Professional Yet Beautiful Home Office Design
For many of our clients, the home office is an incredibly important room. It is a place that should stimulate focus and foster creativity, while seamlessly harmonising with your interior design scheme as a definitively homely space – incorporating all of the comforts that that entails. We have had the pleasure of designing furniture for many home offices and in this article, our designers share insights into bespoke home office design. We look specifically at integrated furniture and how every detail of your home office can be crafted suit your style, lifestyle and individuality. Read on to learn from our designers, including tips and innovations that will help you to create the ultimate professional home working environment.
YOUR PROFESSION & WORKING STYLE
Naturally, the design of your home office will be heavily influenced by what you do for a living, so the first stage for your designer is to gain an understanding of your profession and your working style. You may require a very specific space and set up to suit your line of work, in which case your designer can design true custom furniture with practical solutions that facilitate seamless home working.
Alongside different professions, we must consider different working styles. We each have our own unique ways of working that boost our productivity. Some people may feel most productive in a space where everything is stored and concealed within cabinetry, whereas others may prefer a more studio-style setup where items are on display and easily accessible. Your work may also require you to host clients within your home office, in which case you may benefit from additional seating or presentation screens. The beauty of crafting a bespoke home office is that you can tailor every detail of your design to suit your working style.
THE PERFECT SETTING
For our clients that run their own businesses, frequently travel or work internationally, remote working is the norm and a home office a must-have. With many of our clients building their own home or carrying out an extensive renovation or extension, there is a unique design opportunity to build a purpose-built home office rather than retrofitting one to an existing space. If you and your partner both work from home, you may even require two home offices.
One of the most important aspects of home office design is finding the perfect setting. When choosing the right location to work from home, there are many elements to consider including natural light, the size of space you require and the activity that takes place in and surrounding your home that may have the potential to become a distraction.
A PLACE TO FOCUS
One of the main downsides of working from home can be distractions. If you have a busy household with family members and/or children at home for most of the day, the noises and activity can become a distraction. It can be helpful to try to minimise your exposure to these by positioning your office in a quieter room as far away from the busiest areas, such as the kitchen and living room. Choosing a room that has a window with a view of your own garden means that you have a certain amount of control over the external environment, which can also become a distraction.
Alternatively, you may prefer to construct a purpose-built garden room to house your home office similar to the one below. There are many benefits to a garden office, from minimising the interruptions from your household to giving you a separate space dedicated to working which can help to put you in the right frame of mind.
The positive mental and health benefits of windows in any room are widely accepted and the same is true for a home office. A window will allow natural light to enter your office, boosting your mood and wellbeing. A window overlooking a garden can encourage a connection with nature and to the wider world beyond the walls of your office, as well as creating a feeling of space. If your property is in the northern hemisphere, it can be preferable to position your home office with a north-facing window. Whilst this will allow natural sunlight to fill your room, it will reduce direct sunlight which can impair screen visibility.
For greater control over the natural light in your office, a simple yet effective solution is a fabric blind that allows light into the room whilst softening the harshness of direct sunlight to minimise distraction. Taking this concept further, you may prefer to opt for motorised blinds that use an external sensor to detect changes in natural light and automatically adjust the blinds accordingly. For those that permanently work from home, this can be a worthwhile investment.
Lighting is an important component of interior architecture and residential design. Beyond the practical benefits of lighting, it has the ability to impact your mood, wellbeing and productivity and specialist lighting design can elevate the atmosphere of your home office.
Lamps, downlights and spotlights can be positioned to fill shadows and dark spaces in the room, ensuring that all corners of your office are well-lit. Desk lamps and pendant lights can be designed according to the zones of your office so that you have the appropriate lighting for the task at hand. Shelving with integrated lighting will brighten areas of your room that would otherwise fall into shadow – a lighting feature that has become synonymous with luxury homes and hotels.
THE INTERIOR SCHEME
When designing your home office, you have the opportunity to give the room its own treatment. While a home’s interior scheme is one that reflects all of those living within it, a home office design is often a space for an individual. Consider making your home office a place for you, reflecting your personal style, interests and personality. Perhaps you are a traditionalist, you can think of nothing better than orchestrating your spreadsheets from a leather-bound captain’s chair behind a smart mahogany desk. On the other hand, you may prefer a more minimalist contemporary style. There are no rules and limitations when designing a bespoke home office. Having a space that feels totally aligned with who you are and a space in which you enjoy spending time can make going to work each day a joy.
Another way to elevate your working environment is to surround yourself with things that inspire you. Photos of your family can be a happy reminder of why you do what you do. Equally, displaying your achievements such as certificates, awards or photos of some of your successes and memorable moments in life can give you an emotional lift, set the tone of the room and make your office an environment that you feel truly at home in.
Giving your home office a different interior design treatment can also help to create a feeling of separation between your workspace and home spaces, something that many find beneficial when working from home. A skilled furniture designer or interior designer will be able to give your home office an individual design treatment, whilst ensuring that it complements and flows with the overall style of your home.
BESPOKE HOME OFFICE FURNITURE
Bespoke, handcrafted home offices provide a unique opportunity to plan the layout to suit your individual requirements and there really are no limitations.
In today’s world, we are likely to find a computer at the heart of most home offices and your computer workstation will determine the size and shape of the desk or work surface. The individual working setups of our clients vary greatly from fixed computer setups with one or more desktop screens to a single laptop. It is helpful to identify your ideal working setup and technology requirements and to share these with your designer at the start of your project.
As well as being tailored to your workstation, your furniture will be designed to provide you with bespoke storage to suit your individual needs. You may opt for a freestanding desk in the centre of your room with fitted shelves and cabinetry on the surrounding walls. Alternatively, a fully integrated design combining shelving, cabinetry and a desk into one could be best suited. A peninsula desk layout that protrudes from the cabinetry into the centre of a room is another way to plan your space, giving you the feeling of a freestanding desk whilst keeping to a smaller footprint and maximising storage and the available space.
The office chair is perhaps one of the most important furnishings within a home office. As with any successful interior design scheme, aesthetics and ergonomics must work hand-in-hand and this balance is crucial for the office chair. For many of our clients that work a longer workweek, you can spend more time in your office chair than any other seat in your home. Therefore, it must be comfortable and supportive to ensure that you have the correct posture as you work, keeping neck pain, back pain and other potential health issues at bay. A high quality, attractive yet highly ergonomic office chair is a valuable investment.
The most practical and comfortable office chair is likely to be one with the ability to adjust its height and swivel. Some of our favourites include the Wegner Swivel Chair designed by Hans Wegner, the Vitra Grand Executive Highback, the Fritz Hansen PK9 Chair and Eames Soft Pad Management Chair.
Another element to consider is whether you would like to incorporate a tea/coffee station into your home office. A professional-grade built-in coffee machine, such as those by Gaggenau, Wolf and Miele will offer the luxury of barista-quality coffee from the comfort of your office. For our clients building their own home or carrying out an extensive renovation, the plumbing and services for your coffee machine can be incorporated into the architectural plans before building commences.
A discreet under counter fridge can also be a welcome addition. Stocking your favourite milk or dairy alternative to accompany your hot drinks, along with fresh, cold water, will help you to stay hydrated. Your fridge could be integrated behind an exquisitely crafted door to match the rest of your furniture, hiding it out of sight so as not to impose on your room’s design.
Of course, you may prefer to leave your office to make your beverages in your home’s main kitchen and sometimes stepping out of your space can provide a welcome break. Ultimately, home office design is about what is right for you.
In many cases, technology can enhance your workspace and improve your productivity. However, the physical presence of technology such as screens, plug sockets and charging points have the potential to impose on your design scheme. To combat this, there are many ways that technology can be discreetly incorporated into the design of the room and the furniture itself, from pop up plug sockets and wireless charging drawers to monitors that can be easily concealed. Your designer can help you to find elegant yet practical solutions to your technological needs.
Much has been said of the calming power of biophilic design in the workplace. Consider incorporating nature wherever possible, you’ll be astounded by the positive effects the natural world can have on your frame of mind. Although faux plants and flowers can look beautiful and offer a fuss-free way to mimic a natural look, there really is no substitute for real, living plants. Plants such as fiddle leaf fig trees, peace lilies and aloe vera can be good choices as they are easy to care for, requiring very little maintenance.
If you would like to find out more about home office design or assistance from an experienced designer, contact an Extreme designer today. We can collaborate with you to create a study design that meets all of your requirements for style, storage and comfort.