4 home office challenges and how to solve them

Right now, you’re likely working from home and dreaming of a home office space that works a little better. My home-office wish-list went something like this: if I only had a window next to my desk, if only it felt lighter and brighter and bigger, if only I had something pretty to look at out that window– maybe a hot pink camellia, for example?

That’s a lot of “if onlys!” Whenever I find myself using that phrase I usually make an effort to ask, “what if?” What if I could have my desk next to my window? What if I could make it feel lighter and brighter using what I already have without buying anything new? A few weeks ago, I created a portable home-office in a basket, but deep down, I wanted to revamp my space. So, I sat down and made a list of all those “if onlys” and the “what ifs” that could solve the problems.

Turns out, with a little creative thinking, I figured out a new layout for my home office that feels better, and makes it much more user friendly! I thought I’d share some of the issues with the original layout, and what I did to rearrange that space so you can try them too! Sometimes, all it takes is moving the furniture to feel radically different about your space.

Issue #1: The desk faces a wall

Like many home office spaces, my desk faced a wall. I told myself this was how it had to be. My desk is a ladder desk, so it won’t work in front of the window, and I thought it looked best next to the matching bookshelf– and the two would only work side-by-side on that wall. But every time I sat down at the desk I didn’t like staring at a wall, so I’d often sit at our bar counter where I could look out to the backyard instead. Now the bar counter is the loudest, and busiest place in our home, so it wasn’t working anymore.

The fix:

Even though I thought it would look weird, I moved my desk so that it’s right next to the window. Turns out, this works better than I thought! While it isn’t right in front of the window, it does give me the option to look out the window easily, which I love!

Issue #2: Your back is to the door

The other issue with my office set-up was that it put my back to the door. Having your back to the door doesn’t feel good. Even if you know it’s unlikely that someone will sneak-up on you from behind, it still feels off-putting.

The fix: 

Move your desk, so that you have a view of the door– even if it’s just a peripheral view. By placing my desk next to the window, it also put me in a position to see the door to my bottom left. There’s something about this that feels so much more relaxing to me! As an alternative, you can hang a mirror in a place that will allow you to see the door.

Issue #3: Location of supplies is awkward

Before, my books, files, and printer, were all located on the left-side of my desk. The problem with this is that I’m right handed. I know it sounds crazy, but it felt awkward to grab things with my left hand. So I would reach over with my right, which meant I had to re-orient my whole body every time I wanted to grab something. Subtle things like this can make your office space feel hard to use.

The fix:

I moved the ladder book-shelf with my supplies so that it is located on the wall adjacent to my desk. It’s now on my right hand side, and is within easy reach from my chair. If I want to grab something, hit print, or reach into a file, it’s easy to do so. Having the desk and bookshelf adjacent and not side-by-side, actually works much better!

Issue #4: The power source is too far from your desk

My desk was far enough away from the outlet, that it posed two problems: the chords showed and looked messy, and they also posed a tripping/pulling hazard for my kids.

The fix: 

By moving my desk to the opposite wall, it placed it directly above the outlet. This solves both of the problems with the power source. It’s so convenient to have the power source right under my desk, and it hides it from view.

The finishing touches:

When I was finished rearranging, I decided to paint my desk white to lighten things up, and I splurged on a new rug that’s round instead of rectangular. The round shape makes the corner desk set-up look great and makes the room feel more inviting! A few cans of Rust-oleum spray paint later, and the desk feels completely fresh and new. I also had fun re-styling the shelves, and choosing just what I wanted to be within arms reach.

As I sat down to work from my desk a few mornings ago, I looked out the window and noticed the neighbor’s hot pink camellia, just off in the distance. It turns out, that a was there all along too! I just couldn’t see it until I’d rearranged things.

Here’s the before and after:

I’m so happy with my new home office set-up, and I hope this inspires you to change up your space in a way that feels good to you, too!



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