Add a Room: Garage/Office
Jean Allsopp

A Back-Friendly Seat

Proper Seating
Look for a chair with lower-back support and adjustable height and arm rests so you can sit up straight with your knees level. And lean back now and then: New research says it’s good for you.

5 Quick Ways to Stop Back Pain

Closet to Compact Home Office

A Well-Placed Monitor

Easy On the Eyes
Your neck and eyes will thank you if the top of your screen is at eye level and about 18 to 28 inches away from you. To avoid fatigue-inducing glare, don’t park your computer in front of a window.


A simple closet becomes the perfect home office.
 Thomas J. Story

Calming Color

A Pretty Palette
To lower your stress level, work cooler hues, such as aqua or lavender, into your office, says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and author of Color Messages and Meanings.

Turn an empty corner into an office for the entire family.
 Alex Hayden

Typing Tricks

Rest Your Wrists
Prevent carpal tunnel syndrome with a cushioned wrist support (wrists should be in a straight, not bent, position).


Home office
Tria Giovan

Soothing Sounds

Fill the Void
Minimize irritating background racket (which can actually make you eat more!) by getting a fan, a sound machine, an iPod, or earplugs to help block it out.

Hot office? Cold outside? Or vice versa? Keep a wrap handy so you can stay comfortable.

Double duty space with office plant
 Buff Strickland

Green Power

Use Plants
The right plant can add oxygen and humidity to dry office air. Or, go with flowers to enhance creativity.

Convert an attic into a workspace.
John Grannen

Sunny-Side Up

Let In Light
Natural sunlight can increase the brain’s levels of the calming chemical serotonin and also help suppress the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.

Strawberry-pot Fountain
Norm Plate

Channel the Chi

Go With the Flow
A minifountain on your shelf or desk taps into the Chinese practice of feng shui balance; moving water is a symbol of wealth and empowerment.

Closet office
Tria Giovan

Soothing Smells

Breathe Deep
Get the calming effects of aromatherapy at work with a bowl of potpourri, a bouquet of sweet-smelling flowers, a jasmine plant, or a scent diffuser for your office.

Rustic Workspace with task lighting
Jared Chandler

The Right Light

Task Lighting
Overhead lighting can cause glare and make you look like you pulled an all-nighter. Turn off the overheads and use task lighting.

 John O'Hagan

A Neck-Saving Phone

Speaker Phone
Invest in a headset to avoid neck and shoulder pain from cradling the phone between your shoulder and ear.

Family Photos
James Carrier

A Feel-Good Moment

Have a Heart
A special photo of an important person, place, or pet can help make even a bad day tolerable.

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