Your home office should be the most inspiring room in your house. When designing your own home office, see yourself as a client –it takes the emotion out and demystifies the process. With the changed world we now live in, more people are working from home – home offices and study nooks are becoming essential to our homes and lifestyle. From juggling the kids’ home-schooling schedules to balancing the budget, Zoom meetings to social media fixes, our needs for a dedicated work space are as diverse as the spaces we call a study!
Work in layers when designing a space. Think architecturally first: choices for walls and floors and windows. If using an existing space think about window coverings before you mentally position the furniture. Do you want the desk under the window? Do you have a view you want to face? Then work your way down to the tiniest detail. Prevent a mishmash looking space by sticking to a colour and pattern palette.
Don’t forget to dress the windows! This decision should be made when considering the lighting. You don’t want glare from outside bouncing on your computer screen, nor into your eyes if you face the window.
The best window covering is one that diffuses direct light and allows you to control the natural light as the sun moves. Plantation Shutters or Venetian Blinds are an excellent choice as the light can be controlled by tilting the blades. If the window is long, consider covering only the lower half and allowing natural light to spill in from the top. Roman blinds look smart and sleek, and are a way of introducing colour, pattern and texture to the décor. The fabric can also be coordinated back to other soft furnishing elements in the room such as scatter cushions, or an upholstered piece of furniture.
Tip: Create a room scheme using Pinterest or a mood board as your facilitator before you start buying. The key aspects to any home office design should also include: Storage and Organisation. If everything in your home office has its own place, work life automatically becomes more streamlined.
It’s a simple way to make sure everything is systemised and looking beautiful. Consider adding extra cabinetry, file draws or bookshelves.
Technology. This is an integral part of the home office. Using things such as cable covers, cable trays and printer trays will allow your technology to work seamlessly in your space. Making your home office as wireless as possible is the priority in any modern workspace. Lighting. Both ambient and task lighting are necessary for functional and aesthetics uses. Consider a mixture of overhead light, table lamps and adequate natural light.
Personality (colour). Personal preference will dictate how much of your personality you choose to inject in your office space.
Some may prefer clean and simple spaces, while others like to incorporate a splash of colour and character. The influence of colour in a home office can’t be ignored. Shades of blue create a feeling of calm; the vibrancy of red can feel quite dramatic; while yellow tones are happy and signify communication.
If you’re in an environment where having a strong sense of balance is the most important, green might just be the colour that makes you the most productive. Whites – White is good to use in a small space, since it gives an airy quality.
Using white in a room of blues and greens makes the room feel more open and spacious.
Interestingly, it is not a colour itself that affects your behaviour, it’s how intense a colour is that affects how you respond to it. What defines whether a colour is stimulating or soothing is not the colour, it’s the intensity. A strong bright colour will stimulate, and a colour with low saturation will soothe. Still can’t decide where to start with colour? A very cool decorating trick is to start with whiteboard paint. It looks as fresh and crisp as regular interior paint; with the added advantage of being able to write on it, erase and write again. A whole wall of whiteboard paint goes with everything….
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