If last year taught us anything, it’s that it’s a good idea to be prepared with a functional home office space.
Whether you were unable to cross everything off your to-do list at work or perhaps a global pandemic has suddenly made remote working the norm for you, having a dedicated home office zone where you can get stuck in and focus makes it much easier to pick up where you left off.
We all like to read, study, work and create in different ways. Sometimes we sit at a desk, while other times we prefer to lounge in comfort – and often we need to regularly switch up our physical positions throughout the day to loosen up, refocus our attention or give our minds and bodies permission to unwind. This space provides options for shifting between more formal work or study sessions and a more casual, relaxed setting.
In an open-plan space – a floorplan which is the norm for many of us now – colour is a great tool for both delineating areas for different tasks or uses while also connecting them to keep your look cohesive. Grey-toned greens are currently among the most popular hues available. And given that they’re both contemporary and relaxing, variations like Resene Thor and Resene Paris White are great picks in a multi-purpose where activities can demand concentration and calm. Plus, they make a stylish pairing.
The key to creating a sense of interconnectivity between two areas that each feature a different ‘hero’ hue is to weave a few flourishes of one into the other. For example, while Resene Paris White is the main wall colour in the office area, a simple painted grid design, a shelf and a painted box in Resene Thor layers in a few touches of the key colour from the lounge zone. Another important link between the two spaces is that they both feature minor accents in Resene Saltpan (seen on the middle stripe and top of the dividing wall as well as the background of the grided box) and Resene Mako (such as on the floor, tape dispenser and grided box). These details force the perceiver’s eye to move about the space and visually tie the areas together.
Form and structure are also handy for communicating mood and purpose within a room. Straighter and more rigid shapes have a formality about them whereas curves often bring a comfy, casual vibe. Blending both ends of the spectrum together in a single space allows the soft curves of the chairs, rug and lamp balance out the orderly nature of the grid, desk, shelf and diving wall, making for a more visually interesting space.
Sometimes, certain spaces and needs demand physical division. Rather than erecting walls that break-up the flow of your open-plan space and block sunlight, a low bookcase is an ideal addition for separating a home office area from a lounge. If you need a more temporary solution than a full on built-in bookcase, you can paint a new or second-hand standalone one front and back in the same colour as your walls. If your bookcase has a ‘false’ back, as many do, remove the particle board or cardboard and replace it with a piece of plywood cut to size. Fill in any holes, including where the screws or nails went in, with wood filler then sand it smooth and wipe the full bookshelf down with a clean dry cloth. Prime all surfaces with a coat of Resene Quick Dry waterborne primer undercoat then topcoat with two coats of Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss or Resene Enamacryl gloss waterborne enamel tinted to your choice of Resene colour. This project uses Resene Thor. For extra detail, cut a second piece of plywood 1cm longer and 2cm wider than the top of your bookcase and attach it to the top so that it hangs over the three edges that aren’t against your wall. Prime this in Resene Quick Dry waterborne primer undercoat then topcoat with two coats of Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss or Resene Enamacryl gloss waterborne enamel tinted to a contrasting colour of your choice. This project uses Resene Saltpan.
Accessories — Cate Chair in Leaf from Early Settler, Portobello Chair from Dawson and Co, Armadillo Braid Rug in Chalk from The Ivy House, State Highway 39 art print by Sarah Parkinson from endemicworld, Polar bear from Flotsam and Jetsam, Cushions from Republic Home.
Styling by Kate Alexander. Photography by Bryce Carleton. 2021
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