Building a work space at home

RIKKI STUBBS
Last updated 14:06 03/07/2012
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HOT SPOT: Natural light and sun will make your work space feel inviting.

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For many of us, home isn't just where the heart is, it's where the office is, as well. I choose to work from home and I love it.

Many people try working from home and fail. The biggest problem I'm told is getting distracted. My theory is that if you design your space to work for you, you'll want to go there and spend time. So where to start?

Don't choose the worst space in the house - that gloomy spare room where everything you don't need gets stashed.

Choose a room or an area that is inviting. It may be an alcove or a corner. Natural light and sunshine make you feel warm and well. If the natural light is insufficient, get sky lights and if this isn't an option, a combination of the right general and task lighting. Think of the task light as a sculptural element.

Every small business is unique and the best home offices and studios are designed specifically with those needs in mind.

Organisation is the key. ''A place for everything and everything in its place'' means what you need is at hand when you need it.

I need access to many samples when I work - paint colours, stone, glass, tiles, carpet and flooring samples.

I needed custom made strong storage drawers and shelves. This modular joinery looks built in, but has moved with me from one home to another and several commercial studio spaces in between. It manages to fit in perfectly everywhere.

This investment in my business pays off everyday. The Ikea Expedit bookcase is a good room divider and holds lever arch files perfectly.

The smallest spaces can be utilised brilliantly with thought. I have even done an entire workspace for a client in a cupboard.

Add shots of colour - the area behind the desk could be wallpaper or a pin board material.

The chair is the hero piece. Use a bold colour such as tangerine for the leather or fabric to make a statement.

Filing cabinets come in fabulous colours now. Have art that means something to you. This is an opportunity for self-expression.

The thought you put into your workspace will pay off not just financially but will change the way you feel when you are working.

Instead of being a disruption, putting on a load of washing or watering the pot plants will seem like a natural pause in the day.

Do you work from home? What's your work space like? What's the biggest upside - or downside - of mixing business and domesticity?

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