Designing the Home Office: A Q+A with Kate Regan of The Sitting Room

Photos by Emily John Photography

It was a question with an obvious answer, but we had to ask nonetheless. “Have you been helping clients set up and style a home office since quarantine?” “Yes,” said Kate Regan, owner and designer of The Sitting Room in Excelsior. “I’ve definitely had requests for home office design.”

By now, those offices we rapidly set up to accommodate working at home with kids attending virtual school at the other end of the table, family members or housemates Zooming across from us, and pets wondering why we’re home all the time (Dogs: yay! Cats: when are you leaving?) might require some refining. So, we asked Regan to give us her tips and thoughts on making the home office really work for you.

Bonus! The products she recommends are available from The Sitting Room Boutique, the design firm’s ever-changing design lab replete with artwork, lighting, rugs, furniture, pillows and accessories. Here’s what Regan had to say.

1. A cohesive design style and color scheme are important for an office space. Psychologically, people are very affected by their environment. So, a well-designed space that brings joy and a sense of calm will contribute to productivity.

2. Good lighting is essential. You need not only task lighting, but also lamp lighting for ambiance. Make sure you have multiple lamps throughout your work space to keep the light levels balanced.

3. Provide yourself with comfortable seating (if space allows). It’s important to get away from your workstation and out of your desk time throughout the day. It’s nice to be able to sit in a comfortable chair for reading and phone conversations. A chair with great upholstering in a lively color or pattern is a great way to add color to your work area.

4. Consider wallcovering. An accent wall with an invigorating pattern always elevates the design of the room or small space.

5. Include great accessories. For instance, a funky pencil holder adds fun and whimsy [see photo]. Live plants in a lovely pot can add a pop of green, as well as freshness to the space. Put an inspirational quote in a frame to keep you motivated.

6. Include a piece of furniture with shelves and/or cabinets. The perfect piece not only adds to the overall design of the workspace, but provides a place to stash documents and hide clutter.

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