The coronavirus pandemic has changed attitudes toward the home office. We realized that “working at home” is a long time, and perhaps forever, so the “office”, whether it is a separate room or a corner in the bedroom, must be thoroughly equipped. Five important points to pay attention to are supplemented by recommendations from architects and decorators.
A separate office – for someone this dream has already come true. Many designers advise approaching its arrangement as a continuation of a house or apartment. “There is no rule that a home office has to be finished in brown wood. It can be very functional and at the same time colorful. I love it when rooms flow into one another, so I use the same colors in the office setting as in adjacent areas,” says designer Kathy Ridder. It sounds tempting, but no one has yet canceled the psychology of color: bright colors load the nervous system, which makes a person tired. Shades of gray are calm and neutral, but in large volumes dull motivation and creativity. The compromise resorted to by the organizers of “real” offices is a restrained background plus bright accents. For example, a picture on the wall will bring the needed splash of color. The residential character of the room is emphasized by a vintage chandelier and draperies on the windows, becoming an alternative to track lamps and blinds. Both a sculpture on the desktop and decor items on the shelves of the rack will be appropriate. It is important to observe the measure. The abundance of trifles distracts from work and irritates no less than bright colors.
The main lesson learned by many on remote access: the desk is essential. It is impossible to fully work all day, sitting with a laptop on the couch. A “thorough” approach to home office design doesn’t mean you have to look for massive desks with cabinets, there are more relevant options: lightweight designs that have built-in cable channels, wireless chargers, USB ports, and electrical outlets. And if you look at the task more broadly, then you will also have at your disposal quite “secular” models, such as Eero Saarinen’s Tulip or Jean Prouvé’s Solvey or Compass. The famous French decorator Francis Sultana used a remarkable exhibit for his office: a collection table designed by Zaha Hadid.
Perhaps the most important component: is responsible for proper posture and health. It is worth investing in a work chair to the maximum, the costs are justified. Today there are many great ergonomic chairs with individual settings, upholstered in textiles or leather. There are models from the classics, Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, from our contemporaries: the master of elegant luxury Antonio Citterio, the esthete-intellectual Konstantin Grcic, and many others. And if the office image confuses you, you can go beyond it. The main thing is to try, “try on”. And you will be surprised how comfortable and ergonomic, for example, the Panton Chair, model by Verner Panton, will turn out to be. In addition, it has the ability to decorate any space.
The arrangement of furniture affects performance. “Children are punished by putting them in a corner facing the wall. Why do we place a table with a chair in such a way that we have to look at the wall? I welcome the position where natural light comes from behind and the seated person faces the door to greet visitors,” says Reinaldo Leandro of New York’s Ashe Leandro team. The modern office is compact, and the main information is stored on electronic media, but the need for racks and containers remains. The shelving not only serves as storage but also offers a place to display the collection – something that takes on a special meaning in today’s videoconferencing culture. And a rack filled with books can also perform a soundproofing function.
It is better to place the workplace by the window – unless, of course, the specifics of the work prescribe avoiding bright light. The quality of lighting is directly related to your productivity and mood. The window not only supplies natural light but also provides an opportunity to be distracted by looking into the distance: this is both psychological relief and gymnastics for the eyes. As far as artificial light is concerned, the standard rule in the home office is general background lighting plus local lighting – this role is usually played by a table lamp. World-famous masters worked hard not only on the form but also on the technologies and quality of light. Take at least Gino Sarfatti, whose work is being released by the Astep brand today, or Michele de Lucchi with his masterpiece Tolomeo. A table lamp that looks good from all angles is a great way to add a sculptural element to your interior.
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