Tools to Design your ideal Home office

A home office has many advantages. It can save on travel time, increases convenience, and in many cases help productivity. But much like a traditional office, a home office has to be set up properly. A common flaw with home offices is it’s very easy to become distracted. The design of a home office has to be taken as seriously as its office building counterparts to assure effectiveness.

Above image by James Dear – The Lighting Judge

Key considerations of home office design include (but are not limited to):

A home office has to have stable internet access. The connection also has or be accessible, so wifi extenders, routers, and modem have to be carefully placed. Not knowing where a modem connects to the wall can lead to a situation where the computer is across the room from it necessitating long cables or wireless.

  • Good lighting both artificial such as lamps and natural such as sunlight.
  • A well-placed desk with enough room to move and work on.
  • Enough plugs or power strips for equipment such as computers, printers, monitors, phone and so on.
  • Other needed furniture such as a chair, filing cabinet, storage containers and a printer stand.
  • Lastly, consideration has to be given to the subtle aspects of good design. These include the overall furniture layout, color choices, and ergonomics.

Online Tools And Apps

As the above list shows, there are many factors that go into a good home office. Even with all the proper equipment figuring out how to place these items can present a challenge. In addition to this overall floor space has to be factored in as well. Every home office only has so much square footage to use. Here are six different online tools and apps to help in the office design process and help prevent common errors.

SketchUp: Can create a full 3D floor plan and room layouts. This gives a very precise idea of what a complete office floor plan will look like for daily use. It also offers 2D layouts and a paid professional version for more advanced features.

Ikea Planner Tools: This layout was created by the well-known furniture store chain. The platform offers floor plans for several types of rooms including home offices. This is a useful tool for creating a general floor plan. It also useful if the office designer favors Ikea products.

Sweet Home 3D: has both an online and downloadable version of its software. The site also offers optional registration to save online office layouts for later review. Finished floor plans can be viewed in both a virtual tour and aerial view formats.

HomeStyler: is a fully online 3D layout creator. What makes it stand out is it’s an entirely online product without any complex or time-consuming registration process. It allows for resizing of furniture, drag, and drop, and has several different design elements to make use of. It can also create 2D floor plans as well.

Planner 5D: is known for the versatility of the platform. It has several different designs, layouts, and interior options to pick from. It can create 2D or 3D renderings of proposed office layouts as needed. It’s also cross-platform and can run on Android, iOS, and Mac OS platforms.

Floor Planner: this is a simple and effective layout tool that offers a built-in office floor plan. The site has to be registered for with an email address. However, it does offer both free and paid versions. A key feature is the variety of furniture and architecture elements offered to allow for highly customized office designs.

Final Thoughts

An effective home office is reliant on good design. The above elements of a good office cannot be achieved by randomly placing office furniture. Office design tools create a blueprint that can be followed that prevents avoidable mistakes. Such mistakes are time consuming and can result in having to move furniture repeatedly or in some cases return it. Office design tools allow a designer to get an exact idea of how their layout and home office ideas will translate to the real world. This helps create a home office that meets all of the above-noted qualities of an effective office. It also creates a more uniformed approach to office setup and avoids multiple shopping trips or simply buying things randomly.  


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