How to create the perfect home office
Interior designer Jenny Allan from JCA Interiors offers advice on how to create a beautiful and productive home office.
In 21st century living the work life balance is becoming increasingly important and that includes having a productive space to work at home. Our surroundings affect not only productivity but also concentration levels and effective interior design should maximize this.
An inviting, well-designed home office will make even the most difficult work task easier to complete.
Start the design by determining the style of desk you require. The desk is always going to be the star of the show and its design should be carefully considered. A beautiful desk is a worthwhile investment particularly if it is custom made for your requirements. Additional drawers for storing specific items plus an effective cable management system is essential.
To increase the design’s impact, the desk’s materials should be luxurious, perhaps with beautiful marquetry or metal inlay. Whatever your choice, the desk should be the focal point of the room and make a real statement. Of course the location of the desk depends on the shape and size of the room however, ideally it would be placed near a window for natural light and a view.
Deciding on a chair is the next challenge. Neither comfort nor style should be compromised. Take time deciding on the right chair, as a comfortable seat should equal more productivity. There are a multitude of options available, from leather to suede and other fabrics, to different chair heights and widths depending on what is most comfortable. It does not have to be a typical “office” chair however the style should blend into the room’s overall design.
Having bespoke storage designed for your specific needs in a home office is very helpful when it comes to organisation and working efficiently. Ideally have a mixture of cupboards, shelving and drawers. Paperwork and files can then be hidden while special objects such as family photos and mementos can be displayed to give the home office a personal, welcoming feel. Very simple items can turn a shelving unit into something extremely stylish. If you see an ornament that you really like, buy a group of them – an ensemble of decorative items will always make more impact. Just remember that a design can be ruined if a shelf contains too much clutter, so always display items which are in keeping with the overall look.
Make sure everything has a place and keep the desk clear and uncluttered. Desk accessories such as pen pots and in-trays can be beautiful as well as useful. There are many different types available which can work with the aesthetics of the room’s design.
To add further decoration, consider the type of artwork that would be best displayed in your home office. Textured, original artwork will add depth to a room while a group of framed prints may work equally well. Choose something that inspires you, that makes you feel good and will put you in a great frame of mind for a productive time in your home office.
Correct lighting is essential to an effective and successful home office design. Choices range from the soft indirect light of wall sconces to the more direct light from down lighters. However whatever main lighting you choose, always include task lighting in the form of a desk lamp.
If space allows, create another seating area aside from the desk for reading, relaxing and creative thinking. Add a couple of soft occasional chairs or a small sofa upholstered with luxurious fabrics to create another zone of the home office.
A beautiful space to work at home is becoming more and more invaluable and should be high on the priority list. If it is an efficient, productive and relaxing space it will enable you to get more work done quickly and enable you to spend extra time with your family and friends. Always a great investment.