Make Your Home Office a Sanctuary

Wave goodbye to working in your PJs on the sofa and hello to your stylish, new home workspace.

One of the biggest changes to come out of the last year has been the surge in working from home. And there are advantages to creating your own workspace – no more aircon debates or hearing everyone’s phone conversations for starters. Two of the UK’s top interior designers – who have both designed for Berkeley – reveal how to create the perfect home office. 

Key Qualities

Image Credit: St James

Key Qualities

You should carefully consider where you set your office space up. Annabel Perkins, senior designer at Hunter Design says: “A home office should have good natural light. This will help with productivity, plus opening a window can be a fantastic energy booster.” Susan White, founder and MD at Phoenix Interior Design, says: “The perfect home office is a mix of function and design. We want the space to look great, but also be functional.” 

Choosing your furniture

Image Credit: Simon Winson/ Berkeley Homes

Choosing Your Furniture

It’s crucial to get the basics right. “Investing in a beautifully designed desk and chair is the first step,” says Susan. ‘We love to make the desk the focal point of the space as that instantly helps the mind to understand its purpose. A lovely and comfortable desk chair is so important. It’s also a good idea to add an armchair or sofa to the space, for when you need a desk break and to read in a more comfortable position.” 

Annabel stresses the need for calm. “Don’t over clutter your office as this can affect productivity. ‘Tidy office, Tidy mind’ is a great mantra to follow.” And this is where storage comes in. “If your work requires you to have a variety of stationery, books or samples it’s very handy to have these items at easy reach,” she recommends. Nearby, but hidden from view and keeping clutter minimal is best. 


Decorating your space

Image Credit: Simon Winson/Berkeley Homes

Decorating Your Space

The link between colour and mood is important. Annabel advises calming colour palettes such as cool blues, stone whites and pale greens. “Nothing too dark or even too bright as this can provoke the wrong energy for productive working. If any pattern is to be used, then consider themes like nature and water. For example, a simple leaf pattern in a neutral colourway can bring a sense of outdoors and tranquillity,” she says. 

Separating business from pleasure

Image Credit: Robin Gautier/St George PLC

Separating Business From Pleasure

Even if your home office is separate from the rest of your house, it’s important to make a distinction between work and home life. Annabel says: ‘Pack away your working station at the end of the day by putting your laptop in a drawer. Also, ensure you take some time out from the space during the day.” Take regular breaks – whether it’s for a walk around the block or to make a cuppa.

Added Extras

Image Credit: Berkeley Homes

Added Extras

Make the most of not being in a big, faceless environment by adding personal touches. Susan says using natural materials helps put the body at ease. “Think about wooden floors with silk or wool rugs or a linen sofa with some cushions.” 

Lighting is also hugely important to brighten up the workspace and reduce eye strain. “A lovely desk lamp or beautiful standing lamp next to the desk can help with this,” says Susan.

And finally – make it gorgeous! “Adding plants will encourage a calm atmosphere while helping keep the air within your home office fresh,” says Annabel. “A diffuser with a refreshing scent can also contribute to a calm environment.” Susan says: “Art is key in a workspace. Think about how the artwork makes you feel – you want this to be upbeat and not too emotional. We want positive feelings around us while we work.”