With the dark evenings and difficult winter driving conditions approaching, now is a good time to consider a home office or study for those days you want to work at home. Even with the smallest space available within your home, it is possible to create a working area with bespoke furniture says interior designer Paula Nakhai from Homewood Furniture.
According to a new study released early this year by the TUC to mark National Work from Home Day, the number of homeworkers has increased by a fifth over the last decade. However, not all of us have the ideal set up at home to work - for example, a kitchen table or the sofa might provide a short-term solution, but in an ideal world most of us would prefer a home office or study.
A spare room can easily be transformed into a stylish home office or study but, before you rush off to your nearest furniture store with a tape measure, have a good think about what other options are available, for example, bespoke furniture. For you to be productive it is important to have an area which is designed to be functional and aesthetically pleasing – after all, this has to be a place where you are happy to spend time.
First of all, think about storage. Ideally, a workspace should be uncluttered and clean. Everything in your office or study needs a home – for example, books on a shelf, files neatly stored within a cabinet and stationery in a drawer. Having a bespoke wall unit which features shelves, draws and cabinets is a great solution and makes full use of the available wall space.
You then need to think about your desk and where this is going to be positioned. Facing a wall could make you feel a bit constrained. If space allows, it is better to have a desk positioned with your back to a wall with a full view of the room to help you work at ease. A desk which has been made to measure will make full use of the available space - for example, a curved desk will give you a wide corner to place the monitor and keyboard.
Having lots of natural light within a home study or office is great, provided it doesn’t cause glare on your computer screen. Using light colours for the walls will help create a pleasant and calm environment for work. Depending on whether you want to create a modern or traditional décor, remember the beauty of bespoke office furniture is being able to choose from a variety of materials and finishes.
Of course, not all of us have a spare room or an outhouse in which to create a home office or study. Most of us have a corner within a room which doubles up as a living area or a bedroom. Facing a wall might be the only option but don’t despair - this area can be transformed into a cosy workspace. Painting the wall a cool calming colour or putting a piece of artwork which inspires will give you a focus away from your screen for creating thinking. Investing in a desk which has been made especially for you will also make this area feel more special and personal to you.
So don’t settle for the sofa or the kitchen table if you are working from home- look around you to see whether a room or an area can be used for a more inspirational work space. Make the furniture work for you by exploring the options, it is amazing how much storage and work space can be achieved within a room with clever craftsmanship.