Top designers and architects share expert advice on creating productive, pleasing home office spaces.
CREATE A HUB
“People tend to gravitate towards the centre of the house, and children don’t like to feel left out – so we’ve constructed dedicated “creative hubs” in which mom, dad and kids can all work together,” says architect Wynand Wilsenach. “A hub such as this would have plenty of charging and plug points, with drawers for stationery and project material – and it would normally be close to the kitchen or the family room.”
REPURPOSE AND REIMAGINE
“Update an old desk or tabletop by painting it – or cover it with a print or an attractive upholstery fabric and a thick pane of glass,” says architect Ernst Frame-Tolmie. “With wireless connectivity being the standard these days, printers and other devices can live remotely if space is a concern.”
“CREATE A DEDICATED SPACE FOR YOUR LAPTOP.”
If a home renovation is already on the cards for you, shift your plans to accommodate a home office in the design (if it wasn’t there previously), says Ernst. “Instead of using the dining table, create a dedicated space for your laptop, stationery and library – and avoid clutter by designing a bespoke joinery piece for all your needs.” frameworkdesign.co
“UPDATE AN OLD DESK OR TABLETOP BY PAINTING IT.”
GET INSPIRED BY WHAT’S LOCAL
Always support local creativity, says designer Tracy Lee Lynch, including in your home-office space. “Add a striking painting, and source a desk or office chair crafted by one of our incredible South African designers,’”she says. “When I designed Central Kitchen – the Nando’s head office – I focused on using only local design to complement the company’s large collection of South African art. Art is an investment that can continue to bring you joy throughout your life – so choose wisely, and buy the works of emerging artists if your budget is limited.”
KEEP IT TOGETHER
It will suit some home workers to create an office space adjacent to their living space.
“In many homes today, the office occupies a transitory space – a hidden nook off the dining room, for example, or a floating desk in a passage,” says Nicola Orpen of Bone Interior Design Studio. “As work becomes a more fluid part of our daily life, and as life in general moves on from the typical 9-to-5 scenario to a 24/7 pace, it’ll be even more convenient for the office space to “live” within another area.”