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A corner office without leaving home

Working from home has a ton of benefits. It lets you cut the commute, offers better work-life balance, presents all the comforts of home at an arms distance and lets you work on presentations in your pyjamas. The second best benefit (being able to work in pyjamas will always win this battle), however, is that you get to design your own workspace. Bid adieu to corporate factory settings with grey cubicles and offensive white lights.

With home offices, you actually have a chance to customize a space keeping in mind your work patterns and personal habits to be your productive best. Prefer yellow light to white? Work best with your feet parallel to the floor as opposed to perpendicular? Prefer a cold-brew coffee as opposed over the regular ones? You got it!

And it’s not just modern floor plans and space constraints that make antique furniture an impractical choice. A lot else has changed over the years. With working professionals settling and buying apartments in the city, and managing their busy lifestyles, comes the need for products that are easy to use and maintain. Think about the nightmare of cleaning the dust that settles on an intricately carved sofa set. Don’t forget, these are heavy-set pieces made using dense woods like mahogany that need special care and attention while cleaning. Add to that the fact that one needs to be extra careful in the handling of the furniture and making sure that it doesn’t stain.

Redesign with purpose

First, choose the right space within your house to set up your office. This will depend on the role your workspace needs to perform. If your work day involves clients visiting, you may want to take over an entire room so that there is enough room for comfortable seating and uninterrupted conversations. A room farthest from noisy living spaces or the kitchen will ensure you aren’t distracted.

Smaller spaces in larger ones

If you are crunched for space, don’t give up on the idea of a home office. Consider converting a corridor or a corner of a room or even a balcony into a cosy work space. You can use a panel of wallpaper or paint that is different from the rest of the room, to set it apart. Take a hint from the décor that is used in the rest of the room, however, to make sure you aren’t clashing with the rest of the room décor.

Location here, is key; you don’t want to hide your home office from the rest of the house at the risk of compromising on the quality of your work. Tucking your work desk in a corner could be counter-productive if your work involves strenuous hours in front of a screen. This could be solved by choosing a spot near a window. The natural light will ease the stress on your eyes and give you a beautiful view to gaze at, when you need a breather.

Interesting spaces for interesting people

If your work involves creativity, this may be the best chance to create a space that brings together elements that spark ideas. An inspiration wall may be the easiest way to do this. You can choose to cover it with pop-art or your toddler’s doodles. It evolves along with you -an ever-changing canvas for your thoughts. You can opt for a soft-board panel or a wall painted as a chalkboard. Don’t worry about the soft-board being an eyesore; you can use chic wallpaper to wrap the frame.

Ergonomically in sync

Plan the room around your work patterns. Think about how you operate through your day. Are you a stacker or a filer? This will decide how you can use the area around you for storage. Don’t underestimate storage. If you don’t plan well, you will soon find that stacks of paperwork are piling up with no place to go. Look at the area around you as vertical and horizontal lines; it’ll help you visualise and figure out how you can maximise the space.

Look to stylise this otherwise functional need. Quirky trays and industrial shelves can make organising trendy. If you have a closet nearby, perhaps you can think about stocking peripheral tools like printers and scanners in there; concealing the wires and cables will make the space look cleaner.

Last, perhaps the most important, is the chair. It need not be the typical swivel kind, but get yourself a chair that will support your spine. Lumbar support is of utmost importance because you will be spending more than six hours sitting on it.

The key to home office décor is to get furniture and accessories that blend with the room, but back you up with comfort and functionality.

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