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Can't We All Just Get Along? How to Make a Shared Home Office Work


One space. Multiple people? No problem. There are a lot of tips and tricks to making a space universally work for all occupants. If you ever find yourself sharing a home office, you need to recognize what the needs of you and the other person are. Remember your college roommate and how you had to discuss a few ground rules at the beginning of the semester, like when to turn the lights off or who gets to use the shower first? Well, think of your shared space the same way. Even if the two of you are best friends or husband and wife, setting a few ground rules will ensure that the workspace is tension free.

For instance, will you both be using the office at the same time? If someone has to take a conference call, will you step outside or move to another area of the office? These may seem like basic questions, but they make all the difference in a work space. Once you settle these guidelines, you can start decorating the space! Keep in mind that the space isn’t necessarily only yours, so make sure you keep the space neutral and pick multi-functional pieces.


Keep it gender neutral.
In a multi-functional space, try to avoid non-neutral colors. Even though that fuchsia paint color may look fantastic, not everyone necessarily loves such a bold color in an office space. I recommend sticking to a neutral and sophisticated color palate. White desks are good options because it accommodates everyone. Also, to personalize each desk, add your favorite pops of color using fun accessories.  Accessories on each desk should be personal to the occupant, so allow everyone to use their favorite color.


Orient the desks to maximize efficiency
The set-up of a multi functional room is very important. Prior to placing the desks in a permanent position, I recommend mapping out the room and testing different options. For instance, you can place the two desks side by side or you can separate them into different corners. When placing the desks in the room, make sure to keep in mind where the natural sunlight is coming from and where there are optimal electrical outlets.


Pick multi- functional pieces
Not everyone uses an office space the same way. Some people may work better sitting at their desk, while others prefer to move around. When picking out furniture for the room, try to pick furniture that has multi-purposes. Coffee tables that can easily be moved around the room or floor lamps that extend to multiple heights are great functional pieces for an office space. Make sure that the pieces also have plenty of storage options. In a small space, you will need as many storage bins or hidden cabinets to keep any extra stuff hidden. 


Who doesn’t love some inspiration?
To decorate a space, pick pieces of artwork that are simple and appealing to everyone. I recommend framing inspirational quotes. Everyone in the office can pick his or her favorite motivational print to put on the wall.


Set aside space for a common area.
Having space to get comfortable and take a quick break during work is essential. Devoting a few minutes to recollect your thoughts or enjoy coffee will maximize your work-time productivity. In the office space I recommend sectioning off an area for a couch and a coffee table. This space will be useful if guest of clients come into the office. 


source: about.com


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Lifestyle Magazine: Can't We All Just Get Along? How to Make a Shared Home Office Work
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