Home Office: Make Working from Home Work for You

These last few months have been an eye opener for me in many ways.  Working at home has led me to reflect on when I had a wonderful job in the quilting industry. I spent many years working remotely from our first home and truly enjoyed it! It seemed to be a slower time where I could work while wearing my favorite yoga pants and throw a load of laundry in the washer between conference calls.   It was these pleasant memories that fooled me into thinking I could slide right back into that routine during this pandemic after (finally!) adjusting to the fast-pace shop environment over the last year.  However, working at home these last few weeks has made me realize a couple things. First, getting lots of work done with an active three-year-old around is a uniquely challenging task (and at times, impossible!) and second, with the whole family in the house, a little place where I can sit and focus without all the chaos is a much needed “escape”!  I’ve found that not only is it important for me to have a functional space, but also one that reflects my creativity and style and keeps me inspired.  Since we’re also in the middle of a move (yes, let’s throw that into the mix, shall we?) and I’m still getting my perfect little work-at-home space together, I am fortunate enough to have seen some beautiful examples by Nell Hill’s clients and designers that have provided a wealth of inspiration!

There are many ways to create a working atmosphere that fits your personal taste.  Offices don’t have to be stark or cold in order to be a productive space (though if that’s the type of space in which you feel most productive and inspired, embrace it).  Bringing in fun fabrics and textures is my favorite way to put a unique spin on a room and an office (or office nook) is no different.  Wallpaper and window treatments are a great way to add splashes of color and pattern without creating clutter in your workspace. Not only does bringing color and pattern into your office look amazing, but they influence your mind as well.  Studies show that color can impact not only your mood but your wellness and productivity. 

Your seating area is another place perfect for a pop of personality.  At home you aren’t limited to a drab, standard computer chair – you can procrastinate work in comfort on top a throne that fits into your aesthetic.  Beyond that, creating a seating nook apart from your main workspace is a nice and practical addition.  I sometimes tire of sitting behind my desk and find that a change of scenery can help me refocus.  Having another space that offers some seating flexibility also comes in handy if you have visitors stop by, like when my “coworker” Graham comes around to join me during the day (which is nearly any part of the day when he isn’t napping).  It gives him a spot close-by to “work on progress” (any guesses where he picked up that phrase?) and keeps him in sight. This area is also ideal for a rainy-day book reading marathon, or makes for a cozy little corner in which to relax when you just need to sit back and rest – you don’t always have to be working after all!

While it is easy to naturally create clutter during the day (always easier to make the mess then to clean it!) that doesn’t mean you have to avoid accessories in your office.  A few well-placed items can make your space feel more “homey” and relaxed.  In fact, a few décor items can take your room from a plain old office into a regal study! Some of my favorites include plants, bookshelf baubles and tray décor.  I adore a well-stocked bookshelf! It is the perfect place for small items such as ginger jars, trinket plates and so much more.  Tray décor is another way to bring in personal items and can easily be moved around your room from desk to table to chair depending on where you need it.  Top everything off with a lamp or two for some soft, indirect light, for those early morning (or late night) email sessions.

As it seems likely that the time will come again where we will find ourselves working from home, I hope that you are inspired to create an oasis at your own home to find peace and focus, whether it’s for work, paying bills or planning next week’s family menu. I would love to see how you have designed your personal studies and offices, whether it’s a room or a nook, or a temporary space at the dining table! Share them with me on social media using the #NellHills and #Nellhillsathome. Until next time – happy decorating!