How to Design Your Home Office
Updated: Apr 9
Hi there, Hayley Roy here, Designer and Business Owner at Harp Interiors!
I have been asked by a number of journalists this week to give my thoughts and advice on Home Office Design, so I though I would share my response with you all and also give some tips from years of experience "Working From Home" (WFH) to help in any way I can in the current climate.
Working from home is a new concept for so many people in the world right now and it can take time to adjust to how you are going to work and where you're going to work in your home.
The most challenging thing a lot of people are trying to get used to at the moment, is not having a designated office to work from, having to use a dining room or bedroom which has to be a doubled up space. If you are using a doubled up space my biggest piece of advice would be to pack your work away at the end of the day! It will help the transition between work and home and stop you from working after work time.
How to Create / Design a Work-Space From Home
Questions and Answers
Q1. Any advice on creating a separate area for yourself if you're living in a busy household in a small space?
Your work space is really important, try and choose somewhere light if you can. Use something like a dressing table or a dining table, somewhere with as much space as possible. You could even use a folding table that can be packed away at the end of the day.
There are also fold up office desks you can get hold of for something more permanent like this Poul Secretary Desk from Wayfair
Set your work area up every morning and pack it away in the evening so that it can be a multi-use space and you don’t feel like you are in a work space all the time. Create Zones in the house that are work Zones (where other people in the house are not allowed to speak to you for example) so that you can have that effective work space where you can concentrate.
Q2. Any advice on choosing colour schemes/accessories to create a calm working environment?
You might not even notice it, but your body and your mind both have reactions to seeing colours. Brighter colours are energising and stimulating, the colour you choose would really depend on what you want to feel in your work space.
Calm colours to consider could be:
This is a productive Colour, the brighter the blue the more stimulating, if you want a more calm environment use soft neutral tones like
Little Green Sky Blue 103
Craig and Rose Swedish Blue (below)
Neutral colours are generally very soft and soothing, some people thing that neutral colours are boring but there are such a variety of shades you can use to create a soothing calm interior that the choice is endless. You can also combine a neutral colour with another colour, for example a rich earthy brown tone combined with deep green can add a sense of richness to a room.
Dulux do a lovely Neutral Range in the image below that work well together or alone for a neutral feel.
The most important thing about the colour of your home office is how it makes you feel, being motivated is the key so think about what you do for a living and what colour best fits with how you need to feel.
Q3. Any advice on storage solutions/doubling up furniture?
Your posture is the most important thing in your work space, it can keep your back healthy or it can cause some real problems. If you haven’t got a chair that is good for your posture then try and borrow one from your work place, this can double up as a dining chair as a temporary measure if needed.
Storage needs to be carefully worked out. If you have a laptop bag, try and pack your laptop away at the end of the day with your paperwork so that you can end work and begin free time. If you want to spend some pennies on something more permanent you could go for a footstool or coffee table that has storage inside like this one from Ikea.....
If you can’t afford to spend too much money on extra furniture but you need extra storage space you could use something like this to pack your things away under your bed (also Ikea).
Q4. Any advice on lighting a work area?
You need to have a well lit area for you to be able to work effectively without straining your eyes, as bright as possible. You also need to have enough light for Zoom / Skype calls right now because this is the only way to communicate during lockdown if you usually have face to face meetings. Having a good directional lamp is a good idea for this as well as lighting your work space in the evening.
A Cool Desk Lamp might be:
This Cell Desk Lamp from Liqui Contracts
This Madalynn Desk Pamp from Wayfair
I'd love to hear any thoughts or comments on this article.