It looks like working from home is the one thing that is going to remain a constant as we all learn how to live in a pandemic. Nobody expected everyday life to become so intense and so full of new regulations that nobody seems to be able to actually regulate. As the UK’s largest business organisations make decisions about how to best accommodate it’s workforce, it’s becoming more and more obvious that the way forward is to work from home. Now, I’m assuming most of us don’t have the luxury of a ‘spare room’ ready to convert into a fabulous home office. However, having a designated space just for work is important. Working at the dining room or kitchen table was ok for a while and in fact I was quite happy perched in the kitchen myself – however working from home is looking more permanent these days, so let’s take the plunge and make ourselves a ‘working zone’ at home. Here are a few ideas to help you get your ‘working from home’ space just right for you.
Ideally a bit of space, preferably near a window, or with good lighting and access to a plug socket is a great place to start your set-up. Every decision about your home office will be directed by the type of work you do. If you’re a beautician or a draughtsman then obviously you’ll need specialist equipment. But most of us just need a decent computer and a telephone, pad and pen – oh and a space for the constant cups of coffee.
Once you’ve decided on the perfect spot the fun can begin! Who doesn’t love a bit of online bargain hunting? Retailers have caught onto the fact that we’re going to make our ‘working from home’ more permanent and there are some fantastic bargains to be had if you do a bit of research. Here are a few styles that might inspire your choices….
Old School Vibes
I’m talking charming vintage decor rather than a dial up modem! Think of those gorgeous wooden desks with drawers either side and a leather section in the middle of the writing area. Rich autumnal hues and cosy rugs. Ebay is a terrific place for vintage finds or if you want to venture out why not try your local flea markets and second-hand furniture shops. It’s surprising what people get rid of these days. Even if you have to chuck a cosy throw over a comfy high backed chair it’ll be worth it. Inkwells, blotting paper and vintage lamps – I can picture it now – zoom meetings in a smoking jacket and cravat!
Who Needs a Desk?
Do you actually need a traditional desk with drawers? Why not seek out a plain and simple table. It will take up less space than a traditional desk and be a less solid addition to the room. There are a gazillion online stores offering great discounts. Try Wayfair, Johnlewis, or even Laredoute, A simple table is perfect for those of us that don’t need a lot of equipment or surface area. Watch out though – your kids will insist it’s the ‘only’ place they can do their homework! How about a table on castors so you could literally move wherever you fancy on a daily basis – a flexible working environment sounds pretty useful! Remember this is your workspace. Just because it’s not a traditional desk doesn’t mean it can become a dumping ground for household bills and laundry! Stake your claim and make it yours.
Clutter to Hide?
Does your job require you to be surrounded by clutter? Fabric samples, crafting supplies or stacks of paper and newspaper cuttings? Then you need to be able to tidy part of this away at the end of the day to not only protect your precious work but also to stay organised. A bookshelf in an alcove could be enough and could be hidden behind a stylish curtain? Or a stack of box shelves with slide out compartments would be very useful. I’ve seen some great examples on ikea and they’re great value too – most things can be delivered to your door so you don’t even have to go into the store. There may even be a couple of boxes spare for other clutter hanging around the house. Those block shelving units really do hide a multitude of sins!
We’d all love to work in the fresh air but it’s just not possible or practicable for most of us. So let’s bring the outside in! Not only could you festoon your work space with glorious plants that’ll clean the air while you work but how about a nice floral blind or curtain hanging over the window? Or a pretty painting on the wall. Anything to make your space have that jungle vibe and as inspiring as possible. Don’t hold back – make bold choices with your decor and make your work space glorious.
One clever way to designate a space for your home office is by using colour on the walls. Choose a corner that will become your 9-5 home and really go to town. What about raspberry on the walls or even black? These colours would work brilliantly with wooden flooring too. Black walls and furniture with really good lighting and chrome accessories – sooo chic! Or you could just make your whole workspace into a blackboard! Of course if you have a particularly stressful job then it might be an idea to choose blue – this is a very calming colour for any stressful environment. Just because your walls are grey or white throughout the rest of your home it doesn’t mean that you can’t go a little over the top in your designated space. Let’s live a little…
There is nothing quite so unique as mixing modern furnishings with unique vintage pieces. Nobody else will be able to create your eclectic mix and if this is the look you’d like to go for then it’s time to hit those markets. Flea markets, car boots and antiques shops are mini treasure troves. Have a theme in mind that you’d like to go for as making decisions on the hop can be difficult! Try not to be lured into impractical purchases. You could make a mood board of what you like with a colour palette in mind and start from there. It makes sense to get electrical goods tested before purchase, but there are a ton of desks, shelves, metal filing cabinets and chairs out there waiting to be discovered.
There are lots of different themes to choose from – these are just a couple. In the main your space needs to be workable for you. Whatever your job is – and you know it best – make your home office space work for you.
Pictures credit goes to decoist.