With so many of us being thrown into working from home it’s been a challenge to come to terms with our homes taking on the additional role of workspace. For me personally, I wanted to address how I could create a working space that was still true to my interior style whilst also allowing me to do my day job comfortably.
I’ve created a harmonious environment using a white, gold and green colour palette. Although I don’t follow Feng Shui teachings to the letter, I do like to dip in and take on board snippets; white stimulates creativity, green represents growth and gold represents wealth and success – all great points to take on board when planning a space. Green is the most relaxing colour to the eyes and creates a soothing atmosphere that will help with concentration and decisiveness……
LOCATION: If you are lucky enough to have a spare room that you can use as a home office then all the better, as you can shut yourself off completely, if needs be. But if that’s not the case (as in my situation) then the next best thing is to utilise an existing area within the house. I‘m fortunate to have two living rooms so opted to locate my desk in the biggest room – which is a through lounge. Long rooms can be difficult to furnish and to avoid that ‘long corridor’ feel it’s advisable to break the room into ‘zones’. I have a seating area at one end of the living room that houses the sofa’s and TV and the top end leads onto the conservatory, this area has the potential to become a ‘dead area’ and so to avoid that it made sense to use the space more efficiently and give it purpose.
Handy Tip: If you can place your desk in an area that is close to a natural light source it will have better health benefits, including increased productivity.
DIVISION: As the room would now have dual functionality; a relaxing family area and a work area, it was important to be able to separate the two. I placed my bamboo screen to the side of the desk to zone off the work space and it works really well in defining the space. You don’t have to pay a fortune for room divider screens as there are plenty of second-hand ones about – keep an eye out in vintage stores, eBay, Facebook Marketplace etc. Also, if you are able to pick one up, think about how you could customise it/upcycle it to make it bespoke and fit in with your room decor.
Handy tip: You could also place two or three large houseplants side by side to create a ‘green wall’.
TRIAL RUN: Before I went ahead and invested in a full size desk I wanted to make sure that it wouldn’t look out of place or alter the flow of the room too much. Plus, would I actually utilise a desk enough to warrant the expense? I already had a console table that I’d previously used in the hallway so decided to set that up and give it a whirl. It soon became apparent that, in principle, the idea was a goer but the table was way too small and I ended up getting frustrated with the lack of space – time to grab the bull by the horns and get myself a big girls desk! I’m glad I went through the exercise though as it proved I wasn’t just acting on a whim (as I’ve been known to do).
PLANNING: If you’re thinking of setting up a working area then it’s good to sit down and make a list of all the things you need and consider how you can make the most of available space. I knew I needed a decent size working surface, enough room to add decorative accessories, storage solutions and it had to co-ordinate with the existing room decor and style.
THE DESK: So began the hunt for the desk of my dreams, My green and pink living room has a vintage, glam vibe so I wanted a desk along the same lines, I already had a clear idea in my head of the overall look I was aiming for (it had to include gold/brass) so that narrowed things down a little. Happily, due to the growing popularity of home office working, there is an abundance of stylish options out there at the moment; industrial, mid-century, white gloss, traditional oak – whatever style you’re looking for you’ll likely find it. Luckily for me, I found exactly what I was looking for in the glass and brass frame Fulton desk from Westelm UK.
Handy tip: I find it easier to make design decisions by putting together mood boards, I tend to use an app called Canva where you can have multiple images in a collage format, that way I can see how items will look together before I go ahead and purchase.
SEATING: Next on the agenda was sourcing a suitable chair – I initially started looking for a traditional office chair, height adjustable, on castors etc. As with desks, there are so many options available and I did see lots of really stylish office chairs, in varying price ranges. If I was intent on spending a lot of time working at the desk I would have considered making an investment, as postural support is definately something to be taken seriously. However, that isn’t the case for me at the moment, so I chose to go for a dining chair and my white leather and brass frame Perth chair from Furniture Choice was very kindly gifted. The chair is the perfect height for me and I can sit and work comfortably on my laptop for moderate periods of time without any discomfort.
Handy tip: If you are going to spending a lot of time at your desk it’s advisable to check that the ergonomics are correct and there are lots of videos and information online to demonstrate correct posture.
STORAGE: So what did I need – a consertina file for paperwork, a document holder for notebooks/brochures and closed storage for cables and anything else I didn’t necessarily want on display. As luck would have it, on one of my many trips to Homesense I spotted the green velvet duo and they went into the trolley quicker than a rat up a drainpipe (you know the drill ?). I already had the white BundleBerry trunks from QVCUK so they were the perfect solution – they’re not only super stylish but can also hide a multitude of sins. It’s so important to have good organisation, (especially in a small space) to help keep the office area tidy as it improves happiness and productivity. If you are short of space in your home office area consider installing shelving on the wall to house files, small storage boxes, paperwork etc.
Handy tip: Think creatively about office storage as it doesn’t have to be typically ‘office looking’ – you can use baskets, wicker hampers, vintage suitcases etc.
LIGHTING: As the desk is situated at the side of my french doors it benefits from lots of natural light during the day but I also wanted to have a table lamp to add extra task lighting during the evenings. I have ceiling spotlights in this room, which I don’t use very often as much prefer softer, ambient lighting in a room. The lamp also needed to be in keeping with the glam, luxe theme and the Beatrice table lamp with it‘s gold leaf base and clear Acrylic plinth is a fabulous addition. The lamp was gifted as part of a collaboration with Village at Home and suits the style of the desk perfectly.
ACCESSORISING: So then onto the really fun part; adding accessories to make the whole thing come to life and add more personality. The fabulous shelf design of the desk is a great display space – I’ve added a couple of pieces of artwork and a book for now but will be able to switch it up whenever I fancy a change. Adding greenery to the home office area instantly brings the space alive and adds a feeling of calm. As I use the desk to primarily write my blog posts it’s important to be surrounded by items and colours that spark creativity; as mentioned at the beginning – green, white and gold are perfect for this. I also have a little holder that houses positivity messages, which I change every week – it’s just a little touch that keeps me motivated – the more positive you feel about the space the better you will be able to work ?
Handy tip: Studies have shown that people are 15% more productive when surrounded by houseplants and they also promote feelings of happiness – so adding greenery to your office area not only makes it look nicer but has actual benefits too!
So basically that’s my home office in a nutshell – I couldn’t be happier with how it’s all come together and I hope I’ve been able to provide a few nuggets of inspiration.
Till next time……. Jo x
How to create a stylish work space in your home