Chicago Home Book
Published by The Ashley Group
WHITE RABBIT, Richard Schulman: “In our space organization business, we see change in two areas – the home office and the garage. Because of the proliferation of PC’s, the increase in communication devices, the need to save time and reduce expenses, and the desire to be with the family, today’s business person often does significant amounts of work in the home, in a home office. I believe the home offices will be in greater demand. They must be efficient and inviting. They must beacon and reward you. They must be ergonomic and be specifically designed for the physical aspects of your work situation. The garage? It’s not ‘just the garage’ anymore. Homeowners say it’s the primary entrance to their home. It’s the most visible and neglected room in the home. With today’s continuing tendency to accumulate things, it has become increasingly important to maximize storage in an organized fashion. The garage is typically 400 to 600 square feet of prime storage space.”
HOME OFFICE PLANNING
When you’re designing a home office, it’s a challenge to effectively separate and integrate work and home, As you plan a home office, ask yourself these questions:
How do I work best? Close to the action or tucked away where it’s quiet?
How much space do I need? More than one desk, space for computer equipment and other technology, or reference books and files? Space for seeing clients?
How many phone lines are needed? (It may be a good idea to get more than you currently need,)
Do you like a window view? Consider natural light as well as well planned artificial light.
How will you furnish the office? Will the space also serve as a library or guest room?
Spend some time testing desks and chairs for the most comfortable fit Top quality office furnishings are now being produced in “scaled down” versions for home use, Make the space attractive and comfortable by using accessories and personal touches.
FURNISH YOUR ENTRYWAY… THE GARAGE!
Although your front door may be the symbolic entrance to your home, the everyday entrance is through the garage. More Chicago area homeowners are investing in making the garage functional, attractive and super-organized. Through good, professional design, they not only get organized, but they’re able to stay organized.
When making the decision to invest the time and resources to organize a garage to streamline your lifestyle, consult an expert in garage space planning, like those included in the following pages. Their expertise in space management will translate into a good design that simplifies life for homeowners and their families. The main goal of a garage organization project is to get things off of the floor and onto the walls, via shelving, pegboard or cabinet systems. By having items more visible at eye level, homeowners will be able to see what they have, and where the items are to be stored. Not only does clearing the floor promote organization, it also increases safety.
Think about how your garage functions. Beyond sheltering your cars and bicycles from the elements, there are many other items stored there. Do you need the space for holiday decorations, extra office supplies, bulk grocery items, sports equipment, tools? What else would you like to move into the garage from your indoor living space? Would you like to be able to use the garage for other purposes, like block parties? Would you like to include a workbench, or, in a heated garage, a “mud-room” type area?
When a garage planner comes for an interview, plan to spend at least two hours discussing your needs. Be sure you ask about warranties.
The organization systems will be installed after the garage is painted. An average garage remodel, either a one- or two-car garage, is approximately $2,500.
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