Does your home office inspire swoon-worthy Instagram #shelfies? Whether your home office is designated space for running a business, the occasional telecommute, or simply a nook for paying bills and organizing your schedule, you deserve more than a counter top and an extra chair stuffed into a corner.

Why? An office that reflects the design and comfort of the rest of your home is a place you’ll want to burn the midnight oil.

Here are five tips for creating a pleasant, convenient office work space.

1. Don’t sacrifice form for function. Your desk, shelves, and storage should serve you, not the other way around. Consider your workflow and what items you need at your fingertips before investing in furniture. Then look for pieces that are both beautiful and functional. Home office furniture should complement other rooms in your house instead of screaming “soulless cubicle.”

2. Invest in a great chair. You spend hours parked in your office chair; a beautiful, ergonomically-correct, comfortable seat is worth every dime. We like both the Humanscale ergonomic chairs, and the Ekornes: Stressless chairs which have several styles to fit the look of any room.

3. Master your technology. There’s not much you can do to beautify the computer, printer, and phone, yet you can hide unsightly cords. Start by making sure your equipment is close to outlets and easy to access if you need to unplug. Tame the cord jungle on the floor with cord winders, tubing, or a wire organizer that’s attached to the desk and lifts cords off the floor. Some office furniture has features that are built to hide unsightly cords.

4. Lighting. Make sure your office has plenty of light to cut down on eye strain and headaches. Position the computer monitor so there’s no glare from a window or overhead light. A beautiful floor lamp or small lamp on the desk for task lighting can add color and interest to the setting.

5. Sound Control. Let’s face it, distractions happen. When you are focusing on reaching a deadline, you want all attention to be on project in front of you, not the noise coming from outside the room. These sounds seep into a room through windows, doors, floors, walls and ceilings. Two ways to control outside noise are to add area rugs and draperies. If your home office floor is hardwood, tile or linoleum on subfloor concrete, you may want to try rugs or carpet coupled with sound-absorbing padding. (Cut-pile carpeting with its “fuzzy” top tested better at absorbing sound than loop pile.) Draperies can also be both sound absorbing and sound blocking. For sound absorption, look for heavy materials such as velvets and wools. If there’s a mass-loaded vinyl layer, even better. Hendrixson’s window treatment specialists can help you select fabrics that are both stylish and functional.

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