Many of us face the challenge of limited spaces we inhabit. In addition to this, our needs
usually change with time, as our jobs, likes, family life change throughout our lives. This
means we might need to transform an existing space to ensure it is suitable for activities
that have to take place there. This brings us to the current situation when a lot of us are
facing remote working due to the Corona virus pandemic. If you don’t have a dedicated
home office, you might want to read this article to make your working space as efficient
and as pleasant as possible and start planning a more permanent home office for the
future possible remote working.
When thinking about home office, we must consider a few important factors:
1) Position- what is the best place to make a home office from the point of view of comfort, distractions, noise etc;
2) Comfort- how to make the space comfortable;
3) Lighting- how the space should be lit;
4) Feel & Look- how to make the space look and fabulous;
Positioning of your home office is vital; ideally, you would have a separate dedicated space which you can lock at the end of the day. However, many of us, don’t have that luxury and need to think ‘outside of the box’. First of all, if we don’t have a spare room we can convert into a home office, we need to be realistic about where we can fit everything we need in order to be able to work. Do we have a big screen or maybe even two? Can we work on a laptop?
How much space are we going to realistically need? This is a number one
question that’s going to determine a lot where you can or should position your home office;
The next big factor to take into consideration is where is that you can actually afford to
‘spare’ some space for a desk? By desk, I mean any form of desk, which doesn’t need to
look like a traditional top with four legs. If you have any flexibility here, choose a place in
the back of the house, or the place where people tend not to flock to all day long. This
could be part of the living room or a corner of a bedroom. For some of us, it might be a
guest bedroom or other part of the house. We’ll develop this point further, but whenever
possible, chose a space with plenty of natural light; as much as you can lit the space with
wonderful natural white light, it’s better for your eyes and hence wellbeing not to work in a dark space. We have designed small home offices where they were either part of the
joinery and disappeared then they had to, or were freestanding multifunctional pieces that blended in nicely with the surroundings.
Case study from 2016-2017:
Our client needed a space for
1) working from home
2) playing & studying music
For the latter, we needed to think about all the existing music equipment that needed to be incorporated in the room. The challenge was not only for this room to be designed in a way that caters for these activities, but also, not to feel as office.
After taking the brief, we proposed the following solutions.
Two foldable desks with built-in bookshelves for a large books collection, and a seating
bench which doubles as housing for amplifiers.
One foldable desk and one fixed desk with clever shelving under and above the desk.
Amplifier/seating bench stays the same as in solution 2.
This is a slightly different solution to the same space; if having at least one permanent
desk is a must for you in your home office space, this is a good compromise; especially if
you need to accommodate two people working, but one working only occasionally.
Case study from 2016-2017:
The client of ours purchased a beautiful one bedroom flat in Cambridge and wanted a
space where he could occasionally work from. Due to space constraints, we proposed a
small lean-on desk with shelves that blended in beautifully with the rest of the room.
Case study from 2016:
Our clients were in need of a multifunctional space, which would cater for many functions, one of them being able to work from home (doing homework to be more precise). Their daughter loved doing homework while her parents were watching TV or reading, and because the room we were designing was pretty small, we had to find out a way to incorporate the desk into the built-in joinery. We came with a pretty clever solution, pull-out drawer, which disappeared completely when was no longer needed.
2) Think about what comfort means to you; do you have a comfortable chair to sit in? Can
you regulate the chair’s height etc.? Does the chair have the armrests? Do you have
enough space on your desk to put all the essentials out without being disrupted or creating the mess?
I would say planning and organising your space is important- make a list of everything you’re going to need and then think about what would make you happy working there? Is it having something on the desk, such as a photo that brings back nice memories? Maybe a souvenir? Or maybe you just need a few pens and a coaster for a cup of tea? Do you drink a lot of hot drinks? Think about how often would you need to step away from the desk to make that coffee and walk to the other side of the house- maybe
having a flask of coffee or a cafetiere somewhere nearby would be more optimal?
Do you need a pinning board to pin ideas/reminders etc? Consider all of these things, make a list which will help you plan and execute creating your home office space.
3) Lighting your desk is working space is very important; apart from ambient lighting, a
task light or lights are a must; in fact, these lights should be found in a place where you
read, cook, etc. Flexible energy efficient LED reading light is ideal for use as a task light. A
type of lamp with a push hold dimming, which can regulate the strength of light, and act
either as a strong light for reading, or when dimmed, create a nice, atmospheric feature
would be recommended here. Look for lamps which produce natural white light and whose shade can rotate 180 degrees which improves the quality of area needed for reading or any other task. Ideally, a lamp base should also rotate 360 degrees which facilitates positioning.
4) Feel and look of your home office space is very important, especially if it’s part of a
bigger space. In this case, consider blending your working area as much as possible with
the existing design; think similar finishes, colours, shapes etc. if you use completely
different pieces style and colour wise, they will stand out more, and most probably will
become an eye sore with time. Whenever we designed a home office space, no matter
how big or small, we would always blend it in as much as possible.
If you have any questions or would like help setting up your home office space, do not
hesitate to contact us. To support our community, we are now offering FREE DESIGN
CONSULTATIONS for those struggling with the design and organisation of their home
office. To arrange your consultation, drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org