You don’t have to be an interiors expert to know that your environment has a huge impact on your mood, and from wall colours to soft furnishings, the things you surround yourself with on a daily basis will shape the way you feel in your home.
In fact, studies have proven that people with blue bedroom décor are likely to sleep more soundly, while earth-toned décor in your living room will have the same grounding effect as taking a long walk through the countryside. This means that, when it comes to your home office, it’s worth taking the time to create a space that will boost your productivity levels and motivation, rather than stop you from concentrating on the task at hand.
Real office inspiration:
- ‘I’ve turned a neglected lean-to into a cosy office’
- ‘An unused room is now my creative haven’
- ‘We turned our shed into a dream office’
Whether you’ve got a dedicated office space, a corner of your room sectioned off with a room divider or you’ve transformed an unused closet into a cloffice, these handy home office tips will help you to take you work space to the next level.
Read on to discover how to transform your study from drab to fab, plus our favourite home office ideas.
The best home office ideas
Office paint colours
It’s easy to underestimate the impact that the colour of a room can have on motivation levels. Colourful surroundings boost creativity, but the wrong colour – like clinical white, or intense shades in a small room – can easily make us feel trapped within four walls.
As it’s the dominant colour in nature, green evokes organic, fresh, restful emotions and helps to foster concentration. Lime green in particular helps to create a fresh vibe, full of vitality.
Yellow is an attention-grabbing hue – there’s a reason it’s the most common highlighter colour – and bright shades are associated with happiness and optimism, which is great for staying positive through the working day. However, bear in mind that if it’s too bright, yellow can distract and overpower your office environment.
Purple are proven to stimulate the imagination, while softer lavender tones also bring a soothing vibe, helping promote focus and concentration.
On the flip side, blue is commonly seen as a relaxing colour when it comes to home decor. That makes it a great bedroom colour – but not ideal for an office.
And why not go one step further and choose a complementary fragrance for your home office? Check out our guide to choosing the right scent for any room.
It might seem like an obvious point, but there’s no point having a beautifully accessorised home office if you’re not comfortable enough to work in it.
Choose a desk and accompanying chair that are the perfect height so that you don’t put strain on your neck, or consider getting a monitor that can be adjusted to make sure you’re not looking down at your laptop. If you’re looking to invest, you can even consider installing a standing desk if you struggle to sit for long periods of time.
‘When you’re choosing the furniture for your office, focus on the type of desk that you will want to sit down and work at. Think carefully before opting for a typical pine desk – instead, go for a desk you’ll feel proud of working from. A statement chair will be a good addition to this, so you won’t feel like you’re working in any old mundane office space. You’ll need to feel motivated to work each day, so choosing your desk and chair is incredibly important’ says Layla Chapman, Interior Designer
If you’re struggling to find the perfect size desk for your space, why not make your own bespoke design? You can do this with a piece of kitchen worktop cut to size to fit along one wall. You can then put filing cabinets or shelving beneath. This can be a particularly good option for an awkward box room.
Office decor accessories
There’s no reason why an office space should be clinical, and while clutter can be distracting, a few carefully curated items placed neatly around the room or on open shelving can help to inspire you throughout the day.
Keep your favourite books, artwork and images close by – when you reach a natural dip in the day, you can reach for these instead of your phone to prevent getting sucked into an internet rabbit hole.
Mood boards are a fantastic way to showcase business goals and objectives, as well as creative ideas. You can create collages full of inspirational images, or even pin up photographs of people who motivate you.
Creating a feature mood board doesn’t have to be difficult – you can but large magnetic boards from most stationary shops, or even create a chalkboard on your wall using blackboard paint and some masking tape.
If you’re feeling especially creative, why not make your own hexagon cork board? It’ll look like an interesting piece of wall decor in its own right, and you can use it to display inspirational messages or pictures cut out from magazines when you want to.
Office storage solutions
As with any other space in your home, choosing efficient storage for your home office is a must. Clutter can be highly distracting – particularly in a working environment – so it’s worth having a number of different solutions that will work to keep loose paperwork, stationary and any other home office essentials stored neatly away.
Stylish filing cabinets will make the perfect addition to your working-from-home space and provide you with somewhere to properly store your ever expanding collection of books, correspondence and stationary supplies. Seagrass storage baskets, on the other hand, are perfect for keeping loose bits and bobs organised, or you could even fill them with blankets and cushions for when the months get colder.
Good lighting is essential in any room of your home, but when it comes to a workspace it becomes even more important.
Don’t underestimate the importance of task lighting – most rooms will only have a central pendant in the middle of the room and nothing else, but experts suggest that each room should have at least eight different sources of light in any given room, so it’s worth investing in floor and table lamps that will work with your space.
Maximising natural light is also a must when it comes to home offices, and you can make your space feel lighter with a few simple tricks.
Introducing mirrors into the room (these wavy mirrors are ideal) will bounce the light around the room and make the space feel bigger, whilst opting for light window dressings, such as voile curtains, will create the illusion that the space is more open than it actually is. You can avoid glare by making sure you don’t place overhead lighting directly above your computer screens.
Bring the space to life
According to research, plants help to rid the air of toxic chemicals that can cause sickness and stress. If you’re after an inexpensive wellbeing boost, introducing just one bunch or pot will help transform your area from a dreary space into a beautiful and inviting working environment (check out the best places to buy houseplants online here).
Find creative ways to style the houseplants for a personalised feel in your space, or choose low maintenance options (Isabelle Palmer shares her her golden rules on how to be a houseplant parent here) if you want a splash of greenery without the added work.