In my head, September is the official beginning of the year —just like when I was a student. It’s the time to start afresh, with a energy from the summer and new projects for the colder months.
When we think of going back to work, we think of all the things we need to do. However, we often forget that a critical aspect of our work is related to the space we work in.
Our work environment can deeply affect the way we feel, our productivity and motivation, and the way we perceive ourselves and are seen by others. This is true for all offices, but becomes even trickier for those of us who work from home. Research has demonstrated that an unsupportive space drains our energy away, preventing us from concentrating.
“The difference between a supportive and an unsupportive workspace is thus the degree to which occupants can conserve their attention and energy for their tasks, as opposed to expending it to cope with adverse environmental conditions. The ‘energy’ drawn out of users in adverse environmental conditions can therefore be hypothesised as coping mechanisms or behaviour; evidence that such mechanisms are present in employees’ behavioural repertoire at work indicates a stressful (uncomfortable because unsupportive) workspace.” (The effects of the physical environment on job performance: towards a theoretical model of workspace stress, J.C. Vischer, 2006).
In a recent apartment renovation in Brussels, we converted a former pantry into a beautiful, organized study, creating a space that is inspiring, comfortable and practical.
Before the renovation, the room was connected to the kitchen with a glass door and its walls were covered in wood, like in a mountain chalet! Its layout, with all the doors so close to each other and a door going from wall to wall, didn’t allow for the proper use of its space.
You entered the room through a big hallway, but the combination of decor on the walls was just terrible! There was flowery wallpaper in the hallway, chalet wood in the office, 1960s tiles in the kitchen and a different floor in each room.
The renovation of this apartment was a complete one; all the technical installations were redone, the kitchen and bathrooms were redesigned completely, and all the surfaces were changed or renovated.
In the hallway, we lowered the ceiling to hide the beam on the right and make the space visually simpler. We changed the entrance of the kitchen and transformed its former door into storage. The lighting was designed to make this windowless space bright and welcoming.
A new parquet was added into the study o that there is now continuity with the hallway.
In the study, the opening towards the kitchen was closed and replaced with a bespoke cabinet that we designed.
The cabinet fits into the former niche and therefore doesn’t take up any extra space, but has lots of closed shelves as well as some open ones.
Along the wall we designed a long desk supported in the middle by a chest of drawers, creating two working areas so that both husband and wife can have their dedicated space. Above it, a long, thick shelf runs from wall to wall with an LED light underneath.
Clutter and disorder are energy drainers as well as time drainers (apparently 13% of work time is spent looking for things!).
With both open and closed storage our clients can choose what to display and what to hide, maintaining the impression of order.
The lighting was designed to have several options so that our clients can choose the degree of illumination they want: direct with a table light, diffuse with the ceiling light, and a softer one with the LED line.
On the technical side, several data plugs were installed in convenient spots.
With appropriate storage, a soothing colour scheme, the right technical installation, functional furniture and the right lighting, this room has now become a really pleasant space to work in.
If you need help renovating and creating beautiful and functional spaces, take a look at our services and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org