Hideaway home office design tips from FibreGuard
For many of us, the pandemic brought a new and often overwhelming concept into our lives – working from home. While some people happily set up shop in the spare bedroom, applauding the fact they no longer had to commute to work, others struggled to carve out a WFH zone in their small house or apartment.
Now that WFH has become a permanent way of life for many workers – for part of the week, at least – it makes sense to think about creating a dedicated workspace in your home. Here, we look at ways in which you can create a WFH zone if you don’t have the space to allocate a whole room to your home office.
Create a colourful workspace under the stairs
We’re used to seeing clever understairs storage solutions, but if you’ve got adequate space for a reading nook or downstairs cloakroom, why not create a built-in WFH area? With clever lighting and storage, you can easily fit a desk and chair combo into an understairs void.
The colour you choose for your understairs office is absolutely crucial, considering the fact that colour can have a significant effect on mood, stress levels and productivity.
“Consider the type of work you do, and the issues you tend to face. For example, if you work in a dynamic environment, then opt for a stronger colour palette as this can help boost creativity and motivation.” – Interior designer Ryan McDonough
Blue tones can be great stress busters, associated as they are with natural phenomena such as sea and sky. Just make sure to avoid cool hues such as icy blues or lilacs, because they can feel cold and oppressive, especially in such a small space. Instead, choose a warm blue with pink undertones and pair it with natural wood and white contrasts.
Talking of contrasts, bold and unexpected colour combos can work surprisingly well in an understairs workspace. We recommend jade green combined with pale pink, a particularly delicious partnership which manages to be both calming and inspiring at the same time.
How to hide and style a slim desk behind the sofa
The classic placing of a console table behind a sofa can be reinvented for the WFH era by introducing a functional desk rather than a decorative table. Popping your desk behind the sofa is a discreet way to create a mini home office as it will appear to take up less space than if you had positioned the sofa and desk in separate areas of the living room.
When choosing your desk, keep the interior style of your living room in mind and ensure the desk will be in keeping with this aesthetic. That way, the desk will appear unobtrusive and virtually disappear from view. Add decorative desk accessories and keep visible office equipment to a minimum to help achieve a seamless look.
Pro Tip: Make sure any desk or table you place behind the sofa is no higher than the highest point of the back of the sofa.
Section off a workspace with dreamy drapery
Why not take inspiration from our office remodel here at Bru and use curtains to separate your WFH space from the rest of your home? In a large, open-plan office, curtained pods can be a great way of creating little pockets of privacy. They represent a softer, more welcoming option than fixed walls and doors.
The same principle can be applied to the home environment by nominating a WFH nook or alcove that can be curtained off when in use. Curtains bring the advantage of sound absorption qualities as well as delineating a space and creating privacy.
Bonus tip: how to control sound levels with curtains
It’s all very well designating a corner of the living room for work purposes when you’re the only one at home, but if you share your space with noisy kids or pets, it’s essential to limit noise disturbance as much as possible.
This is where performance fabric can help. Sound absorption, which refers to the reduction of noise reverberation rather than the blocking out of sound completely, can be achieved via the use of thick fabrics such as velvets.
There are several different aspects of fabric use that can affect the level of sound absorption. The thickness of the fabric and density of the weave have an impact, as do the number of folds or pleats in the fabric treatment. The greater the number of folds, the higher the sound absorption performance of the fabric.
Related Read: Why sound absorbing drapery fabric is the perfect choice >
Invest in custom cabinetry to create a concealed workspace
Some people understandably prefer to make sure anything work related is ‘out of sight and out of mind’ once they’ve downed tools for the day. One way to achieve this is to have a work station that can be hidden away behind doors when not in use. Built-in cabinetry is the perfect choice here. The understairs desk idea we discussed earlier could be taken a step further with the addition of sliding or hinged doors. With this method, your work from home zone can seem to ‘disappear’ once the working day is over.
If a built-in solution isn’t an option, you can now buy a standalone piece of furniture such as a Dreambox which incorporates a desk and storage system within a simple wardrobe. The perfect choice for renters or for those whose budget doesn’t stretch to bespoke cabinetry.
Performance fabrics that work no matter where you are
FibreGuard fabrics not only have excellent sound absorbing qualities, they are also durable, stain resistant, easy to maintain and available in a wide variety of colourways and designs suitable for drapery as well as upholstery. Looking for fabric to help complete your home office? Get in touch with us today.