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At a time when most office employees are being urged to work from home, a home office set up is quickly becoming the new norm. A recent survey conducted by Flexjobs concluded that 65% of those surveyed found themselves to be more productive when working from home, citing benefits like fewer interruptions, minimal office conflict and no commuting stress.
With this in mind, investing in your home working space and making it a pleasant place to be is money well worth spending. Natasha Rocca Devine, award-winning Interior Design Staging Specialist at The Interiors NRD says that in her experience, she's often tasked with reviving a space to be used as a home office or study for personal admin, and having run her own successful business from home for the past 3 years, she's more than qualified to advise on the matter.
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Keep scrolling for her 5 home office ideas and the top tips you need to set up your new workspace.
Clear your head and your space by getting rid of anything you don’t need or which may distract you such as laundry piles and baskets, kid’s toys, and shopping bags. It’s easy to get side-tracked with things that get on your nerves or remind you of household chores piling up. Choose an area you feel you can focus best in such as a room with a view, a large kitchen table or a spare room with a desk or an unused calm space.
There is no point in trying to work somewhere which isn’t comfortable to sit at. You might need to invest in a chair with a supportive back and a desk which lends itself to typing from. You can also use cushions to prop your back up and add a decorative hint to a dull space. I often add colourful rugs to dark studies which really inject life and warmth into a boring, dafty room and make sure their are decent curtains or blinds to stop the sun shining on the laptop screen.
ADD ACCESSORIES AND LIGHTING:
Never underestimate a few cheerful accessories to liven up a room. A colourful desk lamp will lift your mood on dark days, and items like stationery holders, paperweights and a good pen can boost your spirit on sluggish days. I adore lamps that incorporate colour at the base or a lampshade that has an intriguing design on it. You can also use floor lamps, caged desk lights or inbuilt spotlighting (if you get an electrician to fit spotlights) in a dark area.
I often find myself lighting a scented candle to cheer me up if I am working long hours. I love Irish brands such as Brooke & Shoals and Rathbourne’s which use natural ingredients so you don’t get a migraine from the scent. If you are on a budget, use flowers and plants to inject some personality into your home office. Use a bright vase to perk a tired corner up and fill it with daffodils. If you tend to kill plants quickly (like lots of us do!), go for faux flowers which are so realistic looking these days.
Things always seem to gather in any office set up, be it piles of paper, stray pens, files and tech bits and pieces, so extra storage is always useful. I love the look of floating shelves or a traditional bookshelf made with old wood, so I’d advise anyone designing their own home office to invest in one or the other. You can inject a pop of colour into a room by going for a colourful option here. Use exposed wood or wicker boxes, baskets and trays to store paper or cables and wires. They look pretty on top of the shelves and are always useful.
ART IN A TIME OF CRISIS:
Staring into a blank wall all day won’t inspire you in any way. I often put a striking piece of art on home office walls to perk up a space, or you can opt for a gallery wall, an interesting poster or some photographs in frames on your desk or shelves. Ornaments are making a comeback- you can collect some quirky bits and pieces from the likes of eBay and Etsy. If you are the practical sort, you can buy a corkboard wall to pin some inspiring notes or photos on, or a whiteboard to nail to the wall to write your memos on.
Main image by Kari Shea