Working from Home is the new Working from Work. Those who can afford it are buying bigger houses in droves. But those of us who can’t or don’t want a new place with an extra room have some tough design decisions to make.
Suddenly you need to find a space in your living room to fit your whole workplace. Well, the bit that you occupied, anyway. Somewhere for your desk, comfy/ergonomic chair, computer, notebook, fern, and – inevitably – cat. And you’d better leave space for your sofa, coffee table, and telly.
But despite all the extra time you have for a sneaky game of Tetris now the boss is out of the office, making everything fit is a challenge. Budget Direct wants to help you create a light and spacious home working zone without ruining a shared lounge for everyone else. So, we’ve created seven living room office examples: different iterations of the same office furniture in the same room.
But before we get started let’s see the living room in its natural state, a place free from work:
Now, take a deep breath, pull up your sleeves, and dial up Ikea: it’s time to tessellate!
1. Zone a working space with free-standing shelves
Zoning is a big deal when your living room is a multiple-use (and multiple-user) space. But you don’t have to shut the R&R section of your living room out altogether. Instead, free-standing shelves will create a partial wall that still allows the free flow of light through the room.
2. Optimised shelving units
What is a desk but an extended shelf? What is a shelf but a desk awaiting its call-to-action? Integrate your desk into a broader wall unit to get away from the main living room action while making plenty of convenient space for pen pots, reference books, and cups of tea.
3. The open office
Zoning your living room with the back of your sofa as a divider is an economical way to save wall space. And it means your family/roomies can (quietly) use the sitting area while you toil, without giving you the feeling of constantly being watched.
4. Occupy the conservatory
Depending on the climate, a conservatory can be an idyllic place from which to work. If your garden room typically only gets used at the weekend, then you can justify transforming it into a peaceful, inspiring work spot, full of greenery and with garden birds for office companions.
5. Make an entrance
Take a look at your living room doorway: there’s a good chance that the wall space to the left and right of it is unused. What a waste! Unless you have toddlers tearing in and out of the room, there is usually a design solution to get around the issue of putting a desk here. For example, if you don’t often shut the living room door… take it off its hinges.
6. Window seat
Windows are another space we tend to leave unadorned. When your living room is just a living room, it’s good feng shui to let the light flow in. But needs must, and if your living room is going to be dual-use, then facing directly out the window is pretty good vibes, too.
7. The empty corner
This one might sound obvious, but an empty corner isn’t always obvious. They often need a bit of extra work. Look around at your corners: is there one that’s basically unused? With a bit of rearrangement and some groovy lighting, you might make room for desk – and corner working is great for the easily distracted.
The home zone
The only thing more important than your work environment is your home environment – so it’s worth taking time to make sure you get your home office design right. Why not pick out your favourite examples from the living rooms above and put aside a long afternoon to try some different configurations?
This post was brought to you by Budget Direct Home Insurance