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6 ideas for creating a home office using things you already own

30th March 2020
6 go-to tips for creating a home office using things you already own to create a happy and healthy working space says interior stylist Maxine Brady

With lots of us unexpectedly working from home right now during the Crono-19 outbreak, I wanted to share my go-to tips for creating a home office using things you already own. I want this post to help you create a happy and healthy working space so you can carry on as best as normal.

With the way our world is changing during this global crisis, I doubt you’ve had the time to prepare a comfy home space to work in. Most of us don’t have a dedicated home office room. Or even the space to fit in a desk. What to do? Fear not – after nearly 15 years working from home – I’ve got loads of home office styling tips to share with you today so you can create a working space using things you already own.

Let me show you how get creative with your interior to restore order, bring back flow to your working day and make you feel like a pro at home in the coming weeks. Here’s what to bear in mind when creating a home office at speed…

6 IDEAS FOR CREATING A HOME OFFICE USING THINGS YOU ALREADY OWN

6 go-to tips for creating a home office using things you already own to create a happy and healthy working space says interior stylist Maxine Brady

1 Find A Great Spot To Work

Unfortunately most of us do not have the space to create a dedicated office at home. Are you hunched over your dining table trying to get that report completed? Or making hard and fast business propositions on the sofa in your PJs? That’s not going to be ideal!

Ideally, you’ll want a space that has lots of natural daylight as that creates healthy working conditions. Daylight will keep you alert, help you stay focused and give you a boost of Vitamin D. Position your desk near a window or with a view out over green space. I overlook my garden which I find gives me a chance to flick my eyes from screen to greenery which is good for the eyes, and stops me feeling tired.

2 Fashion A Comfy Office Chair

When it comes to an office chair, posture is really important for healthy working conditions. You’ll want a chair that supports your back so that you can sit for hours tapping away.

I currently use my Tolix dining chairs. There are no arms to get in the way when typing. To soften the seat I have a sheepskin throw draped over it and a squishy cushion to sit on it. When my back is sore, I use my mini inflatable pilates cushion to correct my position.

Every so often, to switch things up I put my laptop on my silver pouf in my living room, and sit crossed legged on the floor. It really depends on what works for you – but I find moving around and working in a few different spots helps my concentration. Plus I can’t stand the thought of having an ugly office chair ruining my decor (sorry, it’s true!)

6 go-to tips for creating a home office using things you already own to create a happy and healthy working space says interior stylist Maxine Brady

3 Plug Your Laptop Into Your Telly

In my own home, I don’t have a dedicated home office. I work from my dining room table which you can see here in this post. For years I tapped away at my tiny laptop, hunched over the screen and then wondered why I had lower back problems and neck ache. Can you believe only this year I invested in a HP monitor which has turned my laptop into a huge desktop computer. Not only have my aches and pains vanished but I can see blog posts and images on a larger scale. The cost, £169 but worth every penny. When teamed with my battery powered keyboard, I’m good to go.

Not able to afford a new screen? You may be able to turn your Smart TV into a screen using a few HDMI wires that you can order from Amazon. Having a lovely big screen to sit at will take a lot of stress out of your working day.

6 go-to tips for creating a home office using things you already own to create a happy and healthy working space says interior stylist Maxine Brady

4 Storage Solutions For Your Paperwork

I’ve talked before about my love of my Bisley filing cabinet. It houses envelopes, printer cartridges, pens and pencils, paper clips, batteries – it literally houses everything! Most of the time my filing cabinet lives in the cupboard under the stairs but when I’m going through a busy work period it moves into my living room. They come in loads of colours so that they will go with any interior style – see here.

Be imaginative with where you place your filing cabinet (if you have one). You could try using it as a bedside table in a spare room or in the hallway – don’t think that you have to have it right next to your desk.

If you don’t have room for a filing cabinet, look at what you have at home. Turn your cocktail trolley into a portable filing station. Your bathroom storage caddy could be a useful to stash paperwork in. If all fails – what about pretty fabric box files that look so good you don’t mind having them on show!

6 go-to tips for creating a home office using things you already own to create a happy and healthy working space says interior stylist Maxine Brady

5 Prop From Your Home To Dress Your Home Office

The brighter and more fun your office feels, the more productive you’ll be.

  • Get a cool pen pot. My ceramic one was an H&M scented candle holder in a previous life. You could use a mug, small plant pot – anything to keep your desk tidy.
  • Dot around lots of plants around your desk. Not only are they calming but they will help you detox your space. The Joy Of Plants is a great resource for plant lovers and it has lots of tips on which plants are good for reducing the harmful effects of electronic equipment.
  • You’ll need a small wastepaper bin. It saves you getting up to pop things in the kitchen bin. It’s surprising how much rubbish you collate from paperwork.
  • Have a radio or speaker to hand to play your fave music. If you are used to working in a busy office, then the quiet at home can feel lonely. If the opposite is true and you need to drown out loud neighbours or kids or both – then play some relaxing tunes to drown them out.
  • Good desk light – if you are working late into the evenings then steal a lamp from another room in your home which will illuminate your work. Working under a single central pendant will hurt your eyes over time.
  • Burn a scented candle or have essential oils to hand to help you restore calm while working. During my working day I either burn incense, a candle or have a oil burner on and I choose an aroma to uplift me (like lemongrass) or calm me (like lavender)
  • Sounds silly but I have my dog sleeping next to me while I work. He keeps me comfy and sane, and provides comfort when plugging away at my laptop.

Take a look around your home – what can you steal to make your tiny home office feel like a cool and calm working space. I bet once you take a second look around your house, you’ll find lots of useful things saving you time and money.

6 go-to tips for creating a home office using things you already own to create a happy and healthy working space says interior stylist Maxine Brady

6 Tucking Things Away At The End Of The Day

If your home office is taking over your dining table or your bedroom, make a point of giving it a good tidy at the end of the day. At my home, I dismantled my monitor at the end of the day and hide it under the sofa. Messy wires are tucked into a basket along with my bluetooth keyboard. My paperwork is shoved into a drawer and piles of dirty coffee mugs are put into the dishwasher.

It helps to create a barrier between home life and work life – otherwise you could either end up working until the small hours, and quickly feel that work has taken over your home.

6 go-to tips for creating a home office using things you already own to create a happy and healthy working space says interior stylist Maxine Brady

There’s my 6 ideas for creating a home office using things you already own. What do you think?

Yes, we’ll be working from our laptops, maybe off the dining room table or in our bedrooms which is going to be challenging. Having a lovely dedicated space to work in will change all that – and it will help us stay positive and productive.

I hope these quick fire tips have helped you return some order to your home during this crazy time! let me know in the comment box below.

6 go-to tips for creating a home office using things you already own to create a happy and healthy working space says interior stylist Maxine Brady
6 go-to tips for creating a home office using things you already own to create a happy and healthy working space says interior stylist Maxine Brady
6 go-to tips for creating a home office using things you already own to create a happy and healthy working space says interior stylist Maxine Brady
6 go-to tips for creating a home office using things you already own to create a happy and healthy working space says interior stylist Maxine Brady

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