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How to Make a Home Office More Homely

Posted by Mark Godsell-Fletcher on

If you have a study or office in your home, whether for work or play, it's a good bet that it is the least personal room in your home. Office furniture and equipment tends to be boringly functional, but you don't have to put up with bland interiors when creating a work environment. Desks [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="672"]A very homely home office A very homely home office featuring an Eat Sleep Live desk[/caption] A lot of office desks are made from functional glass, metal and plastic, but that can look very cold. Wooden desks immediately make a room look more relaxed. Most of us simply need a flat surface to house a computer and with enough space to stretch out in comfort. Instead of a conventional desk, a plain wooden kitchen table makes for a great solution – whether left un-treated or painted, just as long as the surface allows the mouse to roll properly. This is a good opportunity for "up-scalers" to flex their creativity. Get an old table and customise it to your tastes. One mouse-friendly option is to cover the top with a layer of plastic or vinyl with a design of your choice. Pop art and abstract designs work brilliantly. Chairs The most important thing about office chairs is that they are comfortable as being seated for hours on an unsuitable chair can lead to medical problems, such as RSI. So, this isn't the time to choose a chair for its quirkiness, or funkiness. You do need to look at having sufficient support for your back and arms – arm rests are essential. You can dress up a standard office chair though, by adding cushions (more support for the lower back, or even by covering it with some brightly-coloured fabric, so it will be unique to you. Lighting [caption id="attachment_2377" align="aligncenter" width="577"]Rattan Ceiling Light, Not on the High Street £125 Rattan Ceiling Light, Not on the High Street £125[/caption] Here's where home offices really have the edge on the usual work environment – no fluorescent strip lighting at home! There are some beautiful desk lamps around in the traditional style which brings to mind 1930s newsrooms. But really there is so much choice out there, especially if you mix-and-match a stand with the shade of your choice. If you like vintage furnishings, this is a great way to incorporate some retro style in your office. Windows There will be times of the day when the sun streams onto the computer screen, making it unreadable, so shades do need to be considered. If you choose to use blinds, do consider the dust which can collect in slats, a fabric blind is more hyper-allergenic, so friendlier for people spending long hours in the room. You rarely need total black out for an office, so lighter curtains can be a better option. Clutter [caption id="attachment_2274" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Eat Sleep Live under bed storage box Eat Sleep Live under bed storage box[/caption] There's nothing like a pile of files, or a bulging in-tray to make a room look un-homely... Files which allow you to stack items vertically take up less space. Try to adopt a "paper-free" approach and clear your desk at the end of each working day, or after each computer session. Yes, it is easier said than done sometimes. Everything which doesn't count as "day to day" needs to be filed away neatly, ideally in a cupboard, or if using a spare bedroom as an office, under the bed. Colour schemes Yellow is thought to promote intellectual thought and energise us. It is also conveniently gender-neutral and makes rooms feel warm.  

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