The Herman Miller Holiday Sale!
Take 15% OFF all new orders of living, lounging, dining, meeting, working, storage and outdoor pieces.
November 25th – December 12th, 2013
1829 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
As more Americans find themselves in need of a home office, we gather a few pieces of practical advice on how to seamlessly integrate workspace into any home.
In recent years, the workplace has been transformed by technology and the rise of the freelancer. More and more Americans are working primarily from the home, while others have begun taking advantage of corporate policies more amenable to telecommuting. The New Yorker recently cited a 60–percent increase (from 2005 to 2009) in those who work from home, citing Aetna as one company where almost half of the staff telecommute.
The popularity of the home workplace brings up two major concerns anyone working from home must address: How do I create my ideal home office? And, at what point in my day must I put on pants? How you choose to answer the first question correctly can drastically transform the way your workday.
Your goal in designing your workspace will be to carve out a specific nook dedicated to your work. A nook comfortable enough to encourage you to stay put during work hours and focused enough to inspire productivity. Yet it’s equally important to consider the flip side of this equation: When it’s time for the home to switch back to more traditionally domestic activities like entertaining and relaxing, you won’t want the lumbering presence of the job to keep you from shutting off.
When it comes to setting aside space for your home office, a sense of separation from the rest of the home is key. Unfortunately, extra rooms are a luxury many urban homes don’t offer. But Matthew Mercier, co-owner of swanky home-design retailer Vastu (vastudc.com) in Washington, D.C., reminds us that walls and doors are not the only way to delineate space.
“A physical barrier is far from the only option for creating a sense of division among spaces,” says Mercier. A strategically placed floor covering can be used to physically separate a work area from living space. Additionally, where work and living space meet, you can use other visual cues, such as a contrasting color palate, to create further delineation.
As important as it is to separate your work space, Mercier suggests moving past traditional ideas of what an office ought to look like, suggesting there are “a world of options beyond the standard desk chair on casters.”
Yes, those classic Aeron office chairs are great, but does one belong in your home? Buy the chair you want to sit in — and look at. Make sure it reflects your personal style and how you prefer to work. This frees you to explore hundreds of textile options beyond the limited, institutional palate of traditional office chairs. Mercier offers Knoll’s Saarinen Executive Open Back Chair as an example (learn more about Knoll in this feature). But maybe you do your best work balanced on a fitness ball or walking at a treadmill desk. The takeaway is: Your home office doesn’t need to look like a corporation took over a corner of your home.
While you can personalize your home office to your heart’s content, there is one set of rules you must follow, and those come from the IRS.
We spoke to Jon Tucker, a tax director at a major accounting firm. First, the good news: These home office furnishings may be deductible. If you’re a self-proprietor, he points out you may get more bang for your buck by gradually writing off the cost over the course of their prescribed lives (usually about seven years).
As for deducting the cost of the space itself, these rules have recently changed. Your deduction used to be solely based on the percentage of your home that the office took up (e.g., if it took up 20 percent of your home, you could deduct 20 percent of your rent and utilities). Now, you can choose instead to simply deduct five dollars per square foot of home workspace (likely a bigger money-saver).
For those who are not self-employed but simply working from home, things get fuzzier. For an office to be deductible, you need to be working at home for the convenience of your employer. Which is to say, the perk is your company’s moreso than your own. Further, your workspace must be used exclusively for work. What does “exclusively” mean? That’s between you and the IRS.
A Place for Everything
One necessary challenge to overcome is organization. In this wired world, your home office can easily become a tangle of cords. But Mercier reminds us that accessories like wireless keyboards, mice, speakers and printers can help eliminate this clutter.
What about paper clutter? Tucker is quick to say that PDFs of important documents can be compactly stored in an external hard drive, eliminating the need for a bulky file cabinet.
Ultimately, the goal of the home office is to honor both concepts of “home” and “office.” Smart use of space and clever editing can create a productive business space that won’t be an eyesore (and will be tax deductible).
As for when to put on your pants — well that’s up to you.
Our designs achieve parity between seemingly contradictory ideas: aspiration and accessibility, sculpture and engineering, elegance and informality, beauty and comfort. Not the least of these ideas is a thoughtful balance of handcraft and industrial processes. We use the latest technologies and newest materials available to custom build products at our facilities in Michigan—and throughout the world. And, because we do not begin building until you make your choices and place an order for a specific product, we make each design especially for you.
You’ll find quality and value in our designs, produced by the craftsmanship, thoughtfulness, and individual human touches of the workers who assemble many pieces by hand. These details make a difference because, as Charles Eames said, “The details are not details. They make the product.”
To give you that little extra push, here’s an amazing set of photos from Herman Miller of their collection.
So remember, you have until Monday (close of business) to take 15% off all Herman Miller products and orders over $500 that are delivered to the DC Metro Area receive Free In-Home, White-Glove Delivery.
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The Herman Miller Summer Sale – Friday, May 31st through Monday, June 10th
Receive 15% off the entire Herman Miller catalog of living, dining, lounging, working and outdoor furniture. If your order is over $500 and you live in the DC Metro Area then you receive FREE in-home, white-glove delivery!
Originally designed in 1946, the molded plywood chair established a long and successful relationship between Herman Miller and Charles & Ray Eames. With the formation and release of the Herman Miller Collection last year, Herman Miller has taken an elegant classic and updated it for 2013.
The most notable addition to the molded plywood chairs is seen in the upholstered seat and back option. With 6 different wood veneers, 3 leg options and 22 fabric and leather options, this chair is available in over 5000 configurations!
Our showroom floor model is an upholstered Lounge Chair with wood legs. The frame and legs are walnut and the seat and back is upholstered in Divina Melange ’931′.
Merry Christmas from everyone here at Vastu.
We are closed today but we’ll be open tomorrow at 11AM.
Whether you’re looking for pieces for Living & Lounge, Dining & Meeting, Working & Storage or even Outdoor Herman Miller (and the Herman Miller Collection) has something for everyone.
During the last days of the sale we’re open Saturday, 11am-7pm | Sunday, 12pm-5pm | Monday 11am-7pm.
Designed in the mid-1950s by George Nelson, the Nelson Pedestal Stool is the perfect example of elegant versatility. With a beautiful sculptural base and upholstered seat, this small (it’s only 15″ diameter and 19.5″ high) yet functional stool work well in casual living spaces where you may need multiple seats as well as smaller spaces such as foyers or walk-in closets.
With four base finishes and a large selection of upholstery options, you can customize this stool to match your personality and design aesthetic.
Happy Thanksgiving! We wish you all the best as you stay at home or travel to enjoy the holiday with friends and family.
Here are our hours for the next few days:
- Wednesday, November 21st: 11AM – 7PM
- Thursday, November 22nd (Thanksgiving Day): CLOSED
- Friday, November 23rd: 11AM – 7PM
- Saturday, November 24th: 11AM – 7PM
- Sunday, November 25th: 12PM – 5PM