There are many reasons why working with your laptop while sitting on the sofa is not the best strategy in order to create a successful home business. If you are serious about your home based business, eventually you’ll need a home office and in order to maximize your productivity you’ll need to get familiar with designing a home office that suits your needs and your budget. This beginners guide to designing home office interiors aims to show you where to start and how to avoid common pitfalls.

Choose and Measure Your Space

Most home based businesses require little in terms of office space, and it’s often preferably to use a small room and make the most of it through good furniture than occupy half of your dining room implementing your self employment ideas, especially if you know you’ll be distracted often. But in order to design home office interiors that work and feel good, you’ll need to measure that space. Do not feel tempted to just go by what your eyes tell you, or you may end up buying furniture that you cannot fit or making your home office feel cramped and uninviting.

If you have an idea of the sort of furniture you want to buy it may be worth using tape to draw the contours of the main items on the floor, in order to make sure that you have enough room to move your chair, walk around or open drawers to access your paperwork. Keep in mind the location of windows (to avoid uncomfortable glare on your computer screen) and telephone and landline sockets, as that may limit your choices.

The amount of natural light can also affect your perception of space. A well lit office is vital if you are going to be working with a computer or reading documents often, but it will also help make the room look bigger. So if you have tons of natural light you may be able to get away with using more furniture, or even using darker colours without it looking overpowering. On the other hand, if your office is not so well lit, using mirrors and light coloured furniture can help it look bigger and more relaxed.

Set Your Priorities

Before going into shopper mode is important to set your priorities and decide what items you absolutely need, which gadgets are cool to have but can be bought later and which things are just a waste of money at this point of time. For example, if your plan is to earn money writing you will need a good desk, chair and computer screen in order to work comfortably. Look for home office interiors on trade magazines and blogs of people who are successfully doing what you are starting, and see where their priorities lay.

You are designing your home office interior for the business you have, not for the business you’ll have in a year or three. So don’t buy a whole set of chairs and a conference table if you aren’t going to have client meetings for a few months, or you may waste both space and money. Having a clear idea of your priorities before you start seeing beautiful office furniture you would love to buy may help keep your feet on the ground and avoid impulsive purchases. It will also help you apportion your budget, so you don't spend half of it on a beautiful wooden desk and then discover later on you don't have money for a comfortable office chair.

Research Online and Offline

The internet is filled with inspiration for home business interiors design, and you can find office setups that cover almost any possible need or restriction, so before spending hours trying to figure out how to fix a particular issue with your home business, check online. If you are trying to start a business with little money you may find the Internet a great source of 2nd hand office furniture and DIY ideas that can save you a lot of money.

However, you should also check out trade magazines and even shop showrooms, even if you don’t intend to buy anything, as that can open your eyes a lot in terms of what is possible, and how it actually feels once you are there. For example, that micro-office setup that looks amazing on the website may be extremely uncomfortable and crowded once you see it in person at a store. Try to imagine how things will look once your papers, snacks and notes are spread around the desk, in order to avoid buying something that doesn’t fit your lifestyle or level of chaos.

Spend Money Where it Matters

You don’t need a lot of money to start your small home based business, but you need to spend what you have wisely. If your budget is limited, it’s best to focus on spending most of your money on the items that you’ll use the most, and choosing cheaper options on those that will be seldom used. This is where planning and setting up priorities in advance helps: You want to buy first the things that you’ll use the most, and leave for later those that are necessary but not a must-have.

For example, don’t spend all your money buying an amazing storage system unless you know you are going to need it, or you may discover how much time you can waste due to low quality equipment or an aching back caused by a cheap office chair. Always choose your health, and spend money on ergonomic designs and office approved furniture over things that look amazing, but will give you a backache after two days.

Planning your home office interior design is key to increasing your productivity when working from home and that in turns means you’ll make more money, money that you can tend spend buying even better furniture and equipment. Working from home gives you a unique opportunity to use your creativity to create the perfect working space exactly to your tastes. A place you’ll love going to work every morning.