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Take your work home

Project ideas and inspiration from Good magazine

Five colour and styling tips for creating an at-home work space that works for you.

Working from home during lock down has been a revelation for many. Why waste precious time, money and fossil fuels on commuting when you can work from the comfort of your sofa or kitchen table and simply Zoom call your colleagues when you need to? With so much commercial activity heading online and all the wider changes afoot, it is the moment to switch to better ways of working. As some of us are opting to work from home on an ongoing basis, others are choosing greater flexibility in moving between home and office. Wherever you’re working, you want it to be welcoming and inspirational. Here are five tips for creating or revamping a home office that best suits you.

Re-think the space

You may not have a great deal of room available, but if your work is mostly computer-based you may not need much more than the area of a desk in a corner or by a window. Add an office to a spare room by switching the bed for a sofa bed or day bed. Make a multi-purpose area by using a screen or putting items on wheels to be moved away when not in use.

Mix old in with new

Hunt online for second-hand items to furnish your office, such as this IKEA table (see below) that was picked up for a song and repainted with Resene White Pointer using Resene Enamacryl gloss. The floating shelf was also painted to match. Use what you already have by hunting around your house for other office items.

Using stimulating and calming colours in an office space
Adding personality to your home office
Paint: Ikea table in Resene White Pointer; Stimulating feature wall in Resene Fugitive; Calming neutral wall in Resene Quarter Truffle.

Invest in a really good chair

Do your body a favour with an ergonomic chair. The move™ chair from Noho ( is made in New Zealand using Econyl, a nylon thread extracted from industrial waste such as old carpets and fishing nets. It replicates the ergonomics and elegance of great office furniture and is designed to look stylish at home. Noho is te reo for sit, dwell or live.

The basics you’ll need

All you need to get started on your home office project are Resene paints in colours of your choice, a medium-sized paint roller, brushes including a cutting-in brush and painter’s masking tape (optional).

Add personality

Have some fun with your home office to create a space that nurtures you. Add stimulating colours using vibrant pieces of art, pieces of furniture, or a painted wall. I used the muted sunset orange colour Resene Fugitive in Resene SpaceCote Flat. Add extra whimsy with books and a few objet d’art, such as the wooden worry balls and bookend (see above). Add tranquillity with a few pleasingly-shaped plants.

Working from home has its conveniences and its challenges, including many distractions that can make you feel less inclined to operate at your best. Use neutral colours to help you focus and for a feeling of greater light and spaciousness. To achieve this, I painted one wall with the diffused neutral Resene Quarter Truffle in Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen. Eliminate distracting visual clutter by painting additional items in the same or complementary shades

Words and styling Sarah Heeringa. Photography Amanda Reelick. 2020

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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.

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