WORDS AND IMAGES courtesy of Tracy Lee Lynch
Designer Tracy Lee Lynch, who heads up Studio Lee Lynch, shares her tips on creating a productive home office space.
Some of us will be working from home for the foreseeable future. This has its pros and cons, of course – long commutes are a distant memory as Zoom meetings replace flights and parking challenges. Barking dogs and uninvited toddlers present new challenges (luckily we mostly love the unexpected).
Having designed office spaces for clients as part of my practice as an interior designer, I have had the privilege of imagining and bringing to life what a great office space should be. If I think back to all the requests clients have had, these are the ones that I believe can easily be adapted to anyone’s home office space.
1. Plant Life
The Old Friends Young Talent project was very focused on bringing life to a space where young creatives spend long hours and need to stay focused and be creative, while also needing to connect and have fun. I worked with Jo Skelton of Flourish Plants to create bold arrangements of lush green foliage – we used very simple planters and included a self-watering system to make sure the plants were well maintained. This inclusion of plants brought the interiors to life.
It’s quite incredible what a leafy plant does to a room. It’s an easy, cost-effective addition. Joe Paine has stunning planters if you would like to include a strong South African design element to your installation, as does TheUrbanNative. [Find more planter options here]
2. Sound and Screen
Areas of the open-plan space at the offices of Old Friends Young Talent needed to be screened off, but the request was for moveable screens that could also act as sound-absorbent installations. We created a few very simple upholstered panels on stable feet that solved the challenge.
This concept can solve a few home office needs when it comes to space sharing. In addition, this idea allows for the inclusion of colour, pattern and texture without needing to commit to wallpaper or reupholstering furniture. And if you are keen on a Zoom backdrop that serves multiple needs, this may be it!
3. Shelves as a Feature Display
The winemaker at Twee Jonge Gezellen needed an office space suited to long working hours, but that also served as a meeting space for clients. As storage is always essential in any office space, I included large, bracketed steel hanging shelves from Dark Horse.
Some shelves housed files and storage boxes, while others displayed sculptures and ceramic collections. The mix created a feature – this concept is a good option if your lounge is also your work-from-home office.
4. Art and Design
Now, more than ever, is the time to support local. Add a big painting to your office and invest in a well-made desk or office chair from one of South Africa’s incredible designers.
When I designed Central Kitchen, Nando’s head offices, I focused on using only South African design to complement the brand’s large collection of South African art. James Mudge designs and makes incredible timber desks and shelves, while Pinda Interior Design is another favourite for his incredible desk designs. Raw Studios offer more cost-effective options that are innovative and fun.
Art is an investment, something that can bring you endless joy. Choose wisely and invest in emerging artists if your budget is limited. A limited-edition print can be a great option if you can’t afford an original piece, but make sure it’s numbered and signed if you want to see your investment grow in value.