Crafting Your Home Office Haven – The Power of Universal Design

Home Office is tucked away with a minimalist aesthetic that continues the theme from other portions of the residence, including oversized custom artwork, porcelain tile flooring, and white oak cabinetry - Modern Lakehouse Renovation - Clearwater

When you’re building a home where you plan to live and work under the same roof, finding a balance between comfort, accessibility, and functionality is key. If you’re dreaming of a home office that embodies all these elements, you’re in the right place!

At HAUS, we know the value of employing universal design principles when creating work-from-home spaces. In this article, we’ll explore the concept of universal design and how it can transform your house into your home business haven!

What Is Universal Design?

Universal Design is a concept that centers around making spaces accessible and user-friendly for people of all abilities. It’s not just about accommodating physical disabilities, but about creating environments that work for everyone.

This is especially important for home-offices or home-based businesses, as your workspace needs to be inclusive, welcoming, and functional for both you and potential clients or employees.

By adopting universal design principles in your space, you can create an environment that enhances productivity, fosters creativity, and ensures everyone feels comfortable in your home-based business space.

View from Dining Kitchen area looking east to living room, which includes space for upright piano, wood burning stove, wood storage, sliding window wall, clerestory windows, passive solar sunlight, stair to lower level, steel cable-rail railing system, thermally treated wood wall, large white ceiling fan, main entrance door, and access to bedroom wing - Zionsville, Indiana, Christopher Short, Architect, HAUS Architecture + WERK | Building Modern
Summer Party Nightfall Interior - Cigar Room - Midcentury Modern Addition - Brendonwood, Indianapolis - Christopher Short, Paul Reynolds, Architects, HAUS | Architecture For Modern Lifestyles - WERK | Building Modern - Paul Reynolds, Project Manager

Implementing Smart Home Technology

If you’re aiming for universal design, make sure your home and office space can accommodate a range of individual preferences and abilities.

Smart home technology is a great way to ensure your home systems are simple and intuitive to control. For example, smart tech will allow you to control your lighting, temperature, security, and more with the touch of a button/smart device—or even voice commands.

The right smart home technology will enhance the overall functionality of your workspace, so you can enjoy greater comfort and efficiency.

Considering Exterior Design

If you expect clients or customers to visit your home business, consider the external design of your house.

To make your home accessible for all, it’s important to remove any potential obstacles, such as steps or changes in grade that make it challenging to move from one place to another. Other universal design considerations include providing ample lighting, establishing level walkways, and incorporating a stepless entry.

These modifications can help create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all visitors.

View on approach shows stepless front entry - HAUS | Architecture For Modern Lifestyles, Christopher Short, Indianapolis Architect
Floating stainless steel kitchen range hood detail - Minimalist Modern - Indian Head Park - Chicago, Illinois - HAUS | Architecture For Modern Lifestyles, Christopher Short, Indianapolis Architect with Joe Trojanowski

Prioritizing Proper Ventilation

Embracing Universal Design also involves reducing health risks and optimizing the well-being of people using the space.

Proper ventilation, for example, is vital if your home office is situated near the kitchen area of your home. An efficient and high-quality range hood plays a pivotal role in eliminating odors, grease, and cooking fumes, ensuring that your workspace remains fresh and free from airborne contaminants.

A clean and healthy atmosphere is essential to promote the well-being and productivity of all individuals who utilize the space.

Creating a Healthy Workspace

Air quality is just one consideration when it comes to creating a healthy workspace. You’ll also want to think about ergonomics, lighting, and noise control.

Invest in ergonomic office furniture to support your physical well-being during long work hours. When designing your home office, ensure your workspace has ample natural light, placing large windows along exterior walls if possible. When it comes to noise control, you can soundproof your office in a variety of ways, such as installing a solid core door, adding acoustic panels, or upgrading to dual-pane windows.

Universal design concepts like these will ensure your home-based workspace is suitable for anyone, including those with visual impairments, mobility difficulties, sensory sensitivities, and concentration challenges.

Adagio Penthouse Interior - Feminine Home Office - HAUS Architecture, Christopher Short, Indianapolis Architect
Scandinavian Rustic Cabin - Office + Kitchen - Christopher Short, Architect, Indianapolis, HAUS Architecture

Getting Started

When you’re building a new construction home, embracing universal design is a great way to ensure your home-based business space embodies accessibility, inclusivity, and functionality.

From the external presentation of your business to the implementation of smart home technology, efficient ventilation, and healthy workspace features, focusing on universal design principles will help you design a sanctuary where anyone can live and work comfortably.

At HAUS, we know how to employ universal design principles to create comfortable. accessible, and functional spaces. If you’re ready to design your ideal home and workspace, reach out to us today. As your trusted advisor, we can lead you on the journey of building your home business haven.

Written by Jill Palmer with collaborative edits from HAUS.