Working from home has become the new normal for many, which has come with its own unique challenges. You may not have room at home for a separate office but, if it can be done, Prevaire are here to help you turn whatever corner you choose into a stylish and separate space.
It has previously felt temporary and uncomfortable, but if you are short of space, try to reimagine a part of the living area as a temporary office — one end of your coffee table or a kitchen table, but if you're lucky enough to have that bit of space we have a beautiful selection of desks. So lets break this down, starting with just that...
The command centre of your home, the desk is the essential item on which to build your workspace around.
The aesthetics of untidiness divides opinion. Some are deeply displeased by stacks of paper and piles of books, but I like them. Papers, notebooks, desk lamps and books are a kind of colonisation, the demarcation of a surface. I am surrounded by my own creation. The stacks are an opportunity to create an architecture of text with my own hands, to model my own environment, build it and change it.
This is one of the trickiest items to get right, in fact its such a key topic my Prevaire colleague has even written a whole separate blog post about it. You will probably want a comfortable model, but nows your chance to get one even better than you had at work! It looked fine in the office but will look crazy in your home and make everything else look wrong, so take a look at some of our Prevaire faves for some inspiration.
Critical, this. Your window is a visual umbilical to the real world. The clouds, the sky, the sun, the birds, the trees, the buildings and people create an animated collage of subtle and constant change, even if your view is, like mine, rubbish.
Too much time staring out of the window begins to look like time-wasting. But, in fact, most office work is time-wasting anyway, and looking out of the window is a legitimate and enjoyable pastime, usually accompanied by some light form of thinking. Which is work.
Very important. If you are lucky, you will have natural light for part of the day but you will need artificial light at other times. Never leave all the work to ceiling lights. You may have a single bare bulb hanging from a ceiling rose. This is the worst option and will make you nauseous. Halogens are better, but only as background.
What you really need is a big, adjustable desk lamp. An Anglepoise is good. I have two, which take up a lot of space, but they allow me to change the mood from brooding darkness relieved by a single pool of light, to twin beams or blinding light with everything on — the visual equivalent of a double espresso. Which reminds me . . .
A reading chair
This is optional, but sometimes you will need to read. If you have space for a second, comfortable chair, occupy it. It will make you feel like your environment has changed without leaving your office.
I have a choice of Modernist steel-and-leather chairs by famous architects, which are not quite as comfortable as they look, but one has proved extremely useful for piling up old newspapers. The other has room underneath for storage.
Do not confuse your home office with a dumping ground, in which all the second-rate crap deemed not good enough for the rest of the house is exiled. If a picture is too ropy, dated, faded or uninteresting for the living room, it is no good for the home office, either.
Neither is your workspace a cupboard. If you store old furniture in here, it will make you feel as if you are in a simulacrum of an office and impart a sense of redundancy. You are working. You are not in temporary storage.