Tips to upgrade your home office
Candice Botha suggests taking your home office to the next level with these tips and trendy dècor items
Home offices are the comeback kids of 2020. With so many of us making a permanent move to working from home thanks to Covid, it makes sense that we should be spending a bit of time and cash getting the space we’re now calling "the office" just right. We’ve rounded up some great ideas and brilliant buys to help you get down to business in style.
Your "new office" is an extension of your home, so decorate it in the same style as you would the rest of your space. Personal touches such as framed pictures and artworks, collections of books on shelves, a statement rug or some striking wallpaper all blur the boundaries between home and work, as do beautifully designed desks and chairs.
This Aiden desk, R6,885 from Knus, could easily double as a console or sideboard and will fit seamlessly into a classic or contemporary-style home without shouting about its workhorse abilities. The same goes for the Roseanne chair, R10,995 from Block & Chisel. It looks like an inviting occasional chair but has wheels so you can scoot around as you would on a desk chair.
To keep your workspace neat and uncluttered, storage is essential. There are many excellent storage solutions and desks with good storage on the market. A bedside pedestal with several drawers can be a stylish option in an office as they are generally small enough to fit beneath a desk and offer ample space for office essentials. Also consider wicker or grass baskets for storage. They are pretty and practical and add texture to the space.
The Spaas collection of modular office items can be mixed and matched to create your ideal work-from-home space. The innovative alcove in the top of the desk is a nifty solution for storing electronics or even slipping your laptop away to charge in peace when not in use.
This office pedestal on wheels, R3,020 from Esque, is a practical storage solution and could easily convert your dining-room table into a home office: store all your office essentials in it, wheel it out when you need it and then tuck it away out of sight at night.
Light fittings add some interesting angles as well as softer lighting when working in the evenings. But good natural light is first prize during the day, so position your desk near a window if possible. There are endless desk lamps available locally but we love these three, all from The Lighting Warehouse:
The mod Alfie LED desk lamp, R899, has a Qi wireless charger for Qi-enabled smart devices and is dimmable with adjustable colour rendering.
The traditional look of the Morgan desk lamp, R999, will add a nostalgic touch.
If space is at a premium, avoid taking up any on your desktop with a conventional lamp by choosing the Bell lamp with clamp, R199. It can attach to the side of the desk.
Having a whole room to dedicate to a home office may not be possible. Use a rug or an accent wall to demarcate your workspace, or hang a trendy light fitting above the desk. A wall-mounted shelf at desk height makes a practical workspace in a small home, as does a narrow console table placed in the corner of a bedroom or office. Replacing a solid door to a walk-in closet with a glass one can create a surprisingly comfortable workspace that can be closed off at the end of the day.
This leaning desk with mini drawers, R1,499 from Knus, is an excellent, economical solution for a compact space with a depth of only 45cm. It can be easily moved when not in use.
The Wiki Booth, at R9,810 from Knus, was originally designed as a privacy solution for open-plan working spaces but would be a cool mini escape hatch at home too. It includes a microdesk for laptops or notepads and cable management, allowing electronics to be charged while in use. A small storage area beneath the desk is perfect for books and the addition of a few cushions will make it comfortable for even long sessions.
Ergonomics is an important consideration in any workspace and there are many standing desks on the market which encourage good posture, reduce back pain due to long periods in one position, and increase circulation. Laptop stands allow you to look at your screen from a position which minimises strain on your neck, back and shoulders. A screen is best positioned at eye level while the position of your mouse is also important — your elbows should be bent at 90° while you use it.
The T-Rex standing desk, R2,250 from Esque, will transform your dining table into a standing desk.
This adjustable wall desk, R799 from Knus, allows you to quickly and simply change position from sitting to standing, by adjusting the position of the shelves.
Block & Chisel: blockandchisel.co.za
Spaas Collection: spaas.co.za
Unison Store: unisonstore.co.za
Milestone Kitchens: milestonekitchens.co.za
The Lighting Warehouse: lightingwarehouse.co.za
ADD THE FUN
Cool accessories are the finishing touch. They may even make you feel like spending more time at your desk.
These gorgeous mousepads, R120 from To the Moon & Back Paper Studio, and desk mats, R340 from Table & Co, are both available online from Unison Store.
Macaroon has an array of personalised office goodies including diaries in gorgeous designs with your name on them, R700, and these pretty little screen cleaning cloths, R40.
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