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Crafting the Ideal Home Office: Insights and Design Strategies from Colorado Executives

In today’s evolving work landscape, the home office has become a cornerstone of productivity for many professionals.

While remote work has become the norm, creating a suitable home office space remains essential.

Collaborating with executives in Colorado has shed light on the critical features necessary for designing the perfect home office, seamlessly blending practicality with personal style. 

READ: Adapting to the New Norm — Post-Pandemic Work Culture and the Future of Remote Work

Structural essentials

When designing a home office, functionality is paramount.

Space layout, furniture selection and lighting design are the foundation for an efficient workspace. However, it’s crucial to go beyond the basics and consider how these elements align with workflow and practical needs.  

Effective space planning involves optimizing desk orientation, storage solutions and seating arrangements to maximize productivity.

For executives with ample space, incorporating a sitting area can enhance versatility, serving as a space for meetings, video calls or a personal retreat. This area allows for personalized touches tailored to individual preferences, balancing functionality with comfort and style. 

Lighting considerations extend beyond mere brightness, encompassing factors like screen glare reduction and harnessing natural light effectively throughout the day. This directly ties into desk orientation and how light — natural or not — will impact appearance or the ability to clearly view video meetings.

Personal preference needs to balance preference for a peaceful window view or a power position facing the doorway, with these considerations in mind. 

READ: Transform Your Workspace — Feng Shui Strategies to Increase Productivity in Your Home Office

Elevating with personalization

Every aspect of the home office, from floor to ceiling, offers opportunities for refinement and personalization. Statement wallpapers, distinctive flooring options and additional amenities like fireplaces or wet bars can infuse personality into the space while maintaining a professional demeanor.  

In the realm of furniture, the possibilities for personalization are endless.

While functional essentials like desks and chairs are paramount, Colorado executives often opt for bespoke pieces like leather-wrapped desks or vintage office chairs to elevate their workspace. Custom built-in cabinets serve multiple purposes, offering storage solutions, display areas for personal items and opportunities for unique design flourishes.  

Personal artifacts, such as art collections or prized possessions, can be seamlessly integrated into the home office environment, adding character without sacrificing professionalism. Color palettes and design themes provide avenues for expressing individual tastes, whether through subtle accents or bold statements in materials like rich woods, suede or embroidered fabrics. 

A few examples taken from Colorado executive home offices include: 

  • A contemporary art collection that adds style to the office, highlights their prowess in the art market and provides a focal point while pondering the days’work. 
  • Bold color in contrast to black millwork and bright white walls set a strong backdrop for the workday in one Denver home office. The vivid yellow in the space not only indulges the executive’s love of the color but creates a key visual in the space. 
  • The world travels of one executive resulted in a personal and quirky collection of turtles. This office includes their small figurines and an end table with a carved turtle head and feet. 
  • Embracing a love of flowers, one office displays the rich, varied colors they offer through rugs, cabinet hardware, upholstery on the seating, draperies and window coverings. The resulting vivid, fresh space full of color provides the perfect backdrop for this executive. 

Embracing the home advantage

While traditional office spaces still hold their place, the home office offers distinct advantages in today’s work landscape.

Whether curated independently or with the guidance of an interior designer, the home office enables executives to tailor their workspace to enhance productivity and aesthetic appeal.  

By elevating the home office environment, executives can create a space that reflects their professional stature while nurturing creativity and focus. Whether seamlessly integrated into the home environment or designed as a standalone oasis, the home office should elevate both work and design sensibilities. 

READ: 5 Tips for Setting up Your Home Office

The bottom line

Optimizing the home office is not merely a matter of convenience but a strategic investment in productivity and well-being. By leveraging insights from Colorado executives, individuals can transform their home offices into dynamic spaces that inspire success and innovation. 


Seah Hughes HeadshotOver the past two-plus decades, Sean Hughes has overseen more than 200 projects for a diversity of clients. As Mandil Inc.’s senior interior designer, his work — ranging from rustic bungalow remodels to the construction of a 12,000-square-foot home in the Rocky Mountain foothills — consistently elevates each individual space, whether contemporary, traditional or transitional in style. Sean’s projects also demonstrate an intimate understanding of the specialized needs of commercial clients, and developers who build for discerning patrons. For more information about Sean and his work, visit  

Transform Your Workspace: Feng Shui Strategies to Increase Productivity in Your Home Office

Many of us love the idea of working from home. No more lengthy commutes or the rigidity of a 9-5 office routine can seem like a breath of fresh air. However, those new to the remote-working lifestyle sometimes discover that maintaining productivity outside a traditional office setting has its own set of challenges.

While it can be hard to diagnose exactly why a relaxed working atmosphere doesn’t provide the same level of productivity as an office, it’s likely that some of the common issues revolve around your workspace and its surroundings.

This is where recognizing the benefits of Feng Shui and how it can be applied to your workspace comes into play.

READ: Adapting to the New Norm — Post-Pandemic Work Culture and the Future of Remote Work

What exactly is Feng Shui?

While many recognize the term “Feng Shui” and link it to a specific design style, its leading principles go much deeper. This ancient Chinese philosophy is steeped in a rich 4,000-year history and is about much more than just aesthetics.

Translating to “wind and water,” the core of Feng Shui is about creating an optimal energy flow in living spaces. This is known as “chi,” and when properly balanced, it can bring harmony and peace to your surroundings. This design principle is applied in a wide range of spaces, from homes and offices to gardens to anxiety and trauma therapy centers.

A complimenting element of Feng Shui is known as the Bagua. This is an energy map that divides a space into nine different areas, each representing different aspects of life, such as career, relationships and health. The Bagua map is what can be used to help arrange specific elements of your office so that it increases the flow of positive energy and helps to support productivity.

Feng Shui tips to enhance your remote office

While Feng Shui may sound like a fairly complex principle to try and implement into your remote office, the truth is there are simple and practical ways to start benefiting from the practice. Let’s take a look.

READ: 5 Tips for setting up your home office

Proper desk placement

When you think of an ideal home office setup, it all starts and ends with a great work desk. However, while investing in a great, ergonomic desk might be one of the most beneficial office tools you purchase, there can be real downsides if it’s not optimally placed.

In Feng Shui, how you place your desk in your office is important. Your desk should be positioned so you can see the door clearly while not being directly in line with it. This helps balance both security and openness.

If you find yourself in a position where you’re seated with your back to the door, consider placing a small mirror on your desk directed towards the entrance. This way, you can spot anyone coming in and reduce feelings of vulnerability.

Harnessing the Power of Natural Light and Colors

Most of us are programmed to use ceiling lights and lamps to light up our working areas. However, there are significant benefits when being able to allow natural light into your working areas.

Natural light helps to promote alertness and focus in Feng Shui. There are also benefits when choosing earthy tones like light yellow, pale green and beige when it comes to color selection in your office. This can almost be considered a form of art therapy, with the colors helping to keep your mind clear and focused.

READ: How to Utilize Color Psychology to Boost Your Digital Marketing Efforts

Manage your clutter effectively

Many people like to think they function better when working in a state of “organized chaos.” But this thinking goes directly against the philosophy of Feng Shui. Clutter, whether physical or digital, can create an imbalance and chaos in your work environment that doesn’t equate to better productivity.

Instead, take the time to regularly declutter your working space and make it a goal to only have necessary items you actually use within arms reach. This is why it’s important to have proper storage solutions in your office, like drawers, shelves or desktop organizers.

Bringing Nature Into Your Office

Nature plays a big post in Feng Shui principles, and being able to bring it into your workspace as much as possible is important. Introducing natural elements can help establish a more serene working ambiance, making it an effective method to alleviate stress and sharpen concentration.

A popular approach to infuse this Feng Shui principle into your home workspace is through the use of plants. While different plants influence moods differently, it’s often best to opt for low-maintenance varieties such as succulents, peace lilies or snake plants. You can also add more elements of nature, like a running water fountain, to bring in more positive energy.

Careful Placement of Mirrors

Mirrors can be used strategically in an office to enhance its Feng Shui. They can help to redirect energy and make a space look larger and more open. However, while mirrors can help with good Feng Shui, they can also cause harm if placed in the wrong area.

If you place a mirror behind your desk, it is considered a “poison arrow,” which causes restlessness and can be distracting to your work. Whenever possible, mirrors should be placed on the side of your working space so that they reflect the working area and enhance the other elements you’ve placed in it.

Minimize the presence of sharp angles and corners

Not everyone has a choice of the office space they have at home. However, another principle of Feng Shui is trying to avoid what is known as “sha chi.” This is killing energy that can be amplified if your workspace is made up of too many sharp angles or corners.

When arranging your furniture in the office, don’t have sharp edges facing toward your working area. If you don’t have the option of moving or changing the furniture around, you could place plants strategically in certain areas or use fabrics around the furniture that help to smoothen edges.

Let Fung Shui give back your productivity

Whether you’ve been working remotely for some time now or just started, it’s important to create a working environment that gives you the ability to be creative and productive. Applying Feng Shui concepts to your home office can add balance and harmony to your work environment. This, in turn, can lead to more success in both your professional and personal life.


Dr. Hannah Yang HeadshotVisionary and healthcare entrepreneur by passion, Licensed Psychologist by training, Dr. Hannah Yang loves creating new possibilities in the world of mental health and wellness. Dr. Yang established Balanced Awakening in 2015 as a niche psychotherapy practice for women. As Balanced Awakening flourishes in Chicago, and soon Miami, she also loves to tap into her passion for design and Feng Shui to create fabulous environments for herself, her team, and clients.

Creating a Home Office — Optimizing Audio Stimulation and Sound Quality for Productivity

The rise of remote work spotlights an otherwise often-overlooked facet of our professional lives — the influence of audio stimulation. Never before has sound quality played such a pivotal role, shaping our communication with clients and colleagues and helping enhance productivity and maintain hearing health.

In the pursuit of designing the perfect home office, three primary areas need careful attention — equipment, volume and environment. Each of these elements uniquely contributes to the overall sound quality when creating your home office arrangement.

READ: Managing a Remote Work Team with Communication and Ease


Your audio setup significantly impacts the quality of sound you experience. Much like painting — the tools you use drastically change the outcome of the artwork. A physical volume controller is a vital setup component for ease of use. 

Imagine quickly controlling your audio environment without breaking your workflow. Utilizing a physical volume knob eliminates the need to navigate through digital settings when your favorite song comes up or when you suddenly need a volume change. Analog volume controllers are crucial as they are much easier to use and eliminate fumbling with your computer’s virtual sliders when the phone rings or you need to take a break. Several good options are available on Amazon, like the one from Geekria.  

While headphones are useful in certain situations, speakers provide the best listening experience. Most small speakers should be placed about 1.5 to 3 feet from your listening position. 

The following speaker systems are affordable, easy to use and purpose-built to achieve excellent sound quality: 


The volume of your music or other audio content is critical to your productivity and focus. Like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” the volume shouldn’t be too loud or soft but just right. Studies show that music played above 95 decibels can decrease reaction time by up to 20% — a statistic closely linked with cognitive function. 

Finding your optimal volume level can be more art than science. For instance, gentle music can be ambient background noise for your workspace, fostering a more focused and enjoyable environment. However, you can quickly lose focus and productivity if the volume climbs too high. 

A simple test might involve writing out the preamble to the Constitution or the happy birthday song by hand — adjusting the volume until you can do this without your handwriting resembling abstract art. Through this exercise, you might discover that you enjoy instrumental music played at a slightly higher volume than music with lyrics, allowing for pleasant variety in your day.

And remember the importance of taking listening breaks. Now and then, turning up the volume for a couple of your favorite tracks can provide a refreshing pause — almost like a mini vacation for your ears. Likewise, sometimes taking time away and letting your ears rest is necessary — sound engineer pros do it, and you should too. These two simple practices can rejuvenate your focus and help you power through the rest of your workday.


Your work environment significantly contributes to your sound experience and overall productivity. Here, we introduce the concept of the “noise floor,” or the background noise level present in your workspace. In noisy environments, cranking up your audio volume to offset the background noise is tempting, but doing so could lead to loud competition that can disrupt your focus rather than enhance it.

READ: Is an ADU or Creating a Home Office a Good Option for Your Property?

Also, consider the acoustics of your space. Hard surfaces force sound to bounce around and create distracting echoes. Soft furnishings like rugs, chairs or curtains can help absorb sound and create a more pleasant auditory environment.

The key to creating the perfect work environment is striking a balance. Utilizing the proper equipment, aim for a volume level just slightly above the noise floor when the room is quiet. This ensures that when the ambient noise naturally subsides, your music seamlessly steps in, providing a consistent, soothing backdrop.

Creating a Home Office Harmony

Creating a home office involves careful consideration of the audio environment. By focusing on your equipment, managing volume appropriately and optimizing your workspace, you can significantly enhance your productivity and overall work experience. So, set up your sound, find your perfect audio balance and enjoy a more harmonious, productive home office experience.


Steve Borne is an inventor, sound designer, musician and recording studio owner with over 30 years of experience in the industry. Borne witnessed the birth of the digital audio revolution as an early hire at Pro Tools — the most used audio production software in the entertainment industry at the time.As a sound designer, he’s worked on over 50 feature films and is best known for his work on Spielberg, Jane Fonda in 5 Acts, Billy Joel-Live from the River of Dreams, and The Half of It. He has also worked on 20 complete seasons of episodic network TV programming, winning two mixing Emmys for his work on Nurse Jackie, where he was the sound designer and supervisor for seven seasons.

Is an ADU or home office a good option for your property?

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began almost a full year ago, Americans have spent more time in their homes than ever before and the immediate merging of work and personal spaces has been a challenge for many. Our households have never felt so crowded. Across the board, there has been a unique need for more space in the home.

Colorado-based Studio Shed offers one of the most sought-after solutions during the pandemic: an easy-to-install, affordable detached studio in the backyard. The company’s Signature Series designs, often used as backyard home offices, are typically 10×12 feet, easily designed online and delivered flat-packaged as a kit.

At a time when scheduling and finding high-quality contractors is not always possible, Studio Shed’s extensive network of contractors is available to execute a quick and easy install, or homeowners can choose to install the sheds themselves.

A recent CRAFTSMAN Built@Home survey reported more than 1 in 5 Americans learned to use a drill for the first time in the onset of the pandemic and 76% said they or someone in their household worked on at least one home improvement project in 2020.

For more space, Studio Shed also offers the Summit series models or Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) which homeowners are using to add a wellness studio, guest room, in-law suite, or granny flats to their backyard. An ADU offers an easy solution without the hassles (and costs) of a traditional remodel and simplified permitting and construction logistics.

Curious if an ADU or home office is a good option for your property Jeremy Nova, co-founder and creative director at Studio Shed recommends homeowners consider three key questions to get started:

1. Do I need a permit?

Most counties allow for the construction of one 120 square foot structure without applying for a building permit. Be sure to check local regulations before ordering, however, as some municipalities have more stringent requirements. Some questions to ask the building department:

  • Is there a certain size/square footage where a building permit is required?
  • What is your zoning and allowed building forms?
  • Is an engineer-stamped plan set required to pull a permit?
  • Is there a limit to the number of structures you can add to property?
  • What is the max lot coverage for all structures?
  • Any wall or roof height limitations?
  • What is the required distance between structures on your property?
  • What are your setbacks (distance off the property line to the new structure)?
  • Any special easements (utility, cable, access roads, open space, corner lot) that impact where your shed can go?
  • What about my community’s HOA?

2. Does my county have ADU regulations?

Legislation is changing to make it easier to build ADUs – leading to a boom in interest and trending growth in certain markets.

The volatile housing market (especially during the pandemic) and rising cost of building materials means alternative housing methods (for current homeowners and prospective renters) are booming. The Denver zoning map is available online and specific descriptions for each zone are included.

3. How do I want to use the space?

Detached backyard structures and larger ADUs provide flexible space for a variety of uses. Depending on your needs, a Studio Shed can be used for the following scenarios:

  • RENTAL UNIT – ADUs make great rental units on your property. Homeowners will find that they serve as flexible housing solutions and provide supplemental income.
  • GRANNY FLAT / IN-LAW SUITE – Many customers are looking for at-home options for assisted living for their elderly parents or relatives. ADUs provide the benefit of keeping loved ones close while giving them their own space.
  • PERSONAL SANCTUARY – Find an escape in your own backyard with an ADU. Whether you use this space to practice your daily yoga, an art studio or as a quick escape from the kids, you can find peace and quiet in your personal sanctuary, just a few steps away from your back door.
  • GUEST HOUSE – If you love to entertain and host friends & family, an accessory dwelling unit makes for the perfect backyard guest house. ADUs can be fully equipped with electrical and plumbing as an all-in-one solution for your hosting needs.
  • HOME OFFICE – Our modern world requires that we work in new ways. A backyard office is a place you can commute to in seconds. Unlike a dedicated room within your home, a prefab backyard office shed provides a detached space away from distractions of home, so no more worrying about the doorbell ringing or your dog disturbing your video conference. Your new commute across your yard provides both the separation necessary for focused work and the convenience of working from home.
  • MULTI-PURPOSE ROOM – The beauty of an ADU is that it provides a multi-purpose space for almost need. Depending on the season of life you are in and what your needs are, a well-built and designed ADU can meet them all. Convert an ADU into a guest house during the holidays or use it for supplemental income as a rental when needed. The possibilities of how you use your ADU are endless.

Visit Studio Shed at for more information.

Jeremy Nova is the co-founder and creative director at Studio Shed.