How to create a home office where you’d want to work

Home office

In the 21st century, more and more of us are becoming self-employed – and employers themselves are becoming more flexible about remote working. That means that many people now operate from home. Living and working in the same place can be hard to do – there are so many distractions; domestic chores, family, knocks at the door. To make a success of it, you might need to create a home office where you’d want to work and enjoy spending time. We’ve come up with a few ways that can help you attain this…

Home office desk and chair

Furniture

The first place you’ll want to start is with the furniture. If you’re going to be spending an entire working day in a room, comfort is paramount. Your office chair should be ergonomic and supportive; sitting for hours at a time can wreak havoc with the shoulders, back and spine.

If you have the space, additional office seating such as an armchair or small sofa gives you more options for activities such as reading documents and having meetings etc. It also encourages you to step away and avoid staring at your computer screen for extended periods of time.

Your desk needs to be the correct height in relationship to your office chair. Too high or too low and it will affect your posture which could cause discomfort and aches & pains.

home office desk with books and bowl of fresh fruit salad

Lighting

Natural light is the best for working. Have your desk face a window rather than away from it (glare from sunlight on a computer screen can strain your eyes). Besides, being in front of a window can be an effective distraction if the view is over a garden, landscape or cityscape. Staring out helps you think and come up with imaginative ideas!

If natural sunlight isn’t an option, your choice of electric lighting becomes even more important. A desk lamp is the next best thing. It can be positioned to shine in just the spot where it’s needed. If your desk space isn’t large enough to accommodate a lamp, an adjustable floor-standing lamp could be the answer. It is important to choose the correct wattage of bulb – nothing too dim or too bright – something around 50Watts.

Overhead fluorescent strip lights are not recommended as they can cause eye strain and lead to headaches.

Desk with box files

Environment

For you to work effectively, your home office needs to be well organised. As the saying goes, “a tidy desk leads to a tidy mind”. Move mess off your desk and into storage. Install shelves and drawers and put paper into filing trays & boxes. Use a noticeboard Uncluttered, ordered, distraction-free

Keeping your office environment tidy is just the start. Enhance the space with houseplants which purify the air. Keep healthy snacks, bottle of water, tea/coffee maker (just the smell of coffee can boost spirits) to hand.

Finally, you need to think about the ambient temperature. No one enjoys working somewhere where it’s too hot or too cold. There’s no recommended temperature – everyone’s different. However, a YouGov survey found that the average British person says their ideal temperature is 21ºC.

Home office with bright orange feature wall

Colour

There is a psychology of colour, it can subconsciously affect your mood. For instance, blue is associated with feelings of calm, green represents nature, growth and renewal, grey is sophisticated and practical, yellow is warm, energetic and uplifting. You can add colour to your working environment in many ways – a lick of paint, colourful furniture, pretty accessories.

Home office desk with inspiration wall

Inspiration & motivation

We all need inspiration and motivation at work sometimes; getting over the Wednesday hump or when Friday just seems to drag. There are visual and aural methods of improving your productivity – artworks, postcards, photos. Some people need complete silence to work, however, tuning into the radio, playing music or listing to recorded sounds from nature such as birdsong or rain showers can increase your work rate.

Hopefully, by following these tips, you’ll be able to create a home office space that makes you comfortable, productive, happy and healthy.

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Get their look: Perfectly practical kitchen

Perfectly practical kitchencredit

Of all the kitchens we’ve featured so far on Get their look, this perfectly practical kitchen is probably the one I’d most like to be in our home!

As an ex-chef and avid baker, I love the fact that the Gaggenau appliances wouldn’t look out of place in an industrial kitchen. I’ve always had a soft spot for minimalist stainless steel cabinets and work surfaces.

The background palette is neutral and calm – creams, whites and natural wood shades much in evidence. It’s livened nicely with small flashes of colour from flowers, fruit, herbs etc.

A vintage, wall-mounted Bakelite telephone and framed Tretchikoff ‘Chinese Girl’ print add a contrasting homeliness to an otherwise utilitarian-like space.

Real thought has gone into the design – the marble fire surround being picked up in the top of the Saarinen tulip table for example.

  1. Bamboo hanging lamp
  2. Serge Mouille six-arm ceiling lamp replica
  3. Vladimir Tetchikoff ‘Chinese Girl’ print
  4. Gaggenau VG 491 111 F – SERIE 400 – stainless steel controls front
  5. Saarinen tulip oval table Arabescato coated marble by Knoll
  6. Gaggenau BMP 250 130 microwave cm. 60 200 dx series – silver combined microwave
  7. Polacco stool
  8. Tolix Inox outdoor chairs designed by Xavier Pauchard

Get their look: Perfectly practical kitchen | H is for Home

Get their look: Vintage minimalist kitchen

Vintage minimalist kitchencredit

Jes and Caleb describe their style as ‘Vintage Minimalist’ which is plain to see in the kitchen of their Pennsylvania home.

The space is pared back and simple – and, whilst not devoid of interesting objects on display, it’s free of unnecessary clutter. There’s lots of natural light which bounces off the brilliant white paintwork and Marmoleum flooring. A feature wall in a much darker colour adds interest – the mushroom shade picked up in the flecked flooring pattern and cupboard doors. Both the light and dark combine well with the natural wood of the counter tops, chopping boards and wall clock. It looks like a very comfortable and practical space in which to live.

  1. Cactus salt & pepper shakers
  2. Mrs. Anderson’s Baking wire pastry blender
  3. Vintage black tiered cake stand
  4. Vintage Spring Blossom green Pyrex cookware
  5. Gorenje ORB153C tall fridge – cream
  6. Truly Taupe interior paint
  7. RÅSKOG trolley
  8. Marmoleum flooring

Check out some of the other rooms we’ve featured in our Get their look series.

Get their look: Vintage minimalist kitchen | H is for Home

Get their Look: Blue & copper kitchen

Blue & copper kitchencredit

Blue isn’t our obvious ‘go to’ colour for interior decoration, however, this blue & copper kitchen is just soooo gorgeous!

It may be compact, but what it doesn’t have in space it more than makes up for in style. Copper fixtures & fittings make a welcome change from the usual stainless steel. The cupboards and shelves are all handmade and those tiles… those tiles! The turquoise scallop tiled wall is the star of the show. The shades of blue work so well with the walnut wood.

Wraparound shelves and work surfaces are kept clear of all but the most necessary and oft used of items – kettle, bread bin, mugs, knives and utensils. Keeping clutter at bay helps to keep the space light and airy.

  1. Paris Cabaret turquoise scallop tiles
  2. KGE36AW40G Bosch fridge freezer
  3. 4-piece copper-plated utensil set
  4. Neff D5855X0GB 73cm Wide canopy cooker hood, silver metallic
  5. Neff T41D82X2 Induction hob, black
  6. Neff U17S32N3GB Electric built-under double oven, stainless steel
  7. CDA Belfast 59.5cm x 47.5cm ceramic kitchen sink
  8. Schulte-Ufer 64020-12 Pitty mini-saucepan
  9. Le Parfait glass storage jars
  10. Idrotech 314 brushed copper, kitchen mixer tap
  11. Schulte-Ufer Nimm SET1034 pot set 4–loop, 4–piece

Check out some of our other Get their Look features!

Get their Look: Blue & copper kitchen | H is for Home

Get their look: Dramatic rental property

Dramatic rental propertycredit

This striking rental property is the home of Northumberland-based stylist and blogger, Kerry Lockwood and her family. If you were of the impression that being a renter meant forgoing a beautiful home, then this fabulous place can certainly change that. We know that it’s not always easy (or even possible) to convince landlords to allow changes, but if it is, then the before and after photos of Kerry’s home should provide real inspiration.

This living room is filled with natural light from a large bay window. The dark walls provide a real sense of drama both day and night – and are a perfect backdrop for her collection of artwork. Furniture, accessories and textiles layer natural tones and there’s a shimmer of metallic here and there. It looks like a comfortable, relaxed home – and very lovely indeed.

  1. Bellenger ‘simple pratique élégant favor’ reproduction poster
  2. Kate Moss ‘Life is a Joke’ photographic print
  3. ‘On air’ light box
  4. Nadadora glicée print by Blanca Gomez
  5. Farrow & Ball ‘Stiffly Blue’
  6. Dark grey Egg chair by Arne Jacobsen
  7. Original 1227 giant floor lamp by Anglepoise
  8. John Lewis Ikon large 3-seater sofa
  9. STOCKHOLM handmade/striped black/off-white mat

Click here to see more of our ‘Get their look‘ features.

Get their look: Dramatic rental property | H is for Home

Price Points: Invisible furniture

Invisible furniture | H is for Home

Invisible furniture can be practical, attractive and humorous. Invisible could mean hidden in clear sight, transparent or even camouflaged. The three examples we’ve chosen cover all these bases.

The concealed bookshelves are really affordable and can free up precious wall and floor space. In addition, they’re a great way of showing off your most attractive book spines and covers. The transparent trunk is a useful piece of furniture; great for storage or an imaginative way of displaying something extra special. Have you spotted the HD television in photo #3? It’s masquerading as a framed artwork. It’s such a fantastic way of transforming what is usually a big, blank, black rectangular space. You can choose from a number of different frames and artworks to suit your décor… or even display your own photographs or family snaps!

  1. Umbra Conceal bookshelf: from £10.50, Red Candy
  2. Clear acrylic trunk / coffee table: £1,774.03, Etsy
  3. Samsung The Frame Art Mode ultra HD TV: from £1,999.00, John Lewis