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Interiors Q&A – creating a home office

January 17, 2011


Dear Andrew, we have a spare room and I would like to turn it into a home office.  Can you give me some advice?

First you need to consider how you want to use the room?  If you regularly have guests staying and need a study space away from the main bedroom or living room your needs will be very different to if you want to create a proper study space, that can be turned into a bedroom on the odd occasion.  Think about what you really need from your home office, is it essential that you have a desk or do you just need a quiet space and a comfortable chair for reading? 

Well thought-out storage is essential and you should be ruthless with your clutter when preparing the room.  High-level shelves are a good way to keep the floor clear for furniture and also for keeping your files out of direct sight when the room is used as a bedroom.  If you do need to have your storage on display, try to keep it organised to ensure the room looks inviting when used for guests, The Holding Company has a great selection of filing boxes and cabinets in many colours that can help organise you and also add a splash of colour to your home office. 

Remember to consider the services you will need in the room – is a telephone line or broadband access required, do you need power sockets for a computer?  Thinking about the services before any decorating starts will ensure you have the right services without having the room littered with cables.

In terms of the office furniture needed this will depend on the style and use of the room, a small desk in the corner may suffice or if you have space you might want to choose a large statement piece.  The beautiful Hyannis Port desk from Ligne Roset shown above gives a large working area and is well designed.  However if you want flexibility in a small space Study Bed provides furniture with an integrated desk and bed that converts in a matter of seconds – a good option for limited space and also for a teenager’s bedroom.

Alternatively make use of the structure of the room and situate the office space in an alcove – have a desk between the walls, shelves above and use floor-to-ceiling doors to hide the office when you aren’t using it.  This offers a discreet contained home office solution that can be hidden when the doors are closed.

 

Remember that any desk will need a good quality chair – don’t think you can just use one from the dining room when needed.  As you are probably going to spend a few hours sat at your desk consider purchasing a good quality, supportive office chair.  The Aeron chair by Herman Miller is worth investing in if you will be spending many hours in your home office, it’s even currently available with a very patriotic design!

If your priority is more office than bedroom, use a daybed rather than a full-size bed.  The daybed can be covered with cushions to provide additional seating during the day but secretly houses another mattress underneath to provide a double bed when needed.

 

The decoration of your home office needs to be careful planned, a bright interior does not tend to induce a calm working mood but you also don’t want somewhere you will fall asleep.  So after painting the walls hang nice artwork and furnish it with care – remember that most of all, the workspace has to be somewhere you want to spend time.

This Interiors Q&A first appeared in an abridged form in CityAM

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2011 10:29 am

    I just cant stop reading this. Its so cool, so full of information that I just didnt know. Im glad to see that people are actually writing about this issue in such a smart way, showing us all different sides to it. Youre a great blogger. Please keep it up. I cant wait to read whats next.

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  1. Interiors Q&A – creating a home office « APD Interiors Blog : Home Office Furniture

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