As we fire up our computers again for another year of work, millions of Australians will still be working from home (WFH) – a trend that COVID-19 sparked and which has left many workers adapting to the new normal by carving out a stylish home setup for maximum productivity. While your own study nook might be small in size, there are plenty of ways you can ensure it packs a punch in the functionality stakes.
While larger homes lend themselves well to designated studies, with the popularity of apartment living and share accommodation, the study nook is growing in popularity. The beauty of a nook is that it takes up much less space and can be squeezed into virtually any cranny or nook (literally) in the house.
OzHomeNews spoke to the expert team at Henley Homes for their take on this growing interiors trend. From what to avoid to maximising comfort, Henley’s Colour Design Consultant Brigitte Gantonas shares the latest tips and trends for all things study.
A power point is a must, as are some storage areas, and a setup for standing or seating mode is a good idea. When you design your WFH space, consider an integrated benchtop and a floating shelf for a attractively minimalist but practical aesthetic.
“Good lighting should be a top priority,” Brigitte says. “It doesn’t need to be in the form of a lamp – lighting can be discreetly concealed in overhead cupboards or shelving, too, which creates a stunning contemporary, seamless look.”
A comfortable chair is also a must. “Your chair shouldn’t be the borrowed dining chair but a chair that’s ergonomically sound and looks great in the space,” she continues. “Consider a grey, heavy textured swivel chair.”
The last thing you want when you’re sitting writing those late-night emails is any sort of back pain, so try and opt for something that’s comfortable and stylish to boot. Although stools are a popular choice (as they can be more discreet, able to be tucked away under the desk when not in use) they don’t offer the same sort of support, so when in doubt, choose a chair.
As study nooks are informal areas, they’re also a perfect way to save space and are usually set up close to busier areas of the family home.
“Study nooks can be found in kitchens, in the living room or even under the stairs in the entrance – as long as a desk can be installed or fitted in,” Brigitte says. “The great thing about study nooks is that they can be used by every member of the household, depending on demand.
“They’re often placed near high-traffic areas of the home so they can be easily accessed and used by all family members. From finishing off the last-minute school assignment, to paying bills and penning the next big novel, the study nook, while tucked away, can be the foundation of an explosion of ideas and tasks.
“If you have the space and layout to locate yours near a window, you’ll have the luxury of fresh air and beautiful natural light pouring in.
Inject some style
Your work nook, despite its size, doesn’t have to look plain – there’s no reason it can’t ooze personality and charm. By handpicking the perfect colours, textures and lighting, you can craft the perfect aesthetic.
Inject some colour and flair into the space through the use of timber, wallpaper, an artwork or a piece of furniture, such as a feature lamp. Also, consider a touch of greenery and some stylish stationery to dress your desk.
Biggest mistakes to avoid
“Try and avoid adding too many unnecessary items to the area making the small space appear cluttered,” Brigitte says. “Often the study nook is on display and isn’t able to be ‘hidden away’ so it needs to be kept clean and clear of clutter for it to work in the home.
“Make sure it’s set up in an area where you have a sufficient amount of power outlets so you can use the space to its best ability by having laptops, screens or WIFI available,” she adds.