room – a pale pink on the inside of a drawer or a moss green on the back of a shelf. Wildwood’s Savannah lamp series also allows customers to incorporate a matching Pantone lamp. Adding these subtle sections of color offers a touch of flair in a less overt way.
“I wanted to leave things a bit neutral for the work surface,” Cody explains. “If you think about it from an interior designer’s perspective, we need our work surface to be white or gray so that it doesn’t affect the colors we select for fabrics or wallpapers, and I really wanted our customers to experience color in a neutral way, but adding a custom color to a shelf or inside a drawer gives the room more pop.
The shelves in Wildwood’s bamboo cabinet and shelf were also designed to accommodate a home office printer on the larger shelf, according to Acree.
“I designed the shelf around the printer I use in our showroom,” she says. “It’s something that I found very important because the printers are so big. There’s also a place to run the cord so it’s tucked away and out of the way.
The bamboo cabinet also includes two usable drawers and a large work surface. Inside the cabinet, additional drawers are available for paper management.
“In our industry, color brings us joy,” she says. “During the pandemic, I felt it was important that we bring happiness to our customers. I think by incorporating color in a unique way, it went really well.