Transform your home office into a wonderful space with these simple tips and a splash of your own creativity.
Pick a theme
Believe or it not, creativity sometimes works best when it’s accompanied by a plan. If you want an office that looks like it’s been put together rather than thrown, think about what you want your workspace to look like beforehand. Is there a period you’re fond of like the 1920s or 30s? Are you a fan of certain colours or shades? If you took a photo of your new office and showed it to someone, what would you want them to think about you and your sense of style?
Mise en place
Mise en place ‘means everything in its place’; it’s about organisation. Once you’ve nailed the theme, think about how you’re going to use it. While you might love an antique chair, is it comfortable to sit at? Yes, you’ve found some hanging shelves that are half storage, half chandelier, but can you reach them? Be inspired by the opportunities to make your office beautiful, but don’t sacrifice practicality.
Have an art to art
To give your office a look that says ‘this is my space’, decorate it with handmade prints and original pieces; keep away from mass-market art in stores like Ikea. Etsy is a great place to shop for the former; I own work by artists and designers I’ve found on there. If you’re interested in something that’s a little more of a statement, try Saatchi Art, where you can buy original paintings for a few hundred up to several thousand pounds.
Let there be lighting
This is supremely important when it comes to giving a room atmosphere and that applies to home offices too. The secret to good lighting is to use multiple sources and to cast shadows. Desk lamps, uplighters, spot lights… The light draws attention to details that you want to highlight and the shadows create a sense of intimacy. This can make small rooms feel bigger beyond their size. And for the space-challenged office, get a large mirror, or cluster several smaller ones together on the wall, to make your office feel larger and more spacious.
Plants for personality
You might not be green-fingered, but you should be green-minded. Greenery can help with concentration and soften even the most sterile office. Look for pot plants that suit the room you’re in – some need more light and warmth than others – and try to find varieties that bloom at different points in the year. Best of all, plants and help us concentrate more and get more done.
Change is as good as a rest
A simple way to make your office feel fresh is to move things around; even the nicest office will be begin to feel a bit too familiar after enough time. If you have pictures on the walls (you should), re-position them. Try moving books to different shelves and merely the swap rugs from different rooms. You want give yourself a chance to think and move around the office in a new way.
Freshen up your filing
Spruce up your workspace: use bright, patterned wallpaper to cover your files and folders and give them a makeover. The rejuvenated files will make an eye-catching feature of your office shelves or bookcase. Match this with some coordinating desk accessories and you’ll soon revive your home office without breaking the bank.
Fix up your furniture
Is it time to bring in a new office chair or to retire a tired table? Mix up the styles in your interior by matching new furniture with old, or painting and re-upholstering the most comfortable chairs in the office. A stylish office chair and an old fashioned table can pair brilliantly.
Storage doesn’t have to be staid
For little-used files, the kinds of documents you need to keep but very rarely need access to, consider storing them in re-purposed wooden crates or an ottoman. A blanket box gives you a nice flat surface to display personal items. You can even paint the chest in a bold colour to add an accent to your room. This way you’re giving your home office a very personal touch.
Use the back of the door
Not that you’re going back to your teenage years with posters, but the back of the door is space waiting to be used. Try shoe organisers to stack your stationery; they’re a perfect fit for artists and designers that need a place to keep all their pens, pencils and tools without taking up shelf space that might be better used for portfolios. But there are so many other uses: cables, batteries, the list is endless.
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Previously on The Euroffice Blog…