Bespoke interiors experts NOOK share how to upgrade your home office setup
As more of us continue to work remotely, it’s about time we show our studies some love.
Balancing your laptop on your knee with papers strewn across the floor can be okay for a while.
But for any prolonged period of working from home, you’re going to need a dedicated office space.
Not least to save you from distractions. Whether it’s your faithful pet wanting some attention or those productivity-plummeting housemates known as children, unless you have a room to call your own – and from which to close the door on the rest of your household – you’ll likely struggle to find the calm concentration required for effective work.
But the challenge for many is find the right place to work in. What if you don’t have a spare room you can turn into an office, for example?
It could be that you’re currently using a corner of the hallway to work at your laptop, or you’re storing files under the stairs. A messy walk-in wardrobe has also become your study, or an awkward space behind a door is now a quasi-filing cabinet.
If your workspace is uninviting, small or impractical, it will immediately take the morning spring out of your step – and turn productivity into procrastination.
After all, it’s not the space available to you that’s the problem. It’s what you do with it.
What you need is a bespoke interiors expert and designated furniture builder to create an office to suit your home.
What you need is NOOK.
WHO ARE NOOK?
With more than 40 years’ experience in designing, building and installing furniture and timber buildings, the NOOK team have the skills and attention to detail required to create bespoke interiors of the highest quality.
From home offices to alcoves, libraries to boot rooms and everything in-between, NOOK unite practicality with beauty to produce long-lasting results tailored to their customers’ needs.
Every piece of furniture is made from scratch in their Heddon-on-the-Wall workshops – meaning it’s fully customised to suit you, your space and your lifestyle.
From initial drawings to expert installation, the NOOK team won’t leave a project until you’re completely satisfied with the result.
Book a consultation to discover how NOOK can help transform your home
HOME OFFICE DÉCOR – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Interior design has to be personal.
Your home should undoubtedly be a reflection of you. But there are also some general style rules – especially when it comes to home office décor – that are easy to follow and can really boost your productivity.
NOOK Managing Director, Rhona Harris, breaks it down for us…
Placement. Placement. Placement.
‘The position of your desk or table is probably the single most important design element to incorporate into any home office space,’ says Rhona.
‘It’s important to consider light, privacy and potential distractions; you’ll want headspace, without being on show. If possible, always try and incorporate some physical separation between your workspace and your living space.’
Colour is key.
‘Warm colours are stimulating, with red often recognised as the best colour to boost productivity,’ Rhona explains. ‘Incarnadine from Farrow & Ball or Theatre Red from Little Greene are both fine examples.
‘Throughout history, pinks and lilacs have been associated with feminine traits like caring, emotion and upbringing. Because of this, these colours are thought to be soothing and can encourage emotional expression. Tones such as Ciao, Sofia, Calluna or Peignoir are your best bet for a more relaxed, calming and creative home office.
‘However, at NOOK our top recommendation for a home office design would be within the green family. Coat’s Home Grown or Farrow & Ball’s Breakfast Room Green are perfect for bringing optimism and positivity into your home office – much needed on those tough Monday mornings!’
Break the clutter curse.
‘Some sort of storage – a bookcase or filing system – is almost always a necessity in a home office,’ says Rhona.
‘You might find an unused corner of the hallway or an empty area next to a fireplace – wherever you can spot unused space in your home, that’s where your opportunity for an innovative storage solution lies.
‘Once you have your storage, we’ve found it most helpful to keep one “messy drawer” where you can fling anything that’s in your way. Everything else should go into well-organised folders, files or a desk tidy.
‘A clever desk policy is both a productivity boost and a great way to minimise those inevitable distractions that come with working at home.’
Get creative – and flexible.
‘Often it’s the smallest spare room that becomes your study, so you’ll likely need to incorporate some space-saving hacks into your home office design,’ Rhona reasons.
‘This is the time to think outside the box with your furniture. At NOOK, we build desks that convert into beds for occasional guests, for example, or desks which can also double up as dressing tables when the need arises.
‘Fold-down desks for home office use are great as they can even be used over a radiator or cupboard if there’s no space for a free-standing desk. And using floor-to-ceiling shelving is always the best way to make the most of your storage space.’
Make things personal.
‘While it’s important to try and keep “work” and “home” as separate as you can, adding personal touches into your home office design is a great way to stay motivated, so balance is key,’ Rhona explains.
‘After all, interior design is similar to fashion: it’s a choice of style, shape and colour that will ultimately reflect your personality. This is important when working to ensure you feel comfortable and confident, whatever your boss throws at you.
‘Besides, you’ll no longer have a morning commute, so you’ll want your home office to feel inviting. Keeping things too sterile will have the opposite effect.
‘So, never be afraid to add some personality into your home office décor to keep that inspiration flowing; even if it’s something as simple as changing your computer background.’
HOME OFFICE DESKS – WHAT WORKS FOR YOUR SPACE
It’s the centrepiece of your study, so it’s important you find a home office desk that’s aesthetically pleasing andfunctional.
‘I’d always recommend choosing as big a desk as your space will allow,’ says Rhona.
‘There’s nothing worse than desperately trying to balance pens and paper, a laptop and mouse mat and a cup of coffee on a confined work top, knowing it’s just a matter of time before you knock one of them to the floor.’
Love the spread.
‘It’s important to consider the space you have around your desk, too,’ Rhona reminds us.
‘Think about your home office chair – these are usually bulkier than your standard dining chair and you need to take into account the room you’ll need to pull into and out of the desk, too.
‘When you’re sitting at your desk, ensure you have plenty of leg room. Ideally, your desktop should have enough space to separate your computer screen from the keyboard, and enough height so can type with your elbows hanging next to your body.’
Tidy desk, tidy mind.
‘At NOOK, we love home office desks with at least one drawer for bits and pieces – you don’t want these spread across your worktop, distracting you with their mess.
‘Avoid desks with drawers in the chair keyhole, as they’ll inevitably restrict your access and become awkward to use. Wherever possible, have desk drawers to the side (or sides) of your work top.
‘Consider your cables, too,’ adds Rhona. ‘Some sort of cable management solution will stop you ending up with a frustrating tangle of wires and chargers.’
Stay in shape.
‘You have to work with the space available, so have a think about what shape of home office furniture might fit best,’ Rhona recommends.
‘For really tight spaces, fixed fold-down desks can be the perfect space-saving solution. Just try to avoid placing them in front of a window – passers-by can become a real distraction.
‘Similarly, corner desks for home office setups are ideal if you have an unused nook within a smaller room. Plus, they give additional space for extra screens or writing notes, which is always handy.’