From bold and bright to calm and cool, these considered home office spaces score full marks
WORDS: SARAH MARJORIBANKS – PHOTOS: IVAN MULLER PHOTOGRAPHY, ADAM LETCH, ANDREA VAN DER SPUY, ALEKS LIMA AND DAVID ROSS
Home office comes in all shapes and sizes. Whether your work space is colourful and creative or quiet and contemplative, the right environment will make the world of difference to your productivity. We look at some of the design elements that make these spaces a success.
Elevated above the surrounding living areas, this home office by ARRCC Interior Design Studio has magnificent views of the ocean, bringing an element of calm to the work space. The office has a table for small group gatherings as well as a desk large enough for one-on-one meetings. The placement of art behind the desk creates an inviting backdrop for visitors. Soft lighting contributes to a comfortable atmosphere throughout the room, whereas the desk area benefits from enhanced lighting.
If you need quiet, calm surroundings while you work, the warm, darker hues of this home office might be just what the doctor ordered. The space is restful and serene, with a sound-absorbing carpet that adds to the sense of serenity. Voile curtains separate the office from the rest of the house and its activity. Designed by Jenny Mills Architecture in collaboration with Studio Parkington, the home office incorporates well-planned lighting (a must for video conferencing) that is adaptable for various types of work. “Uncluttered spaces promote focus and productivity. For documents, data and electronic equipment, storage that is practical and easy to use and pack away out of sight is another important consideration in design,” says Mills.
Encompassing several work areas within one space – lounge seating for an informal meeting, a round table for group work and a desk with a printer and storage – this home office by Deborah Garth Interior Design is productive and enjoyable. “The entrance to the home office is as important as the office itself,” says Garth. “There must be a design link in the décor at the door and no break in the flooring. It is one continuous journey, with the double-glazed doors offering soundproofing when required without a visual cut-off.”
One of a kind
From the bookshelves to the seating and the fly-fishing craft desk in the back corner, each furniture piece in this Johannesburg home office by Kim H Interior Design was custom created. Items were sourced from as far as France but also include local gems such as the whisky cabinet (originally from a post office) and the antique desk, discovered in Riebeek Kasteel and Parys respectively. Yet it is first and foremost a working space. “This is an efficient home office because it allows the client to work as if he is at the office,” says Kim H Interiors MD Ehrardt Niewoudt. “There is good lighting, ample desk and storage space, and even a space for casual and formal meetings.”
Comfortable and classic
As people begin to create a division between their living spaces and work areas at home, Kevin Frankental of design studio Lemon believes many will invest in high-quality essentials. He suggests collecting furniture and accessories gradually and buying pieces that you love rather than filling the gaps quickly on the cheap. “Add to the space over time. It should have a calming effect – this is created through good lighting, warm textures and quality furniture,” he says. If you can’t devote a whole room to your office, he suggests using a screen for privacy and demarcating the area further with wallpaper to create the feeling of a separate zone.