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Creation of a home office: Design tips from Alexander James Interiors

For many of us, working from home has fast become a way of life. Since March 2020, millions of employees across the UK have had to migrate their work from office desks to living rooms, kitchen tables and spare bedrooms. At first the migration was temporary; however, it is now becoming apparent that home working could be a trend that continues long into the future.

With working from home being more popular than ever, perhaps the time has come for us to inaugurate some more permanent working spaces within our homes…

Designing your home office

Established in 1995, our interior design partners, Alexander James Interiors, are highly regarded as world leaders in interior design, creatively transforming our homes and properties to meet our varying lifestyle needs.

In response to our evolving working routines we talked to Rachel Clark at Alexander James, to get her top tips on how to craft the ideal working environment.

“Seek out the perfect location”

According to Rachel, the first and most important consideration for your home office is location. If you do not already have a study set up, you may need to create one in another area of the home, such as a spare bedroom, a loft area, or even an outbuilding if you need a quieter space where you won’t be disturbed.

However, if you prefer a little hustle and bustle, or need to keep an eye on your children during the working day, it may be more feasible to set up base in a main living area. Either way, take the time to seek out a perfect location in your home that offers enough light and space to create a functional working environment.

“Some homes are more conducive to home working than others,” Rachel says. “But that is not to say that you cannot find the perfect space to make your own.”

“Furnish for comfort, as well as aesthetic”

While it can be tempting to get carried away in creating your ideal design aesthetic, you’ll also need to consider functionality and comfort when it comes to your furnishings.

Depending on the nature of your work, you may require a larger desk, additional storage space or multiple screens. You should also consider investing in a comfortable chair and quality lighting to ensure that your home office is a comfortable place to sit for extended periods.

Rachel advises contacting your company’s Human Resources department for health and safety advice around office furnishings. She says, “It is important to establish a symbiosis between the way your office looks and feels, and how it supports your ability to work. A productive working environment must be one that motivates, but should also allow you to return to it without getting aches and pains.”

“Don’t underestimate your décor”

For Rachel, there is nothing less inspiring than a bland office, particularly if your job requires you to spend long periods working behind a desk.

At Alexander James, Rachel often looks to utilise bright colours and interesting patterns as a means of promoting creativity in home working spaces, whether that be a feature wall, or incorporating patterns in the upholstery.

“It is no secret to home design that colour is very important in setting the mood of a room,” Rachel says. “Brighter colours and vibrant shades are far more likely to make you feel inspired and uplifted while you work.”

“Stimulate your senses”

Fragrance may not be the first thing you think about when it comes to decorating. However, research suggests that pleasant scents have the power to improve mood by up to 40%, reducing stress and having a significant impact on workplace productivity.

Scents such as lavender, jasmine and rosemary have all been proven to have soothing effects on the brain, helping you with problem solving. Meanwhile fragrances like peppermint and ginger can aid in fighting fatigue and delivery a heightened sense of focus throughout your working day.

Rachel said, “A scented candle and diffuser not only look nice on a desk, but they can actually change how you feel about your environment. Personally, I use pine in my diffuser to stimulate me through long afternoons.”

“Add a personal touch”

One of the many perks of working from home, is that you can design your working space entirely to suit you.

Adding a personal touch to your office can help with productivity and morale, and could include anything from a photo frame to something handmade by your children.

Inspiring quotes are another popular inclusion in home office environments – you could even get personalised signs or prints created just for you.

For Rachel though, it is all about her peace lily. “Bringing a little reminder of the outdoors has always made me feel more inspired. Choosing succulents or air plants that do not require too much attention or watering make the ideal green companions for your indoor office space.”

Learn more about our interior design service here.

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