With many of our homes making their live debut on video conference calls all over South Africa, you might find just a little more motivation to tackle that home office makeover that you’ve been planning to do. Even though you now have the time to tick things off that back-burner check list, starting a project like this can still feel daunting.
To help with a bit of fresh inspiration Dulux South Africa Colour Expert, Palesa Ramaisa, shares some of her advice to get you started.
One step at a time
Palesa’s first step to creating an inspired workplace is to clean and declutter your space. A clean space with order makes for a clear mind and better functionality. With a blank canvas to work with you can now move around some elements to create something new and different. Now is the time to rearrange your space to avoid boredom but also mainly to get you excited about your new situation and reality. Add some greenery and embracing natural light by setting up close to a window not only makes one feel closer to nature, but it also helps up productivity levels.
Colour can play an important role on your mental state, depending on your needs colour can play a huge role in boosting concentration, productivity and creativity. Palesa says that greens are a great start given the current situation. It’s said to be the shade that creates balance and growth and now would be the time to really let the outdoors in. It also can stabilize emotions given the uncertain times that we are currently living in, creating great balance between the head and the heart.
“Go outside in your garden and pick a few plants if you have never been a plant person, this will create balance and inner peace once incorporated. Softer shades of blue also help create a very tranquil space which can promote mental relaxation,” says Palesa.
For those who are limited in space – it is best to try keep your colour selection neutral. Cool neutrals with blue and green undertones offer a fresh look and feel while warm neutrals with yellow and orange undertones will create a homely comforting feel. Clear out the entire space and start with the bigger solid items such as your tables and chairs add in a rug should you have one lying around, to ground the space that you are working with and then you can slowly start adding harmonising shades this will create a more layered effect which translates into a more balanced aesthetic. Palesa recommends the use of blues which tend to give the illusion of a more open, airy and peaceful space. It is one of the most versatile shades.
If you are using a dual space like a common area nook or guest room, neutrals are still the best shades that one can opt for.
“We are all different and react differently to colour so try make dual spaces neutral with soft pastels that add dimension but that don’t overwhelm the space in any way. Rather focus on decorative elements when it comes to bright bold shades, theses can easily be switched out once you get tired of certain shades with better ease.”
Art, function and comfort
More and more people will be looking to create a very comfortable home office space that is functional and that can be moved aside easily if need be. For those of us with limited space we may opt for multi-purposeful furniture elements – such as a great, stable dining table that can serve as both a great work space but also has the versatility to serve as a relaxing setup once you switch off from work. Important to keep in mind is how well positioned your workspace is. Try to set up as far away as possible from your bedroom, comfy couches or the fridge, all these elements may tempt you to take way too many breaks throughout the day.
Paint techniques are also a fun way to spice up an existing home office. Palesa suggest that you consider more organic shapes that can create a space that feels free and fluid, this technique is also more forgiving and doesn’t require having an artistic edge to achieve. It is also a fun way to add some life to a rather dull space.
For extra flair, stencils are a great way to get people started, if this is something that works for you, go as far as creating your own as a challenge – but also to help you explore what appeals to you. Free form wall art is something that one can also consider.
Keeping it easy on the eyes and budget
In today’s tough economic times, you can still create a space that you love by starting small. The best way would be rearranging your furniture. Although this could be limited, the change that this simple step could bring can be really rewarding.
“Look into what you currently have, this step helps declutter and repurpose some elements that have been gathering dust. Put these elements aside and let your creative juices flow – there’s nothing a fresh layer of paint can’t fix!” says Palesa.
If you do have funds for an investment piece, chairs are something a lot of us are going to improve going forward. We previously spent less time in our home office setups we were rather unaware of how uncomfortable or comfortable our current spaces are. Going forward Palesa thinks that people will make more of an effort to purchase better quality staple pieces and refresh them with paint even if they have never thought of painting to bring life into their interiors before.
When looking at an essential set up, make sure that this space is comfortable and inspiring. If you are the type that thrives from visuals use up your current free time and DIY some mood boards of elements that inspire you and could serve as wall art during this period. This is an inexpensive project that stimulates creativity and empowers people to create something that can give them pride while keeping them busy with the family.
Less is more
2020 has seen a huge movement towards minimalism and Palesa believes that it will always be a huge movement in the design space. This way of designing creates clarity and follows the form follows function principle which makes for functional and well thought out spaces. Individuals are also becoming more and more conscious when it comes to finishes right down to how much “stuff” we also own and never use.
“Decluttering has become essential and consumers can do this with ease, focus on what you need and not so much what looks great but serves zero functionality. With this being said don’t just throw out everything create heaps of elements that you can sell, donate or DIY and repurpose,” she concludes.
No matter your budget or style, these design tips are sure to spark envy on your next call.