Having a home office might seem like an impossible dream, but it’s easy to fit one into your home when you know how. Whether you have a dedicated home office room or you’re hoping to create an work or hobby area in your living room, dining room or even bedroom, we have all the inspiration and advice you need.
A home office or study may seem like a bit of a luxury, but now that more and more people are working from home, this room is becoming an important part of home life. A dedicated space where you can be creative and focused, while blocking out the domesticities is what anyone who works from home needs, whether it’s on a full-time or part-time basis. If you don’t have a separate room to accommodate your home office, don’t worry. Compact furniture and careful planning will mean you can incorporate a fully functioning workspace into the smallest of rooms, the corner of a living room or even a little nook under the stairs.
Furniture is a good place to start when designing your home office. If you’re going to be sat at a desk for hours at a time, it’s important to invest in an ergonomically designed chair that is fully adjustable so that you can find a position that is comfortable for you. Ideally, the top of your screen should be in line with your eyes so you are not straining your neck by looking up, and your arms should rest comfortably on the desk at a right angle so that your shoulders aren’t raised awkwardly.
When looking for desks, choose wisely. Can you incorporate storage and a desk into one unit? Many have drawers at the sides, which are perfect for tidying away bits and bobs and papers, while keeping them close to hand. But of course, having drawers on either side does impact on the amount of leg room you have under the desk so you may prefer a more open design.
Home office storage
Good home office storage is vital. There’s nothing more distracting than piles of paper, which is no good in an environment where you want to be productive. If you generate lots of paperwork and have the space for it, a filing cabinet is a good investment. But otherwise you should be able to make do with some storage boxes or files. Wall-mounted shelving is great because it doesn’t take up any floor space, but will provide you with plenty of extra surfaces. Keep everything neatly organised in ring-binders and label your folders so no time is wasted by looking for things.
Finding the right space for a home office
If you don’t have a dedicated room for your home office, think creatively about how to re-jig your layout. Your study area could also be a guest bedroom and library all in one if you are smart with your furniture. For example, you could have a compact desk, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves (which are a beautiful feature in themselves), plus a sofa bed. When guests come to stay, all you have to do is unfold the bed and, hey presto, you’ve converted your home office into a bedroom.
Multifunctional rooms are the way to go if you’re tight on space. Other options include positioning a desk neatly in a little nook next to a living room fireplace - hang shelves above the desk for easy access to any books or files you may need. Similarly, if you have an open area beneath your stairs, a desk will slot perfectly into this spot. Make sure that you include good lighting, though, as there may not be windows very nearby.
Nowadays computers, laptops, printers and routers all have wireless capabilities, so take advantage of this to banish unsightly cables from your home office scheme.
Home office lightingIf possible, try to position your desk so that it’s near a window. We all feel more inspired if we’re able to see outside and it’s good for your eyesight to take regular screen breaks, which you will naturally do if you sit next to a window. Sitting side on to a window is ideal.
Task lighting is of utmost importance - you don’t want to strain your eyes in a dark environment, so you should ensure your space is well lit at all times. A combination of a ceiling light and a desk lamp should be sufficient. Many stores stock cool home office lamps in pastel shades so have some fun with this functional piece.
Home office colour schemes
What will work for one person won’t necessarily work for another, but what you are aiming for is a calm, organised, productive and inspiring environment. For you, that might mean choosing peaceful colours, such as neutrals, blues or greens, or you might find that bright pops of hot pink or red fire up your imagination. Choose something that will inspire you rather than distract you.