Working from home can be a beautiful thing– especially if your home office is a well-designed, creative environment. If your home office doesn’t inspire you, that can change with a bit of work and a few wise investments. Join us as we explore 10 gadgets that can turn a dull home office into a productive, creative think tank.
Ceramic Speakers by Joey RothView in gallery
These Ceramic Speakers by Joey Roth are beautiful, functional pieces of acoustic art. They’re hand-made of pure white ceramic, cork and light birch with a stainless steel amplifier. They’re designed to provide an audiophile listening experience for those who wish to get the most out of their high quality music files. Connect them to your laptop, your turntable or TV and you’ll hear a sonic difference you never knew existed. Granted, you’ll have to spend a bit more for a peripheral like this. $500 might be out of range for most home office designers, but then again, we’re here to inspire– not share a run-of-the-mill $49 set of speaker cans. There’s nothing about these hand-made beauties that are run-of-the-mill.
MacBook Pro with Retina DisplayView in gallery
Every office should have the ability to go mobile when the mood strikes. If you need to take the show on the road, a prime centerpiece is the Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display. That stunning display features 5.1 million pixels which can be essential for the creative professional. It is powered by a heavy duty quad-core Intel Core-i7 chipset which is designed to work with the power of a desktop in a small form factor. Your media files and software will run without hesitation thanks to an all-flash storage architecture as opposed to traditional hard drives. In total, it’s the king of the hill when it comes to modern laptops. Did you expect anything less?
Belkin Thunderbolt DockView in gallery
If you’re working with the latest generation MacBook above, you’ll want to connect it to your office peripherals using Apple’s new Thunderbolt technology. The Belkin Thunderbolt Dock does precisely that, allowing you to move massive files in moments while directly interfacing with the web, a mouse, a pair of headphones and more. Thunderbolt boasts the ability to transfer a full feature film in HD in just 30 seconds, but not without the peripherals to receive it. This Belkin device makes your home office Thunderbolt-ready.
HP Envy 110 All in One PrinterView in gallery
An office printer is a loved-or-hated necessity for every home office. If you want one you can love, we suggest the HP Envy 110 All in One Printer. This sleek, compact printer will scan, fax, copy and print your documents without making an impact on your office’s visual real estate. It features a simple 3.45-inch touchscreen control which manages most features. What’s more, it won’t complicate your desk with unnecessary wires, as the HP Envy 110 is 110% wireless.
Ideapaint Writable Wall PaintView in gallery
The walls around you can be quite functional in the creative office, especially with Ideapaint Writable Wall Paint. This paint, available in a variety of colors, turns your wall into a dry erase board from floor to ceiling, corner to corner. Cans start at $225 for 50 square feet, enough to create a massive whiteboard for you to explore your ideas, thoughts and inventions.
Logitech TV Cam HDView in gallery
When you work remotely, you can still stay in touch with co-workers, employers and clients without leaving your home office. While Skype and FaceTime technologies are readily available on most laptops, having a larger, dedicated HD system can make quite an impression on those you communicate with. The Logitech TV Cam HD will connect to your TV, turning it into a large screen video conferencing system. If you’re careful about how you design the “virtual lobby” where your communications happen, you can look like a consummate pro. It’s all about tailoring your image, and this system will make you look like a whole lot more than a man or a woman in front of a laptop with a messy desk. Not that there’s anything wrong with that… (our desk is a mess!)
Vizio 1080p HDTVView in gallery
Beyond your video conferencing needs, having a TV in your office can be pretty valuable. If you’re a blogger, it can be helpful to have the news running on a monitor nearby. When you’re not working, it’s nice to have a point of relaxation– so long as you can swivel it away from your desk to avoid distractions. The Vizio 1080p HDTV, and others like it, are an affordable addition to your home office. There’s no reason to splurge on a 72-inch model, as something half that size will perform admirably as needed.
Wii U Gaming ConsoleView in gallery
Okay, so the soon-to-be-released Wii U Gaming Console isn’t a productivity device. Again, we need to express the importance of having a quick escape close by to your work environment when things get hairy. If you work at home and occasionally include creative partners, all the more reason to set things aside for some casual entertainment. So long as you have the discipline to keep your breaks short, you’ll be surprised what a short break for entertainment will do. Just ask the Google employees in the game room at work.
Belkin Clamp-on Surge ProtectorView in gallery
A mess of cables can quickly complicate your home office feng shui, and a carefully-placed surge protector can make all the difference. The Belkin Clamp-on Surge Protector will clasp to the rear or underside of your desk to keep most of your cables hidden. Add a few cable organizer tubes or a few other accessories and your desk can be clutter free above and below.
Herman Miller SAYL ChairView in gallery
Yes, your office chair is most certainly a gadget, and it’s one of the most important pieces of technology in your office. If you’re like us, you spend hours-upon-hours in your home office and you rarely leave your desk chair. Over time, a chair can do some serious damage to your back, and it pays to invest in a proper seat to prevent that. The Herman Miller SAYL Chair uses some technology from the famous Aeron chair, but delivers a fresh new design at a lower price point. At $399, it’s much more affordable than the Aeron chair and it delivers much of the same functionality. As soon as you sit in the SAYL chair, you’ll feel the difference. Over months and years, your back will certainly thank you.
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While these base elements are important for many home offices, you might have discovered a special gadget or item that makes your office perfect. Feel free to share it with us in the comments below or tweet it our way @thecoolist. In the mean time, don’t miss our recent exploration of amazing offices– Beyond the Cubicle: 10 Out-of-the-Box Workplaces.