Home HQ Ideal To Steal; How do you create a home office that’s stylish yet practical?
We found the answers in these four inspiring spaces
Decor in the rest of your home
IF YOU WORK FROM HOME you want a space that’s functional yet doesn’t keep out of step with the decor in the rest of your home. You need storage (and lots of it!), a great filing system, a desk that’s practical and pleasing to the eye, and a comfy chair that doesn’t look clunky and corporate. While it may seem like a long wishlist, it’s something you can create in your own home quite easily.
We tracked down four stylish offce spaces to find out how the owners resolved their organisational and aesthetic needs. And while each person created their own solutions, they’ve done it within an entirely different look
from Scandi-inspired space, to faded grandeur with modern industrial and a touch of glamour in between. Read on for lots of office inspiration.
Starting point with spaces
STARTING POINT A former ginger beer factory in Sydney’s Annandale, the space had orange walls and orange lightshades. CHANGES Installed some walls, lights and ceiling fans, and painted the walls white
PRACTICALITIES Tess and Maja, the designers behind Polli (Polli.com.au), create jewellery and homewares, so when they moved
into this industrial studio they wanted to create different work zones. “The space is much more ergonomic with tall benches for standing tasks and lower tables for sitting tasks,” Tess says.
“We have ergonomic chairs and proper task lighting. These simple changes have increased efficiency and made it a much more positive work environment.”
PAPERWORK Tess and Maja use lots of ring binders. “We colour code them for their different contents,” Tess says. “We designed and printed our own stickers for the spines of the folders so they were more ‘Polli’ and easy to identify
CLEVER IDEA The central table in the office is a combination of industrial steel legs and an Laminex kitchen benchtop. “We needed the surface to be white so we could easily see the metal pieces,” Tess says, “and it needed to be durable, so a kitchen solution was perfect.”
STARTING POINT A once derelict home was revived to showcase its former glory. Previously, this room (pictured left) had been interior designer Debra Cronin’s (Debracronindesign.com) bedroom but as her business expanded she needed more space. “It’s one of the grandest rooms in the house and as I spend so much time in my office it made sense to use this room.”
NEEDS Good storage, extra space and surface area, and a place to display moodboards. “I’ll pull out a thousand samples when putting together a scheme for a client,” Debra says
CHANGES Debra left her large antique wardrobe in the room and used it to store reference materials and samples, as well as the printer and office supplies. The old wooden desk had been her former dining table, while
shelves from an old shoe factory were used to store folders. A lovely display case, originally from a museum, houses her magazine and book collection. PRACTICALITIES Because the room has so much character, Debra keeps technology items hidden in antique cupboards. Even in her living room she hides the TV and stereo.
Office for Future space
STARTING POINT The office for Futurespace is in Sydney’s CBD. “When we moved in it was pretty shabby and not in great condition, with floor-mounted power outlets everywhere,” Angela recalls. NEEDS Angela and Stephen wanted a “creative studio space that felt more like a boutique hotel than a typical office”, Angela says. “We also didn’t want the aesthetic to date too quickly.” CHANGES “We removed the power outlets and generally cleared the space, then put in new carpet, painted and wallpapered all the walls, created a meeting area and different work spaces, a kitchenette and production area. For the outdoor area we bought furniture, did some planting and bought a barbecue for our Friday night drinks and monthly team barbecues,” Angela says. PRACTICALITIES The studio needed to provide plenty of space to accommodate the company’s products, samples and reference library.
STORAGE SMARTS A library zone has been created for all the company’s samples, binders and moodboards. Bookshelves house magazines and a reference library. Display ledges are used in meeting rooms for presentations, and tambour-door storage units, which hold project files in ring binders, are placed at the end of each workstation. (Tambour doors slide and retract into the cabinet to save space.)
PAPERWORK All information related to different projects is stored in folders. Samples and materials are catalogued in a different space.
STARTING POINT The office is located in an old building in Sydney’s Pitt Street and had previously been the base for a backpacker services business.
The walls were bright blue. NEEDS “We wanted to create a high-impact, interesting space but without the spend,” Karen says. She wanted it to be quirky and functional, too, and based on the concept of a cube to play off the company’s name
CHANGES The space was virtually demolished before any changes were made. However, the existing flooring was retained due to time and cost restraints. PRACTICALITIES The office needed to not only accommodate
staff but be a space that could receive candidates for interviews. STORAGE SMARTS Karen’s aim was for a paperless office, however, as in any office space there are still filing needs
Cupboards are kept behind a wall – out of sight from clients. PAPERWORK Each desk has a filing drawer. Custom-built cupboards house stationery and other paperwork.
FURNITURE “We decided on black and white desks, with a splash of yellow, as it was practical, cheap and distinctive,” Karen says. “Furniture is a mix of replica and original. I believe it is very important to have excellent-quality chairs for staff