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Charlotte Starling - designs for a home office

PUBLISHED: 12:01 27 November 2013 | UPDATED: 12:01 27 November 2013

Office painted in All White by Farrow & Ball

Office painted in All White by Farrow & Ball


Interior designer Charlotte Starling looks at how to create a home office that will help boost your productivity.

It’s easy to let a home office slide off the bottom of the decorating to-do list. But how your office space is arranged and decorated can greatly impact productivity. The luxury of a home office is that you are at home. Don’t be afraid to forgo typical office furniture in favour of a style that blends with the rest of your home. A simple streamlined desk can be accessorized with non-officey stuff so it remains in tune with the rest of the room.

Nowadays technology and gadgets are increasingly miniature in size, which means we don’t necessarily need a separate office or study. Any neglected nook can be used. Use a few space tricks to create privacy and peace. Try an open-backed bookcase as a room divider, or a strategically positioned decorative screen. If you have high ceilings you could try building a platform as an office area. Make a guest room that doubles as a home office appear more welcoming by concealing files or equipment inside an antique armoire or with a curtain made from vintage fabric.

The big secret to working happily at home is well-thought-out storage and plenty of it. Neatly stacked boxes are a moveable and practical solution. Piled high or in a long row is smartest. Metal shelving designed for catering and industrial use, school lockers and filing cabinets are also alternatives to mass-produced units and add character to your interior.

Avoid clutter pileups by placing another work surface near your main desk. This keeps your computer area clean and clear, and provides dedicated space where you can spread out. It’s also great for stepping away from the computer every once in a while.

Avoid blanket overhead lighting. Maximise natural light but avoid glare. Fluorescent strip lighting in particular is bad news and proven to cause headaches. A good, clear task-light like a small spot or angle-poise is important.

Finally, surround yourself with things you love. Hide anything ugly like tech equipment or bulky folders and give favourite colours, artwork, photos, plants and personal items pride of place.


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