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Water cooler fact: Harvard scientists found that a well-designed, comfortable workspace increases productivity by as much as 16 per cent and job satisfaction by as much as 24 per cent
I want to tell you a true story, which I hope will inspire you as much as it did me. In the 1950s, prizewinning biologist and doctor Jonas Salk was working on a cure for polio in a dark basement laboratory in Pittsburgh. Progress was slow. Actually, he was getting nowhere. So, for a change of scene, he decided to temporarily relocate to Assisi, Italy, where he spent time in a beautiful 13th-century monastery. Suddenly, Salk found himself awash in new insights, including the one that would eventually lead to his successful polio vaccine.
The point of this story is to emphasise design and architecture’s ability to influence the mind. Salk was so inspired by the transformative powers of the right space he, along with renowned architect Louis Kahn, went on to create Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, as a scientific facility that would stimulate breakthroughs and encourage creativity.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re working on a medical breakthrough, your dissertation or setting up a new business, you need your working environment to inspire you, not inhibit you.
In 2000, I landed a job with a small family run furniture company based in Surrey called Hyperion Furniture. They specialise in home studies and create a fantastic product. If you live in the Surrey area, I highly recommend you check them out. Hyperion’s founder, Ken Poulter was a stickler for detail and understood the importance of quality materials combined with truly functional design. He inspired me to perform at my best for every client. He would always stress how vital it was to come up with client focussed solutions with every home study I worked on. These were the rooms that needed to stir the soul. The layout, the functionality and the materials all had to work together so that the environment enhanced the productivity and stirred the creative juices of the person using it. Ken was my first true mentor in my career as a furniture designer. I miss him dearly.
For me, designing home studies is a huge challenge, because so much rides on getting it right (quite possibly your career). I love the process of course – creating mood boards, picking out textures, colours, lighting solutions – but there is no better feeling than when a client rings me up to tell me how this new room has utterly transformed their lives.
Your home study is more than just a room and a desk. It’s your sanctuary. It’s the haven you retreat to when you’re in the mood to get lost in the pages of a book, or tie up loose ends from your working day. It’s a place you escape to when you need a quiet moment and it’s the place your children go to when it’s time to knuckle down to some serious revision.
The home study solutions we’ll create for you will be totally bespoke. We don’t care how weird the shape of your newly designated office is (by virtue of being the spare ‘spare’ room, it’s often the room with the ‘awkward’ dimension), we can make it work beautifully (literally).
Whether you crave clean lines, white space and natural light or a chic, contemporary library feel, we will create a haven that suits the space you have available without sacrificing style or functionality.
So what are you waiting for? As was the case with Mr Salk, who knows what hidden creative gems the right working environment will unleash…
For a little inspiration, I have included a few of my home office designs for you. It’s quite often the case that home offices are positioned in small rooms that are difficult to photograph. I hope these images are useful to you and, as always, get in touch if you need any further information.
Categories: home study