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Hideaway Home Office Tips | ValueLights
Tempting as it may be to enjoy a working from home day that looks like this;
- Wake up.
- Get coffee (or tea, calm down, we see you!
- Get directly back into bed with a laptop.
- Maybe move to the sofa around lunchtime.
- Close laptop at 5pm and stay exactly where you are.
It’s not conducive to keeping that all important work/life balance, well… balanced. It’s also just bad for your back, let’s be honest. In fact, studies have shown that if you work from bed, you won’t sleep as well because your brain no longer associates your bed with sleep. How awful! Not crawling into bed and immediately being at peace. Not to mention, the number one killer of productivity is not getting your brain enough beauty sleep.
With more and more people working from home part to full time we’ve had to pay more attention to how we separate work and relaxation in our homes. Having a place that you can go, sit in an ergonomic chair and zone into your work is more important than ever, not just for productivity. Being able to close the door on your workday and recuperate mentally after 8 hours of bossing it isn’t easy when all you do to break up your day is close a laptop.
Working with whatever space you’ve got to create a designated little hideaway home office is going to help keep you sane and working well. You might be wondering why we, the go-to people for lighting, have so much to say on hideaway office tips. It’s a fair question, but if you don’t think we can make any and every topic swing back around to the importance of lighting then you’re underestimating us!
There are some aspects to a home office that are universal requirements. Probably the most important of these, regardless of what the rest of your home office set up looks like, is having a good, ergonomic chair.
When you’re working with limited space it might feel like the obvious space saving hack to just pull up one of the dining room or kitchen table chairs. Your back, we assure you, will not thank you for this.
And your precious eyes! Staring at a screen all day! You’re a lucky one if you find somewhere with good, natural light to set up shop. But once the winter hits even a big old window isn’t enough. Having good task lighting is overlooked, critically and often, but long-term eye health will really benefit from having strong task lighting.
There are people out there who say that, for productivity, cool lighting is the obvious winner. If you’re one of those people, then we salute you and we are more than willing to accommodate that madness. But, if you’re prioritising that cosy feeling whilst you work – warm lighting is the way to go. Especially if your light of choice is going to be moonlighting as relaxation lighting.
The Ideal Situation
There’s a perfect world in which we all have rooms at the end of a long hallway, separate from the ‘living’ parts of our homes. These rooms are awash in floods of natural light through gigantic windows overlooking parks. We’ve got smart desks that rise and sink at our demand and heavy, supportive, adjustable leather backed chairs.
Nice idea, isn’t it?
The reality is that a lot of us are lucky to have a little alcove or a spare corner of the living. Trying to find a spot to set up a separate work space so that you can close a figurative or literal door on the workday and wind down at 5 o’clock might seem impossible.
We promise you, it’s doable.
Finding the Space You Can Afford to Lose
By ‘lose’, of course, we actually mean gain. Why didn’t we just say that, then? Dramatic effect, obviously.
Now’s the time to take a step back and try to have a look at your home through fresh eyes. Some spaces might pop out at you a little easier than others. For instance, if you’ve got a little alcove somewhere that you’ve just been keeping your laundry basket in. Maybe there’s a little spot under the stairs that, in years gone by, wouldn’t been a great place for a telephone bench.
These spaces might not be massive, but desks come in all shapes and sizes.
Spots like these do tend to get a little… Dingy? Dank? Dark? Fortunately for you, you’re talking with the lighting people and wow, do we have some suggestions ready to go.
For a ready-made indent that just happens to be big enough for a desk, you might not be able to dress that desk up as liberally as you like. We’re no stranger to space conscious table and desk lamps, but we’ve also got a better idea.
If you can swing it, a pendant light in your space gives you some purposeful overhead lighting, a stylistic focal point, and is easy to switch out the shade with your interior décor moods. Better yet, if you can have it dimmable then it doubles as a bit of mood lighting for your hallway, living room, bedroom or wherever you found a place to nestle.
Dimmable lighting is almost always a good option if you can bring it in. Being able to brighten up a spot depending on whether you’re actually using it for its function or just having it there to show off how you’ve decorated.
If the pendant light idea doesn’t work, maybe wall lights will. Common place in most rooms, having wall lights in an alcove (or alcove adjacent area) do well if you’re wanting your hideaway home office to be a space you can really hide away when you’re done with it.
There’s a load of different wall light options, but for the extra sneaky, having a piece of art that you love to look at and a picture wall light to shine on it (and on your desk) will make it seem like you’re just using the alcove to display your good taste.
This works even better if the desk you’ve got has that console or hallway table feel as opposed to a traditional desk, get one with drawers and you can stash away the stationary in the evenings and over the weekend to really unplug.
If you’re worried about having to install lighting, either because you’re afraid of the commitment or you’ve got a pesky landlord who stands between you and your wildest interior design dreams… it’s not over yet! There are plenty of wall light options available that don’t require hard wiring.
But if you’re really limited to lights that you can plug in and place on a surface, there is still a whole lot of opportunity out there for making the most of the situation.
The ‘Make Space’ Space
No obvious nooks or crannies that you’ve been wondering what to do with? Alright, don’t panic, there’s always somewhere. Or, almost always – we cannot legally be held to you finding somewhere to put a desk, we’re sorry.
Now it’s time to resort to ‘restructuring’ the home.
That sounds scary but it’s not as bad as it sounds, we just mean… time for a rejig. See that sofa? Maybe we could shift it forward a little bit, slot in a nice desk that doubles as a console table there? That would be fun!
It’s basically just scanning the space and seeing what kind of home décor Tetris might create a hideaway home office shaped opening. Having an entirely separate space to work in is the ideal situation, but even just sitting in a special chair, with a clear workspace and good back support… just what the doctor ordered.
If you do have to make a space amongst where you try and unwind, best way to make sure you’re not taunted in the evening is to make it seamless. If you hadn’t gotten the hint, console tables over desks are a great way to do that because you’re using furniture that doesn’t feel too office-ey. Slip your laptop and keyboard into a desk draw and you’ve just got a console table with an absolutely stunning table lamp on it.
And here’s the real key to a seamless hideaway office in your living room. Lighting, it always comes back to lighting.
Having a purpose-built LED desk light is great, it does exactly what it says it will. But does it do it with as much style, flare, extravagance as a nice table lamp that fits the mood of your living room? No. No, it does not. If you’ve got supplies, books, other assorted work-related things, that you need to store… time to accessorise. Bringing in a bookshelf and breaking up the boring stuff with framed pictures, books that make you smile, some more saucy little lamps (maybe, if you want) will help distract from the reality of the 9 to 5 and bring in a little professional or academic whimsy.
Just a side note, if you’re ever looking for an excuse to bring a floor lamp into the living room... To be clear, you don’t need an excuse, but this would be a good one if you did.
Lights, camera, action! Or just lights, action!
Lights, camera, action! Or just lights, action! When you put time, energy and creativity into your space and you create little pockets of home for the things you’ve got to do it can make it all seem a lot more glamorous. Whatever your style is, whether you want wall to wall pink or a laid-back industrial vibe, or maybe you want to really commit to living the dark academia dream whilst you’re at work. It just makes it all feel… fun, doesn’t it? Makes the days feel more purposeful. A table lamp never fails to take the sting out of the evenings that our workdays sometimes leak into.
You don’t have to give up on style to be cosy, not even during work hours.