Ilkley-based Interior Designer, Caroline Ann of Storylines unites beauty and function to create dynamic and stylish residential and commercial spaces whilst supporting local trades, artisans and designers. With so many of us now utilising our homes as a workspace, Caroline lists her top five ways to make a home office work in our favour.
Working from home is such a joy. The flexibility. The (relative) freedom. No commute. No 9 ’til 5. But is your work space everything you deserve it to be?
It’s far too easy to neglect your home office space, but the reality is you probably spend rather a lot of time there. One of the benefits of working from home is that your work space should be as comfortable and personal as the rest of your home. So, here are a few tips to make your office space work that little bit harder for you.
ALLOCATE A SPACE
This sounds obvious, but make sure you allocate a space. No more dining table or sofa. This is even more important if you can’t dedicate a separate room to it. Whether it’s a little nook, the spare room or a space on the landing, make sure you claim it for your own. It helps stop the work/home blur and ensures you have a proper space to focus in.
Sometimes you have to make-do, but if you can, invest in the important pieces. You spend a lot of time sat at your desk, so it needs to be comfy. But don’t feel you have to be restricted to conventional office furniture. As long as it offers the comfort and support you need to sit there for long periods, be as creative as you like. There’s also plenty of design-led ergonomical furniture now, so shop around and find something you love. Don’t compromise.
Good designs work aesthetically and practically. This is all the more important in a work space. Storage is key, but that doesn’t mean you need to stick to the traditional office filing cabinet. Be realistic about your storage and filing requirements though. You might love a minimal look and think you can make do with limited storage provision. But if the reality is a “minimal” look with papers all over the floor, it doesn’t look or feel so great. Good storage doesn’t need to be expensive. Be creative; try adding some rustic wooden shelves for texture and to avoid a corporate feel.
Good ambient and task lighting is essential for work spaces. Ideally an office space will have plenty of natural light but if that’s not the case for your space, think about how best to create a light, bright space. Recessed downlights can be a simple solution, and then you can play around with some plug-in options. Find a funky desk lamp, and have fun with some feature lighting too. Work the industrial vibe with simple wire cage pendants or be playful with string lights. There are plenty of plug-in wall light options too which work well.
It’s no secret that I love sheepskins but there’s no easier way to add softness, warmth and texture to a space. Just adding a rug makes a work space more homely, more personal. It’s also a great way to zone your workspace or add a touch of colour or pattern. Even just adding a throw over your office chair makes it just that little bit more inviting.
MAKE IT PERSONAL
No one wants to work in a sterile space. Make it personal; style it up. Add a photo gallery wall or frame a couple of those pictures your little one brought back from school. Buy that cool stationary and add some plants. It’ll brighten up your office, and your day. And if it helps to justify it, remember it’s for work!