Why Building a Home Office is the Perfect Addition to Your Home

If you’re working from home some or all of the time, building a home office space is the perfect way to boost your productivity, keep you organized, and add sophistication and functionality to your home’s design.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to home office additions. Transform a walk-in closet or attic space into an ergonomic workspace with built-in shelves, create a dual work space for you and your partner or spouse in an existing bedroom or basement, or build an addition onto your home and add square footage with the perfect custom home office.

Why Build a Home Office?

Do you really need a home office? Maybe you feel like you’re comfortable just working from your sofa or dinner table. For some, creating a temporary workspace for a few weeks or months of working from home may do the trick.

But an increasing number of workers are making the switch to working from home at least part of the time. If working from home is becoming a long-term part of your daily life, a dedicated home office becomes essential. In fact, remote workers tend to be more productive than those who work from the office, and a home workspace adds to that productivity.

Having a dedicated home office keeps you organized and puts you in a productive mindset each morning. It also helps maintain work-life balance, since you’ll have a separate place away from your home life when it’s time to work. A home office with a good chair and desk also adds comfort and can save your body and posture in the long run, since you’ll avoid slouching on your sofa or bed with your laptop.

An added bonus? Home offices are generally tax deductible. You can often write off building a home office and even deduct part of your household expenses from your taxes. Just be sure you check your local laws and regulations to be sure.

Home Office Design Ideas

When you think of a home office, you might just picture a repurposed second bedroom with a desk, chair, and computer to make the space usable. That’s just the beginning when it comes to creative ways to add an office to your home. In fact, there’s almost no limit to home office designs!

Here are just a few creative and functional home office ideas:

  • Outdoor studio office with an attached kitchenette and powder room
  • Creative loft workspace
  • In-kitchen bright and airy desk space
  • Traditional study with built-in wooden shelving
  • Minimalist workspace with a two-person desk
  • Finished basement office/craft room
  • Repurposed attic office with skylights
  • Cozy study with built-in fireplace and armchair
  • Greenhouse office with hanging plants and ample daylight
  • Multipurpose home office and homework den for kids

The main thing to think about when choosing the right home office design for your home is what exactly you plan to use the space for. Do you have kids who are also in need of desk space to do homework? Think about refinishing your basement or attic space to accommodate multiple desks and workspaces. Do you anticipate feeling claustrophobic or shut in during work hours? Add skylights or lots of big windows and hang plants to make the space feel open and airy.

Your home office should work for you and your needs. It should be a comfortable, usable space that inspires creativity, productivity, and organization. Whatever that looks like for you, that’s the home office you should build.

Things to Include in a Home Office

Planning is key when it comes to designing, building, and decorating your home office. The right space should help keep you focused, productive, comfortable, and relaxed. It should also promote creativity and good health and posture.

The first big decision you’ll make is location. Are you remodeling an existing room or building an addition? Where is your home office in relation to your kitchen? The nearest bathroom? Functionality and convenience are all important elements to consider.

Once you know how much and what kind of space you’re working with, you’ll have all the tools you need to determine things like desk size/style, storage, lighting, furnishings, and other decor.

Here are a few home office features to consider adding to your new space:

  • Plenty of natural light via windows, skylights, etc.
  • Built-in shelving, drawers, and extra storage
  • A small meeting area for guests or clients
  • Your favorite artwork
  • A comfortable, ergonomic chair
  • Carefully designed lighting
  • Chalkboard, whiteboard, calendar, and other organization tools

Ready to add an office to your home?

Whether you’re looking to build an addition for your home office, refinish a basement, or remodel an existing space to meet your work-from-home needs, your home office should be designed with your specific purposes and preferences in mind. At Hamish Murray Construction, we go the extra mile and work with you to ensure your space is designed for you. Let us help you build a comfortable, usable home office that you’ll love to work and spend time in.

Have questions about how to get started with your remodel or addition project in the Portland, OR area? Ready to jump right in? We’re here to help! Call us at (503) 460-7203 or send us a message online at any time!

6 ADU Design Ideas to Increase Your Property Value

Are you dreaming of a luxury ADU (accessory dwelling unit) and hoping to maximize the return on your investment?

A 2012 report in The Appraisal Journal examined ADUs in Portland, OR and found that the ADUs contributed, on average, 25% or 34% of each property’s appraised value (depending on the formula used). The report also explained that “adding an ADU to a single-unit property could reasonably add 51% to longer-term measures of value or return.”

Once the decision has been made to add an ADU, many homeowners ask themselves: How can I build my ADU so that it adds value to my life and my home’s value?

The answer is to make your ADU as functional, convenient, and aesthetically appealing as possible. These are a few of our favorite ADU design ideas:

1. Cozy Mother-In-Law Suite

Photo by Aw Creative on Unsplash

Single story ADUs present a wonderful opportunity for aging in place. Many people love the convenience of living in an ADU while their family resides only feet away in the main home. A cheerful, homey ADU with universal design principles can help the family stay close while also affording everyone the privacy and independence they need.

Designing a new space makes it easy to accommodate the occupant’s present and future needs with features like:

  • Plenty of lighting with accessible two-way switches
  • A walk-in shower with extra grab bars and a hand-held shower head
  • Windows that are easy to open and close
  • Non-slip flooring in soft materials like cork, linoleum, or rubber
  • Door levers instead of doorknobs
  • Technology (including the thermostat, lighting, and security system) that can be controlled with a smartphone or remote

2. Rustic Backyard Guest House

Photo by T Cud on Unsplash

ADUs can either be attached to your main home or they can stand alone as their own separate structures. A detached ADU in your yard provides some privacy at a convenient distance. A modern backyard cottage with a woodsy, rustic feel will blend in beautifully in most Oregon and Washington neighborhoods.

To keep the look consistent, choose natural materials, exposed wood, and nature-inspired colors like green and brown.

3. Garage ADU Designs

Do you need to have a huge yard if you want an ADU? Not at all! An ADU can also be built by converting part of your current house, such as an attached garage, attic, or basement.

While there is typically no downside to finishing an attic or basement, many homeowners do not want to lose the use of the garage (or the potential resale value that a garage can add). In many cases, it is possible to add an ADU on top of a garage rather than converting it, which allows you to keep your existing garage intact.

4. Bright, Modern ADU

ADUs are typically smaller than the main residence, but that does not mean they need to be dark and cramped. On the contrary, ADUs can be stylish, open, and contemporary, with all the modern amenities a person could want.

Let in as much natural light as possible, but also install plenty of overhead, task, and accent lighting. If possible, consider a whole wall door for a seamless indoor-outdoor experience. Opt for light, neutral colors and an open floor plan.

5. Luxury ADU Getaway

Photo by Holger Link on Unsplash

A luxury ADU can be the perfect place for a staycation — or to provide a wonderful experience for guests who come to visit you. Pamper yourself and your guests with features that make you feel calm and happy. These decisions will depend entirely on your unique preferences, but luxury ADU design ideas include:

  • Spa bathroom with heated floors and towel warmers
  • Meditation room or yoga room
  • Small rock garden outside (or any natural element that relaxes you)
  • A small wine bar or bar cart in the kitchen
  • Smart technology for convenience, energy efficiency, and security

6. Thoreauvian Tiny House

Many of us like the idea of taking a break from modern living every now and then. In fact, some people prefer to live a simple life full time. If a tiny house appeals to you, but you would rather not live too far from modern conveniences, a tiny house ADU may be the perfect compromise.

The trick here is to get the most out of the limited space you have without making it feel cramped. Multi-function furniture and creative storage solutions go a long way.

Are you ready to add an ADU?

Whether you want a nearby home for a family member, an opportunity to earn rental income, or a way to downsize without leaving your neighborhood, your ADU should be designed to meet your needs. At Hamish Murray Construction, we can help you with both attached and detached ADUs in the Portland, OR area, and we would love to build you a space that adds joy and functionality to your life.

Give us a call or send us a message anytime!

What Is Residential Infill Building And Is It Right For You?

Photo by Matt Donders on Unsplash

Do you love the idea of moving into a great neighborhood? Have you always dreamed of building a brand new custom home that has everything you love? What if you could do both?

Residential infill building (sometimes called suburban or urban infill) is an option in many beautiful neighborhoods. It can be a perfect solution for people who want a custom home in a central location.

Continue reading “What Is Residential Infill Building And Is It Right For You?”

How to Find and Choose the Best Lot for a Custom Home

In the words of a century-old real estate cliché, “location, location, location” is a huge consideration for any prospective homeowner. But when it comes to choosing a location for a custom home, additional complex factors come into play, and unfortunately, those factors are often overlooked.

Continue reading “How to Find and Choose the Best Lot for a Custom Home”

How to Build an Energy Efficient Custom Home

An energy-efficient home…

  • Provides a higher level of comfort
  • Is better for the environment
  • Saves you money through reduced energy use (and potentially tax credits)
  • Increases your home’s resale value

What’s not to love? If you’re getting ready to build a custom home and you’re wondering how to make your new home more energy efficient, here’s what you need to know.

Continue reading “How to Build an Energy Efficient Custom Home”

Luxurious Home Upgrades That You Are Missing out On

We could all use a little more luxury in our lives. Whether you’re making a few simple home upgrades or planning a larger construction project, these ideas are sure to add comfort, joy, and a high-end feel to your home. See if any of them inspire you!

Continue reading “Luxurious Home Upgrades That You Are Missing out On”

The Top 10 Remodeling Trends of 2019

As 2019 comes to a close, it’s time to look back at the top remodeling trends that emerged this year. Specifically, we’ll look at trends that have staying power — the ones that will continue to stay fresh into the new decade.

Let’s jump into the biggest remodeling trends of 2019!

Continue reading “The Top 10 Remodeling Trends of 2019”

Why Accessory Dwelling Units Are Great for Portland Neighborhoods

Are you thinking of adding an accessory dwelling unit to your property? Building an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a great solution for many Portland, Oregon residents who want to live close to family members, add value to their property, or supplement their income by renting.

Today, let’s look at what it means to add an ADU to your property and why Portland is such a great place to build one.

Continue reading “Why Accessory Dwelling Units Are Great for Portland Neighborhoods”

6 Design Ideas for an Unforgettable Luxury Master Bathroom

Are you trying to settle on a design concept for your new master bathroom? Whether you’re remodeling an existing space or adding a whole new room, the look and feel of your new bathroom are important considerations that will impact how you use the space, how it flows with the rest of your home, and your property value.

Here are 6 design ideas to help you achieve an unforgettable, luxury master bathroom:

1. Modern Minimalism

Opting for a minimalist bathroom design gives you a fresh, crisp look and a bright but calming atmosphere. White and other light colors will make your space look and feel bigger, and you can maximize this effect by adding large mirrors, windows, or skylights to welcome and reflect natural light.

A minimalist design with white walls and/or floors allows you to choose a few stand-out details, and your options are nearly limitless because you’ll have a clean, polished canvass as your backdrop.

Here are a few ideas for unique details that pair beautifully with minimalist master bathrooms:

  • Metallic hardware or detailing
  • Rich, natural wood
  • An ornate vase or handcrafted basket
  • Patterned towels or bath mats

2. Open Concept

One unique way to add luxury (and functionality) to your master bathroom is to opt for an open-concept design, with the shower open to the room. This allows you to extend gorgeous floor and wall tiling to your entire space and makes your master bathroom feel bigger.

This is an especially great option for opening up smaller spaces, but it will also add elegance to larger rooms, especially if you add a free-standing bathtub or walk-in closet. You could also add a curtain or frosted glass shower door for additional privacy options.

3. A Calming Oasis with Neutral Tones

Neutral tones can give your luxury master bathroom a spa-like feel. They’re warm and inviting, and they create a relaxing, tranquil atmosphere to help you unwind after a long day.

Consider pairing calming, neutral tones like browns, tans, and taupes with natural materials (like wood or stone), skylights (to let in natural light), and one or two humidity-loving plants. This combination will make you feel like you’re in an indoor-outdoor spa and can even have a positive, calming, and rejuvenating effect on your mood.

4. Bold Mid-Century

If you’re a creative person, a bold pattern or a few bright pops of color in your bathroom design may be just the thing! If you feel most comfortable surrounded by color and art, a stylish mid-century design is a great option. It’s classic enough that it won’t go out of style, but gives you a lot of freedom to be imaginative with your design choices.

Geometric wallpaper or floor tiles are great ways to incorporate this look. Or you might invest in a unique, vintage mirror! If you want something understated, consider mid-century cabinets and hardware with colorful towels, mats, or pottery.

Do you like the idea of a bold and bright design, but mid-century isn’t your thing? Here are a few other creative and distinct styles to consider:

  • Art deco
  • Bohemian
  • Scandinavian
  • Southwestern
  • Craftsman

5. Rustic, with Unique Details

“Rustic” is one of those words that can mean different things to different people, and it’s often used as an umbrella term to describe designs that invoke a connection to the past. You don’t have to live in a farm house or log cabin to incorporate rustic elements into your home.

The great thing about a rustic design is that it allows you to truly personalize your space. Do you love old clawfoot tubs, antique cabinets, or lantern pendant lighting? These kinds of unique features can add a special, old-world feeling to your bathroom that makes it instantly cozier and more interesting. Another option is to lean towards an industrial style with elements like old-fashioned metal hardware, dark wood, and contrasted colors.

Here are some more ideas to add rustic charm to a high-end bathroom:

  • Clawfoot or barrel tub
  • Reclaimed wood
  • Brick or stone elements
  • Antique-inspired light fixtures
  • Sliding barn door
  • Wicker baskets

6. Light and Airy

Light and bright bathrooms are elegant and timeless—especially ones that incorporate natural light, mirrors, glass, and other reflective surfaces. Not only do these elements make your space feel calming and zen-like, but they also make it seem larger and more open.

Don’t feel like you have to stick to whites and off-whites to make your master bathroom feel light and airy (especially if you have windows or skylights). Lighter shades of gray, blue, and green can act as perfect complementary colors to liven up an otherwise bright, but unimaginative color palette.

Planning a bathroom remodel? Want a luxurious, relaxing master bathroom?

At Hamish Murray, our team of experienced, dedicated professionals is passionate about creating beautiful spaces that our clients love spending time in. Our focus is on your unique home and vision. We’re committed to making the design and building process flexible, ensuring architectural integrity, and making sure we bring your ideas to life in a space you’ll love for years to come!

Contact us today to discuss your project or ask us your questions. We can’t wait to hear from you and look forward to working with you!