Too much to ask of one room? We have a few tips to help you stay organised and focused.
1. Green up the space
When you’re deep in deadlines, anything that might add serenity to your workspace is welcome. Potted plants are a great way to cut stress by introducing a nod to nature and giving a boost to your physical health by improving air quality.
“Use a palm tree to bring the outside in and bring calm to the room,” says interior designer Natalee Bowen of Indah Island. Other potted winners, which can survive a little neglect in busy periods, include peace lilies, mother-in-law’s tongue, Zanzibar gem or, for trailing charmingly off a high shelf, chain of hearts.
2. Try multi-sensory styling
“It’s important to consider all of the senses in any room, but in the study especially,” says stylist Chris Carroll of TLC Interiors, who suggests using fragrance as a tool to help you feel comfortable and focused. Lavender is said to reduce stress, and cinnamon to overcome mental fatigue; try an Air Wick Cinnamon Chai & Smooth Cream diffuser for a hit of the latter.
“Colour in a study is personal, but try to keep intense tones and patterns to a minimum”Chris Carroll
3. Have a light-bulb moment
Just as in any other room, lighting can make your study sing. “Many of us use our study at night, so mood lighting is key,” says Chris. “Opt for lighting that’s slimline and doesn’t present too much visual bulk. A desk lamp with a rotating head is good because you control the direction and intensity of the light.”
4. Create a personal vignette
Unleash inspiration to create a beautiful scene with objects that speak to you. This is also a great way to create breathing space on shelves that might otherwise be a solid wall of files. Choose pieces that are unique, personal to you or that make you smile.
5. File it under fabulous
When it comes to work spaces, cleanliness is next to productiveness. But for a space that puts the ‘home’ in home office, try thinking outside the filing cabinet. Stock up on small storage boxes to be displayed on floating shelves – soft grey is soothing and non-distracting, or go for colour if bright hues jump-start your mental processes. “Felt storage boxes and baskets add textural interest,” says Chris.
Avoid visual clutter. Keep the actual desk surface completely clear of all but the necessities – computer, in-tray – and one or two joyful decorative objects.
Take a peek at illustrator Kellie Hess' home office here.