Designing an inspiring home office

With the arrival and phenomenal rise of the internet, working from home has transpired from being a luxury of elite company directors to the privilege of a much wider segment of society. According to a report issued by the National Office of Statistics, in February 2013 58% of people registered as self-employed in the UK relied on their home to work. As a consequence of the prolific rise of homeworking, home offices have become a much more prevalent feature in modern households.

Put simply, if you were an employee you wouldn’t expect to be forced to work in dingy conditions, with little light, an uncomfortable chair and in a room in which you can barely swing a cat, and as a self-employed homeworker you also shouldn’t expect to work in such an environment. In short, the more inspiring your surroundings the more productive day you can hope to have.

Take a look at the following ways to design an inspiring home office to optimise productivity and stimulate creativity.

Invest in quality lighting

A dimly-lit desk lamp can cause eye fatigue while an over-bright bulb can lead to headaches and migraines. Adequate lighting can make a huge difference to energy-levels, mood and productivity. If it is possible try to locate your home office somewhere which has natural light. Situate the desk next to a window. Not only will you have daylight flooding onto your desk but there is also something to be said for gazing out of the window while your brain processes thoughts.

Layer the lighting

Instead of having just one source of lighting in a room, have several sources that make up a layered lighting system. Combine task lighting such as desk lamps to avoid eye strain with ambient lighting to help relieve stress. Ambient lighting creates a calming and friendly glow in a room which can be soothing and comforting when you’re working at home on your own.

Paint to stimulate

Paint your home office with a new colour scheme that will freshen it up and breath new life into the space. Yellow is a must-have shade for interiors in 2014. It is also an effective colour to have in a working environment. Combining yellow for relaxation and with soft blues to help promote calmness will create a stimulating décor to work in.

Immerse your surroundings in inspiring accessories and artwork

One of the best components of home offices is that you can craft a bespoke working environment that is as flamboyant and creative or as practical and quotidian as you deem appropriate. Having artwork on the walls will craft a creatively tailored working space, which will help make your job seem more like ‘fun’ than a chore. For example, having elegant and feminine accessories like a cream lamp and a matching vase full of hydrangeas will exude a ‘pick-me-up’ ambience. For a more ‘masculine’ undertone that can be equally as effective opt for stimulating images such paintings of guitars, photographs of movie icons or a black and white image of your favourite band.

Background noise

If you work well to music then this is certainly a privilege of the homeworker and is there to be taken advantage of. Install a quality sound system in the room or designate a place for your i-pod or stereo. Turn the music up to a productivity-enhancing volume, sit comfortably on your chair and get working – after all it’s your office.