Now that we’ve been working at home for quite some time, we spoke to interior designer Chloe Bullock on how to spruce up our home offices.
” The team at Posture People have already given us a wealth of great advice, quick fixes and longer-term solutions to our home working setups.
As we don’t know how much longer this situation will go on – let’s look at the next stage of looking at the aesthetics of your home workspace – and perhaps making it a more inspiring place to work.
Key things to recommend:
- Try and position yourself so you can see out of the window… hopefully, there’s some greenery to look at. It will do you good! Biophilia – meaning a connection to nature that humans crave – is hugely beneficial to us. The feeling of space beyond will help you feel less confined as well! Please open the window for an air flush at least a couple of times a day.
- I get inspired when I can think clearly. So clutter around me and in my head is no good. Try and switch to paperless as quickly as you can and find non-officey ways to store your work things – have a clear-out and reclaim some home storage for work.
- Lighting … maximise daylight and use supplementary local task lighting. I want you to maximise daylight to help your circadian rhythm – your sleep/wake cycle. A pendant in the centre of the room just casts your work area in your shadow. Have you got some lamps already at home you could use rather than buying new?
I think we fall into four categories….
Are you lucky to have a dedicated room to work in?
Fantastic! You have a door and some privacy. Don’t let that ability to shut the space away let clutter creep in. It’s so much better for our minds. Make sure you have a neat backdrop for your video conferencing calls and decent lighting. I’ve seen so many scruffy backgrounds in calls – they are very telling! While we’re at it – make sure your camera is at your eye level and not looking up your nose.
The wall you face is perfect for using for organising yourself & your work and for any vision boards you might have. Cork is such a lovely way to do this. I like to go bold – so I’d cover a whole wall with the tiles – from skirting board to ceiling. The tiles are easily glued directly to the wall. Work top-down, trimming the lowest one to fit. Cork is a beautiful natural finish that looks great with things pinned to it – or not – and plants will look great against it. Perhaps in stands or hanging baskets. It’s a beautiful, sustainable product and being a natural finish – it has also biophilic wellbeing benefits. It’s also a very good sound insulator so will help those Zoom calls – especially if you have lots of hard surfaces around you – such as a hard floor or lots of glazing. Sound comfort is a big deal when you get it wrong.
Cork wall (Pinterest)
Is this office the spare room and so sometimes a bedroom?
Perhaps the desk could double up as a dressing table? Make sure it’s deep enough to rest your forearms on while typing.
Do you have a dedicated space within a room?
Can you section the area to create some privacy and sound improvement. A free-standing open-backed bookcase makes a really good room divider. Dot some pot plants around it to get plants near you. Snake plants and peace lilies are great for air purifying. Task lighting is especially important as the pendant light is not going to reach your work area.
Are you working in a multifunctional space?
I fall in this category and I’ve been working from home for 14 years so please do not despair! You need to cut paper out of your work life as much as possible and be paperless. Try to keep clutter to a minimum so you can easily switch between work life and home life.
Get some plants in your work area, especially if you can’t see a green space.
If you’re in the dining area, have you got a sideboard you could claim some space inside for storing work things? Could you even make a plug hole in the back and get a printer inside?! …print using Wi-Fi.
I’m in the dining space as it’s the nicest part of the flat. If I had space to create an office in a cupboard (this could be an alcove) then this below complete with a vibrant colour interior is my dream workspace… created by 2LG Studio. However, I would stick to my fantastic Hag Capisco stool rather than an uncomfortable dining chair!
For more help on wellness, I have applied the WELL Building Standard to working from home – which you can view here.“
Chloe Bullock is a BIID Registered Interior Designer® at the British Institute of Interior Design – the pre-eminent professional organisation for interior designers in the UK. She offers Animal-friendly, Human-friendly, Planet-friendly interior design to both residential and commercial clients.
The importance of good design saving waste and money is very important to Chloe so she offers a wide range of interior design support ranging from free advice calls, short consultations and Adhoc help at points in a project where it’s needed – through to full-service design.
Prior to setting up her own company over 14 years ago, she was part of The Body Shop team delivering ethical global store concepts and specifications. Her ongoing commitment to environmental awareness, sustainability using circular economy principles and cruelty-free specifications learnt at The Body Shop, has translated into her own interior design business. She was the first interior designer in the UK to be VEGANDESIGN.ORG CERTIFIED™, she has recently become a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and is a FitWel® Ambassador and keen follower of human-centric, healthy design.
Ph: 07799 534685
70 Bonchurch Road, Brighton, BN2 3PH, UK