Ingenious ways to double up living and work spaces

Remote working is becoming increasingly popular in today’s economy. It saves employees travel time, while businesses save on the costs of office space. It suits those spared the commute, and it suits business profits. But, for those working from home, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is no easy feat. One of the biggest problems for remote workers is in preventing the home from looking like a workspace. When living space doubles as work space, it’s all too easy for work paraphernalia to encroach on any stylish home interior, and a desk stuck in the corner of the living room isn’t exactly sexy.

Working from home takes discipline, and without the luxury of a separate den or home office, it can be difficult to establish a strict work zone and stick to set working hours. However, cleverly done, work and home can sit compatibly side by side, allowing homeworkers to effortlessly switch between grafting and downtime. With a little bit of thought, it doesn’t have to mean an extension, a loft conversion or the addition of a garden log cabin.

If you are determined to keep your living space in stylish form, without giving away the fact that it’s also your office, here are some tips, ideas and awesome projects for inspiration.

Interior design overhaul

Starting from the bottom rung, if you are short of space and completely devoid of ideas, it’s probably time to consult an expert. A reputable interior designer, like Pfeiffer design for instance, have oodles of experience and creative ideas up their sleeves to make homes look beautiful and function effortlessly.

Even if you have the luxury of a separate room in which to establish your office, you’ll still want it to fit in with the style of your home. There is nothing worse than having one room in the house that doesn’t fit in and is full of clutter. It’s important to keep your office bright and clutter-free. The LuxPad have some great ideas. Remember, a stylish office will help with your creative flow!

The shut-away office space

Ironically, with all this talk about keeping our workplace out of our living space, sometimes space prevents any other alternative. Even with a hidey-hole to park the office we can get too anal about keeping the home office hidden away. Dark, cramped and unappealing spaces could be harming your work rate and your mental health! It might be better to keep your basement for storage and the wine cellar you’ve been dreaming about!

If your workspace needs to be part of the main living space, bespoke furnishing is an ideal solution. With shelving and desk space that can be shut away, you’ll find it easier to switch between worktime and relaxation. Pull-out desks, and shelving space with doors, allow you to set up in the morning as though you have arrived at the office, but shut everything away when it’s time to clock off.

Zone the room

If bespoke furnishing isn’t an option, you don’t have a spare room to jiggle, and space is a premium, the very least you can do is zone your room for dual function. Decorate the areas differently with a subtle colour change to divide the two spaces. Rugs, or even a screen, can help to distinguish work space from living quarters. Get into the zone by dressing for work, and then changing when it’s time to down tools. The biggest rule is to keep your workspace tidy. Try to go paperless and keep any office machinery, such as a printer, hidden away. A cute and tidy workspace in your living room doesn’t have to cramp your style.

Then there’s the unusual!

Egg Trading is a luxury clothing and accessories retailer. Set up in 1994 on a quiet Belgravia Street in London, this Independent fashion boutique developed their interior to double as both an outlet store and a living space. The minimalist approach across two floors of the small mews property enabled some simply stunning solutions. Instead of separating the living and workspace with an upstairs/downstairs divide, the live-work space is ingeniously designed to maximise use for both living and the business. A minimalist bespoke downstairs bathroom doubles as a meeting room with a delightful wooden tub topped off with a matching lid. Now that is genius!


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BDC 309 : Oct 2023