Since the Working From Home (WFH) phenomenon swept the nation in 2020, the need for home offices that deliver functionality and inspiration has never been greater.
Post pandemic, remote and flexible working shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, the home office trend is growing. According to a Hilarys.co.uk survey, 57% of people with a spare room converted it to a home office in 2021/2022.
Adding an office to your home doesn’t need to be an extra stress. Here’s my top 8 interior design tips on how to succeed when creating a working from home environment.
1) Be clear on your needs
Before you start any project, it’s important to determine what you need from your new space. Have you read my blog on Form Follows Function? This will explain why.
Take some time to create a list of priorities so you can get the most value out of your home design. When you have a clear understanding of your priorities and needs, you can then get more specific on layout, storage and furniture. For example, if you have regular conference calls with executive clients, high-quality tech, luxury finishes and privacy might be your top priorities.
2) Select the right space
The next need-to-know is deciding where your ideal office will live in your home. If you’re based in a city like London, you may have limited options with space. It may be more practical to create a peaceful and productive zone in your living room. You can also extend height wise to maximise space.
Creating a separate work space to living space is not only important to minimise distractions and boost productivity, but it’s essential to maintain a healthy mindset and work-life balance.
With this in mind, if space (and budget) allows you may find your home office is better located outside. Garden studios and extensions into the garden gives you additional living space and less clutter in the home. It’s the perfect option if you need a place to retreat to, and from.
Selecting the right location for your home office is personal. If you’re an architect, a garden room may be more appealing for access to natural light and greenery. If you’re a writer in a city apartment, a stylish cove that is calm and inspiring might be more suitable.
3) Decide your layout
This next tip is about picking the best layout for your home office. This is where an interior designer can step in to help you maximise every centimetre of space and get the most out of your budget, especially if additional services are needed from contractors.
- Do you need easy access to certain files or materials?
- Do you need a lot of space for equipment?
- Does the position of your laptop affect your productivity?
As an interior designer I know the importance of considering all practical factors as well as design features, to amplify your home office so that it’s fit for purpose and inspiring. And don’t forget – never underestimate how much storage or how many data sockets you need!
4) Create a place for your personality
The beauty of a home office is that you can design it in your own style. It can be an extension of your own creativity. Why not put your own stamp on your office with inspiring artwork that expresses your personality?
Curating shelves with your favourite photographs, books and trinkets can make a space feel warmer, motivating and inviting. Adding personal touches to your space can also be a handy emotional support when experiencing challenging times at work, and don’t forget to select a colour palette to help tie the space together.
Wondering how to inject personality into your space? Head to my blog here.
5) Invest in smart storage
In a home office, storage is everything, actually storage is everything for your whole home in my opinion. It’s important to put in place an adequate storage system to help increase your organisation and productivity.
Fear not, decluttering a space can be stylish. From floating shelves to modular display units and furniture with hidden storage, there is a solution for all home office shapes and sizes. Beautiful storage boxes, pin boards and reclaimed vintage pieces can all inject quirky storage into an office environment and hide away any ugly wires and devices.
6) Bring the outdoors in
Bringing greenery, plants and flowers into your workspace is a great way to introduce tranquillity, positivity and productivity into your room. Natural materials and finishes can also inject more calm. A beautiful wooden desk can help you feel grounded in stressful situations. Even decorating your room with accessories, like a thickly woven rug or with pictures of the great outdoors can improve your wellbeing.
Integrating nature-inspired colours such as greens, blues and off-white is another great mood booster. Fresh florals can give an uplifting feel, green hues can encourage feelings of peace, whereas darker schemes can make a room feel more intimate and stimulate the imagination.
7) Light up your environment
Always make sure you have lots of natural light and adequate artificial light in your home office. This will ensure you feel energised throughout the day and minimise health issues like eye strain.
As an interior designer I understand the importance of considering lighting; such as using complimentary lighting (from desk lamps to floor lamps, and ceiling lights) to create the optimum environment for your productivity. Smart home technology can also be programmed to adjust the intensity and colour of artificial light to match your emotional needs and practical wants.
The strategic placement of mirrors can also brighten up a room and create the illusion of more space and light. Read more about the Importance of lighting in my blog here.
8) Prioritise comfort and ergonomics
Comfort is key when it comes to designing an office space. The desk and chair will dominate the room and will be used for long periods of time so you want to make sure they support your posture as well as looking stylish. Nobody wants a bad back after all. It’s worth investing in high quality, luxury furniture to make working from home less stressful on your body.
A carefully designed home office where you can be productive and feel calm is essential for your wellbeing.
For advice on your home office design and to book a virtual consultation, get in touch here.