Work’s a Beach: Give Your Home Office a Summer Refresh

Everyone talks about spring cleaning, but what happens in summer? Yes, the weather is wonderful, but there should be some sort of translation into the look and feel of your home, too.

If you work from home, the best place to give your space a summer refresh is in your office. It’s already somewhat of a bummer to have to work when it’s warm and sunny outside, so bring some of those good vibes inside to tide you over ‘til you can make your way outdoors.

Here are five of the easiest ways to give your office the refreshment it needs this summer:

1. Let the Light In

Summer brings the sunshine with it, and you should take full advantage of natural light while you have it. If your home office has curtains made of dark, heavy fabrics, switch them up for summer! Bring in something breezy and sheer to let the light flood in. If you can’t replace your linens, be sure to throw the curtains open while you’re at work, at the very least.

This switch will not only make the room brighter, but you’ll reap some benefits to your productivity if you work in the natural light. Studies have shown that people who sit in natural light have better sleep cycles after work, which means they’re more energized by the time work rolls around. In other words, it’s the kind of endless cycle you want to get into.

2. Paint the Walls

Nothing says summer like construction-grade beige, right? Wrong! Swap out your run-of-the-mill office colour palette this summer in favour of something more, well, summery.

Pale blues and greens — the ones that wash in with the waves at the beach — will also keep you calm. Really, any muted version of your favourite colour can have a calming effect and reduce some of the stress that comes with work.

If you already have furniture in your room that you love — think, a uniquely upholstered chair, for example — you will have to choose your paint colours based on the existing palette. Picking a colour out of said fabric will help you draw attention to your favorite piece while creating a room that makes sense. How’s that for a summer makeover?

3. Pot Some Plants

Spring gets all the credit for lush foliage, too, but summer is no slouch. Bring some of that greenery into your office to improve its summer vibe. A few potted plants will do wonders for the look and feel of your space, and they’ll also have some health benefits to boot.

A simple houseplant can help improve the air quality of your office, improve your office aesthetic and make you feel happier just by looking at it. Lots of indoor houseplants are low maintenance, too, which is great for busy telecommuting employees.

If you have a flourishing outdoor garden, bring some of the fruits of your labor inside, too. Clip a few fresh flowers and put them in a vase on your desk for much of the same mood-boosting side effects. You’ll probably get a brighter pop of color from your fresh flowers, too, and everyone loves that look.

4. Re-Organize

You probably cleaned out your office last season — it’s spring cleaning, after all. It doesn’t hurt to do it again, especially if it’s already clear your cleaning efforts have been undone by your day-to-day life.

The biggest culprit in most offices are stacks of documents that are important, but don’t have homes. Take time to go through your stacks and recycle everything you no longer need. Then, file everything else away!

You can make things even more streamlined by moving your filing system online: yes, scanning everything will take a while, but the space it’ll free up in your office will be unbelievable.

Reward yourself with a few desktop organizers that are equal parts functional and aesthetically pleasing. Plop your pens, post-its and other office supplies in there for easy access to everything you need so, when a surprise call comes through, you can grab a pen, listen up and take notes.

5. Make It Your Own

Finally, one of the best things about working from home is that you’re home. Even though your home office is the place you go to do work, it should still feel like a piece of your home. Take time to select accessories and furnishings that make you feel comfortable.

To that end, you can personalize your home office with family photos, tchotchkes and other accessories you might not necessarily display in a cubicle but work well in your own home.

If your home office is representative of who you are and a representative of the year’s warmest, brightest season, then, well, we can only imagine how much you’ll look forward to heading to your home office every day.

Sarah Landrum

Sarah Landrum recently graduated from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR. Now, she's a freelance writer and career blogger sharing advice on navigating the work world and achieving happiness and success in your career. You can find her tweeting on her coffee breaks @SarahLandrum

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