Knotty to Nice: Painted Wood Paneling Lightens a Room's Look

My home came with many details that I was thrilled with: crown moldings, large windows, traditional features and hardwood floors galore, to name a few. The dark and dated knotty pine paneling in my spare room was not on that list

Deborah Quagmire

Many self-employed people or business entrepreneurs who work from home spend more time in their home office than any other room in the house. Yet, when it comes to decorating, the office is often the last room in the house to receive any attention. Whether your spare bedroom doubles as an office space, or you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated home office, the way it’s decorated can impact your work.

A fresh coat of paint is one of the simplest yet most effective alterations that you can make to that space. The color on the walls alone can play a role in your mood, productivity and job performance. After all, the colors you choose affect how you feel. And how you feel affects how you think and behave. So choosing the right colors and decorations can impact the success of your business.

I interviewed Christa O’Donnel, founder of  Home in Harmony Lifestyle, to learn about her suggestions for home office decor. Not only is she an interior designer, but she’s also a marriage and family therapist and a green living expert. She specializes in helping people create an inspired and healthy home, body, mind and spirit.

Amy Morin: What factors should people keep in mind when choosing colors for a home-based office?

Christa O’Donnel: Our bodies react to color on a physiological level. The color red stimulates our appetite and increases our heart rate. The color blue has a calming effect on the nervous system. Taking into consideration the physiological response of color to the body is important.

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O’Donnel: Glossy paints have more of a sheen, which evokes a response of higher energy. What you are hoping to achieve in your environment will determine whether glossy or flat is best.

The type of paint matters because it is important to make sure you are using the healthiest products possible. If you are going to spend a good portion of your day within this space it is imperative to use products that are not emitting noxious substances that can lead to disease. Choosing paints that are no-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) is critical for home office health.

O’Donnel: It is funny you ask this question because I just had a client who was asking for help in their office space outside their home. Their company has grown and she is moving from a home office to a new office space in an office park.  As she excitedly showed me the space and we discussed color, she kept leaning towards colors that she currently was using in her home. I understood this tendency because I have seen it on many occasions – people like to use colors that they have previously seen on a wall and they take comfort in knowing that it works and they like it.

In this scenario I strongly urged her to choose different colors from her home because it is beneficial from a psychological perspective to create a distinction from the work environment and home environment. This is especially important in a home office. You need to be able to unconsciously transition from home to work and vice versa. This boundary will be an unconscious reminder to have healthy boundaries and balance in your life.

image2

O’Donnel: Glossy paints have more of a sheen, which evokes a response of higher energy. What you are hoping to achieve in your environment will determine whether glossy or flat is best.

The type of paint matters because it is important to make sure you are using the healthiest products possible. If you are going to spend a good portion of your day within this space it is imperative to use products that are not emitting noxious substances that can lead to disease. Choosing paints that are no-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) is critical for home office health.

O’Donnel: It is funny you ask this question because I just had a client who was asking for help in their office space outside their home. Their company has grown and she is moving from a home office to a new office space in an office park.  As she excitedly showed me the space and we discussed color, she kept leaning towards colors that she currently was using in her home. I understood this tendency because I have seen it on many occasions – people like to use colors that they have previously seen on a wall and they take comfort in knowing that it works and they like it.

In this scenario I strongly urged her to choose different colors from her home because it is beneficial from a psychological perspective to create a distinction from the work environment and home environment. This is especially important in a home office. You need to be able to unconsciously transition from home to work and vice versa. This boundary will be an unconscious reminder to have healthy boundaries and balance in your life.

3 Reviews

  1. I’ve been thinking about this for years! Now I have not just the courage, but also the motivation to go full digital with the blueprints!

    1. I’ve been thinking about this for years! Now I have not just the courage, but also the motivation to go full digital with the blueprints!

  2. I’ve been thinking about this for years! Now I have not just the courage, but also the motivation to go full digital with the blueprints.

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