Our home offices maybe provide some of the most confusing and conflicted design elements of our homes. The home office usually exists for more practical than desired reasons. If we work full time from home, it is quite likely it is because we work at a profession which simply allows it and thus can offer an incredible savings by not having to rent office space or pay for transportation to commute. Or, we have work which demands we sometimes work from home in addition to the office and a designated or semi-designated space is needed.
Whatever the ultimate reason and purpose of the home office, it provides a challenge by needing to make it personal, but also functional and, most importantly, conducive to work. For anybody who knows what it is like to work from a home office, they will know the importance on making it a place to work first and foremost and a place to be home second.
The home office and textiles:
Since this space is to inspire us to work, functional materials which are conducive to work and reflective of the ‘real world’ office space are important. We simply can’t get to comfortable in our home office or we won’t be very productive. Materials which are reflective of the office place tend to be more subtle, purely simple and functional. Window dressings are not going to be lavish and decorative, but will solely provide that the light be blocked out, or any other outside visual which is disturbing. Cheap Venetian blinds are ideal. Colours of these will be muted and non intrusive. The material of any furniture likewise will have to be subtle and like that of an office. Leathers and vinyl are good examples.
Simple accents, such as office rugs, perhaps underneath the desk, can provide a little touch of home and break up the monotony of the room. Again, the colour will be soft and not distracting. Cheap table lamps are also a good idea, especially for those who work during the evenings.
Some furniture, space permitting can be a little more home-like and differ in material. If a break is needed from the immediate work station, such as desk and computer and an issue needs to be pondered, something like a comfortable chair in the room can help. It can be of a textile reflective of an office, or be home-like and soft. It will provide a break, a difference for a moment to think, but allow you to remain in the office to ensure work is continued and the momentum of working not broken.
Your home office is your office only:
Since many of us in home offices won’t be holding meetings in them or sharing them with other co-workers, it really is a room which can be entirely ours. It can be fully personalised. But we must figure out what design and elements of – colours and textiles – are most conducive to making us remain in work mode rather than sit gazing out of the window all day!