Now that we have launched in to a new financial year you might be thinking of ways to create the ultimate home office and get in gear for a super productive business year.

Personally, I have dreams of my perfect home office; I envisage a brilliant craft room with a giant stainless steel island bench, floor to ceiling storage, a wall of tool storage, two deep laundry sinks on one side and a beautiful office set-up on the other- complete with big, dual monitors for multi-tasking and a nice client area (always with fresh flowers). My home office would be attached to the house- but with it’s own separate entry for deliveries.

Ah…a gal can dream! A home office can be a delicate affair- you have to maximise productivity but at the same time reflect your personal style. After all- this is a space you are likely to be in most of your day- so it is worthwhile spending some time to get it right.

Wanting to know more- I contacted experts in the field to find out their top tips. Kristina Karlsson- Founder of boutique stationery chain kikki.K, and Shaynna Blaze- Interior Designer, Judge on The Block and Taubmans Brand Ambassador, cast a specialist eye on the unique question of the home office.

Have you set up a home office? How have you made it work for you?

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Kristina Karlsson- Founder of kiiki.K

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The new financial year is the perfect excuse to re-assess your workspace and make any changes to keep it organised in style, so you can be as productive as possible, and love what you do even more!

  • You spend a lot of time in your workspace, so treat it with the same consideration as anywhere else in your home. Make your workspace a reflection of your personality and tastes, just like your wardrobe.
  • An organised workspace should have a place for everything, and everything in its place – it’s a simple way to make sure everything is systemised and looking beautiful. kikki.K storage boxes are perfect for organising everything from files and paperwork to cards and stationery – and your workspace will look great.
  • No matter how big or small your workspace is, the way you set it up will have a direct effect on your productivity. Keep all those things you use regularly within arm’s reach, and things you rarely use can be stored in an organised manner, out of the way.
  • It’s so important to file intelligently because paper flow mayhem can quickly throw your workspace into chaos. When paper comes into your workspace, remove anything unnecessary right away, action things which need to be actioned, and sort other things into logical categories so you know where to find them. Using a Stepfile and gorgeous Manila Folders is such a simple way to help with this.

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  • You should never underestimate the motivational power of colour in your workspace. If your workspace is fashioned in inspiring colour it’s likely to have a very different output to one that is not so pleasing on the eye! Everyone is different, but I just love the simplicity of white – it looks beautiful and brings calm and control to my workspace.
  • Life’s too short for boring stationery! If you’re using notebooks, pens, lists and other bits and pieces every day, why not make them beautiful? I love our new ‘Celebrate Today’ Collection – gorgeous, simple, unique designs that bring a bit of joy to your everyday.

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  • If you’re in your workspace a lot, why not make it really inspiring and motivating? Try incorporating magazine clippings, artwork, photographs, quotes and personal mementos into your space to make the working area as appealing as possible. You can easily create an inspiring collation of all these things with a kikki.K Vision Board, Pins, Twine and Pegs – it will look so, so beautiful!
  • Sometimes, if you’re looking to reorganise your workspace, the hardest part is making a start. It’s such a great idea to seek inspiration – visit websites and blogs, or even attend an Organisational Workshop – something we’re very proud to offer at kikki.K. It could just be that little bit of extra inspiration to get you started.

Even if it takes a while to get your workspace functioning perfectly and looking beautiful, you will never look back once it’s done. You’ll be so amazed by what you can achieve in a functional and stylish workspace, and you’ll have so much more time to enjoy the more important things in life – and isn’t that a wonderful feeling?

Shaynna Blaze- Interior Designer, Judge on The Block and Taubmans Brand Ambassador

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Q: When redecorating or creating a new home office what colours would you recommend utilising?

A: If your office is a multi-functional space, I recommend creating a feature wall, but keeping the bench/table and shelves the same colour as the main colour of the room. Use the wall between bench space and shelves as either an area to paint half as a chalkboard for messages or a padded pin-board so it’s visually fun and functional. Choose either a cool or warm palette, and stick to using contrast colours within the scheme and palette to compliment the rest of the room’s décor.

What colours enhance mood?

Soft greens like Taubmans Fountain Mist and Taubmans Meldlock Way create a sense of serenity, which can be calming for an office space. If you prefer a more formal vibe, strong blues like Taubmans Starry Night Blue and Taubmans Storm Boy paired with crisp white trims can give an official and business-like energy to the space.

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When setting up a home office what are the essential items?

The key essentials for being organised are good shelving and storage boxes, with binders and folders to keep the area tidy and under control visually; ultimately keeping clutter to a minimum. A set of drawers on wheels means you can use the top as extra bench space and tuck away under the desk neatly when you have a tight working space.

Is it good to have decorative or personal items in a home office? Or should you keep it professional?

More often than not, your home office is integrated with the rest of your house so it is important to not make it too corporate or clinical. Artwork, a couple of candles and photos are three good items to add a personal touch and keep the space balanced with the rest of the house.

How can you create a professional and welcoming feeling in a home office if you have clients visiting?

This is where you need to keep the kids toys and paraphernalia away from the entrance door and in the office. Keep the area professional and simple, with touches like fresh flowers and scented oil burners giving a personal yet inviting professional environment.

How can you manage being a work from home mum with the choices you make for your home office?

Setting the ground rules early is important: mum’s office is mum’s private work space, not the dumping ground for washing or school projects. The ‘no-kids’ rule is a good first measure to setting the boundaries, so when mum is in that space she has her ‘working hat on’.

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What furniture choices will help create a beautiful and functional home office?

Have a bench space or table at least 700mm deep, as it helps give room for notebooks and the laptop at the same time. A framed motivational quote to inspire you is a great way to remind you why you are there. Finally, try every chair under the sun and purchase the one that fits you – the more ergonomic and comfy the chair, the more productive you’ll be.

Thanks for reading The Nookbook.