Decide on the number of people or workers who may be using the small office.
If it’s only you or your spouse, you could design it as a studio apartment, above your house, or maybe in the loft area, with one or more skylights allowing for as much natural light as possible.
It could also be at an unused part of your terrace, done up taking into account safety factors such as a sturdy roof, and no water seeping in during excess rains. And providing an extra loo and wash area.
If there are more than one who may use the small office, it could be architecturally designed as a separate single floor unit, with a separate stairway, a separate gate, with a small portion reserved for parking as well, all away from the main house.
Needless to add, this should be a large plot, at least a minimum of 80 by 80 or bigger, if you can afford it.
Or you could design the small office by creating a basement to your house, which must have windows on the ground level, for air, light and ventilation.
Power cables, telephone and water lines must have adequate protection as they run underground and into the basement. You can also conserve on electricity in the basement by using energy saving lamps, and other devices.
If what you’re looking at is a medium size setup, ensure that there is adequate space for parking close to the office space. Ideally, build your office space and leave aside a fair amount for parking, so you don’t encroach on public roads etc.
Create a separate identity even for yourself. Prepare to distance yourself from home once you leave in the morning to avoid distractions that could infringe on your work space.
Finally, use colour and design even in your office space, on a subtle, smaller scale, giving your office an identity, but also something that personalizes it as your own space.
In terms of furniture, decor and upholstery, remember, in a small home offices, less is more.
So, don’t go overboard with space decorative artifacts, stained glass and the like, but stick to basic requirements like a sturdy carpet, low-maintenance drapes, and upholstery which has a classic or universal appeal to it.
If you’re lucky to have the space, go green around the structure, if not settle for a few potted plants that will soothe the mind.
Keep your work timings fixed, lock up yourself if required and don’t stay in the small home office once your family is home, and expects you to spend that time with them.
It’s an opportunity many are taking to be close to home, cut on commute time, and also work as consultants from home. It’s never too late to begin planning for that day.