Updating Your Home Office for The New Normal

Adapting your home office is a lot like the rest of 2020: a struggle. You’re working tirelessly to adjust your work habits, find new ways to supervise and track your employees’ progress and you’ve likely increased communication efforts between clients, managers, contractors and owners (which has, no doubt, had a wide range of outcomes). But there’s always something missing; someone who doesn’t want to get on a video call, someone who remains unresponsive or plans that just don’t manifest themselves the same way they would pre-pandemic. To top it all off, you’re not in the brick-and-mortar “workspace” you’ve spent so long curating to your professional needs. Your at-home drawers don’t hold your years of scribbled reminders, your desk is missing that special something that gets you in the right working mindset.

Face it, your home will never be your office (there’s a reason we don’t shower and sleep at the office), but after looking at the same four walls for the past few months, a face-lift may be all your space needs to get your productivity up to snuff. A simple upgrade to the office cabinets you use every day will not only surprise your Zoom meeting attendees, it will get you in the right mindset to perform the way you would “pre-COVID.”

Prepping For A Revamp with Desk Cabinets

Working on a limited budget? Do you have pre-installed cabinets and drawers in your office? A great option is to only change out your cabinet doors. Picking out new colors that match with the cabinet base or even just mixing things up with new door panels can give your space a much-needed change.

How do you start your door-buying journey? Simple! Start by taking a look at your current set-up and identifying what needs to be replaced. Check to see if your doors and drawer panels you use are overlay or inset (how can I tell? Check out this guide). Then, take a tape measure (unless you already have the dimensions handy) and determine the width and length of all the items you want to replace.

Simple cabinet for working from home with your laptop

Once you’ve established the technical specifications, you can start formulating your look. A great place to start is the Conestoga catalogue. Take a look at the cabinet or drawer door shape and detailing that fits within your ideal office vision. Conestoga wood offers styles ranging from flat panels, to raised panels and mitered options. Alternatively, you can pick from the many collections at your disposal.

Tip: don’t shy away from cabinet doors or other products that are marketed for kitchen use! All products can be made to fit within your unique vision and uses.

Finally, let’s talk color. Since your new doors will take up the most visual area of your office space, it’s generally recommended to pick colors that match with your existing cabinets or pick lighter colors to make your space feel more open. If you want to match and aren’t sure of the current treatment or stain of your cabinet bases, Cabinet Makers Choice offers custom-matching (you’ll need to provide a physical sample) to produce the continuous look for your office space. Take a look at all of the color options.

Going Through The Options: Picking your Desk Cabinet or Office Base Cabinets

Not enough storage in your house or apartment? You don’t have to buy flimsy, temporary drawers to have this need met! New cabinets and drawers from manufacturers like Fabuwood or Conestoga can help, even if you don’t have the resources to invest in a full new desk set.

Begin by identifying your needs for your office space. Whether you have a dedicated room or a desk in a shared space, you still have your own unique storage needs. Do you have a wide variety of documents you need to access frequently? Try a desk base with drawers. Don’t worry! These are great to place or stack anywhere and you can even choose from two or three drawers. Picking drawers and cabinet bases can be tricky, but luckily, the list here can make the job straightforward. Tall wall cabinets are also a great option for those of us who like everything in one place.

Framed White Office Cabinets with Bookshelves

Finally, review the options for door shapes, detailing and color treatment to wrap up your revamp. Take a look at all of the color options and find the best fit for your space. You can match existing cabinet base pieces in your office or throw in a splash of color for contrast! It’s all up to you. If you have an idea outside of this catalogue, chat with one of our experienced sales reps!

Tip: The Conestoga cut down side drawer is a great option for those documents you need quick access to.

The Fun Part: Building Your New Home Office

Are you looking to start fresh? There’s no time like the present! Grab your demolition hammer and start by reviewing the selection of office base cabinets. Identify how you’d like to set up your desk space. Do you want your desk on legs or on cabinet bases? Do you want wall-hung cabinets? You can find great inspiration for your office space set-up on your favorite Pinterest board, Architecture Daily or even by browsing local real estate catalogues.

Tip: Pull-out trays aren’t just for your kitchen! They can be placed right under your desk for accessible keyboards or other computer accessories.

Custom framed wood office cabinets for working from home from a home office

Once you’ve got a general idea of all the components of your new productivity hub, add flair to your office space! Our list of accessories provides a great starting point. Here, you can pick valances, mouldings and various types of wood ornaments to make your project truly your own. Full list here.

Tip: For construction professionals, wall lattice kits are a great way to organize your plans! [Link, page 9]

Color can be tricky, but luckily, there are a variety of options to fit your aesthetic needs. Conestoga wood offers a wide selection of finishes, from stains to paint colors for you to top off your home office makeover. Check out the different stains offered and a full catalogue of the paint options to top off your project! For smaller projects, we recommend lighter colors to make your office space appear bigger.

Final Thoughts

If we’ve learned anything in the past few months of these unprecedented times, it’s that while we’re waiting for precedented times to return, we can adapt to overcome any hurdles life presents us with much better than we thought (with the right tools, of course). You can get back to that productivity level you got so well accustomed in the office by giving your home space the upgrade it deserves.