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With most people in Malaysia now working from home, home offices are due for an upgrade. And before you start on your overhaul, award-winning luxury interior designer Katherine Pooley — one of Britain’s most sought-after designers with elite clients from all over the world — shares her professional tips on how to create the perfect work environment at home to help you stay motivated, inspired, and calm in this crisis.

Make it personal

Pooley wants you to remember this: “Even though you are working, this is your home. Make it feel happy.” She suggests adding accessories that elicit happy memories such as polaroids or small trinkets from travels. Flowers and art create a warm environment for you to work. Photos in chic frames will “remind you of happy times and be a great motivation,” she adds.

Add a sculptural desk chair for a touch of glamour 

While office chairs are typically similar in style, you can afford to take a risk with your workspace at home. Pooley recommends chairs with fluted upholstery or metal fluting. Velvet scalloped chairs in jewel or pastel tones, for instance, are all the rage.

how to upgrade home office
(Image: Jonathan Adler)

Add a statement lamp

“It’s the easiest way to make your desk more elegant,” says Pooley. One with a unique shape or a textured base will add interest to your tabletop. For better functionality, pick a desk lamp that can be be repositioned and angled to give you flexibility.

An organised space leads to an organised mind

Keep your space clutter free. Maximise your workspace with clever storage and use wall space to your advantage. Think about an adjustable system, such as shelves that can be repositioned, or hanging wall storage. Avoid paper clutter with a proper filing system, and corral your cables.

Add a plant

Consider adding plants into your workspace for more tranquility, but if you don’t have a green thumb, care for low maintenance ones such as succulents, air plants, aloe vera or snake plants. Staying connected to nature will also make you feel less alone.

Adjust your desk such that it faces the window

“It’s much more uplifting than facing a wall,” Pooley says. Facing a street, opposing houses, or a landscape is more likely to feel less isolating. Plus, low light tends to make you drowsy, or down-spirited. Pooley adds that “at this moment, we need that vitamin D more than ever.” We couldn’t agree more.

All images are courtesy of Katherine Pooley unless otherwise stated

This story first appeared on Prestige Online Singapore

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Nafeesa Saini
Associate Online Editor
Nafeesa covers a spectrum of beats, notably beauty, travel, and fashion. She constantly has an unpacked suitcase for her next adventure and five lipsticks to keep her prepped for industry events. When not writing, she enjoys sipping coffee or cocktails — sometimes simultaneously.