Working from home is becoming increasingly popular, whether it is because entrepreneurs are utilising the rent-free office space in their home or because people are improving their work life balance.
Whatever the reason, it is important to create a space in which you can remain motivated and focused throughout the working day.
We talked to Holly Stott from Hollyanna Interiors, star of the BBC’s ‘Your Home in Their Hands’, to discuss how she would recommend creating the ultimate home office space.
When creating a relaxing home office space, what colour palette/s would you suggest for a soothing atmosphere?
An office needs to be a space where you have a clear mind to function and optimise productivity so it goes without saying a calming, soothing neutral palette needs to be used. Colours can help bring energy into a space and most definitely impact your overall mood.
Are there any textures we should look to avoid when choosing office furniture and accessories?
I’m a complete lover of texture when creating any interior and believe it adds warmth and interest. Your office needs to be practical however so stick to flat hard surfaces when choosing desk as opposed to natural wood for example, and a leather or wipe-able chair as these are easy to maintain. This doesn’t mean you will lose out on style as these can still be statement pieces if chosen well.
How do you recommend we find the balance between clutter and office accessories?
Clutter can be a mood killer before you even begin work making you feel overwhelmed and unorganised. It is key to have a balance of what you need with pieces/objects that may bring energy to the space. I always find an orchid or plant has a sense of life, and photos of family add a feeling of comfort. Choose pieces that will encourage your positivity and purge things that are nor use or ornament.
What are your rules of thumb for any room of relaxation in general?
Creating a relaxing room successfully must stimulate your senses. Your sight; colours must be neutral and calming. Smell; scented candles are the perfect way to introduce a sense of comfort. Touch; add textures through fabrics in upholstery and flooring to provoke relaxation. Sound; calming or favourite music is always a way or making people feel at ease and happy.
Is the minimalistic approach always the right look for an office space? Is it important to inject some character?
Minimalism isn’t everyone’s favourite style. For an office to work it needs to make the individual using it feel comfortable and productive there. There are tips and advice to help achieve this space but it can be in the style of their choice.
What clever storage solutions do you think are essential for de-cluttered office living?
Making storage a feature instead of hiding it all away can make the most of the space available in your home. Buying floating shelves, or free standing book shelves as room dividers offers the chance to store paperwork and tools in attractive boxes and files that you can have on show.
What can we do to get the lighting right in our office space? What are your tips for brightening a room?
Natural light promotes the best productivity for working. Wall mirrors instantly bounce light and enlarge a space, which will in hand make the place feel brighter and larger. I would recommend a desk light for task work and spotlights for every day.
Tell us about your company, Hollyanna Interiors. What was your motivation for starting up?
I wanted to work in something that inspired me and I enjoyed. After creating a wallpaper collection at Leeds College of Art I explored trade shows around the world, worked with professional designers in their offices learning the ropes, and then took it upon myself to begin a creative practice of my own.
My style has become much more refined over time and I am fond of the work by Michael Dawkins, Helen Green Design and Kelly Hoppen. Their work is perfect to me. Incredibly stylish, comfortable and full of texture and life.
What has been the highlight of your career as an interior designer so far?
For me the having the chance to design as part of the BBC was a great point in my career. A once in a lifetime experience that I enjoyed from start to finish.
Lets talk about the show – how was the experience overall?
The experience was great and one that I will remember for the rest of my life. Stressful yes, but also worth it. A brilliant environment to be in working with such creative people and also being in control of doing something I love, designing rooms!
What key lessons did you take away from the experience that you think you could apply to any business that offers a bespoke service to its clients?
That it is important to have a relationship with the client from the off to make sure you create a vision they are happy with and ultimately create an environment that is livable.
When and where can we see you on ‘Your Home in Their Hands’?
You can see me on BBC1 on Thursday 2nd October at 8pm!