The daily commute has become a thing of the past for home-workers, encouraging us to upgrade the office we now spend most time in.
You may be working from a separate room that does double duty as a guest room or family room, and want to invest in a completely new look to clearly create dedicated space for your home office. If so, you may want to differentiate it from the rest of your home and add some touches of luxury to make it welcoming.
Whether you’re tempted by an old-school, traditional look, or something sleek and contemporary, your home office must be comfortable and functional, with everything to hand to make you efficient and productive.
We check out some design inspiration for you. Let’s take a look!
Home office design
Before you start on your office revamp, think about how the space must suit your needs, and what furniture is essential. Look closely at the room’s shape, architecture, and dimensions, and work out whether any alcoves, fireplaces, or irregular spaces could be easily transformed into the design.
Well-thought-out storage is vital, so allow space for shelves and cabinets to avoid the room looking cluttered, and make it feel like an organised office.
Small home offices
With a small room, it’s important to keep office furniture to scale – if it’s too big it will feel cramped. A small space can still provide a luxury home office if you work out what your priorities are, for instance, concentrate first on desktop space, storage, and printing requirements.
There are many clever ways to maximise the space available, including using floating shelves that have no visible fixings, and wall-mounted, drop-down desk units. It’s important to avoid unnecessary items and keep some empty spaces. Choosing furniture with slim legs will help create a minimalist look, as will modern blinds on windows.
A mixture of open and closed shelving can also be effective, as can painting the walls and ceiling the same colour to blur boundary lines. Placing filing cabinets under the desk is another good contemporary design tip.
Here are some stunning small homes offices to inspire you:
If you’ve got more scope, you can plan the space by taking your desk as the priority area, perhaps positioning it according to natural light from a window. Then, an area can be designated for visitors with either comfortable seating around a coffee table, or more business-like chairs if you prefer.
It’s an effective strategy to make the best use of vertical space by installing cabinets and shelves to fit from floor to ceiling, which also creates an efficient atmosphere. Here are three great large office designs.
You may have space to add a sofa or comfortable chairs as well as functional ones. Soft furnishings can bring a room together and create a welcoming area for visitors, and a rich jewel colour in a luxury material such as velvet can work well as a contrast against the functionality of the rest of the office.
It’s a good idea to maximise the light coming in and position your desk accordingly. If you have a view from your office, you may want to be able to look up at it as you work. Venetian blinds or plantation-style shutters can be used to control the amount of light coming in.
These can add character to an office as well as being functional. To add drama, they can be backlit and recessed, and floor-to-ceiling bookcases make effective statement pieces. If positioned behind your desk, a bookcase can make an effective backdrop to those Zoom calls. Here are some great examples.
Neutral colours provide a calming office background. Rebecca Snowden, interior style advisor with home furnishing company Furniture and Choice commented:
Light neutrals are great for a small home office as they open up a room for a spacious and airy feel. Maintain a fresh and light look by choosing furniture with less visual weight like a glass table or those with slender silhouettes. Then, add warmth-inducing materials like plants for a pop of colour and liveliness, or candles for a touch of hygge.
Original or quirky ornaments or sculptures on shelves or your desk will add interest to your home office, along with pictures or framed photographs on the walls.
Options include a desk light with an adjustable arm for focused work or a desk lamp that will give a more diffused light. Ceiling recessed downlights work well over a desk. A striking floor lamp or a central ceiling light fixture give different layers of light, while wall lights give a soft glow.
Your choice of desk may well depend on the layout of your room. There’s a huge range of options here, from modern desks to standing desks, and folding desks to wall-mounted desks, and your choice may influence the entire office look, whether it is modern or traditional.
Make sure your desk is the right height for comfortable working from your chair. Consider a desk with built-in drawers which will save space.
To keep you comfortable you may choose an ergonomic office chair with adjustable armrests, seat height, and a flexible backrest. You may want to choose a statement chair such as an egg chair or a luxury option such as a classic Eames Desk Chair.
Vickie Lamb, a merchandiser for John Lewis, said that their sales reflect the growing interest in home offices.
Office chairs account for around half of sales in our home-working range, as people invest in a more comfortable set-up. Interestingly, our super premium range is performing well, making up 21% of total sales. But you don’t have to fork out and our ANYDAY brand is also hugely popular. We’ve 12 office chairs in this collection ranging from £59 to £159
Here are some more exciting chair designs to think about.
Wooden floors create a warm atmosphere and are a good choice, along with tiles, as they are durable and easy to maintain. Both can both be brightened up by laying rugs over them. For a luxurious touch, think about natural stone or porcelain tiles. Carpets offer warmth and comfort and are a good noise insulator.
Strategically placed shelves can enhance the look of a room while also being functional. They can be used for practical storage purposes as well as for displaying interesting pieces in your workspace.
Patterned wallpaper can add interest and texture and can be effective on just one wall. Walls painted in neutral tones create a good backdrop for pictures and mirrors. If you have a north-facing room, avoid cool-based colours and opt for warmer tones. Green is thought to bring energy to a room, while dark colours can create a cocoon-like environment which you may find helps with concentration.
Plants can bring energy and fragrance to your office and a tall statement plant can provide a focal point. How much or how little greenery you would like in your office is up to you!
More investment into home offices
Mal Shaw, sales director with bespoke furniture company Neville Johnson said:
Our homes have massively evolved over the past two years, becoming multi-functional spaces fit for living and working, meaning there has never been more of a desire to create a functional home-working area that can transform into a relaxing and welcoming space after work. Having a purposefully designed area means it will feel more like home and less like an office.
As the nation continues to favour the hybrid working model, making sure our home office is smart, stylish and modern is key to creating a great working environment, it can also provide a stunning background to those online video meetings.
Typically, we’ve seen our clients invest approximately 20% more on their home office solutions compared to pre-pandemic, showing that homeowners are prepared to spend more now that working from home is a more permanent situation.
We’re spending more time at home so it’s vital to ensure your work space is stylish, welcoming and above all, on-trend – no more working from the kitchen table or a makeshift desk in the spare room. Our most popular design style for home offices is our Wentworth range, which is a modern take on traditional shaker-style cabinetry.
Our skilled interior designers can implement stylish elements such as sliding panels and bifold doors. Our 5 Step Guide to Adding Value in the Home offers an array of smart home improvement ideas which guarantees to boost the overall value of a property.
Have I missed anything?
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