Remember the days when your bedroom was the part of the home that you’d spend the most time? Admittedly sleeping, but you’d clock up the most minutes in here above all over rooms. But 2020 changed all that, and so far, 2021 is having a good go too at making the home office the place to be.
If you’ve been holding off on renovating that spare room to turn it into your study space or sprucing up the living room nook where you’ve set up camp with a desk and a chair, British decorating brand Lick says to seize the moment and grab a paintbrush. By thinking through the best colours for a home office, you’ll carve out a feel-good place to spend your 9-5 – a mundane scheme will only give you that Monday morning feeling on repeat, and nobody wants that.
Your home office colours should reflect your at-work personality and what sort of job you call your own. Take Lick’s Lead Colour Specialist Tash and what she needs from her workspace: “I’m naturally very energetic and like to be inspired and supported by my environment. I couldn’t do a highly stimulating colour in a work context though, as it would overwhelm me. Yellow is one of my favourite colours to decorate with, but I think in a home office, it would be too much for me. That’s why I chose Pink 01 for my home so that when I’m working from there, I’m in a space that sparks creativity, but is balanced too.”
Read on for Tash's tips on how to choose paint colours for an office, which colours work best for a stimulating space and which to go for in one that’ll comfort and nurture you throughout the week.
Things to consider in your home office design
Image credit: @reid_interior_design
Home office colour matters, massively, agreed. But, it’s not all about paint and wallpapers. Be sure to factor into your thinking where you can position your desk. If you’ve got the option, put it in front of or near a window, so that you have loads of natural light coming through plus a view into the outside world. There’s less yellow in natural light (the sort you get from artificial lighting), which is a tonic for your mind. Natural light is invigorating and energising, so maximise it wherever you can with a mirror strategically hung to bounce the light around the place.
Plants and flowers are another way to breathe life into your study, so pop a plant or bouquet of flowers on a shelf or on your desk itself if you have room to spare.
Colour palettes for four different home office moods
Colour theory is always worth reading up on whenever you’re stepping into a redecoration project, as it helps you understand how certain colours can affect your emotion. When it comes then to picking colours for your home office, think through which hues resonate best with your personality and also ask yourself what you really need from your space. Here are four different home office styles you can create based on your colour palette.
For a stimulating and focused home office
Image credit: @carlaelliman
Need a space with zero distraction? A place that you can retreat to for pure, unadulterated focus? Then hit up those blues and greens – colours that aid mental stimulation. On the blue side, dark but not too dark, Blue 06 is a great brain-booster. Or, if you’re naturally into greys, pick a mega deep blue like Blue 07 to change things up from the traditional charcoal.
Greens are a balancer of everything – mind, body and emotion. With the colour green, our eyes don’t have to work as hard and don't need to adjust to the colour. It’s what makes it so restful and easy to be around. A light green, such as our Green 01 or Green 09, will just sit back in the background and let you do your thing.
For a creative-thinking home office
Image credit: @projectdelphine
Dear creatives, typically you like to be in space that inspire and set your imagination into overdrive. That means that you can afford to be more playful with your palette, mixing up colours and combining them in ways that are fun and free.
Enter pink and green – a creative colour combo and then some. Gentle souls such as our Pink 01 and Green 09 are a match made in heaven, but so are Pink 04 and holly-hued Green 06 —if you fancy going stronger with your shades.
But creative spaces can be made too with colours from the same family; they don’t have to be experimental. Blue 01 and Blue 02 are soothing shades that reflect the colour of the sky on a happy, hazy day and will inspire blue-sky thinking no end.
For a comforting and nurturing home office
Image credit: My Bespoke Room
Some of us work best in a space that just feels like home. Comforting, safe, nurturing, wholesome and happy, this is a palette that’s the very antithesis to your stereotypical office. No greys or whites, just soft and warming tones like pink, beige, and greige.
Out of our pink palette, Pink 01 and Pink 04 are the best picks for this sort of feeling. Described as the colour of cuddles, they’re hues that straight away make your shoulders drop. Warm pinks are friendly and relaxing, but also great at boosting social interaction – perfect for enduring endless Zoom calls. Or go for a cheekier pink, such as our muted bubblegum pink, Pink 03 that still feels like a comfort blanket, but has a playful side too.
Not so keen on the pinks? Then go for an earthy neutral like Beige 01, Greige 01 or Greige 02 – colours that are warm, stable and supportive but don’t feel like you’re sat in a home office that’s dull and drab.
For a social and energising home office
Image credit: @roo_tid_ltd
If you need your office to be served sunny side up, then go for a colour palette that’s positivity defined. This is another winner if your days are driven by team meetings, where you need to keep morale high (yours included), and where your work is collaborative. It’s also a good one for those of you who struggle to work away from the office and thrive with the energy of others around you.
Come forward Orange 02 – a joyful colour to be around, no question, but isn’t too in your face. Earthy orange in the background won’t just have an effect on you, but anyone on the other end of the call will feel more encouraged to open up and participate once you switch your video on.
Yellow 02 is another friendly character. It's about positivity and is said to boost self-esteem. If yellow isn’t your bag, look for yellow-based greens instead, such as our reassuring Green 01 and gorgeously rich and olive-y Green 05. Another option is to see whether you think a yellow-painted chair could be added to your furniture mix, so you can still insert a dose of yellow without it overtaking your palette. And it goes without saying, when you’re looking at greens, don’t forget those all-important plants – your new teammates that’ll cheer you through the working day.
For more home office design tips head over to Lick's blog where our designers shared their top tips.