In this day and age, it seems every second person is working from home, either on a full or partial basis. Aside from the fact that you’d have to convince yourself to actually complete some work, where you could easily just sneak a “lunchtime” episode of The Handmaid’s Tale… It’s a tough gig trying to get the creative juices flowing when you’re in your tiny spare bedroom, squished amongst the hoards of anything and everything that you own that doesn’t have a proper home in your home.
I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for inspiration in what I’m surrounded by, and when I have a nice workspace or office to go to, I don’t have the trouble of procrastination. So, you know you need to do something about that old Ikea desk and swivel chair that you’ve had since your teenage years…
Here are 7 steps to give you a workspace that will make you never want to leave, and you’ll probably instagram the sh*t out of it, too.
CLEAR IT OUT.
Yep, all of it. Anything that doesn’t belong needs to find a new home or its going to the bin. If you think about it, you work approximately 8-9 hours a day, 5 days a week. So you’re spending a large chunk of your life in this space. You deserve to have a clear walkway and not to have to fight with a box of your school yearbooks for a seat.
FRESHEN IT UP.
We like to call it ‘spring clean’ but you can actually conduct a cleaning spree at any time of the year, so don’t even think about trying to get out of this step. Get your scrubbing gloves on and even give it a fresh coat of paint if you want to go the extra mile.
PLAN IT OUT.
Now, this is where the hard thinking comes in. You need to figure out hat layout the room best functions in and how you need the space to work for you.
Things to think about:
Desk Situation: There are many options for this, and look if you think about it, you can definitely justify spending some money here. Remember, you’re claiming it back at tax time, so save your receipts! From custom built-in joinery, to Ikea “built-in” looking (a great money saver that is simple and contemporary), to a stand-alone desk. Think about keeping it simple, especially if you are lacking space. White is perfect, and don’t get it too big, otherwise the room will be all desk, and you’ll be sitting in the hallway.
Position: A desk that allows you to look out the window or get some natural light is the best kind. Try to position the desk for the best aspect for capturing a view or some natural light.
Storage: The big one. Think hard and long about this one. However you like to store your home office items, paperwork and the like, prepare and plan for it early and make sure that you’ve got extra space, because its human nature to accumulate more and more stuff.
SET IT OUT.
Get it all in there in position and ready to go. Organisation is key for home offices. Get all your paperwork in order, use a filing system that suits you, and make sure its consistent in form and colour. Magazine holders and binder folders are great. If these are on show, be sure to keep them consistent in colour. White or black is always a good starting point, but there are many different colours on the market that you can pick from to suit your space.
JAZZ IT UP.
Time for the pretty stuff. A good swivel desk chair is the best option for sitting for 8-9 hours. Don’t even think about getting a pretty, standard dining chair. You’ll put your back out, trust me. Swivel chairs don’t have to be all ugly and clunky. Try online shops like Temple & Webster for some stylish office chairs.
Styling your home office comes down to ease and comfort. One of my favourite things to add is a sheepskin for your chair. A chic addition to provide some texture and interest, while acting as a really soft cushion for your backside! Greenery is also an absolute must. Even if you decide to go with a faux plant, getting some greenery in there can give the space life and connect you with the outdoors. A real plant will even improve the air quality of the space for you if you can manage not to kill it!
Add some colour and interest in your desk accessories. There are some really beautiful leather sets out there in pink, blue and burgundy tones. Tie it in with what you already have in the room.
PIN IT UP.
As designers, we all love a beautiful pinboard to collect inspiring pieces along the way. Ours are usually filled with fabric swatches, drawings, quotes, magazine clippings and the like. Its a great way to create some interest instead of art, and something you can change as often as you like to inspire you. Otherwise, use it to pin important documents.
LIGHT IT UP.
And last but not least, and some lighting. A beautiful desk light is a must, it acts as a ‘task light’ for you to help avoid eye strain. If you have enough natural light or sufficient ceiling light, a beautiful table lamp is another great option to add another touch of interest and take it to the next level.
So there you have it. 7 steps to a new home office!
Here are some of my favourite home office images from Pinterest at the moment.
Images via Pinterest.