It can be difficult to decorate a home office in a way that makes it both homely and an efficient working space. Below are some of our top tips for striking the balance and creating the best working environment possible.
A task light – for example, a desk lamp or wall light – is essential and should point directly at your work surface. If possible, place it partially behind your screen to offset screen glare and reduce eye strain.
If your room has a large window, place your desk facing it and hang a mirror adjacent to the window to bounce light through the room.
If you don’t have a lot of natural light, or if you tend to work late, invest in a large statement lamp or hang two or three daylight bulbs from the ceiling above your workspace.
Plants can help to make an office feel more homely, as well as aiding creative thinking. They are also a natural endorphin. The ideal office plant is one that is low maintenance with air purifying qualities. If you have enough space, place a tall standing plant in the corner, some hanging ivy in a colourful pot on the shelf or maybe some succulents which look great and require very little space or maintenance. If you are reluctant to commit to real plants, there are some fantastic fake options that require no maintenance at all.
When styling your home office, try to introduce elements that will inspire and motivate you. These can include landscapes of meaningful places, family photos or motivational mantras. They should be placed to the side of the room so as not to distract you but to keep you motivated when your eyes stray from your screen and, if you are a fan of wallpaper, this should be kept to just one statement wall.
Use colour to your advantage. Light and neutral tones with injections of colour work best. Softer blues can calm the mind while bright colours such as yellows and reds spark creativity and energy. Use in small areas, maybe in the form of a plant pot or a note book, so you don’t overwhelm the eye. If you have a favourite colour, incorporate it, too.
When choosing your office chair, do not sacrifice comfort for style. Although you are in the comfort of your own home you should still use a swivel chair to create a clear distinction between your working area and the rest of the home. Think about practicality and ergonomics, ensure you find a chair with adjustable height, back support and padding.
Organisation is essential for a productive working environment. Keep shelving to a single wall and keep it tidy – this will be easier if the items you put on a shelf are not the ones you will be reaching for on a daily basis. For day-to-day necessities, find a desk with some built-in storage or install a stylish filing cabinet. Of course, if all your files are kept on your computer, you may not need more than a desk drawer or two and shelving might be more for an aesthetic purpose.
Written by Lisa Faye, Interior Consultant, Savills UK