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Ideas for giving your home office a quick facelift

Your office should be a place you're happy to settle into each morning, and the home office is no exception.

Since it's a space where you spend one-third of your day, it should also be decorated with the care you give to your bedroom and living areas. As a fresh new year begins, what better time to give your office a fresh look?

If you're like most people, you've already organized your office for functionality. Now it's time to add that splash of color, new lamp or even small touches like decorative plug covers or a wall switch plate to give that area the extra care it deserves.

Start with a new desk
If you're using a functional but old and ugly computer desk, think about replacing it with a pine table. Not only is it a warmer and more charming look, but you also have the advantage of extra space for organizing photos, collating presentations or reviewing research materials. 

Country Living magazine suggested using an old or antique pine table and lighting it with a pendant lamp crafted from an old coat rack for a beautiful expression of function and charm. Depending on how much space you have to use, you could consider adding an antique box on the floor for storage of large mailing tubes and the like and a wall-mounted lamp of a compatible country-chic design for a touch of magic and much-needed light.

Build a bench
A bench in a home office? Why not! If you ever want to take a break or have a quick meeting, a built-in upholstered bench will fit the bill - especially if it features pull-out drawers below for storage.

You no longer need to trip over unused wires, connectors and electronic components that you need to keep: They're all out of sight, out of mind so you can concentrate on doing your work.

No matter where you tuck your home office, you can open it up easily with an armoire, according to Better Homes and Gardens magazine.Tasteful and space-saving, an armoire can fit thematically with the rest of your home and contains all the storage you'll ever need, from shelves, boxes and bins to anything that will logically fit on the doors. At the end of the day, just close it up.

Finally,consider a fresh coat of paint. What's probably no more than a weekend do-it-yourself project can make a huge difference in your mood and your approach to the work you're doing.

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