First, find a spot that gets plenty of sunlight and fresh air, says Juhi Malhotra, founder and creative director of JR The Design Deuce. To give it an outdoorsy feel, add small planters and accessories in natural elements. Neha Yoosuf, architect at Designsmith Interiors, suggests using plants as accent pieces. "A large, lush floor plant in a stand alone planter not only gives the space a dramatic look, but immediately elevates it," she adds. And for those who do not have a green thumb, she suggests a low-maintenance terrarium. "Or even a poster," she says.
To ensure the space is well lit, use a table lamp to provide great task lighting during meeting calls, work, etc., says Neha. "Make sure to position the computer monitor against the window, so there's no glare from a window or overhead light. You must have the right balance between natural light/artificial light, as proper lighting is necessary for enhanced work productivity."
If you wish to make the most of the crisp cool weather by setting up your home office in the garden, Juhi suggests you invest in a small cabin-style modular garden room with glass sliding doors so it can seamlessly blend into the surroundings. "It’ll not only provide shade from harsh sunlight but will block unnecessary noise and distraction," she says. Comfortable and practical furniture will complete the look.
If you wish for seamless transition between your indoor and outdoor space, go for decorative lanterns and free-standing, decorative floor lamps. They will light up the place and match the indoors with outdoors effectively, Juhi adds.
Under the stairs
If the space under the stairs is big enough to store your cleaning supplies or the family shoe rack, then it is big enough for a neat home office too. ‘‘A slim desk and a comfy chair quite often will do the trick,’’ says Juhi. What is also important is that the area is well lit, she adds.
What with the entire family operating from home, it is imperative that every family member has a well-defined workspace. While separate desks with focused lights would be ideal, Monika Agarwal, CEO and director, Artin LLC (Artistic Interiors) suggests shared bookshelves, personal memorabilia and storage solutions would help in defining boundaries.
If your kitchen counter doubles up as your home office space, then Neha suggests that you first define your work area. ‘‘Don’t allow yourself to spread out, instead limit yourself visually by spreading out a nice patterned table cloth on your kitchen counter. Place a fruit bowl and some scented candles by the side. Next find the right chair height for your counter, especially when your work requires long hours of sitting at a stretch. Also, have the central island well lit,’’ she says.
Monika suggests using a cork backsplash for hanging calendars, notes, etc. ‘‘Use kitchen tools to organise your office, like storing paper clips in your old ice-cube trays or muffin tins, or use cup holders to store pens or pencils.
Office in bedroom
Setting a work desk in your bedroom or a guest room is a good option when you want quiet space to make work calls or be away from other distractions at home. Juhi says it is important to create a distinctive office set up that separates the work zone from the rest of the bedroom; this way, you are less distracted and can work effectively.
‘‘Use the bay window to build in the desk or replace the nightstand from one side of your bed with a small desk. Place your laptop, some necessary items and have a comfortable chair to begin working.’’
Decorative baskets and shelves to store work supplies and a desk lamp go a long way in creating the right work atmosphere.