From bold and bright to calm and cool, these considered home office spaces score full marks

WORDS: SARAH MARJORIBANKS – PHOTOS: IVAN MULLER PHOTOGRAPHY, ADAM LETCH, ANDREA VAN DER SPUY, ALEKS LIMA AND DAVID ROSS

Home offices come in all shapes and sizes. Whether your workspace is colourful and creative or quiet and contemplative, the right environment will make the world of difference to your productivity. We look at some of the design elements that make these spaces a success.

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New Heights

Elevated above the surrounding living areas, this home office by ARRCC Interior Design Studio has magnificent views of the sea, bringing an element of calm to the workspace. The office has a table for small group meetings and a desk large enough for one-on-one catch-ups. The placement of art behind the desk creates an inviting backdrop for guests. Soft lighting sets a comfortable tone throughout the room, whereas the desk area benefits from enhanced lighting.

Serenity now

If you need calm, quiet surroundings while you work, the warm, dusky hues of this home office might be just what the doctor ordered. The space is restful and serene, with a sound-absorbing carpet that adds to the sense of serenity. Voile curtains separate the office from the rest of the house and its activity. Designed by Jenny Mills Architecture in collaboration with Studio Parkington, the home office incorporates well-designed lighting – a must for video conferencing – that is adaptable for various types of work. “Uncluttered spaces promote focus and productivity,” Mills says. “For documents, data and electronic equipment, storage that is practical and easy to pack away out of sight is another important consideration in design.”

Easy flow

Encompassing several work areas within one space – lounge seating for an informal meeting, a round table for group work, and a desk with a printer and storage – this home office design by Deborah Garth Interior Design lends itself to productivity. “The entrance to the home office is as important as the office itself,” Garth says. “There must be a design link in the décor at the door and no break in the flooring. It is one continuous journey, with the double-glazed doors offering soundproofing when required without a visual cut-off.”

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One of a kind

From the bookshelves to the seating and the fly-fishing craft desk in this Johannesburg home office by Kim H Interior Design were custom-made. Some items were sourced from as far afield as France, but gems such as the antique desk and the whiskey cabinet (originally from a post office) were found in Parys and Riebeek Kasteel, respectively. Yet it is first and foremost a place of work. “This is an efficient home office because it allows the client to work as if he were at a corporate office,” says Ehrardt Nieuwoudt, MD at Kim H. “There is good lighting and ample desk surface and storage, and even spaces for casual and formal meetings.”

Comfortable and Classic

As people begin to create a division between their living spaces and work areas at home, Kevin Frankental of design studio Lemon believes many will invest in high-quality essentials. He suggests collecting furniture and accessories gradually and buying pieces that you love rather than filling the gaps quickly on the cheap. “Add to the space over time,” he says. “It should have a calming effect – this is created through good lighting, warm textures and quality furniture.” If you cannot devote a whole room to your office, he suggests using a screen for privacy and demarcating the area further with wallpaper to create the feeling of a separate zone.

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