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The novelty of working from home has well and truly worn off. While being able to work remotely is a huge privilege, it’s okay to admit you’re sick of looking at the same four walls.
Monotonous scenery day-in, day-out can be a killer for motivation – especially without the commute or a lunch break with a colleague to break up the day. And for thousands across the country, it doesn’t look set to change any time soon.
There are some DIY solutions that may help switch things up short-term, such as using an ironing board as a standing desk, or facing the window for a different outlook. But if those aren’t quite cutting it, a work station makeover may be in order.
We asked Sharmeen Shahid, an interior designer at homeware marketplace Olivia’s, for her top quick fixes.
1. Make that blank wall interesting
Been sat staring at the same blank wall for 12 weeks? Same. Shahid recommends giving your eyes some excitement, without having to paint or drill holes.
“Pictures, prints and graphics quickly accessorise an otherwise plain wall, but what can make the area really stand out is how you display them,” she says. “Opt for different sized frames, with varying textures, that create a feature wall worth looking at.”
Shahid recommends hanging your prints with frame stickers where possible, rather than nails, as this gives you the option to switch up the design whenever you feel like it. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Printable Rihanna Art, PrintCapades, Etsy, £3.98
Shell Green And Gold Hanging Photo, Oliver Bonas, £26
Moon Banner, Urban Outfitters, £16
2. Bring the outdoors in
House plants continue to be a big interior trend, so now’s the time to get green-fingered if you haven’t already. “House plants are particularly effective when used in a home office space as well, because they exude a calm tranquil atmosphere that’s conducive for productivity,” says Shahid.
She recommends purchasing three plants and scattering them around the room for optimum effect. “You could have one larger standing plant in a corner, a hanging planter from the ceiling, and then a quaint potted plant on your desk or on a nearby shelf,” she says.
“I really like plants that have hanging leaves, when put on a higher shelf or hung from the ceiling. They accessorise a wall in a really bold yet delicate way.”
There’s also the option of buying faux plants, if you don’t want to maintain them in the long-term or have a chronic inability to keep plants alive.
Hanging Plant Pot, Oliver Bonas, £7.50
Strelitzia Nicolai, Patch, £60 - £180
Artificial Fern in Concrete Pot, Dunelm, £8
3. Jazz up the floor
Rugs are often overlooked, but are effective in changing the look of a room in an instant, says Shahid.
“Moroccan rugs have been popular recently – and for good cause as the patterns and colours are quite understated, therefore easy to apply to a room’s interior,” she says. “If your home office is plain and you’re looking to add a bit of personality, go for a more bold rug that adds a pop of colour and texture.”
Put the rug in the middle of the room to make it the star of the show, or under your feet by your workstation to make the area feel extra special.
Moroccan-inspired rug, French Connection, £125
Mohan reversible rug, Habitat, £170
Trafa Wool Rug, Made.com, £199
4. Add some desk side details
If you haven’t got the time or budget for a big makeover, all is not lost. Simply placing something small and bright in your eye line can boost morale.
You could look around your house for any trinkets – be it a card from a loved one, a photo that makes you smile, or a lucky charm you have – and add them to your desk area.
Or, if you’re looking for some new accessories to brighten up your space, these may be worth investing in.