Bringing the office home

Last Updated 10 April 2014, 14:21 IST
With working from home being the norm for many these days, having a stylised yet functional space for the same is very important. Ruth Dsouza Prabhu offers a look at five home office spaces that cater perfectly to your needs.

There are a large number of us working out of homes, as freelancers or independent consultants, or even as those who need to be connected to office at all times. 
This means that the home office space is increasingly becoming important in most residences today. 
If you are contemplating a home office, here is a look at how some folks went about theirs. 
Minimal lines for clear thoughts
Shibani Amin Rangaraj is an architect and freelance writer for design publications. 
She says, “My home office was designed in the upper level of my home. Being an architect, I incorporated my needs when the apartment was under construction. Natural light floods in through a skylight and large window openings. My style of work is contemporary and I believe that clean, minimal lines within my space create an environment for clear thoughts.”

“A large storage unit along one wall was designed to accommodate a large number of books, magazines, files and samples. An L-shaped large table allows space for three people if needed. Centralised printers, scanners and equipments are placed at the junction of this table. Colours of the furniture are in neutral hues of beige and white. It functions as an open office layout.” 
For added warmth
Simran Dhaliwal is a freelance writer, blogger, runner and photographer. Describing her work space at home, she says, “I wanted to have a view of the outdoors and an open, airy, bright feeling, something that would inspire me with my writing work. 
So when we designed the library-and-home-office we made sure that the desk was next to a window.”
“We also wanted all work-related electronics like the printer, scanner and photocopier, and important papers to be at one place, easily accessible. We made a long desk along the wall and put the all-in-one machine in one corner of that desk. There are closed cupboards above the desk for storage. Multiple electric points were added to plug laptops, phones, printer etc.” 
“The rest of the house decor was more or less contemporary and that’s what we went with for the home office area. The desk is white with duco polish and two stainless steel legs. There is a comfortable, revolving office chair for easy mobility across the desk and room. Aluminium handle channel drawers were put in to match the drawers from another area of the house and to keep the design flow across the house.” 

“My home office is bright, airy and has clean lines. It makes the space feel clear and uncluttered. The home office shares space with the library in the house, so there are books around which make the space warm and cozy.” 

Where transparency is assured

Geetha Naresh is a real estate consultant. She speaks of what went into the designing of her work space at home. 
“I wanted my home office to be slightly informal yet inviting to clients. So I decided to set it away from the house and extended the balcony. I also had a wall opened and a separate entrance created to maintain the privacy of both home and office.”
“I have an eco-friendly home and the logo of my real estate business has earthy colours too. I went with an orange and green theme and laid a wooden floor. The door is transparent, but with a design inlay of green to ensure privacy. This was to symbolise that while the transactions of all our clients would be private and confidential, we would be transparent in our dealings with them.” 

“I worked in consultation with my business partner and an interior decorator to ensure that my ideas were translated into the decor and was in keeping with the style of my house. I deal in the selling and renting of homes and this requires a lot of personal interaction with clients. My home office is designed to provide the perfect atmosphere for peaceful and important discussions.”

Working with what you have

Sudha Mathew is the CEO of a travel company that plans interesting holidays. Here is how her home office evolved. 

“Once I started my own business, I needed a separate space to work without intrusions.

However, it did not make sense to get a one-person office space as I did not have employees in the first year. 
I have a large duplex flat with only one bedroom on the first floor and this was ideal to convert into my office.”

“It is quite a large room and has an attached bathroom and a spacious terrace connected to it. I added a work desk, a printer area and a diwan for casual seating to make it a simple, functional office. Now, even with two more employees, it is adequate.” 
“I already had a brown wooden desk and the woodwork in that room is also a similar tan brown. Keeping that in mind, I got curtains and diwan covers to match. It looks simple, clean and co-ordinated. I also put up some framed pictures on the walls to give it a more personalised look. My home office is light, airy and uncluttered with a lovely green view because of the attached terrace and the trees around.”
An office for two
Melissa Aruluppan is a corporate communications professional and she says that space and privacy were major requirements. 

“My husband had already been an independent consultant for a few years and was working from a study area in our bedroom. When I decided to work as a consultant, the major consideration was a space that was big enough for both of us and yet one that would give us the privacy we needed. We identified an area that led from our master bedroom for our home office.” 

“We both work with a lot of paper so we wanted enough of desk room. We addressed it by creating a continuous space of curved desk that allowed us to sit at two different ends and directions and gave us enough of space in-between.” 

“We also wanted a clutter-free environment with no wires running all over, and minimal storage. We created channels behind our desk to hide wires and bought a small storage unit for files and stationery. After having worked in an organisation for 19 years, I wanted to be able to display my memorabilia and awards in my home office. It is a challenge though to keep them from getting in the cat’s way.” 
“To facilitate meetings, we created a door leading into our terrace garden from our home office. The terrace garden has a separate entrance and seating area, so again, it gave both of us enough privacy to bring in visitors and have meetings.”

“It was very important that our home office blended in with the style of the rest of our home; so natural light and greenery, which is recurrent through our home, was an important consideration.”
“Our home office leads out from our bedroom which is in lilac and lime green to our terrace garden. The area had its own appeal as it looked out on a verdant mass of jackfruit, mango, neem, coconut and more, thanks to our neighbours! We therefore went with a shade of light for our home office.” 

“Glass runs across two of the three walls, giving us both light and tranquillity. In terms of design, we went minimalistic and contemporary with a very clean look for our furniture.”
So, here’s how they have created their home office. 
How about you? 
(Published 10 April 2014, 14:16 IST)

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