The Best Work from Home Setup According to Top Interior Designers

Elicyon Bayswater Mansion Apartment

Working from home has become the new norm for many. And as I am sure everyone new to the game quickly learned, it is not always the easiest to stay focused with the distractions of home surrounding you. A well-designed, mindful space that you can feel comfortable, calm and focused in is key. So, today we want to share with you tips from top interior designers on how to create the best work from home setup! 

First, Ask Yourself, What Requirements Do I Need to Meet to Have the Best Work from Home Setup?

Every job is different and it is essential that your home office space meets all of your job’s requirements.

“The most important factor that we consider when designing a home office for our clients is the specific brief, to make the space as tailored to requirements,” says Charu Gandhi, Founder & Director of the London-based design firm Elicyon. “Some of our clients need extensive technology support for working from home, ranging from multiple TV screens to track markets and video conferencing facilities while others want a place to retreat and do their deep-thinking work.”

Write down everything you need so you can be sure to check all the boxes.

Next, Select a Space

Once you have your list of requirements, select the best place for your work at home setup. Do you have a separate room you want to convert? Or perhaps you need to use your dining table or prefer your living room sofa? Maybe you have a desk in your bedroom already but want to step it up a notch now that you are using it fulltime? Wherever you select just be sure it is a place you feel comfortable in and one that can meet all your job requirements.

Then, Plan Your Layout

“In smaller spaces, we like to set up the desk with a view, so that you are looking out of the space and your eye can travel,” says Charu from Elicyon. “In larger rooms, it can work better to set the desk at the back of the room, with the shelving unit behind the desk for easy access to papers and looking out across the length of the room.”

best home office setup - Chelsea Barracks by Qatari Diar designed by Elicyon (Photo by Alexander James for Qatari Diar)
Chelsea Barracks by Qatari Diar designed by Elicyon (Photo by Alexander James for Qatari Diar)

Charu also added a tip we think is great if you have the room! “We love creating a spillover space within the study if space allows, so a chaise lounge or small seating arrangement where our client can read or rest, turning into a sanctuary away from the world rather than a purely functional space.”

Aim for Clutter-Free

A well-organized, clutter-free workspace is essential when looking to create a space that induces calm, thus promoting a perfect space to concentrate in.

Charu of Elicyon says, “Designing appropriate storage, where paperwork, files or IT equipment such as printers can be tucked away is functionally important.” She also notes that one should work as hard as possible to hide away cables as well as the messy look is not helpful, nor does it look good!

Good Lighting Is Key

“Once your area is Marie Kondo’d, be sure you have a great lamp you love looking at that adds character and necessary task lighting,” says Laura Marino founder of interior design practice Studio L, London, and co-founder of development manager Alchemi Group.

Westminster Fire Station designed by Alchemi Group and Far East Orchard - lighting is key when creating the best home office setup
Westminster Fire Station designed by Studio L, London for Alchemi Group and Far East Orchard

“We like to design different mood settings,” says Elicyon’s director Charu. “From functional working lighting which is brighter and directional, to softer settings such as ending the day with reading on the sofa. Mixing ceiling lighting with desk, floor and table lamps is important for creating an atmosphere. Lighting shelves and artwork also adds depth to the room and can create a focal point both to compliment, or in absence of a view. In smaller rooms in particular, artwork or a sculpture or bust located on a plinth or within the line of sight can draw the eye away from the desk and screen.”

Bayswater Mansion Apartment designed by Elicyon
Bayswater Mansion Apartment designed by Elicyon (Photo by Nick Rochowski)

In addition to artificial lighting be sure to pay attention to natural light sources as well says Charu. “If there is a window in the study, then curtains or blinds can frame the room beautifully and I particularly like using heavy wool fabrics for curtains that fall well, with an interesting edge detail. The window dressings mean you can control the daylight coming into the room, particularly if the study is south facing, so that bright sunshine doesn’t affect your screen or reading.”

white marble table lamp with a gold hand grasping it - vengeance table lamp by koket

Bring Nature In to Promote Wellness

“The best way to create a space that is comfortable and induces calm is to create a setting with elements that reflect the natural environment,” says Jouin Manku, a Parisian spatial design studio, led by French designer Patrick Jouin and Canadian architect Sanjit Manku.

Patrick and Sanjit note that bringing nature in using natural materials and soft organic curves are great ways to promote wellness in your space. And the design of their Clivedale London’s Mayfair Park Residences is a perfect example.

Clivedale London's Mayfair Park Residences Townhouse One designed by Jouin Manku
Clivedale London’s Mayfair Park Residences Townhouse One designed by Jouin Manku

Be sure to add life too, says Laura of Studio L, “Add a plant (or two). Pay attention to the direction your office faces and what kind of maintenance that the plant you like will require. Websites like Flowerbx and Patch are good for delivering affordable, mature plants for that instant green and toxin absorption.”

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Finally, Accessorize & Personalize

It is now time to complete your work from home setup. You should want to be in your office space, not run from it. So make it inviting and comfortable by adding decorative accessories, personal items and other elements that will help connect you to your space and in turn stay focused.

Preppy Chic interior designed by Studio L
Preppy Chic interior designed by Studio L, London (Photo by Nick Rochowski)

Make It Stylish and Cozy

If your space looks and feels nice it will definitely serve you better. Laura of Studio L suggests you accessorize with “cute trinket trays, lovely baskets for rubbish or storage and other inspiration to make your office – all you.”

Laura adds, “If it suits, get an area rug to anchor your workspace. If it doesn’t suit, get a lovely throw blanket and use it! Drape it over your shoulders or lap while you work. Fold and drape over your chair when not in use. It’s that extra element of Hygge that is oh so comforting. If you have windows, get window treatments to add extra depth and warmth. Just make sure you genuinely love everything you choose!”

Add Items with Meaning

“My design library at home (in London) has items that have sentimental meaning to me and I’ve surrounded the room with photos of my loved ones,” says Laura. “It makes me feel more connected because I live abroad, and helps ground me when I feel homesick and apprehensive. Now that we’re self-isolating, I think this is more important than ever to take the time to curate your space this way. For example; I have a poem I read at my dad’s eulogy because it always reminded me of him from the moment I read it over 30 years ago. I have a massive piece of art that my husband surprised me with – hung on a central wall, and I have tons of photos in frames featuring all the people in my life through the years, that I love.”

Make It Smell Good

“I always have a candle burning in my office. For me, it’s incredibly soothing and some of my favourite scents,” says Laura.

empowering scent by koket - best home office setup

Does Sound Help You Concentrate?

If so be sure to add a sound system to your space. If you have others at home your music will distract, invest in a great pair of headphones!

We hope these tips help you create the best work from home setup!

Words by Anna Beck Bimba