Style Guide

Styling Your Home Office For WFH: Everything You Need To Know

As we move to work from home being the norm, designing a dedicated home office that inspires productivity is key. Here's how.
Styling Your Home Office For WFH: Everything You Need To Know

There’s no doubt the ability to work from home has provided us and companies with opportunities that welcomed a new way of doing things. We saw a shift in how we work, as well as where we work sweep in; more scope for creativity, nestled in our homes and a different approach to collaborate with our team. The possibility of changing how we worked has been on the minds of many; some thinking about how to cut commuting hours, others exploring if 5 days work week is the only way to go. Could we be doing something different? The last year has taught us we certainly want something different than what’s been.

Of course, it’d be wrong to assume that this is the new way of working for all of us. As much as we’ve seen shifts, the work office is as relevant as it was before but, we’re seeing the need for a balance. With balance comes, the hybrid approach becomes the new normal. Enter, the home office.

Working From Home is here to stay

WFH, the new acronym that’s taken over a lot of our social feeds. It stands for Working From Home, and it’s brought a wave of creative ideas on how to encapsulate an office environment at home that inspires productivity, and creativity. It’s been shown that working from home has increased productivity, a better work-life balance and a greater appreciation for our colleagues.

By any means, investing time and effort into creating a workspace that is effective and where you want to spend time, is essential. Whether you decide you have it in the guest bedroom, lounge, dining room, or a corner in the house that would make quite the office with a few pieces added to it, a general rule of thumb is to have a spot that feels separated from ways you use existing spaces in your home. Let’s be honest, if I had it my way a bed office sounds magical but research says it would ruin any chance of getting a good night sleep. Huff. 

this is a small studio by colombe studio

Getting the light is right

Lighting has made it on top of the list of what it means to have a space that inspires productivity. It’s often we advise against bright lights, for how they can interrupt our circadian rhythms. However, in the case of a workspace bright bluish-white lights have been found to increase our productivity and spark enthusiasm. Now, of course, natural light is the best solution but as spaces vary and there’s no guarantee of getting a spot close to windows at home, there are plenty of options that give you more control over your working environment.

To get the bluish-white at home for daytime working, it’s worth going smart and investing in a smart light bulb that allows for 4,000 K (kelvin range). At that range, you’re replicating the brightness outside and filtering out the yellowish glow you’d find in a room that’s designed for calmness and cosiness. If you’re a night owl who prefers to box tasks off during the evening, opt for a desk lamp that illuminates a specific area rather than the entire room.

this is a fresh green workspace by dear designer

Using colour to set the tone

Another key element to productivity that goes hand-in-hand with lighting is colour. You’d be surprised by the difference a dash of colour can make to our mood and energy levels. In that sense, getting the colour of your workspace right will allow for meanderings in thought and fresh ideas. That’s not to say one colours suits all, in fact, there’s a whole psychological piece around this topic that looks into what collections of colours go where when it comes to getting the best out of us in our working environments.

While neutral colours can seem like the ideal companion to creating a bright space, when they’re used alone they’re not particularly stimulating. Apply vibrant colours such as tones of red, known for boosting energy, or orange, for promoting conversation and flow, as an accent colour. Faded Terracotta has a stunning balance of orange and red with a Tuscany feel to it, and works beautifully in contrast with whites such as Salt, creams or soft greys or if you prefer, used all-over.

this is a modern home office inside a multifunctional shed

Ergonomic furniture for the home office

When we talk about designing for the workspace, we’re essentially talking about ergonomics; the study of human elements as work. A field of its own and rightly so. There are a bunch of factors that have their fair share of importance, and working from home means you have a little more say in the matter of what goes where and designing for you.

A common pain point (literally) that I hear about when it comes to desk-based work is shoulder and lower back strain. The repetitive nature of return and leaving the desk, and the amount of time spent sitting down does, unfortunately, have an impact one way or another. That said, there are ways to elevate the strain with the help of office furniture that’s been designed to look good, and feel good.

How you work and where about in the home you like to work from will depend on the type of chair you go for. For ergonomic designs, a kneeling chair has been a sought-after piece thanks to Dutch designers who first designed the chair on a mission to help with posture and upper body balance. A statement piece with a modern design that will no doubt get a lot of questions.

a modern home with eames lounge chair in home office

If your workspace is to fit in with the interiors surrounding it, going for a desk chair that’s stylish and versatile may be a better option. The natural materials used to create the Emperor Chair makes it a stunning addition to any room, and likewise can be moved around from space to space if ever you need an extra chair when family and friends come round. Likewise, Kartell Generic C has a gorgeous minimalist silhouette to it with ticks all the boxes with added velvet seat pad for a soft layer of comfort.

If you rather a chair made for lounging and working, an Eames lounge chair is a masterpiece in its own right. The iconic piece, which made its first appearance in the mid-century modern era, has unsurprisingly taken the world by storm for its comfort and style. It’s the perfect addition to creating a place of refugee where you can think projects through, plan, or finish off some writing. Its cost of around £4,000 makes it less likely an item that will make it on the list of things to buy, but there are similar options that are more affordable and look just as comfy.

Goodbye to plain office furniture

The desk is where it all happens. It’s the place that sets the tone for the working day. The perfect desk is subjective. For some, a desk that has been stripped of cluster and little bits here and there works is essential for a good days work. Whereas for others, nooks and crannies, and paper all over is a sign that you’re getting somewhere with the task at hand.

Being at home means that there’s no need for the office furniture to resemble what you’d typically find in an office as we once knew it. Goodbye to plain white desks and big chairs. Here, you’ve got options and can find pieces that show off your character, as well as your eye for design. A workshop trestle table brings a new dimension to a space that works in favour of whatever look you’re going for. Modern? Check. Glamorous? Check. Practical? Nothing less. For a look with a hint of industrial, the handmade wooden table with a geometric top and iron legs makes the Albert desk an absolute dream.

this is an eclectic home office by jessica helgerson

Keeping in mind lighting, top your desk with a lamp for task lighting and those gloomier days. The Webster Lamp offers a contemporary style that will complement more interiors, whereas the Anders Grey Table Lamp is perfect if you’re looking to bring in a more traditional or retro look.

Put on a show with your storage

No matter your line of work, a spot to keep everything organised will make the running of your office day-to-day a whole lot easier. I’ve been guilty of leaving pieces of paper here and there when actually having it all placed in a cabinet would a lot of time (and headache). Again, parking the grey cabinets of the work office aside, storage can be as stylish as anything and can add to your home office interiors.

Sticking with the modern-industrial aesthetics, a compact vintage brass cabinet will bring that a unique look without having to compromise on too much space. A woven rattan cabinet will finish off a nature-inspired space with plenty of natural elements. Whereas a charcoal grey and glass cabinet could show off key features with its store and display doors.

this is a modular system for a home office

Never miss a note

Finally, and possibly the best part of all (hardly up for debate) is picking out your new shiny stationary that you’ll carefully unpack like nothing else you own. Sound familiar?

From a hardback notebook with navy waves across the cover to a vibrant bespoke notebook with stitched flower or bird covers, there’s nothing quite like a new notebook. Given that your ring binders would possibly be on display, on your new cabinet, opt for one with a beautiful graphic such as the pink petals ring binder or floral kraft arch file to finish off the look.

All in a day’s work.

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Photo credits: 1. Heidi Caillier 2. Remodelista 3. Dear Designer 4. Dear Designer 5. The Nordroom 6. Remodelista 7. Remodelista

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