Creating a Contemporary Coastal Home Office with Great Feng Shui

Millions of Americans have transitioned to working from home during the pandemic. Unsurprisingly, a large portion of this segment of the population is considering a permanent shift to remote work come 2021. One of the most challenging aspects of transitioning to remote work -- aside from caring for children simultaneously -- has been establishing a home office space. Many Americans are currently either sharing their formal home office with a partner or have appropriated another space as a temporary mock-office. Being productive and balancing stress can feel impossible when one’s workspace is not adequately distanced from one’s home life. This lack of separation eliminates the very important element of “zoning” one’s home. Zoning typically refers to relegating certain areas for rest, others for work and still others for entertaining. Despite this frustration, most remote workers wish to continue working from home after the pandemic has concluded.

According to Iva Marinova in her article “28 Need-To-Know Remote Work Statistics Of 2020” for Review24 -- which examines data submitted earlier this year -- “77% of telecommuters report being more productive” than they were in a traditional office space. The survey referenced by Marinova also found that “people who work remotely earn $4,000 more per year on average.” This extra income makes the addition of a home office more financially feasible. Marinova reports that -- despite the challenges posed by working at home -- “99% of remote workers want to continue telecommuting in the future.” This desire to continue working from home might have influenced an upward trend in searches for home office furniture. Searches for home office construction and ADUs for remote work have also shot up on Google. The search term “home office tax deduction 2020” is currently a “Breakout” search term on Google. Google Trends defines a "breakout" as a term that has grown upwards of 5,000% on Google in recent weeks. The term “loans for home improvement” has also been a breakout over the last few months! We recommend remote workers follow our tips for designing contemporary coastal home office with great feng shui.

How to Feng Shui Your Home Office Space for Peace and Productivity

Award Your Desk the Command Position

Following Feng Shui when designing a home office ensures an energy of peace and productivity. Shapes and materials are important -- as are the layout and orientation of the room -- when employing Feng Shui. This is especially true in a home office, explains Amanda Lauren in her article “How to Feng Shui Your Home Office” for Real Simple. Lauren writes that the optimal layout for a home office with great feng shui is one in which the desk faces the door. By angling the desk towards the door, one assigns the desk the “command position.” According to Lauren, the “command position” offers power and comfort to the user by eliminating “vulnerability and anxiety.” These feelings of insecurity are often wrought by facing away from the door and never knowing when or who might come in.

Consider the Elements When Decorating

Close attention should also be paid to the style, material and shape of the home office desk. A desk with great Feng Shui is solid and made from natural materials. It should also come equipped with enough storage that the tabletop will never be cluttered. When painting and decorating one’s home office, Lauren recommends choosing earth tones or neutrals. Both are perfect for a contemporary coastal home office! Lauren suggests choosing “white or pastels help stimulate creativity” and green to encourage growth. She also recommends black to create financial success and earth tones if you tend to feel stressed or anxious. Each of these colors corresponds to a different element of Feng Shui. Black corresponds to the water element, white corresponds to the “metal element” and earth tones correspond to the wood element. White and pale neutrals are especially perfect for coastal modern home offices. This is because they emit a “crisp, clear, clean and fresh” energy, writes Rodika Tchi in an article for The Spruce.

3 Steps to Creating a Contemporary Coastal Home Office with Great Feng Shui

#1 Stick with Natural Materials

Why Organic Materials are Important in the Home

Unfortunately, other recent studies have shown that Americans are some of the most stressed people in the world. This figure has likely exploded in recent months due to the pandemic and the nation's arguably botched response. Niraj Chokshi explains this by referencing a Gallup poll in his article "Americans Are Among the Most Stressed People in the World, Poll Finds." NYT writer Chokshi notes that in 2018, "Americans reported feeling stress, anger and worry at the highest levels in a decade." The recent AMA survey "Stress in America™ 2020" found that "stress about the future of our nation Is the highest ever reported." A record seven in ten Americans reported that 2020 represents "the lowest point in the nation's history that they can remember."

Thankfully, including natural, organic materials in the home has been proven to reduce stress and improve overall health in residents. Views to nature -- even indirect views like those of natural building materials or photographs of nature -- improve mental health. They have also been proven to reduce the time needed to recover from physical injury. Michael Burnard and Andreja Kutnar explain the health effects of natural materials in their article "Wood and human stress in the built indoor environment." Kutnar and Burnard write "to date, studies...have revealed reduced autonomic stress responses" in rooms with wood as opposed to those without.

How the Wood Element Influences the Atmosphere in a Home Office

In "Decorate Your Home with the Wood Feng Shui Element" for, Rodika Tchi notes the benefits of natural materials for home health. Tchi notes that incorporating the wood element into a home office is great for its Feng Shui because it creates an atmosphere of "steadiness." According to Tchi, "the energy of the Wood element is [also] the energy of expansion, unlimited growth, abundance, vision...and survival, too."

#2 Keep Storage Sleek

Contemporary coastal home office furniture from Ocean Modern Home

Create the perfect contemporary coastal home office with picks from Ocean Modern Home. Pictured above are the Platform Credenza by Kardiel, the 1949 Protractor Desk by Kardiel, the Amaris Office Chair by Lulu & Georgia, the Chester Brass Desk Lamp by Belle & June and the Wisdom Chandelier from Modtempo. All are available through Ocean Modern Home's affiliate merchants. Also pictured above is the painting Take a Break by Jess Franks available through Mint.

Much of what makes coastal decor kitschy is the frivolous and heavy-handed inclusion of traditional beachy elements. This typically includes wall-mounted sand dollars, sea glass light fixtures, woven grass baskets and lighthouse figurines. Maintain your contemporary coastal home office's feng shui by eliminating excessive amounts of beachy decor elements on every shelf. Instead, choose sleek, closed storage made from pale, natural wood. As a compromise, pick out drawer pulls with a coastal feel -- like those of antique brass or even a few made from sea glass. Choosing closed storage in pale woods like birch or pine will open up the space and encourage a lighter, airier feel. It will also eliminate the stress created by visible clutter from needless decor, over-flowing file folders and other busy elements.

#3 Choose Soft, Neutral Colors that Nod to Nature

Neutral colors encourage feelings of peace and serenity while natural earth tones encourage creativity and focus. Choosing soft, neutral colors with bases of earth tones balances both sets of emotions. We recommend moss greens, creams and beiges, muted grays and soft shell pinks. In their article "27 Fun Home Offices" for House Beautiful, Hadley Mendelsohn and Emma Bazilian suggest combining Scandi design with minimalism. Scandinavian design often relies upon pale woods, a beige/gray color palette and clean surfaces while minimalism represents much of the same.

Both combined can create the perfect contemporary coastal home office. Mendelsohn and Bazilian write that paring down decor keeps "your aesthetic clean and calming," as does a neutral color palette. They advise maintaining a "mostly neutral" palette while adding a few pops of color in order to "keep the room feeling fresh and invigorating." Bazilian and Mendelsohn write that a minimalist design with a neutral color palette can actually "inspire you to do your work." However, warmth should be added through textures and a variety of tones in order to prevent the space from feeling "bland and sterile."

By choosing furniture made from natural materials, establishing a neutral color palette, hiding clutter and positioning each element in accordance with Feng Shui principles, creating a contemporary coastal home office is a snap.