Although you are primarily creating a workroom or home office, it's important that you do not neglect to provide for some relaxation when formulating your home office design ideas. Without the natural punctuations of a day in a busy city office, time can seem to drag. When these moments arrive, it is often better to switch off completely for a short period and then return to your work refreshed. An easy chair, music, hot/cold drinks, reading matter – these will all help to provide a contrast to the main activity.
One of the great advantages of a home office workroom is that you can tailor it exactly to your own requirements, and, in doing so, can express your own personal style. This style need not necessarily be too businesslike, but may reflect in some way the activity you are involved with or simply your personal preferences. Attention too can be given to such pleasurable aspects as how your room is scented and to background sounds. Think of a beautifully decorated space, smelling perhaps of hyacinths. Beyond the window daffodils are billowing in the breeze and in the background can be heard a string quartet. Who needs a city office now?!
When planning a home office or workroom, it is tempting to plunge in straight away with wonderful ideas for businesslike color schemes and so on, but there are many more fundamental things to consider first.
Here is a checklist of questions to prompt your ideas:
- Do you need to be in close contact with any particular rooms in your home or is a remote location preferable?
- Is separate access desirable?
- What activities are going to take place within the space?
- What equipment will these activities require?
- What services (for example, telephone, running water, heating, ventilation) are needed?
- How will you illuminate the various activities (using both natural and artificial light)?
- What are the storage requirements?
Other points to consider are:
- facilities for guests (seating, cloakroom, car parking and so on);
- soundproofing (either to exclude or contain noise);
- space and equipment for guest workers (for example, book keepers, temporary secretaries);
- security (locks, safes, alarms and so on);
- safety (for instance, non-slip floors, fire prevention).
The style you adopt for your workroom will very much depend upon the dimensions of the space and your personal preferences. Whatever these might be, your activity is likely to entail the need for a certain amount of equipment, a good expanse of work or floor surface and lots of storage, so it is recommended that your room has a certain sparseness about it to enable all these things to be accommodated without creating a cluttered feeling. If the room is to be used for professional purposes, try to avoid creating too domestic a style or you may find that your work is not taken seriously.
Try to plan storage right from the start rather than let it evolve haphazardly. By all means reuse existing furniture, but wherever possible custom-make and build in for a more streamlined, organized, efficient appearance.
Although sited in a workspace, lighting does not have to be utilitarian so long as it fulfils its purpose. Concentrate on providing a good overall level of illumination and ensuring that specific tasks are in good glare-free light coming from the correct direction.
Get our secret Tips and Tricks to your inbox.