This feature is sponsored by Wickes.
For many of us, working from home was nothing but a distant daydream dizzied up in the corners of our minds whilst we stood face-to-armpit on a packed train carriage for the 176th time that year. That was, of course, until the pandemic came and shook up everything we knew about office life. Now, with flexible working being trialled long-term by more and more companies up and down the country, we’re looking to create more permanent home-working solutions.
But can you do it on a budget? And can you make it feel like somewhere you actually want to work, whilst still being practical too? Yes, yes and yes, according to Claire Taylor Hughes, winner of the 2021 Wickes Home Office Awards. Earlier this year, after weeks of social media entries, Claire’s incredible office shed was crowned the winning WFH space. After originally planning to build a shed for her kid’s toys, there was a last-minute change of plan. Claire, from Caithness in Scotland, said: “With the help of a friend, I designed and built the shed, which turned out to be the perfect room for home working and has become a sanctuary of peace and quiet for the family.”
Here, Claire shares her top tips for creating your dream at-home work space…
Think About The Colour
“I opted for sky blue for my WFH space as this colour is said to boost overall productivity, particularly for office workers that need to complete administration tasks or big projects. However, the best colour for the space can vary depending on your job. For example, an innovator or entrepreneur might benefit from yellow as this stimulates creativity by lifting confidence levels, getting you in the right mood for productivity.
For those with jobs in more physical professions such as trades, sports or even sales, a red office can invoke a strong physical response, keeping hearts pumping. Alternatively, green is a great option if you crave calm and reassurance. A really good choice for people who tend to feel overwhelmed by their daily tasks.”
Try Drawing Your Space First
“I found it very useful to start off by drawing out a bird’s eye view of the area using perspective measurements of the furniture, accessories, and the space itself. Mark out several design options, beginning with furniture – taking note of access to power – then finish with furnishings/accessories. Inspiration can also be taken Feng shui, a Chinese traditional practice that is said to harmonise individuals with their surroundings. As such, this can act as a great way to maximise space in small rooms and ensure that a setup is as cohesive as possible.”
Consider The Practical Details
“If you’re planning to create a WFH environment outdoors, you’re likely going to be working with a small space. For me, the key was to purchase furniture and furnishings with the amount of space in mind so that I got the balance just right. However as this is an area you’ll be likely spending a lot of time in, make sure to invest in pieces that are truly to your taste, and create the ideal sanctuary for the working week.
The inclusion of indoor plants is also a great way to merge outside and in for that ultimate sense of being connected to nature when working. In the colder months you’ll need to ensure you’re keeping cosy throughout the day. At the moment, I have a gas heater which keeps me warm, but I plan to install insulation on the inside of the shed to keep the heat in when it’s needed.”
Claire was awarded the shortlist winner Sensational Shed and was then championed by the judges as the overall winner For the Wickes Home Office Awards 2021. The competition was created to mark the launch of their new Fitted Home Office range and Wickes was on the lookout for a mix of spaces, with five shortlist awards for Minimalist Master, Best Interior and Mindful Design Award, Cleaning up in the Dining Room, The Sensational Shed and The Savviest Set Up, up for grabs.
You can get more home working inspiration and ideas from Wickes here.