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6 Lessons (37m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Lesson 1: Design Concepts

    • 3. Photoshop Basics

    • 4. Lesson 2: Developing a floor plan layout

    • 5. Lesson 3: Selecting Furniture, Lighting Fixtures & Accessories

    • 6. Lesson 4: Styling + Final Presentation


Project Description

Design your home office

Design Concepts

  1. Establish a concept

    Come up with your main idea, feeling, style aesthetic for the space.  This will be your design concept.  If you already have one, great. If not, look through imagery to find one. 

    At this stage it is one, idea.  We will develop and expand on it in the next step.

  2. Develop your Concept

    Use sources offered or your own to find imagery that supports your concept.  Anything that communicates the feeling and style for your concept.  This does not have to be of interior spaces!  

    Pull 20-25 images (or more), you will be weeding through these to select final images for your concept board(s)

    Save these images to your computer or bookmark them.

    See example of concept imagery for several past projects of mine (attached). Projects were residential and retail projects.

  3. Create your concept imagery boards

    Using photoshop or other software, create 1-2 imagery boards using the following specifications

    1. 8 1/2" x 11 sheet
    2. include your name / title text
    3. Save as RGB color for screen view
    4. files should be saved as .jpeg or .png files
    5. 72 dpi

    If you do not know how to use photoshop, I have a short basic tutorial on how to drag and drop images into photoshop and save the files.

    You can download a free trial version of the software from Adobe which is good for 30 days.  Otherwise you can use any other software that allows you to organize images onto a page with a title and save the files as a .jpeg or .png

    Upload your concept boards to share with your classmates. 

Developing a floor plan layout

  1. Document your space

    Using a tape measure, measure the following:

    1. length + width of your space
    2. location + size of windows + doors
    3. height of windows off of floor
    4. location of existing electrical outlets and ceiling lighting
    5. ceiling height
    6. location of any other fixed architectural elements (or furniture that cannot move (ie if part of a larger space)
  2. Draw the perimeter of your space

    For architectural drawings, we draw what is called architectural scale.  Basically, real life items are too large to fit onto a sheet of paper. Drawing at a scale, allows us to fit the drawings to a sheet of paper and be able to measure them.

    Using 1/4" graph paper, draw the perimeter of your space at 1/2" scale.  (each 1/4" square will be equal to 6" of space) *refer to sample perimeter drawing 

    1. draw wall thickness to the OUTSIDE of the space so that interior measurements match your measurements
    2. if space is between 6" and a foot, (ie 12'-9") estimate the location based on the 1/4" grid.
    3. locate doors, windows and electrical in plan (use sample floorplan for examples of symbols)

    Scan your perimeter plan and print several copies to play around with for your layouts.  

    *note: you can download printable graph paper at various scales (Imperial and metric) on many online sites for free.

    Measurement note:  this course is being taught using US standard Imperial method of measurement (inches + feet). If you are more comfortable using the metric system, this is fine.  You will need to find graph paper in centimeters and you will be drawing your plan at a 1:25 ratio (basically 4 centimeters = 1 meter or 4 squares of the paper = 1 meter)

  3. Developing your office layout

    Draw several options of furniture layouts for your space.

    Refer to examples provided and take the following into consideration as well:

    1. What type of work do you do (on computer, paper, drawing, etc)
    2. Based on how you work, how much desk space do you need, natural light, storage space, shelving
    3. What kind of equiptment do you need to accomodate and what size is it.
    4. Refer to your concept and think about how it may affect your furniture arrangement (ie minimal vs cozy)
    5. Use typical furniture sizes provided and sizes of any existing pieces you already have that you will be re-using to come up with your layouts.
    6. Choose a final layout to scan, upload and share with your classmates

Selecting Furniture, Lighting fixtures + Accessories

  1. Revisit your design concept

    Make sure you have your design concept board(s) printed out and at your side for a reference as we begin the next step

    Remember to stick to items that work WITH YOUR CONCEPT not just items that you may like.

    This will ensure that the final design is cohesive and looks well put together

  2. Establish a budget

    Make a list of the following that may apply using  spreadsheet software or notebook and create a column for a budget price for each item:

    1. finishes you will be changing (paint, flooring, decorative wall finish)
    2. furniture for your space (based on your layout)
    3. decorative lighting for your space (pendant light, floor lamp, desk lamp per your layout)
    4. Include a lump sum item for accessories

    If you have a starting budget that is defined, make a note of it.  As you select your pieces you can see how they are working within the budget.  Another way to do it is to set a budget price for each piece (this can vary substantially, so it may be best to start looking at pieces first)

  3. 2. Select finishes first

    Begin selecting architectural finishes for your office. This can include:

    • paint color(s)
    • flooring (if you are changing it- If you are just adding an area rug, wait until you are selecting your furniture to make sure it works together)
    • decorative wall surface (such as a wood paneled wall, wainscotting, etc)

    Below are few links to a few sources that I know of for some fun decorative wall products.  You can find paint at your local hardware store or paint store and flooring from local vendors.  Please consult a professional if you need help.

    stikwood easy to install wood paneling

    modular arts wall tiles

    tom haga concrete and brick wallcoverings (based out of norway - shipping charges will apply)

  4. Select your furniture and decorative lighting

    Based on your concept, budget and floor plan, begin looking for pieces to fit your design.

    Begin with larger pieces first (ie. desk, lounge chair or sofa) then move on to office chair, storage furniture, shelving, etc.

    Select lighting based on your layout.  Be sure to dedicate a good amount of attention and importance (and space in your budget) to your decorative lighting.  Lighting is a very imporant element in the space, both for light output and style.

    Here is a list of a few sources for modern furniture & lighting for your reference.  This is just a few. Feel free to use your own sources! 


    design within reach


    unica home


    west elm


    room & board

    lighting universe


  5. Select your accessories

    Remebering your concept select some accessories for your space.  These could include: a decorative mirror, clock, wall calendar, desk accessories, book ends, vase, etc

    Dont go overboard!  You can fill these in later as you use the space. (once your furniture is in etc)

    Sometimes less is more. Accessories add style but you want them to feel collected, not too planned.  Sometimes it is good to fill them in over time.

    Here are a couple links for modern accessories (also check your furniture list! Some of those companies carrry accessories as well)



Styling + Final Presentation

  1. Stylizing your office

    Looking back to your concept, begin to style your space.

    This can include placement of items on shelves locations of accessories, artwork etc.

    Refer to links provided below as well as magazines, other blogs etc for styling tips.

    Remember: good styling doesnt look forced! 

    Keep it natural yet organized looking.

    Have fun!

    *note: if you have not purchased your items yet, you can save this step for when you have everything together

    A few links of websites (stylists) + blogs with great styling (in no particular order) :

    style files

    patricia ketelsen


    interior styling

    matte black inspiration

    delicious designs

    Also, Apartment Therapy has a great collection of posts on styling

  2. Redraw Final Floorplan

    Re-draw your layout on graph paper (to scale) to correspond to your final furniture selections.

    Make any adjustments as needed.

    Scan your floorplan for use in your final presentation.

  3. Create Your Final Presentation Board

    Create a blank digital board for your final presentation.

    Board should be 18 x 24

    Collect your images of the following items to include on your project presentation board

    1. Board Title including your name & project name
    2. Final floorplan
    3. Images of architectural finishes used
    4. Images of furniture and lighting
    5. Images of accessories
    6. Optional:  a small collection of your key concept imagery to go with your final items

    Arrange these items onto a final digital presentation board using Photoshop or another software program

    Keep your layout organized and scale furniture images to the same relative scale.

    Upload this final board to share with your classmates!

Additional Resources

Student Projects

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Shannon P.
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Sharon Jenkins