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
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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Holly Walsh has been Content Editor at Ideal Home since 2021, but joined the brand back in 2015. With a background of studies in Interior Design, her career in interior journalism was a no-brainer and her passion for decorating homes is still as strong as it ever was. While Holly has written for most of the home titles at Future, including Livingetc, Country Homes & Interiors, Homes and Gardens and Style at Home, Ideal Home has always been her ideal home, and she can be found sharing her expertise and advice across both the printed magazine and the website too.
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