With working from home being the new reality, which is likely to stay for at least part of the week, a lot of our clients are looking to convert whatever spare space they have into a fully functional and inspiring office space.
In one of our recent Hampstead projects, the client had a small spare room (less than 5m2), which so far had served as a guest bedroom and storage. We were asked to improve the layout so that there would be space for a generously sized desk which could fit 3 computer screens, ample storage but also still have space for a small fold out bed in case somebody came to stay over.
The starting point for us was finding a layout which allowed the desk to face the large window overlooking the garden. Natural light and a beautiful view are two particularly important factors for an inspiring working environment. A challenge posed the door which was directly opposite the window. Nobody wants to sit with the door immediately in his back. We therefore decided to put the desk slightly off set from the window but still allowing for a nice view over the garden.
Choosing the right desk and chair for a home office is essential. For this project we chose the CPH90 desk by Hay which was designed by the Bouroullec brothers. It features simple yet graceful asymmetrical legs coupled with a generous tabletop for a functional, compact and uncluttered design. We combined this desk with an Eames Plastic Side Chair by Vitra. By choosing a non-typical office chair which matched the chairs we selected for the dining room, we gave the client the flexibility to use this chair if needed for extra guests at the dinner table. To allow the home office to transform to a guest bedroom if required, we added a single seat sofa bed which also invites for a little post lunch nap after a lot of zoom calls in the morning. To complete the contemporary Scandinavian look we were aiming for, we added a classic Anglepoise table light. In addition to some general ceiling lighting and possibly some ambience lighting in the form of a floor lamp placed in a corner of a home office, it is important to include some task lighting for extra reading light in the evenings.
Another key item for achieving a calm and productive office environment, is ample storage. As this was a rental property, we did not have the option to include any fitted shelves or cupboards. Instead, we chose the sleek Kabino dresser by Normann Copenhagen. The printer sits nicely on top and the 5 drawers allow for lots of storage for papers, stationary etc. In order to reduce the amount of unattractive wires cluttering the space, we usually recommend to our clients to invest in wireless technology where they can. Where this is not possible, we try to tame the cables in a cable management box or by sticking them to the underside of the desk.
Finally, we completed the scheme with carefully curated pieces of contemporary art which the client found inspiring and uplifting. Given how much time a lot of our clients spend in their home offices, it is important that the space reflects the client’s personality and matches the style of the rest of the home.