When designing any room in your home, it’s important to consider two things: style and function. Nowhere is this truer than in your home office as many of us work from home or use this space to take care of paperwork and undertake creative side projects.
When it comes to designing a room that combines both our work and living space, a little more thought is required than in a room that’s mainly about relaxing and entertaining. Your home office isn’t just a decorative space or a casual room for relaxing; it’s a place you go to escape distraction and find focus within the hectic daily routine of family life.
To help you achieve this with flair, our designers have suggested a few key points to keep in mind.
01.Study design basics
These are the essential elements that will serve as your foundation as you design your home office – thinking about these things first ensures you will create a space that not only looks great, but also balances effortlessly with your lifestyle.
Strike the balance
Your home office should be a productive place of work where you can escape distraction and focus on the task at hand. Start by thinking of the utility of your office design. Do you need a lot of filing room? Is your main concern a flat surface with lots of space to move around? Next, think about your style and choose pieces that will be inviting, inspiring, and calming.
Consider your style
Your office is a space where you’ll spend a lot of time and a great opportunity to inject some character while still reflecting the overall style of your home. Do you want it to be Chic and inviting – the kind of place you could spend hours curled up reading or typing out your manuscript? Or do you gravitate towards a more Urban design which is bright, contemporary and inspiring – perfect for creative work? A Luxe look on the other hand could be the optimum environment to close a business deal, with a stylish, classic feel that exudes sophistication and inspires confidence.
Find the outlets
Today the modern home office has just as much technology as its corporate counterparts. Computers, routers, printers, additional monitors, speakers and lamps are just a few appliances that will need to be powered from an outlet in your home office. Bear this in mind as you design your layout and take note of where each power source is to make sure it is within range of everything you need. If you’re going for a freestanding desk in the middle of the room, consider investing in additional outlets for the floor below to maintain a safe and streamlined and aesthetic.
Offices are notoriously messy places so consider functional storage to keep your space organised and ensure a good working environment. In addition to the tools and materials you use everyday, your home office is also probably home to important documents you need to keep safe. Whatever the final design, plan for plenty of storage in the form of bookshelves, magazine files, boxes and drawers to create a calm haven where there is a space for everything.
02.The study layout
Decide where you want to put your desk; do you work best facing a window or in the centre of the room facing towards the door? Make sure the essential pieces of furniture are close enough so that you have what you need to hand and arrange each element in a way that inspires you to be productive and creative.
Table or desk
The size of your space and the kind of work you do there will ultimately dictate the size of the table or desk in your home study. A simple table with clean lines and no drawers will help your office to feel sharp and organised, but may not be a practical solution if you keep lots of notebooks and computer equipment close to hand. A large table will help you to spread out and be creative, while a smaller desk is perfect for a modest workspace where you can get to work with minimal distractions.
Remember, the secret to success in your study design scheme is getting the seating right. Your desk chair should be functional and practical, so look for one that encourages good posture so you will be comfortable throughout your working day. Next, consider whether you require additional seating for clients or visitors and if you would benefit from a breakout space, ideal for reading and relaxing. A soft armchair will complement your design scheme and offers a comfortable place to get lost in your work.
Select a cabinet to keep order in your space and add a personal touch to your design scheme. Choose something that will be in proportion to the rest of the space – if your home office has a low ceiling, choose a sideboard cabinet that won’t draw attention to the lack of height in the space, and make the most of your vertical space in larger rooms with a tall display cabinet.
03.Home study accessories
The finishing touches are all the final flourishes that will bring your design together and add character to your home office interior. These are the elements that really separate a home study from a traditional corporate office environment, as your space will be unique and inspirational as it embodies your own individuality and sense of personal style.
Natural light is essential to help make a space comfortable for working in over long periods of time. Make the most of the natural light you do have by choosing colours and finishes that will amplify and bounce light around the room. Enhance darker spaces with carefully considered artificial lighting – a bright light overhead and a more targeted task light on the desk will illuminate your space and protect your eyes whilst keep you alert and productive.
Accessories offer you the chance to put some of your favourite things on display and add a bit of character to your space. Use a blend of accents like candles, photo frames and awards plus functional bookends, storage baskets and desk accessories to bring your space to life and make sure everything is organised and clutter-free. Keep your look consistent by choosing pieces with subtle repetition across shapes, materials, colours, themes or time period.
Cushions, rugs and other soft furnishings like curtains and lampshades will dress your space and complete the look in style. They will not only add texture and dimension, but ensure your study feels warm and inviting rather than cold and clinical. Use soft furnishings to introduce patterns into your home office, or balance the space by choosing plain colours to accent bolder statement pieces in the room.