Starting your own business from home is about as exciting as it comes. At last, you've found the means and the courage to do what you love doing best, plus you've figured out how to earn enough to sustain you and your family for years to come. You know you can make it work. And what's even better is that you can make it work from the comfort of your own home.

The transition from dreaming about your home office to actually designing it is a whole lot of fun, but there are a few things you should keep in mind. The temptation, for example, to rush out and buy the biggest desk, or the trendiest floor lamp can be quite strong. But these items could blow too big a hole in your budget and threaten to scupper your entrepreneurial plans before you even get started. Here are 10 things to consider when you buy furniture your home office:

#1 Express your style with larger items

It would be easy to spend heaps of money on accent pieces, knick-knacks and other office decorations that reflect your true personality. But if you're forced to stick to a strict budget then save the personal expression for the larger pieces, like the desk and your chair. These items are absolute necessities and you'll be spending money on them anyway, so why not go for that antique look you love or a chair in your favourite shade of yellow? And you can always add a simple plant stand with your favourite flower or plant to make the space 'more you.'

#2 Keep decor to a minimum

Further to above, less decoration is probably better. Too many sentimental knick-knacks will distract you from the job and can have a seriously negative impact on your productivity levels. Of course, everyone likes decor' that is pleasing to look at, but if you can, find decor' that is also functional, like a nifty stapler or a set of aesthetic journals for your shelf.

#3 Function before form

Have you ever seen those photographs in office design magazines where you wonder how the heck could anyone work in that? Don't make the same mistake with your home office. By all means, use furniture and decor to create something unique and amazing, but make sure it still does what it was originally meant to do. That huge executive desk might be exactly what you've always dreamed of, but if it means you can't fully open the office door then it's wrong for your space. First and foremost, your office must function properly, everything else is less important.

#4 Comfort is king

The comfort levels in your home office can greatly influence your productivity. Of course, you shouldn't feel so cosy that you fall asleep in your chair, but your office should be warm and bright and you should be able to sit for long periods without feeling cramped or getting back ache. If you can, keep a beanbag or a soft, overstuffed armchair in the room and use them for taking short breaks or for brain storming sessions.

#5 Get great lighting

Good lighting is often neglected in a home office. This can lead to headaches and eye strain, and can even make you feel more tired than you actually are. Natural light is best, but if you don't have enough large windows then a combination of natural, ambient, and task lighting will help. Consider a pair of adjustable floor lamps and a good desk lamp that doesn't cause glare on your PC screen. And a cool overhead light will not only brighten your space, it will add a fashionable flair to the entire ensemble.

#6 Use mirrors and glass to enlarge your space

Your work-from-home office probably won't be the largest room in the house. Well-positioned mirrors that reflect an outside view can add a perception of size and extra space and will create the effect of bringing nature inside your office. Select a desk or storage cabinets with glass-fronted doors. These will reflect light and open up your space. But remember they won't hide the mess!

#7 Pick a colour that works for you

The human brain reacts to different colours in different ways. Red, for example, makes our hearts beat faster, which is why you probably shouldn't paint your office walls in bright crimson. And then there are colours that remind us of positive, but also negative, past experiences. Think of the happy shade of orange in the hotel room on a holiday you really enjoyed, or the pale green of a hospital waiting room. Colours are very individual things and considering you'll be the one spending the most time in your office, only you can choose the right shades for your space.

#8 Clutter is the enemy of productivity

Even if you think it doesn't really bother you that much, the untidy pile of files on the top shelf, or the disorganised mess that masquerades as the bottom drawer of your desk are nagging away at your subconscious and seriously kerbing your concentration and productivity levels. Which is why you should choose office furniture with clutter-reducing features like file holders, baskets and bins. Remember, the less you have on your desk, and the less distracting the environment, the more work you can get done.

#9 A high price doesn't always mean high performance

So, let's imagine you've gone out and bought that super-expensive solid mahogany desk with the gold-plated knobs. Does this mean you will work harder, faster, and be overall more productive? Probably not. You don't have to spend loads of money to get your home business off to a great start. There's nothing wrong with buying a cheap desk and then adding a coat of paint and some modern fixtures to really bring it to life.

Or why not consider buying second hand? A lot of people find it can be really gratifying in recycling something that others have thrown away. For one they can save themselves heaps of money. And secondly, one way or another it all goes towards saving our planet, right?


Setting up your home office should be a fun and exciting experience. Go with your gut and create a space you can love. Just remember to keep an eye on your budget and don't go over the top with garish and edgy designs.

After all, you'll be spending a lot of time there.