In this new time dealing with the coronavirus, many of us are adapting to working and studying from home. Some Clara Bee thoughts on helping you to set up the right space for this:
Function – is this solely a work from home space, or the household admin centre, somewhere for children to home learn, study or to monitor use of the games console, maybe it’s just a peaceful place to escape, relax and read a book.
Space –if a separate room is not an option; is there is a space in the spare room, or corner of a reception room, at the end run of kitchen units, under the stairs. Grander schemes involve converting loft space or have a freestanding unit in the garden (think insulation, heating, electrical, IT connections and security issues).
Furniture –a functional and ergonomically comfortable desk and chair is needed for starters, maybe a lovely relaxing armchair or chaise longue. Storage is key – assess the type and quantity; for IT, filing, books, photo albums, toys, stationery, etc. Maximise space – take shelving right up to the ceiling, use space under the desk, cupboards and drawers can be built into alcoves. Other things – noticeboards, easel, safe? If the space is multi-functional – how easy is it to hide everything away when others use the area too.
Layout – Desks do not have to be situated under a window, it may be a distraction, sun may cause glare or make the room too hot, if south facing. You may want to face a wall to maximise concentration, or have the desk in the centre of the room, what do you need within easy reach.
IT – equipment; monitors, keyboard or laptop, printer, shredder, game consoles, wifi routers and boosters. Do you have enough electrical sockets and are they positioned in convenient places. Keep the cables untangled, managed and separately labelled.
Lighting – natural lighting is preferable, consider glare and reflections on computer screens. Consider summer and winter differences in light and heat.
Décor – choose colours that calm or inspire you, depending on the requirements for the room. Greens and blues calm and soothe, bright orange, reds and yellows inspire and uplift. Intensity and hue of colour is more important than the colour itself. The space does not need to be boring – make it personal, have photos, paintings or decorative accessories to give personality and warmth.
Manage distractions – try a “do not disturb” sign on the door, or accommodate small children with a little table and chairs, colouring pens and books, squishy bean bag and a small toy box. Some people work with music or radio in the background, others need complete silence.
Extras – a coffee machine and fridge, and air conditioning is becoming popular. How about a film projector and seating to adapt to a media room, the possibilities are endless.
Where to start – IKEA has a large range of home office furniture and storage solutions, John Lewis and Marks & Spencer furniture catalogues cover home offices extensively.
Search out ideas on Pinterest or Houzz. See Clara Bee’s Home Office Pinterest page https://www.pinterest.co.uk/clarabee1/home-office/
You may want an individual space created with bespoke carpentry solutions, in which case consider consulting an interior designer, a good one will have all the contacts to help you create and implement your perfect and beautiful home office.
As with any interior design project – have a good think and establish a clear idea about what you are trying to achieve, how the space will be used now and into the future and set a realistic budget. Most of all have fun and enjoy creating a useable and adaptable space in your home, and one that adds lifestyle function and value to your property.