Working with clients from home comes with the challenge of creating a professional atmosphere that doesn't include dirty dishes, baskets of laundry, or pets jumping up and down in the background. A great way to keep your personal and professional life separate is to turn the garage into your own professional home office.
This enables clients to visit when necessary without having to navigate through your personal space. It also gives your business a professional look and feel that helps you to build trust with your clients. Here's how to turn your garage into a professional space that is sure to make a positive impression:
Install a New Garage Door
One of the best ways to invest in your new home office is to replace the garage door with an option that has an inset and framed walkway, as well as a window. You can fit the walkway with a sturdy front door and put a business sign on it so that it's obvious to clients where to go when they arrive.
An integrated window will let natural light in to brighten the place up and provide you with space to display weather sensitive promotions for clients to check out. For example, as a realtor you can post new house listings against the interior of the window so they can be easily viewed from outside while staying protected from the wind and rain.
Create a Faux Wall for Storage
If part of the garage is needed for a washer and dryer or storage boxes, set everything up against one wall and then hang a big luxurious drapery up in front of the area to create a faux wall for everything to hide behind. Install the drapery right up against your appliances and shelving – you can simply draw the drapery back when you need access to the stuff that is behind it. It's a good idea to choose a dark color for your drapery to help hide stains, as it will probably be handled by family members on a regular basis. Cotton and polyester both hold their shape well and are pretty easy to care for.
Dress up the Window and Doors
To keep the room temperature comfortable inside your new professional home office, it's important to do a little insulation for decreased air infiltration. Put weatherstripping along the frames of both the garage door and the access door within it, and use spray foam insulation around the window frame to seal everything from exterior elements. You'll also want to outfit the window with dual shades for insulation, light filtering, and energy saving benefits. Mount your shades as close to the glass as possible, making sure that the sides of them hang against the wall once installed.
Furnish with Organization in Mind
If your garage is like most, you're working with a big open space that does not have much closet or supply storage space. Luckily you can create the organization and storage you need through the furnishings and décor that you choose. Consider one or more of these ideas:
- Install several layers of floating shelves on one or two walls and fill them with file trays, accessory boxes, and wire baskets for all your office needs.
- Implement an ottoman or coffee table into the space that has room for storage within it.
- Invest in a desk with bookshelves built into the sides of it.
Avoid bulky furniture like couches, and opt for easy chairs or padded office chairs instead. This will give you plenty of room to put in a desk and a brainstorming table without resulting in a cluttered feel.
A new, freshly designed professional office space is sure to spark new life into your work routines, and may even provide you with the inspiration you need to achieve your long term business goals. For more information about the necessary upgrades to your garage door and other garage elements, you may want to work with an experienced garage door company.