Design Lifehack... Your Home Office

Saturday 6th of June

1. Choosing the location

First things first – location, location location!

Home offices come in many different shapes and sizes. Whether it's in a separate room, a quiet corner or even in your kitchen, the key to selecting the right place for your home office, is to think about where and when you do your work.

If you have a busy family life, a kitchen desk area may be the ideal place for your central command post. However, if you need to just get your head down and focus in a quiet environment, you’ll want to select a space that’s away from the daily flow and distractions of your household, if possible!

Once you have decided on a location it’s important to consider how to make the space as functional as possible to suit your work requirements.  It is equally important to make sure the space is comfortable and welcoming, ready for you to get stuck into your daily objectives.

2. How much space is necessary? 

Wherever you choose you must make sure you allow enough space to work in comfort. You need to able to move easily from side to side, stand up and sit back from your desk. Sounds obvious, right? But how much space is enough space? Specifically, you should allow at least 150cm in width and 210cm in depth for your working space. So it is definitely still possible to get it right, even in the teeniest of spaces!

A good example of this is this small corner space where the proportions of furniture have been carefully considered to maximise the angle of the room.  The open, tapered shelving also helps to bring function but without imposing on what could otherwise be a cluttered area

3.  Findng the right desk and chair

This is so important! Select a desk that is wide enough for your computer and anything else necessary to do your work. Ideally, your desk should be a minimum of 120cm in width. However, if all you ever need is a laptop you can get away with less. Ensure you choose a desk that is not too high, 70-75cm high is an acceptable range. Invest in a good quality chair that is comfortable and adjustable if possible, unless you want the first person you see after lockdown to be the Chiropractor!

The chair shown right is designed by Herman Miller - we use them at our design studio and can vouch for their comfort!  These chairs should last many years so if you don't have the budget to buy new - look for second-hand options.

4. Storage and shelving

Think about what storage needs you are likely to have and ensure you have enough shelving or cupboards for this. Consider your workflow – what comes in, where will it stay while being worked on, and where does it go when complete? Place your inbox on or next to your desk. Keep your current work within arm’s reach. Locate your filing system nearby. Don’t forget reference materials – if you use manuals, catalogues or reference books, locate a shelf near your desk to keep them close at hand.

These small tips will make all the difference in your everyday working-from-home lifestyle.  They all add to the functionality and flow of your work area help make the space a zone you can most importantly be able to focus in.

Looking back to our recent feature - modern Scandinavian design can offer the perfect feel for a clean and simple home office with lots of storage.  

5. Lighting

We've covered this before but good lighting is critical for any home office space. Choose a location with some natural light and a view if possible. Position your desk to face the windows or in a location where your computer screen will not be affected.

Translucent window shades or blinds can help reduce any glare without darkening your room. You can enhance natural light by including a mirror and by keeping most of your walls in lighter tones. If this isn't possible, position your desk to face the door instead or consider using artwork or patterned wallpaper. Either, will give your eyes a rest and something to focus on when you look up from your work.

When it comes to artificial lighting, an overhead ceiling light provides good general lighting whereas a pair of floor lamps or table lamps will give more ambiance if that makes you feel more creative. You can also include a desk light to provide extra light in the evenings.

6. Hide those wires!

Nothing makes a home office look or feel more cluttered than wires hanging from your desk and running everywhere. Take control of your technology with these simple tips:

  • Add a wireless router – you’ll reduce your wires by half
  • Invest in both a wireless printer and a wireless mouse & keyboard
  • Add a grommet in your desktop to lead any wires from your desk down below
  • Attach any visible wires to the underside of your desk or down along a desk leg
  • Gather loose wires along the floor together with a simple cord tamer
  • If possible, mount your screen on the wall in front of you - this is a great tip to free up space


7. Make it your own

Just because this is a place of work, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on style! The great part about working from home is that YOU can decide how you want your home office to look and feel. Match your home office with the design and style of your home. Think about what inspires you. It could be a favourite piece of artwork, a collection of objects, or an inspiring wallpaper or wall covering.  Include these personal touches when you plan your home office design. It will brighten up your day and make you feel… at home.