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Karl Lohnes: Create a stylish workspace at home — no matter what size


Nowadays, a dedicated workspace is an essential element in good home design — whether it’s a place for kids to study, for checking email or building a freelance business. If your home isn’t big enough for a separate office space, these creative solutions make smart use of the rooms you have and the existing decor so your home office works for you.

Finding work space at home

Even the tiniest abodes can work. How? It’s called sharing the space.

  • Divide and conquer: Separate a long living room with clever furniture arrangement. I suggest using about 75 per cent for the main living space and the remaining 25 per cent as work space. Try using a sofa to divide the room, and allow your home office area to act as a backdrop. A screen or console table (displaying lamps and plants) behind the sofa will hide a busy work or study spot. Bookcases, a desk and chair will help mark the remaining space as a work zone.

  • Make it work: Although I am not a fan of an office in the bedroom, in really tight quarters it can be the only option. Replacing a night table with a small desk can offer a quiet, private office area — the desk lamp and charging stations would most likely be on a nightstand anyway. Simply store the laptop and papers in a drawer at the end of the workday.

  • Design a faux office: If you are the organized type, why not use one end of your dining table as a regular place to work? Stash office equipment out of sight in the closed, base section of the china cabinet. I suggest using a desk pad to protect the tabletop from daily wear and tear.

Hard-working desk solutions for working at home

Here are my favourite furnishings and fixes for discrete home offices in tight spaces.

  • The wall-hung desk is perfect in a condo foyer, hallway or a den. Mount at seat height for longer use or at standing height for short visits to pay bills and check emails.

  • Pick a multi-purpose table that’s durable, rolls and is big enough to seat four to six people for dining or spreading out a work project. Be sure to have wheeled storage nearby; it can be placed up against the wall for work then wheeled out for dining.

  • Keep office equipment out of sight with a decorative corner screen to hide shelves containing printer and office supplies. Visually expand your space while hiding the clutter.

  • Have some fun with whimsical art, vacation photos and cool signs to help keep even the tiniest of office spaces lively and an enjoyable place to be.

Work in style at home

Got a separate room for work? Keep it functional yet looking like an intentional, stylish part of your home with these tips.

  • Paint: Warm colours will make you sleepy; choose cool colours like pale blues or greens to keep you alert. Cooler colours also reflect natural light, which can make a tiny space appear larger.

  • Furnishings: The colour, fabric and finish of your office furniture should reflect other furniture styles in your home. This will blend the office area with your decor scheme and allow you to move furnishings to different rooms if you no longer need a home office.

  • Mood: Create ambience to make you feel at home in your office and distract you from the rest of the house. Music, daylight-emulation lighting, a small fountain for white noise or even a cozy fireplace can help you stay focused, alert and relaxed when meeting deadlines and accomplishing goals.

This article was first published on https://www.thewhig.com/life/homes/karl-lohnes-create-a-stylish-workspace-at-home-no-matter-what-size/wcm/4fd06989-3647-467a-a2ea-b0031277ffef

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