The home office can be a scourge of paperwork and mess. Interior designer Katy Husband describes how to turn it into a place of creativity and inspiration.
My home office and I have an intimate, early morning relationship. We see each other in all sorts of attire, but generally, at 5am, pyjamas, dressing
gown and slippers is the mode of dress. I sneak in to see my office as the rest of the house slumbers and, together, we begin our day in peace, getting a jump-start on the to-do list for the working day.
There are some quite specific things I love about my home office. I am lucky enough to have a separate office. This enables me to work whenever I want – I’m looking at you, 3am. The other advantage is that with the door shut, my focus turns fully to work. I cannot see a myriad of other distractions fighting for my attention – and the distractions cannot see me.
Not everyone wants or needs a whole room dedicated to office space. However, most people need an area to keep the laptop, paperwork and household communication, as well as the proliferation of charging cords required to run our collection of devices. Whether you are managing a small business or household from your home office space, you need to find a style and system that is both inspirational and functional.
Firstly, let’s be realistic about your needs. If you have a variety of bills and documents, a sleek, minimal desk is not going to provide the storage
capacity you require – things are likely to get pretty messy. My desk surface area is large (and, of course, always utterly organised), but for those times when multiple projects and paper combine to create a sort of admin level five weather system, I appreciate the surface to spread my ideas.
Look at the function of your home office space. Where can you maximise storage and working space? Could you reorient your desk to ensure maximum privacy as well as adding furniture for increased storage? Don’t limit yourself to a traditional desk and chair. Use a variety of furniture, such as small dining tables, buffets and bedroom dressers, to provide unique storage and a break from utilitarian furniture.
Define your style in your home office. Do you prefer to operate from a sleek, modern vibe or value inspiration from the eclectic or the glamorous? If you are spending hours in your home office, an inspiring and motivating space is key to keep the creative juices flowing. Add personal touches that help make you feel happy and driven. This can be the colour of the walls, artwork, a beautiful tray to corral desktop items, a candle, perhaps a picture of a vacation spot you hope to go to. Experimenting with things you love in your home office and making it a space that speaks to you will help your productivity soar.