Do you work from home? I haven’t worked in an office for as long as I can remember (English Mum is 12 next month – can you believe that?) and I feel so incredibly lucky to do what I love without having to commute to an office every day. However, I’ve been feeling recently that my little spot at the kitchen table isn’t serving me that well. The boys are both home from uni (Sam has finished uni – I feel a million years old), and the kitchen tends to be where everyone gathers, so when I’m busy trying to think of a different word for sophisticated while writing a ship review for Cruise International, I end up actually writing down whatever conversation I’m listening to instead. I’ve been thinking that maybe it’s time to head back upstairs to the ironing room (it’s a single spare bedroom currently used for extra storage and ironing) and mulling over some stylish home office ideas.
Stylish home office ideas
Working from home has never been more popular and I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling that the division between home and work life is becoming increasingly blurred. However, I’d like to think that our lovingly refurbished home doesn’t suddenly need to become all ‘officey’ or, indeed, that my work space needs to be completely hidden from view. So what’s the answer? Well, I’ve been having a think about how I (and everyone else, for that matter) can create a stylish home office that will be functional but stylish.
Be smart about the tech
Every home office worker is reliant on technology – my day to day setup means I need my laptop (I like to use a mouse too, especially when editing photos), phone and definitely a printer – I thought for a while I could live without it, but I often need to print itineraries, contracts and of course boarding passes. Trouble is, printers are ugly. Happily, ours is wireless so it can be hid upstairs out of sight. If you’re sick of your old clunker, have a look around: technology like wireless printers are getting cheaper all the time, (and we buy HP printerinks.com cartridges online at reduced rates), so it’s definitely worth doing.
Light and shade
One of the most important aspects to a home office from both an aesthetic and practical point of view is light. At the moment, the sun streams through the window in the most attractive way, but when I’m ironing, I stand and look directly out at my neighbours’ windows, which looks a bit creepy, and it can also be flipping hot when it’s sunny. I need to think about a window treatment (slightly better than when my Mum slept in there at Christmas and we covered the window in brown paper – classy). I’ll also need to think about positioning my desk to get the most of the natural light in the winter. I’m actually thinking wooden shutters. A couple of neighbours have got them recently and they look really lovely, plus they’ve got adjustable slats so that I can let in more or less light as necessary, and they’ll be extra insulation in the winter.
As for the interior lighting, there’s currently a single pendant light without a shade, so I’ll need to sort a shade out that’s not too officey (I’m certainly not putting in strip lights), plus maybe a desk light (love this pewter one from John Lewis).
It’s not all work, work, work
Trouble is with these sorts of home office, you just don’t spend all day sitting at a desk working at your computer. I’m thinking maybe a comfy chair would be nice in there, firstly to take the edge off the business feel of the room, and give me somewhere comfortable to sit if I’m taking a break, reading a book or just fancy a change of scenery. Hopefully this will also encourage me to move around during the day too.
Small is beautiful
This room is teeny tiny, I mean, with just enough space for a single bed, so a great big desk isn’t going to be practical. To make the best use of all the available space I’m actually thinking I might go vertical, using high shelving (I love this M&S desk with added shelving attached – and it’s in the sale) as well as the two little colourful cupboards that we put in there a while go, which are handy for extra storage and files.
Add some colour and texture
It might be a working space, but it is also my home, and I’m determined to add a bit of colour and texture in the shape of a few cushions, a rug or a funky office chair too. What about you? Any great work from home advice?