8 Country-style home-office ideas

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  • Get clever with your home office and check out these inspiring spaces

    1 Keep it separateEscape from it all to a purpose-built
    garden office, summerhouse, cabin or shepherd’s hut, where you can work
    uninterrupted. In most cases, planning permission for a home office
    building isn’t required, but this depends on the size, position and
    whether you’re in a conservation area, so check first. For year-round
    use, the building will need double-glazed doors and an insulated roof,
    floor and walls. Choose boarded and painted walls and a varnished timber
    ceiling for country style and complete with pale wood flooring and
    fishing-style pendant lights. Garden Affairs specialises in similar garden rooms. Ikea
    stocks trestles, filing units and tops to make up a similar desk. Find a
    similar Eames DSW Chair Cream & Maple, H83xW46xD55cm, £340, at The Conran Shop and similar Aluminium Fishing Pendant Light, Large, £95, at Grace and Glory Home.

    2 Fine outlook
    ‘One of the ultimate benefits of working from
    home is that you can create an inspiring space, positioning furniture in
    front of a window or wall of glass for the benefits of natural light,
    with a beautiful view to focus on every time your eyes need a screen
    break,’ says David Barrett, Living and Dining Buyer, John Lewis. ‘A
    contemporary design, such as Danish designer Ebbe Gehl’s desk, made from
    solid oiled oak and MDF, looks the part and includes built-in storage
    for all the extras.’
    Mira desk, H91xW120xD60cm, £799; Mira filing cabinet, H49xW41xD56cm, £399, both Ebbe Gehl for John Lewis.

    3 Multi-tasking space
    The natural progression for country
    kitchens is towards multitasking spaces where emails can be checked and
    homework completed under a watchful eye. ‘If you don’t have the space to
    spread out in a separate room, a built-in mini home office that doesn’t
    encroach on living space could be just what you are looking for,’ says
    Andrew Hall, Managing Director and Chief Designer, Woodstock Furniture.
    ‘In this kitchen, the desk and plenty of storage can be hidden away
    after use behind pull-out sliding doors for a perfectly functional
    solution.’
    Kitchen, from £40,000; office furniture, from £10,000, both Woodstock Furniture.

    4 Behind closed doors
    ‘One of the core reasons for working
    from home is to surround yourself with peace, so our home office
    workstations are designed to reflect exactly that,’ says John
    Sims-Hilditch, Co-founder, Neptune. ‘The look is unfussy and the
    interior carefully thought out to provide you with everything you should
    need in arm’s reach, stored in the most organised of ways. Then when
    all your hard work is done, the cupboard doors are there to conceal
    everything seamlessly and to help you switch off.’ Chichester Original
    Workstation in Calico, H209xW98xD58cm, £1,725, Neptune.

    5 Hall story
    Turn a square hallway into a dual-purpose room and make the most of otherwise wasted space. When designing your new working area, measure carefully to ensure any chairs, when pulled out for use, won’t prevent doors from opening. Smart filing trays and clever organisers are a desk-top must to keep paperwork in check, and don’t forget to include an adjustable desk lamp and wastepaper bin. Cosy the area up with a striped rug, comfy cushion pad, and inspiring artwork.
    Windsor dining chair, H89xW49xD53cm, £335, Ercol. Try Made for several similar desks. Similar Rosie Bright Stripe Rug, 300x200cm, £449, John Lewis.

    6 Vintage charm
    Designs inspired by the past can hold the key
    to creating a country living room that’s reassuringly timeless. Whether a
    cherished antique or a reproduction piece, easy-on-the-eye furniture
    such as this bureau offers as much practical storage as a contemporary
    design, including both shallow and deep drawers and slots for filing.
    Best of all, the fold-out writing surface, when closed, hides away any
    evidence of work. Fancy handles with a patina and a distressed finish on
    the drawer edges simply add to the charm. Similar bureau, HomeSense.

    7 Neat nook
    With a little of creative thinking, the smallest nook under the stairs, alcove or bedroom corner can be requisitioned as an office space. Painted panelling is a great backdrop for upcycled furniture with a vintage vibe. Hunt around for a small desk or table and a country-style chair to transform with a lick of paint. Unless you have mountains of paperwork, the desk doesn’t need to be full-sized. We’re at our most creative when relaxing, so add an armchair with a plump cushion for blue-sky thinking.
    The Windsor Georgian Splatback Armchair, H105xW51xD44.5cm, £420, I&JL Brown, is similar.

    8 Line it up
    By fitting stylish white storage, a corridor
    leading to a back door converts into a smart contemporary office. In
    this slim strip of space, the row of neat drawer units takes care of
    filing – if the budget won’t stretch to bespoke, freestanding modular
    furniture would give a similar look. Custom-made wall-mounted open
    shelving with hidden fixings has a lighter, airier feel than cupboards,
    and it can be taken to ceiling height without appearing overpowering.
    The Dormy House‘s
    New Hampshire Modular filing system, from £250 for a white-painted
    single two-drawer pedestal, H79xW44xD52cm, would give a similar look.

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