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Painting a Home Office: How to Balance Atmosphere and Productivity

Every home office should look different because every home office user is different. Working from home is a dream for many people; the freedom and control can be irresistible. But that does not mean that a home office is for daydreamers any more than that corporate cubicle. At the same time, a home office has the freedom of personality because it is tailored to just one person or couple as opposed to the sterilized flicker of the 32nd floor.

A successful home office must balance personality and productivity, and that balance is best achieved by a successful paint color scheme. Thus a successful color scheme and a productive home office begins with you: the home office worker, the denizen of dens.

Invite Activity with Color

The color must be one you like. Do not pick some color you hate just because it is loud. A home office should reflect your personality and promote productivity. Vibrant colors are excellent for an office, just be sure it’s one you can work with; in times of frustration you don’t want an ugly wall muddling your already fractured mind.

Do not try to match the office color scheme with the rest of the home. If it works out that way, that’s fine, but while this is a comfortable workspace, it is a workspace nonetheless. There is something to be said for leaving to go to work. A home office that looks like every other part of the house may contribute to cabin fever, and then you’ll find yourself frustrated and back in a cubicle somewhere wondering how it all went so wrong.

Enough with warnings and apprehensions and into colors. An office should be vibrant and evoke activity. That means bright shades. Some prefer reds, oranges and yellows, the obvious choices. Yet any color of the spectrum speaks different to different people.

Combine or Contrast your Colors

Look at it this way: Could you both work and take a lunch break in your new home office without feeling out of place in either situation? In other words, you want the office to promote an active mind while staving off anxiety at the same time. This can be done simply with a balance of paint colors.

There are really three ways to achieve this balance: a monochrome, parallel, or contrasting color scheme.

Monochromatic offices focus on one color, using different shades to provide subtle contrast. Take pale green walls with a slightly darker trim as an example. This works best with neutral furniture and accessories.

A parallel color scheme utilizes separate colors that are, however, very close on the color spectrum such as blues with light greens or a bright red with a soft pink.

Contrasting color schemes are for workers who want a dramatic work place. Here you’ll find yellow walls with blue trim. Perhaps a lighter brown with a dark green. A contrasting color scheme is for workers who feel that contrast on the walls brings balance within.

Getting to Work

Remember that a home office is personal space as well as work space, and just as the human body is the sum of all its many parts, so an office is too. That is to say that well-balanced walls and trim mean nothing if they clash with the many office accessories—desk, chair, appliances and the rest. If you have a favorite chair, a chair in which you feel both inspired and motivated, then for goodness’ sake do not leave it out of the equation.

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