Home Office Shelving: How To Combine Style and Function

Home office shelving, unlike utility shed shelving, needs to be both practical and stylish. Whether you're working in an office built in the garden or a room inside your house, it's important to create a functional workspace that also is aesthetically pleasing.

You need plenty of room to store and organize your office equipment and this should help to prevent your desk space from becoming cluttered and untidy. After all, research has shown that productivity increases with an efficient, comfortable and well-organized work space.

Here are some ideas for choosing home office shelving to help you create a stylish and ergonomic working environment:

Shelving Materials

Wood is the most popular material for shelves in offices. In the corporate world, deep mahogany is commonly used but it can be quite expensive as well as pretty austere in a small space. Oak or pine are lighter and better suited to small offices, but they are still solid wood and can be fairly expensive.

Many home office shelves are now built using wood laminate, which comes in a variety of shades and finishes. White laminate shelves on a background of white walls are really good for creating a streamlined, contemporary look. Then you can add some color with decorative pieces amongst your books and files.

Or for an ultra modern finish you could choose high gloss shelves or metal for an urban designed room. Just make sure that the look you choose matches the general style of your office.

Home Office Shelving Style

The cheapest option for home office shelving is stacking shelves. These are usually made from plastic but you can buy some with a wood or metal finish. They are great for stacking files and books as well as a place to put your printer, fax machine and shredder. Expect to pay anywhere from $20 for a simple, plastic four shelf design.

If you want to create a more stylish atmosphere then floating shelves are a really good option. You can buy these from most hardware superstores and they usually come with all the fixing mounts included. All you'll need to buy are the screws and wall plugs to attach them to the walls.

Floating shelves typically hold up to 20kg on each and are good for keeping storage boxes, decorative items and stacking files. They can be quite expensive however (around $50 for one shelf 70cm wide) and don't have any outside edges so books need to be supported by book ends.

Freestanding wooden shelving units are also very popular in offices and come in a huge variety of price ranges. At the budget end you'll be looking at wood laminate. At the top end of the scale you can buy large shelving units made from solid oak that incorporate a large desk, storage drawers and various shelves.

Ergonomic Considerations

If you're serious about working in your home office it's important to create an environment that enhances your productivity. The only way to do this is to carefully plan your layout and buy equipment that is both functional and stylish.

  • Reaching distance: when it comes to shelving, make sure you position your shelves within reaching distance of your desk. If you need regular access to your files and books you don't want to have to cross the room every time you need something.
  • Don't block natural light sources: shelves can be pretty bulky and can reduce the amount of natural light falling on your desk. Choose your size and position wisely. If needs be, add a small desk lamp to your shelves to add some extra light.
  • Compartments and drawers: cubby holes, drawers and compartments are a really good idea for keeping things separate, neat and tidy.
  • Practically designed: home office shelving should give you enough storage space to keep all your equipment comfortably. Don't forget, as your business grows so will your storage needs, so leave enough room for future expansion!

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