Working from Home has become the norm.
In fact, there’s even a hashtag for it #WFH! With second and third rounds of lockdowns across the globe and many large and small corporations reducing their office space, it is safe to say that Working from Home is likely here to stay, even beyond the pandemic. WFH not only impacts our daily life, but also the way we use our domestic space. In order to work effectively and productively, it is really important to have a home office design set up that works for you. Regardless, whether you’ve got a dedicated room or just a small niche in your house, you’ll want to create a space that motivates and inspires you. If you work from home, read on to find some inspiration for a home office design you will love.
Is it time to consider a new home office design? We can probably all agree that working whilst lying in bed with a cup of coffee in hand is overrated. And truly does not live up to the phantasy we had imagined it to be. With this said, we’ve come to realise that if we want to get work done, we need a pleasant and comfortable environment to work in. Working from the kitchen table or the dining room table, just doesn’t cut it anymore. Plus you will want to create a home office that suits your style and complements your home decor.
If you used to be frustrated with the grey and dull interiors of your company’s office in the past, then this is your chance to add some colour to your home office design and personalise your space. So let’s get started. Like with any interior design project you need to ask yourself a series of questions first.
What Type of Home Office do you need?
This largely depends on three factors: The type of work you do, the size of your home and who else lives, works and studies in your home.
Do you need a quiet place to make phone calls and attend video calls? Or do you need a large table to spread out documents or space to store files or supplies? Do you and your partner both work from home on a daily basis? Do you need a presentable background for your Zoom calls with clients?
Think about how much work you will be doing from home, and what it consists of. Will you just need an area where you can plug your laptop in and go? Or will you need a fully fitted home office including storage and other home office furniture? If you are working from home daily and are likely to continue doing so for the foreseeable future, you will want a dedicated space or even a separate room from the rest of your home, so that you can focus.
A nook, an area or a separate room?
For some, their work space will consist of a nook in a room, such as a living room. With the right furniture, some decor and art work this can be a great solution if you simply need to plug and go. Alternatively, you could create a space within a space. There are many creative ways of creating a work zone within any given space. Room dividers and partitions are back in vogue and a great way to separate your home office from the rest of the room. Free standing furniture, such as bookshelves and side boards are another solution with a double function. You can also use Plants to create a division and they come with many other benefits.
For those who d0n’t have or don’t want to dedicate an entire room to their home office, the above options offer endless possibilities, but they need to be carefully planned out. Simply placing a desk and an office chair in your living room or dining room will not only keep you from working productively, but it will also interfere with the look and style of your living space.
If space allows, I recommend you dedicate a room with the sole purpose to be your home office. This way, at the end of your work day you can shut the door and leave work behind you. This may mean that you need to repurpose a room, such as a guest room, music room or a dressing room or even a garden shed. If you already have a home office in place, but it’s been treated like a step child, then maybe now is the time to make some improvements and take your home office design to the next level.
Whichever type of home office you wish to go for, you will need to ensure that it provides you with the right comfort level and ambiance to be as productive as possible. Once you have decided what works for you, then the design work can begin.
Home Office Furniture and Organisation
When contemplating your home office design, it’s important to think about your storage needs. Will you need cabinets to store files in? A desk with plenty of drawers? Or an overhead shelf display? Or a beautifully decorated sideboard as your Zoom backdrop?
The desk is one of the most essential pieces of home office furniture. Do you need a height adjustable table allowing you to stand whilst working or do you simply need a small secretary type of desk to pack your laptop away once you’re done? Also remember to factor in the technical appliances you require, such as speakers and printers. Think about the functional aspects first and then decide on the aesthetics. When it comes to home office design, I believe that form follows function. The style and materials of your desk should depend on the overall style of your home. Do you want something that complements the rest of the space or something that stands out?
The next challenge is the chair. Even though office chairs have come a long way in terms of style and design, they still look like an office chair because of the ergonomics they provide. If you have a separate room for your home office, I wouldn’t even think twice. Your body will thank you. If, however, you integrate your office into your living space you will need to evaluate what’s more important to you. You can find reasonably comfortable chairs that do not look office chairs.
Overall, I recommend you opt for office furniture with a timeless character, so that you can enjoy your home office for many years to come.
Home Office Design Colours & Wall Decor
When designing a home office or any space for that matter for one of my clients, the colour selection will depend on a combination of the client’s needs and preferences. Productivity and wellbeing are usually the key factors to be considered when it comes to home office design. At the same time, if you spend most of your day on video calls, you may also want to consider the background wall colour, as it will have an effect on the person on the other end of the call. Do you want them to feel relaxed or energised? If you have your own business then you could even consider painting the wall behind you in your brand colour or a colour that conveys the message of your brand.
Although, colours are somewhat subjective, colour psychology teaches us that colours do impact our mood and behaviour. As Carl Jung, the famous Swiss psychologist said: “Colours are the the mother tongue of the subconscious.” This is because we all associate colours with certain experiences and emotions, whether they are cultural or personal experiences. Personally, I find turquoise very calming, because it reminds me of the Caribbean Sea, where I spent many years of my life.
Painting a wall in your home office can help make the distinction between your workspace and your relax space. That will help you to instantly switch to a working mindset once you are in that room or that area of your home.
Below are some colours that are considered to boost productivity:
- Sage Green: Green is the colour of nature and therefore has a calming and restorative effect on us. If your job tends to be stressful, this may be a good colour for you.
- Royal blue or Navy Blue: This could make quite a statement. Blues too has a calming effect and they can help you stay focused. Darker shades of blue in particular are also associated with strength and intellectual abilities.
- Pale Lemon Yellow: Yellow is an invigorating and uplifting colour known to help with concentration. Using a pale variant of the colour will create a friendly environment without being too overbearing.
- Deep Forest Green: This shouts luxury, especially when combined with gold and mid tone woods! It is also associated with life, renewal and growth, as well as promoting balance and harmony.
- Dusky Pink: This may be a bold choice, but the colour can be very inspiring and calming at the same time. It’s a great background colour for video calls. Because it will set a friendly tone to your meeting and on top of that add a natural blush to your skin.
- Taupe: If all of the above seem too daring for you or you prefer adding colours with artwork and accessories, then this may be a great choice instead of just leaving the walls all white. It gives you a clean slate and neutral background to work with, yet adds a bit of contrast.
Instead of painting a wall you could also wallpaper one wall with something that inspires you. This could be a repetitive pattern, a textured wallpaper or a panoramic mural. Alternatively, you may want to consider a gallery wall. A collection of pictures, paintings or framed quotes look great and can be very inspiring. You could also use just one large piece of artwork or photography that inspires you.
Bringing Nature into The Home Office
When decorating your home office you can also use plants. Either as room dividers as mentioned above or as decor. Plants are able to transform your working space into a tranquil, peaceful space. You can opt for a plant with air-purifying abilities or one that helps boost your mood.
Some easy to care for plants include:
- Aglaonema: This is a Chinese evergreen which has gorgeous deep green leaves with traces of red and silver. The plant is a mood booster.
- Devil’s Ivy: Officially named Epipremnum aureum, this plant has large, heart-shaped leaves in both dark and light colours. It belongs to one of the top 10 plants for air purification.
- Ficus Benjamina: Commonly referred to as the Weeping Fig. This tropical plant is the official tree of Bangkok.
- Areca Palm: Sometimes referred to as the bamboo palm. This popular tropical plant turns dirt particles into oxygen. At the same time, the soft feathery fronds will evoke a holiday feeling. Then again, maybe you should stay away from this one or you’ll never get any work done 😉
Lighting for Your Home Office
Lighting is crucial in interior design, including in home office design. When in the planning stages of your home office, try to allow for as much natural light as you can. If you are working long hours from home, place your desk near a window so that you can get as much natural daylight as possible. Depending on the orientation of the room, you may need to place your desk and your computer accordingly to avoid the harsh glare of sunlight. Alternatively, there are a number of window treatments, such as curtains and blinds that can help with direct sunlight.
In addition, look into a combination of floor lamps and desk lamps to give you enough flexibility depending on the work you are doing. Try using the same light temperature throughout. I’d recommend 4000 Kelvins for your home office. When working with my clients, lighting is always an important part of the overall room design. That because it can make or break the design of a space.
Do you need a home office design makeover?
Are you working from home? Treat yourself to a home office design that will help boost your productivity, whilst complimenting the rest of your home décor. Book a Discovery Call today to find out how I can help you achieve a home office design that you will love.