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January 2016

6 Home Office Trends to Inspire You

You may already have a room – or a corner – in your home that you use as an office. Working from home is an option that many Americans are choosing...and even enjoying. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 23 percent of U.S. workers did some or all of their of their work from home in 2014. But what you need in a home office depends on whether you run a home-based business, bring work home regularly, telecommute a few days a week or simply need a place to put your laptop to pay household bills. If you've vowed to remodel your home to make it a more beautiful, more efficient or more relaxing place to work, here are some ideas to inspire you now and keep you on track later.

1. Colors Set the Mood. Pick a color scheme to complement the work you'll be doing. Gray is soothing and thoughtful. Splashes of red can keep your creative juices flowing. To maintain a relaxing beach vacation vibe all year long, choose white with ocean blue accents. Wallpaper is even back in case you'd like to add some interesting texture and pattern to the room.

Home offices

2. Inspiration Boards. No matter what kind of work you do, a little inspiration goes a long way! If you use Pinterest or Houzz, you're already familiar with digital inspiration boards. Put a corkboard on the wall near your desk and fill it with images that provide a creative spark or keep you focused and energized. Add what you love: family photos, your child's art, vacation postcards, magazine clippings, fabric swatches or your favorite quotations.

3. Think Vertical. If you don't have a lot of floor space or just want to keep your desktop clean, put the walls to work. Take advantage of vertical space with floor-to-ceiling built-in cabinets or shelves (with a library ladder) and a pegboard, magnetic board or corkboard. Hooks, magnets, bins, boxes and baskets keep things handy while controlling the clutter.

4. Pocket office. The trend toward smaller homes plus adult children or aging parents moving in means less space (and no spare bedroom) to devote to an office. The answer for many families is the "pocket" office, a workspace carved out near the high-traffic areas of the home, often in a closet with the door removed or in an alcove. It's a hub for home management activities: paying bills, coordinating the family's schedules and keeping everyone organized.

Home remodeling - pocket office

5. Technology is Your Friend. A row of file cabinets is so last century! Use the cloud for document storage and backups of important files. Scan documents and then shred or recycle them. (But first, learn what papers you need to save for tax and legal purposes.) Use Smartphone apps to take photos of receipts and voilà, no more shoeboxes! Go wireless and cordless with your devices whenever possible. We can help make sure you have plenty of convenient outlets in the room layout to plug in everything for recharging.

6. Multi-level Lighting. What's one of the best things about an office at home? No overhead fluorescent lights! Add a large window for natural light, then supplement it with a desk lamp, pendant lighting and task lamps that add illumination right where you need it. Make sure that it's all arranged to avoid putting annoying glare on your monitor.

Whether you want to be in the middle of the action or in a quiet nook with a Do Not Disturb sign, we can help you create a home office that suits your style. Just give us a call.

Maintenance Tip: Don't Risk a Sump Pump Failure

Get your sump pump checked out now to avoid the risk of water damage and staggering repair costs if it fails when you need it. Consider getting a high-water alarm that will alert you of problems and/or a battery-powered back-up sump pump that kicks in if the power goes out.

Nice summer sunset. Good to see this time of year.
Nice summer sunset. Good to see this time of year. 

What's the Story

Happy New Year!

Many of us start the year with a number of goals, and at the top of most people's list is to be better organized. As a subcategory of being organized, perhaps you may want to work more from a home office or just better organize your home office so it is more efficient for the time you spend there. Besides, the quicker and more efficiently you can do your home management tasks, the more time you can spend on you hobbies!

An office space can be as simple as a dedicated desktop in your dining room (that is where my business started!) to a full-blown writer's residence. Think through what is most important to you and let us help you get organized. My first stop is the Container Store – they cover almost anything in the area of home organization from garage storage to bird food and everything in between.

My outhouse, 2 years ago. A real winter!
My outhouse, 2 years ago. A real winter! 

We are busy getting projects ready to go for the spring as well as a few basement remodelings under way and a kitchen that will start in the next 2 weeks. One kitchen remodeling is in a downtown condominium that will be a fun transformation from its current style. It is located downtown with a view of the river and the new Vikings stadium. (Oh right, I have forgotten about that last Vikings game...)

I have a few ski trips planned, and a trip with my wife to my friend's farm home outside of Atlanta to help him wire his new farmhouse. Enjoy our blast of winter. It's not as bad as it could be!

John Sylvestre

Until next month,

John Sylvestre
Phone: 612-861-0188

Sylvestre Remodeling & Design