Expert Advice - How to Create a Beautiful Office Space in Your Own Home

With more and more of us working from home these days, we could all do with some expert tips on how to transform an occasional work space into a home office. One in which you actually relish spending time and which helps you to be more productive. Vanessa Arbuthnot has put together some helpful tips on how to integrate your workspace seamlessly into your home by cosying it up with beautiful blinds and sumptuous curtains. She recommends reupholstering vintage chairs in striking fabrics and using wallpaper to create a connection between your office and living space. Other tips are to use oilcloths to protect work surfaces, and to keep organised by using co-ordinating notebooks.

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For this workspace within a bedroom, Vanessa placed a curvy desk from Home Office Design Ltd. (really stylish but very practical at the same time as it has discreet holes at the back for power leads!) in the often under-used space between the two windows. She completed the look by upcycling an antique swivel chair found on eBay, which she reupholstered with her plain linen union fabrics in Charcoal for the seat pad and Clay on the backrest.

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This home office was created in a neglected space under the stairs. The white paint helps to create a space full of light. It’s a great place to pin up ideas and keep an eye on work-in progress. A white table with clean lines and a vintage office chair (another Ebay find!), covered in Shibori in Kale and Charcoal from Vanessa’s Artisan Collection makes a cool combination. Team the joyful Kale colour and fresh whites with key pieces in black to accentuate the scheme and incorporate serious ‘task lighting’ for when you have to burn the midnight oil! These subtle touches will help make the space more attractive and less obviously an office.

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For offices that are within an open plan living space, soften the look with large-scale paintings, an over-sized designer lamp and a smart, but homely, blind in Vanessa’s delicate Cow Parsley
print edged in sophisticated Plain Charcoal linen union.

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Vanessa’s Pretty Maids wallpaper in Dusky Pink gives this office a soft, welcoming look whilst the shelving makes it extremely practical. Plus, being part of the sitting room, it’s ideal for encouraging more messy workers to keep neat and tidy!

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 Here, Vanessa shows how to make an office in a cleaned up shed! With a good heater and lots of insulation, this is a great place to get away from the house and create distance, separating the concepts of ‘working from home’ and ‘living at home’ – and putting some space between those dreaded domestic tasks that are always winking at you when you are based in the house! To create a cosy, contemporary look, the vintage chair was covered in the vibrant Bird Hop fabric and the door curtain features the whimsical animals of her daughter Rose’s Wild and Free design Cover notebooks, boxes and files in scraps of fabric to make them look more attractive.

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This work station is in Vanessa’s guest bedroom and is tidied up when her friends come to stay. The desk doubles as a dressing table and the lovely wooden chair makes it a comfy place to sit whether you’re working there or staying over for the night. To keep the room feeling like a guest bedroom, and for added luxury, the curtains in Cow Parsley in Teal have a flop-over frill and are the perfect partner to her stone and mushroom coloured fabrics.

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This workspace is in an attic room, which is also used as a bedroom now and again. The table fits well into the small space under the eaves and keeps the ‘office’ contained to one area of the room. The modern chair has been upholstered in Vanessa’s Simple Spot fabric in Duck Egg and Speedwell and the blind, which keeps the space private but allows the light in, is in Pie in the Sky in Speedwell and Straw.