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Stress-free ways to design the perfect home office

26 August 2015

Designing a welcoming, efficient and productive place to work in the home is high on the wish list for Kiwis wanting to capitalise on modern living trends. 

Whether you’ve got a full-time stay-at-home job to help look after the kids, or are busy playing work catch-up afterhours, your home office doesn’t have to be a cramped, unattractive space filled with computer cords and overflowing paperwork.

Designer Homeware’s National Sales Manager Luanne Bettelheim says the right storage solutions, teamed with clever interior design, can create inspiring home offices which spark creativity and productivity.

“Working from home is exciting because it offers an opportunity for real comfort and efficiency, but if the office is too casual, or isn’t effectively separated from the home environment, productivity can be lost,” says Luanne. 

“Homeowners must find a way to separate their office space from the rest of the house to minimise exterior sounds and interruptions. The best way to achieve this is with the design of the space itself.”

EFFECTIVE STORAGE

Designer Homeware, the internal storage supplier of Generation Homes, has experienced growing demand for practical yet attractive storage solutions to create modern yet highly functional home offices. The company uses 3D design technology and customised storage options to help homeowners make the maximum use of space. 

“The old rule of ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’ was coined to relieve stress but it also highlights the importance of effectively planning your storage requirements to create a desirable working environment,” says Luanne.

Cable tidies are proving to be a popular accessory in new home office setups, along with built-in filing cabinets and customised shelving options for improved storage of documents, folders and boxes. 

COLOUR PSYCHOLOGY

According to Style at Home magazine, one of the many advantages of home office design is that you don’t have to settle for the serious neutral or beige décor associated with the corporate world. Homeowners can promote productivity by using colour to stimulate the senses or create a soothing and relaxing environment.

Leading interior design experts say colour psychology should play a role in the colour palette of a home office. Yellows can make people feel bright and alive while warm tones and soft blues can help to minimise stress. It’s advisable to steer away from pure whites as it shows scuff marks easily and can be fatiguing.

(Read more about colour makes you feel, right here)

ADEQUATE LIGHTING

Generation Homes chief executive Kevin Atkinson says other ways to give your home office some executive polish is by adding statement artworks or an attractive rug for added comfort underfoot.

“If a larger space is available, throw in a reclining chair or small couch with its own lighting for a change of scenery when you need to read or brainstorm ideas,” he says.

“Good lighting is essential in any home office, and ideally you want to allow as much natural light into the space as possible. Large windows or sliding doors can be a great way to enhance natural light, however to avoid glare don’t position your computer screen under or directly in front of a light source. If natural light isn’t available, make sure you invest in a combination of general and task focused lighting solutions.”

STRATEGIC ACCESSORIES

There are many design elements to consider starting with the desk surface you wish to spend your time working on, to the myriad of storage options such as pencil cups, document trays, business card holders and filing cabinets.

An organised desk, which keeps pending work in order, will improve your productivity and ability to problem solve.

“The key is to minimise clutter in your home office space so you have a greater peace of mind when completing complex tasks,” says Kevin.

“Investing in a wireless hub will also provide you with the added flexibility of being able to move your work space as required. It’s a good idea to consider interior heating options, and other ergonomic accessories such as foot rests and soft mouse pads to make yourself comfortable.”