Designing Your Own Home Office – Part One

People are working from home now more than ever. With working remotely becoming more normalized in the past two years, many may desire to have a dedicated workspace in their home that goes beyond sitting at their kitchen table with their laptop. Putting together a home office can be as simple as putting a desk and chair in a spare corner of the house. However, if you want to get the most productive results from your work, you should consider dedicating an entire room to a new office, if you can spare the
space. Designing an ergonomic home office that is unique to you can be broken down
into several parts depending on what you’re looking for. When coming up with ideas for
your new office, you’ll want to consider the following:
• Lighting
• Paint Color Sound Proofing
• Sound Proofing
• Storage
• Furniture & Décor

Today we’ll explore Flooring, Lighting, and Paint Color for the home office to help you determine which designs provide the best form and function for your day-to-day occupational needs. We’ll be covering the latter three design aspects, Sound Proofing, Storage, and Furniture & Décor, in our next blog post, so stay tuned!


The best kind of floor for a home office interacts well with furniture (i.e. sliding swivel chairs), is durable, sound absorbent, and practical in design. There are a number of different flooring options to choose from, but today we’ll be looking at three of the most popular options: hardwood, vinyl, and laminate. While hardwood is the most expensive flooring option, it is an ideal choice for many due to its durability, longevity, natural look/feel, and wide variety of styles. Solid Hardwood and Engineered Hardwood are the two major types of wood flooring. The similarities and differences between the two, according to Shaw Floors, are shown below:

Real WoodReal Wood
Single Cut of WoodMulti-Layer Wood Construction
More susceptible to expansion and
contraction from change in temperature.
Less susceptible to expansion and
contraction from temperature change than
Should not be installed below grade-level
(ground level) or other high-moisture areas.
Can be installed on any floor in your home.
Installed using Nails or Staples and cannot
be installed over concrete subfloor.
Installed using Nails, Staples, Glue-Down
or Floating Methods and can be installed
over a concrete subfloor.
3/4″ Thick3/8” – 1/2” Thick
Costs more than engineered.Costs less than solid

Vinyl and laminate flooring are durable, low-maintenance alternatives to hardwood flooring. While they are both very similar, there are a few key differences that set them apart. These differences include resistance to moisture, lifespan, and cost.

Durable, Low-MaintenanceDurable, Low-Maintenance
Harder, colder underfoot feelSofter, thicker composition for
warmer underfoot feel.
Made Completely Out of PlasticNOT Moisture Resistant
Moisture, Scuff, and Stain Resistant.Scuff, Scratch, and Stain Resistant.
Many style & design choices that mimic
wood, stone, tile, and other aesthetics.
Many style & design choices that mimic
realistic and artistic aesthetics.
Higher Cost than laminate,
still budget friendly.
Lower Cost than vinyl, still budget friendly.
DIY InstallationDIY Installation


Proper lighting in your home office is a key part of a focused and productive working environment. It is best to use natural lighting when possible as it improves mood and productivity. However, incorporating natural light into your new office can be difficult if your space lacks many windows, or is in a part of the house that is hidden from the sun. If this is the case for you, you’ll need to use ambient lighting instead.

Ambient lighting, also known as general lighting, is the most basic form of artificial light. It tends to be the most dominant light source in a room and primarily comes from ceiling or wall fixtures. For home offices, it is best to keep ambient lighting indirect and diffuse it throughout the entire room.
Diffusing the light will illuminate the entire room without casting distractingly harsh shadows or glare.
“Warmer” light is the preferred temperature of office lighting, as it mimics natural light the best.

Accent lighting, also known as decorative lighting, is meant to
add visual appeal to a room by highlighting key areas. These areas
typically include shelving displays or wall art. This added light creates importance and draws attention to the area in a way that complements the entire room. Accent lighting emphasizes the parts of your office that makes it unique to you!

Task lighting is a brighter, more concentrated form of light. It
illuminates the most functional areas of the room (i.e., your desk) to help carry out tasks by increasing visibility. Task lighting in an office setting can help increase productivity, help maintain
workflow, and reduce eyestrain. Adjustable lamps are the best form
of task lighting.

Paint Color

Selecting color for your home office, or any room for that matter, takes a bit of a psychological approach in how it promotes your activeness within the area. Of course, you will want to choose a color that will maximize productivity and focus throughout the work day while simultaneously appealing to your personal tastes and complementing the rest of your home. You will want to choose colors that are not distracting to you based on the type work you’ll be doing. It is also important to consider the amount of natural light that is in your new office. Painting the room, a dark color when there are not many windows to let in natural light can end up making the room feel smaller than it actually is. If you want your room to feel bigger PPG suggests adding an accent wall which creates a focal point for the room and enhances the space overall. Accent walls are a simple and inexpensive way to liven up any room. Make sure you are completely happy with your final color decision before going forward with the project. If you’re not happy with the color now, you won’t be happy with the color later.

The following table shows how different colors evoke different sentiments.

YellowActivity, Engagement, Creativity,
Optimism, Playfulness
RedHigh energy, Active, Bold, Strong,
Powerful, Progressive
OrangeMiddle ground between Yellow and Red.
Strong yet Playful
GreenCalm, Promotes Balance, Concentration,
and Focus, Natural
BlueFocus, Reflection, Task Presence, Less
GrayLess efficient unless paired with accent
colors to stimulate productivity.

A home office is a personalized place for productivity and practicality. Since you will be spending so much time in your home office during the week, it is important that you choose aesthetics that will draw the most efficiency out of you with the space that is available.

LaValley/Middleton Building Supply is here to help you choose the best options for flooring, lighting, paint, and more for your home office. Visit one of our 12 locations throughout New Hampshire and Vermont to get started!

Stay tuned for Part Two of this blog where we’ll be covering sound-proofing, storage, and furniture & décor for your home office!

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