interior design, workspace, home office, decorating, tips, DIY

It’s becoming increasingly common to work from home. Whether you are a blogger, a graphic designer, or any other profession that doesn’t necessarily require you to sit in a cubicle all day, working from home can be great as it allows you flexibility.

It also means you have to be extra organised and take care of simple things like ordering stationery yourself. You don’t want your work to interfere with your home as a place of relaxation though, so having a proper workspace at home really helps to keep the two separate.

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Interiors expert Jen Bishop knows a thing or two about the perfect workspace as she not only writes about interior design for a living, but she also does so from her home office. Jen let us in on her top tips on how to create the perfect home office and also told us a bit about her own workspace:

Measure up

To get the most out of your office area, ensure the style and size of your furniture suits the room. Corner desks work well in small spaces, whereas a wall to wall desk may be better suited to a larger or narrow room. Make the most of under desk space with storage options like mobile filing drawers and pedestals.

Give yourself space

Maintain spatial awareness when setting up your desk space – you don’t want to be cramped up facing a wall day in day out. If possible, face a window that offers a long-distant view. This will give your eyes the opportunity to shift focus away from the screen, which is necessary at least every 30 minutes. You’ll find that this simple exercise will boost both your concentration and mood.

Kick it to the side

A sideboard can be a fantastic storage option, while looking great. They also provide benchtop space for desk lamps or the perfect spot for a wireless printer. These act as great ‘work stations’ which encourage intermittent exercise.

Lighten up

Have a variety of lighting sources available for your work space – we draw energy from our surroundings. A window offering natural light and fresh air is ideal however a desk lamp can be useful for task lighting, especially in the late afternoons or mornings (depending on which direction your window faces).

Remove tangled cords

Wireless tech will free up desk space, reduce messy cables and increase overall efficiency. Think cordless for your phone, keyboard, mouse – almost anything can be wireless these days!

Maintain a ‘to-do list’

Set up a white board in your office to create a visual and updateable to-do-list. Alternatively, make the most of the calendar app on your smartphone or tablet, by linking it to your mailbox diary – enabling you to receive deadline reminders and on-the-go notifications.

What does colour say about you?

Choose a colour scheme for your workspace that balances your mood and energy. Vibrant colours are known to invigorate and inspire, whereas pastels tend to be calming and encourage concentration. If you’re a minimalist, opt for monochrome – for you, less is probably more.

Layer the colour palette

It really comes down to the rule of three – pick two contrasting colours and one base neutral such as white, black and blonde timber, or white, aqua and pink. Only use small touches of the most prominent colour. For example, pair your white desk and chair with aqua and hot pink accessories – it will make the hot pink ‘pop’ without being overbearing.

Add some life

Greenery or flowers helps to create a fresh atmosphere in any space and can be particularly motivating in the workspace, which has a tendency of becoming stuffy and stale.

Don’t overdo it

While it’s important to have an inspiring workspace that speaks to your personal style, it’s just as important not to overdo it and create something that’s ‘too busy’ on the eye. Try applying the ‘Coco Chanel Decorating Mantra’ where you style your workspace, then remove one thing. This might help with any unnecessary clutter!

How To Create The Perfect Home Office

Thanks, Jen! After reading all your amazing tips for creating a workspace I am curious to hear about your own! What does your workspace look like?

My home office is right at the end of the house with doors out onto the deck. I’ve tried to keep it really simple and feminine without being girly in a cliché way. The colour scheme is white and gold with gold confetti spots on the walls. I recently had to make this room work double duty as a spare bedroom which was challenging, but because of the colour scheme it seems to work quite well! One of the best things about working for myself and from home is having more control over the aesthetics of my work environment. I try to keep it tidy and sparse, because if I filled it full of too many things I loved, I’d get distracted!

How often do you redecorate or change the look of your workspace?

I haven’t redecorated my office since moving into our home a year ago, which is a good sign it’s working. Other rooms get changed a lot more often! I am constantly inspired and finding a new favourite focal piece or trend.

Is there anything that absolutely doesn’t belong on your work desk?

Clutter! I hate clutter and multi-coloured ‘stuff’ that doesn’t match, it makes me feel itchy! I like to have everything hidden away which is why storage is so crucial in an office space. I recently partnered with Officeworks to help others enjoy the benefits of having an organised workspace –create a place for everything, and then make sure everything is in place!

What are the trending colours for spring/summer 2015/16?

The latest Dulux colour forecast which is literally just out claims we will all be embracing earthy greens and, shock horror, browns! We shall see…