Working from home is our ‘new normal’ but how can we create a stylish home office that allows us to be productive when working from home? After all, we are more prone to procrastination or working without breaks, whilst blurring the boundaries between ‘work and play’. I should know. As someone who is a self-described perfectionist, I am a hard worker who goes above and beyond to make her clients happy.
But what about making ourselves happy? Why should our own happiness change just because we are working from home? If anything being able to create a stylish home office that is tailored to our needs, will not only make us feel like bad-ass entrepreneurs, but it will also increase our productivity and boost our mental health. Working from home has its challenges, but don’t let your home office be your downfall.
Whether you create a small, minimalist home office that is ‘productivity led’, with vision boards, note pads and ‘working schedules’, or a personalized room full of pictures of your loved ones to boost your happiness, the choice is down to you. If you are a ‘colour lover’ you might choose to paint your home office in a rainbow of colours, with vibrant art prints on the walls, and accented accessories.
If you are a freelancer, full-time blogger or self-made entrepreneur, you might like to turn your work from home office into something that is cozy yet practical. Add functional aspects to your stylish home office, including personalised storage units, folders and polly pocket’s with all your important documents. This will help you organize your time and get a hold of key information when you need it.
If you want to add ‘warming, comforting and friendly touches’ to your home office, you might like to add some cozy chairs swathed with blankets, that you are able to relax in when you are having a break. Create a ‘relaxation zone’ in your room that mimics creature comforts, with healthy snacks, a mini fridge with all your essentials and ensure that you are completely unplugged so that you don’t feel burnt out.
From getting creative with storage space, to adding green plants to create happiness at home, right through to personalizing your home office, here are 5 practical ways to design a stylish home office.
Get Creative With Storage Space
If, like me you are working from your bedroom, it might be quite tricky to know how to turn your ‘sleeping area’ into a ‘productivity room’. After all you are mere feet away from your bed, noone will notice if you are in your jimmy jams all day and it might be hard to priortize a ‘work space’ in your room, because you have limited space. So you’ll want to make the most of the space that you’ve got.
A cluttered, messy space is chaotic for your mind, while a stripped back, minimal room will help boost your productivity. For example, I have ‘a lot of things’ in my room, which can contribute to me feeling overwhelmed, overworked and stressed out, because everything looks like a jumbled mess. But when I organize my room, in a tidier, more conscise way, my work flow feels more streamlined.
This is because clutter bombards our mind with excessive stimuli, causing our senses to work overtime. I call it ‘opening multiple tabs’ at once in your mind, as we are so used to multi-tasking. We end up doing many things at once because we are worried that we don’t have enough time and push ourselves to exertion. It’s the same with a home office. Too much clutter will often do more damage than good.
That is why you should invest in Magenta self storage soultions because you can transform your ‘small home office’ or bedroom into a room where you feel right at home. If you are trying to de-clutter, and streamline your working environment, then try Magenta, who will not only store your personal belongings in a private and clean environment, but it’s also monitored by 24 hour CCTV surveillance.
This means that anything that is taking too much space, can be held in a safe, secure and hygenic environment, that’ll allow you to work from home the productive way. No more scrabbling through endless old documents, folders and boxes, just a clear space that you can make your own. Another great way to get creative with storage space is by adding ‘shelves’, magazine type racks and bookcases to your office.
For example, if like me, you go through a copious amount of notebooks, a great way of creating more storage space is by adding a magazine rack, and filling them with your document wallets, notebooks and additional working materials. To make your magazine rack clear, add labels to anything that you put in it such as ‘social media’, ‘blogging strategy’, ‘workflow plan’ and whatever else helps organize your work.
In blogging, the majority of my work is digital, so its my main (new) job as a Creative Copywriter & Social Media Strategist that has the most paper work. So, to add to the well-organized magazine rack, I also have colourful ring binder folders, categorized by month i.e. Jan 2021 social media strategy, a rainbow storage cabinet with paperwork and a file tray. I use this to priortize working tasks that I need to do each day.
As you can see, I have got creative with my storage space, by creating ‘colourful storage solutions’ that work for me. I also have a well organized book shelf, complete with over 1,000 books, and have ‘work relevant books’ for entrepeneurship, blogging, social media, marketing and writing at the front, with personal, leisure books behind. This space also has journals, notebooks, and workbooks to use.
Other creative storage solutions can include installing a fold-down desk to put away when you finish working, creating a cork board where you can pin your vision map, work schedule, post it notes and anything else that keeps you productive, and building bookshelves from old dresser drawers. Just remember that less is more, you want your stylish home office to help you work not stress you out.
Personalize Your Home Office To Boost Your Productivity
Whether you are working at home or in the office, your working environment should always be full of personality. Yes, your office should be functional, but nothing is more uninspiring than an office that is bland, boring and lacks flavour. For example, I am someone who is colourful, vibrant and loves bold colours like reds and feminine colours like pinks, often mixing the two together.
I am also someone who loves quirky accessories inspired by unicorns, mermaids and florals, so naturally have decorated my bedroom, aka my stylish home office to reflect my personality. From a shelf filled with flower crowns, hats, tiaras and headbands, to photo frames, unicorn candles and mermaid books, my room is a treasure cove of colourful trinkets that showcase my personality, even when I am working.
And you can do the same. First of all figure out what your working vibe is. What makes you tick? Are you someone who loves minimalist, greyscale offices that are light and airy? Or are you a bold and brash colour lover who lives in technicolour dreams? Perhaps you want to create a ‘loved ones wall’ to boost your productivity, and rotate photo frames around to keep your office looking fresh.
If you are someone who adores nature, perhaps you could create a ‘garden home office’, filled with glorious plants, greenery and nature inspired art, with wall prints and themed tropical stationary. You might like to place your garden office next to the window to capture the natural light, and ensure that you take walks outside in your garden, as a welcome refresh from your working day.
If you are looking to create comfort in your home office, you can create a ‘zen zone’ (depending on how much room you have). For your ‘office’ invest in a comfortable desk chair, that supports your back and posture, allowing your elbows to be comfortably angled towards the keyboard. For your zen zone, you can have relaxing meditative music, a yoga mat, a sofa or bean bag to chill out on and even candles.
Embrace Natural Lighting To Work Mindfully
Natural lighting in a home office is key because it helps to improve your productivity, satisfaction and boost your mental health. After all noone likes sitting in a dark room do they? But why does natural lighting help you work mindfully? Well, put simply natural light helps regulate the body’s natural circadian rhythm, which sorts out your sleep-waking up routine. It allows you to feel reenergized.
When you are exposed to natural light, this helps you to sleep better, which in turn fuels you for the day ahead. Just like you would get an energy boost from walking out in nature, natural light has the same mood boosting effect. Not only this but natural lighting also reduces headaches, eye strain and drowsiness. But how do you go about getting natural lighting in your stylish home office?
First of all, where is a natural source of light coming from? For me, it’s by the small window, which lets in a little light, while for others that could be a skylight. If you don’t have natural lighting and your room is quite dark, it might be worth changing up the paint in your room. Light colours like pinks, blues, yellows and whites will brighten up your room, while painting in a matte finish will absorb the glare of the paint sheen.
Another way of creating natural lighting in your office at home is by installing artificial light that mimics natural light. For example, you could invest in desktop task lights that emit light in the same spectrum as natural light, add light dimmers that will adjust depending on the light in your office and even diffuse the ambient light that you already have to illuminate your work space.
You should always avoid working under the direct glare of an overhead light which can give you headaches, make you feel more stressed and less motivated to work. Instead you can use diffusers like a lampshade which soften harsh overhead lighting. If you work on a laptop like myself, you might like to find a cute adjustable desk lamp that will help you light up your working space without casting shadows.
To work mindfully, a great way of embracing natural light is by adding decorative and accent lighting to add personality to your office. Stylish accent lighting like picture lights helps accentuate other elements in the room, while decorative lights give your stylish home office visual appeal. For example, I have a beautiful green cactus LED light that perches on my desk, and I can choose whether to have it on or not.
Add Some Green Plants To Make You Happier
Creating happiness at home shouldn’t be difficult but it can often feel uninspiring being in the same room, especially during lockdown. Which is why adding greenery to your home office is so important, because Biophillic design increases workplace happiness and heightens productivity. This is because of our appreciation for the beauty of nature, the power of attention stimuli and how greenery makes us feel.
Think about this way. How do plants make you feel? For me I love being in an natural environment because it helps me feel tranquil, peaceful and at ease. When I am unplugged and at one with nature, I can feel my stress levels decrease, my sense of gratitude and happiness increase and above all feel like I have been re-born. It should come as no surprise seeing how ‘dramatic’ and ‘loud urban environments can be.
For example, what makes you feel calmer. A city that never sleeps, always alert and buzzing, with cars revving their engines and people chatting in the streets. Or does the quiet solitude of nature restore balance in your life, surrounded by plants, animals and wildlife? A natural environment isn’t just beautiful to look at but it also increases your mental capacity and helps you stay focused at work.
If you are isolated during lockdown, turn your home office into a friendly, calming environment. Like animals, plants can be your friends too and help you feel calmer and more at ease. Not only this, but looking after plants are a lot easier than looking after a baby or a pet, and can help you improve accountability and ownership skills because you are responsible for something. It can also help you think creatively.
While ‘office greenery’ might not be what you imagine when it comes to designing a home office, give it a shot because the benefits are far too good to miss. But what plants should you add to your work from home office. Well, what do you like? Are you a fan of cactuses and succulents or do you prefer potted plants, walls draped in greenery, or even faux plants if you want plants that last longer?
When choosing greenery for your office, you should see what you gravitate towards. What brings you joy? What can you see boosting your productivity? Do you have a favourite plant? Think about what you like, or even what you find interesting and are curious to know more about it. Don’t hesitate to step outside your comfort zone and try something new either. Normally into potted plants? Try succulents on window sills instead.
Stock Up On Useful Essentials Such As Stationary
There is nothing that is quite as satisfying as stocking up on stationary essentials, that’ll make all your work dreams come true. From pencils, to pens, to shiny new notebooks, think about what you need to make your stylish home office complete. Priortize your shopping hauls based on the highest to lowest priority items first. What do you absolutely need? What’s a luxury item that you could buy another day.
For example priority items can include diaries and planners, to ensure that you are on track, notebooks, pens, pencils, highlighters to document your working day and post it notes. My lower priority items would include a shredder- as I wouldn’t be using it that often- blu tack, post it notes, a stapler and envelopes. These lower priority items would come in handy, but I’d have to focus on what I need first.
You can go as simple or as bold as you like. For example, if you are someone who is obsessed with colour, you can create a theme with your stationairy haul. In my case, my current favourite colour is pink, so you guessed it, everything from the notebooks to the pens I am using are pink. It might seem a little twee, but a good stationary haul can help boost your mood, again adding character to your stylish home office.
To help you decide what to buy, you should create a ‘stationary checklist’ that’ll help you choose essentials to make working from home that much easier. In a normal office, you’ll often have access to a stationary cupboard but since you don’t have that at home it’s best to think ahead. While you are there, you might like to invest in additional office essentials like water bottles, a desk light, a clock and healthy snacks.
For me, I am always running out of notepads and pens, because I write so much, so this would be the ‘essential item’ that I would order the most supplies of, because it helps me in my main job and also blogging. Because I am a lover of all things quirky, unique and different, I would look for beautiful, printed and block colour notebooks that have plenty of pages and are ornately decorated.
Notebooks after all, are a record of our working life, and looking at a beautiful notebook is far more inspiring than a bland, plain notebook that does not reflect my personality at all. So when you choose your stationary think about what vibes you want to bring to your home office. Are you are after functionality, want something quirky and themed or after stationary that is based on your hobbies, interests and likes?
What Are Your Tips For Creating A Stylish Home Office?
Please note this is a collaborative post but all thoughts are my own and are not affected by monetary compensation.