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As a freelance writer, my work environment hasn’t really altered all that much with the lockdowns. Working from home has been my reality since the start of my career, as such, I had time to figure out what sort of a space worked for me. You may not even realise the extent to which creativity and productivity are directly linked to your home interior and architecture.
Being suddenly plunged into this routine meant most people had to work in a makeshift home office – usually carving out a tiny spot on the dining table with an uncomfortable chair to sit at all day. By now most of us have managed to figure out a dedicated space for our home office setup with a desk and comfortable chair. However, a few design elements can really help elevate the area and keep you productive, especially during those long video calls. We’ve listed out eight décor ideas to ramp up your home office backdrop for those conference calls.
Image courtesy, KNS Architects
Image courtesy, Dash Square
1. A bunch of indoor plants
This is at the top of our list because it really is one of the easiest ways to elevate your home office setup. Strategically place a few indoor plants, especially air purifying ones, in different areas. Choose a variety of sizes – small plants and succulents for your desk or on shelves, medium sized plants for a side table and one or two tall potted plants placed on the floor. Plants add life to a space – both literally and visually – and are the best way to perk up pretty much any room in your house.
Pro tip: Pay attention to the planters; we tend to pick any pot available at the nursery but investing in good planters adds oodles of charm to the room and is a huge design element we tend to overlook.
2. An enclosed bookcase
There’s something so calming about stacks of books beautifully lined up. An enclosed glass bookcase is a great background for your home office and those virtual conference meetings. Use the bookcase as your library or to neatly store your work files.
Pro tip: Invest in good quality folders and office organises like storage boxes with tags. Providing functional storage and a pleasing design element, they also declutter the space which helps in productivity.
Image courtesy, spacejoy/ unsplash
Image courtesy, reD
3. A wallpapered wall
If you don’t mind putting in a little time and effort, wallpaper can be your saving grace. There are a multitude of designs, textures and colours to choose from a number of brands. You can definitely do it yourself by following the instruction to a tee and making sure the wall is clean and has no leaks. In this image, wallpaper has been cleverly used only on some sections leaving the rest empty. It’s a great way to bring in visual interest without overpowering the entire wall.
Pro tip: If you are not sure about which wallpaper to choose, many brands have sample pieces that are usually A4 size that you can buy.
4. An open shelving system
Open shelves dotted with books, curios, plants and colourful decorative objects can provided an interesting backdrop for your home office setup. You don’t want your back wall to be too distracting so don’t pack the shelves.
Pro tip: Avoid placing your desk and chair where there is direct overhead lighting like recessed ceiling lights. These will throw harsh shadows on your face and can also create a glare on your screen which will tire your eyes in the long run.
Image courtesy, ADND
Image courtesy, Alsorg
5. An accent wall
If you have an interesting accent wall in your home, consider setting up your home office – or at least a space to answer video calls – here. Stone wall cladding or wood panels can become the perfect backdrop. You could also transform a blank wall yourself with a little paint; choose subtle shades like soft greys, pale blues, calming blues or blushing pinks.
Pro tip: A quick fix is to hang a large and interesting patterned memo board, wall art or even a painted jaali panel on the wall behind you. This adds layers of colour, materials and texture to a flat wall.
6. A colour block backdrop
In this image, every element from the wall and wall-hung storage to the desk and curtains plays in to the colour blocking effect. Using three to four colours that complement each other keeping the primary colour a neutral shade.
Pro tip: There is a 70-20-10 or 60-30-10 design guideline which suggests a neutral primary colour which makes up 70% or 60% of the elements – in this case creamy white. A second colour – deep blue, here – covers either 20% or 30% while an interesting contrasting colour (subtle or vibrant) covers 10% of the elements like the pleasing pink seen here.
Image courtesy, reD
Image courtesy, Sanjyt Syngh
7. A cosy reading nook
Here’s a solution for your home office backdrop if your desk faces a wall – use the space behind you to carve out a pretty and functional reading nook. It will create a wonderful background visual for those Zoom calls. Place a comfy armchair and cushion in a corner with a small accent side table. Decorate the side table with few books, small curios or a table top plant. Add task lighting like a floor lamp and place a footstool or ottoman for extra comfort.
Pro tip: Don’t add too many colours and patterns to the vignette; you don’t want a very busy background.
8. A window view
Another idea for a backdrop when your desk faces a wall is to place your home office setup in such a way that your background is the view out of your window. Just make sure there isn’t too much distracting external noises like traffic sounds interrupting your calls.
Pro tip: Add a set of light-coloured, sheer curtains for when it gets too sunny – you don’t want to be backlit by direct, harsh sunlight.
Image courtesy, reD
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