Latest official government guidelines say those who can should be working from home for the foreseeable and with this comes an increasing need to create spaces in which we can be productive, while reflecting our personal tastes in style and design. Setting up your home office is an exciting project and, in this article, we provide some top tips to help you get started.
Streamline your storage
Chances are that your home office will be set up in an otherwise unused part of your house where space is at a premium, so organisation is crucial. Look for adaptable storage systems that can grow and be altered as your needs change, such as adjustable shelving or a foldaway desk. Check out Real Homes compilation of the home office shelving solutions here. A local joinery specialist will be able to design and build home office storage to perfectly suit your requirements. Alternatively, flexible, modular storage systems (usually made up of different units, shelves, doors and components that can be combined and customised to fit your space) can also be effective.
Tip: Wonder wall – choose wall mounted wire shelving, a giant cork board, or perhaps a peg board to keep your all-important documents in sight and your desk clutter free.
Choose colours carefully
The colour of your walls shouldn’t be overlooked as something sitting in the background, it is much more powerful than that - evoking certain emotions which can make you feel inspired and motivated to achieve your goals (great!), or encourage feelings of peace and tranquillity (not going to get the job done!). Avoid cool colours like blues and lilacs, which can promote relaxation and instead incorporate purple into your decor, which is known to stimulate the imagination, or even a lively yellow or mood-boosting orange to keep you energised.
Tip: Au natural - If you’re unsure about reaching for a brighter colour palette, then try neutral shades like grey and cream that won’t cause distractions.
Find functional furniture
The two most important items for your selection are probably the desk and chair. If you’re sitting down for long periods of time, you want to make sure that your chair supports your back and neck, and helps with your posture - it’s well known that poor posture can lead to headaches, back pain, sleep problems and even low mood and feeling less motivated. Read the Independent’s shortlist of the best ergonomic chairs here.
Tip: Make a stand – with the current restrictions on social interaction a standing desk might be a good option to keep you mobile - why not make your own, enlist the help of a local joiner, or view The Independent’s list here for some inspiration.
Lockdown your lighting
Lighting isn’t just about brightening up your space, it can make you more productive. Natural light improves our mood and makes us happier, which is why having a window in your office is ideal – placing your computer by the window can give your eyes a much-needed break from the screen. If you can’t access natural light in your office space, some creative lighting positioned strategically will still be of benefit. Read more about the power of lighting at the Idea Home website here.
Tip: Bright idea - Avoid eye strain by ensuring your computer isn’t directly in the line of your light source.
Creating a home office can often mean maximising the smallest spaces in your house. If you are confused about the practicalities or what you want, consult an interior designer, or consider hiring a local painter and decorator, who can help you to make the perfect environment so you can get on with the day job.