Sometimes being an empty nester has its own advantages. With your kids off to college, you have finally the chance to transform their old bedroom into a super-organised and stylish home office you’ll love spending time in. This space probably sits there largely unoccupied most of the time, so now at least it will get some use (especially when you have to work from home more than you did before). It will also give you an opportunity to go through its contents (a task some of us may be avoiding) and the chance to increase the quality of your work life as well as your mood.
Repurpose, rearrange, reuse
Creating a functional office space doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive. With a little pre-planning, it can be easy to work with what you already have in order to create a great space for yourself. And if you have to start from scratch, there are plenty of ways to do so without breaking the bank. Look for gently used office furniture or wait for a sale before buying something new. You also may choose to “shop” around your home with what is already there. Rearranging and reusing pre-loved things can help you refresh a room quite easily.
Here are 10 easy ways to transform your kid’s bedroom into a space you can call your own.
Store what’s important to you but get rid of the rest. The first step in getting your kids’ bedroom changed over to an office is to go through the room’s contents and make three piles: toss, donate and keep. You may even want to have your kid help you go through everything to ensure you don’t get rid of things they deem important. For proper storage, you may get some airtight containers. You can put them away in the basement or in the attic, otherwise, if you plan on keeping a bed in the room because it is large enough, you can use the space right under it as a great option for “hiding” everything.
Update the walls
Is your kid’s room still painted a colour they chose at some point in their childhood? Painting is a quick and inexpensive way to transform a space; select a palette that feels right for you because colour can really impact your mood. Picking one you love will help to create a space that helps you to feel inspired. There’s no right answer here, it all depends on what you like. Whether that is a neutral or bold colour, pick something you won’t get tired of and will look forward to seeing each day. After all, you will be spending a lot of time there!
Switch up ‘the foundation basics’
While you’re at it, it’s a good idea to look at the current window treatments, rug, throw pillows or any other basics in the room. If you don’t love them, consider replacing them. These details make all the difference in a room. Finding new ones is a sure way to transform a space into one you won’t associate with your kid’s bedroom any longer. Look online for inspiration and really think about the type of style you are going for to make sure it will be a room you love for years to come.
Make the room work for you
Rearrange the furniture and change the layout of the room. Consider putting your desk near a window so you aren’t staring at a blank wall all day. Also, keep in mind that if you are on video calls a lot for work, you’ll want to face your desk in a way that has a great background for your meeting. When picking the right spot, you’ll also want to make sure that there are enough outlets nearby for everything to be plugged in. And finally, think about how you like to spend your work breaks. Do you love stretching or doing a quick 5-minute yoga flow if you’re in a rut? Make sure you have space to move around.
If you plan to make your office as functional as possible, you’ll want to add storage where needed. This can be in the form of a bookshelf, a modular shelving system or filing cabinets for all of your office supplies and equipment such as a printer, paperwork etc. A pinboard and a tray table will also provide extra room to store items and keep them organized in their designated areas. Starting with a well-planned space where everything has a home is a great start to creating the work-space you envision. Just make sure your drawers aren’t just hiding a mess by using drawer organizers.
Bring joy into your new space
Now, this is the really fun part of making the office your own! Make the room a place that is a reflection of your personality and style. Do you love aromatherapy? Add a diffuser for favourite oils or a spot for a candle that has a scent that is inviting. Add pictures that make you happy or keepsakes from your travels. Another thing to remember is setting up a sound system if you enjoy listening to music while you work.
Whether real or fake, having a plant or two will add some greenery to your space. They can have a positive impact on mood and stress levels, they can make a room feel more inviting and welcoming; they can even help your new space feel like somewhere you don’t mind spending most of your day. Consider buying fresh flowers each week; it might be a grocery store splurge but it really pays off.
Light up your space
Working at home gives a great opportunity to choose more flattering lighting than what is in most offices. To cut down on eye-strain and headaches, you will want to make sure your office has plenty of it. Ensure you have an overhead light that is bright enough. A small lamp on your desk is a necessity if you work at night or often work when it is dark outside. If you have a lot of natural light, check it doesn’t impact where you monitor is placed, otherwise, you will deal with glare during the day.
Hide the cords
Having a stylish but also functional office can be a difficult task. Between a computer, printer, chargers and a phone, there are going to be a lot of cables. Fortunately, there are some appealing cord organizers that can help you hide those wires or at least organize them so that they aren’t an eyesore or impeding on your productivity.
Accept that it might need to be a multipurpose room
Does your kid come home once or twice a year? Make sure that you have another room that he or she can stay in when they come home. In case they will stay in the space you now call your office, you’ll want to pick multipurpose furniture that can do double duty. Consider a pull-out couch for a place for them to sleep and a little side table that can work also as a nightstand for when they are home. Our children may have moved out, but that doesn’t mean they won’t ever return. Make sure they feel welcome anytime.