By Anna Cottrell published
If you're redecorating your home office this autumn, you will want to consult Matthew Williamson's top home office decorating tips. Known for his bold and unconventional interior design, Matthew shares wise advice on keeping familiar spaces fresh, and rethinking seasonal decor to make it more fun.
These home office ideas are suitable for spaces large and small, and will help you reset your home-working environment after the summer.
1. Use a rug to zone a multi-purpose room
Matthew's most practical tip is also the one that will help you achieve the cosiest space. He calls a cosy rug 'a non-negotiable in my studio', describing the effect of having a 'well-positioned' rug in your home office as 'at once grounding, reassuring and soothing.'
Rugs are also incredibly useful for breaking up a space that's used for multiple purposes, which is currently the case for a great many of us. Matthew recommends using a rug to 'mark out a work ‘zone’ if your workspace is formed of a section of a room used for other purposes, or the colours in the weave can contribute to the atmosphere.' Even if your home working space is just a desk and chair, a colourful rug underfoot will instantly elevate the space. Berber rugs also work well, if you prefer a more neutral look.
2. Disrupt a calm scheme with a bright colour
Perhaps because many people associate going back to work with the onset of autumn, home-working spaces are often decorating in earthy colours that seem more suited to a calmer, less colourful time of year after the summer. As Matthew puts it beautifully, 'autumnal interiors traditionally feature rusts and ochres, scarlets and chocolate browns, which channel the beauty of the changing leaves and longer evenings.'
However, if you want a truly unique home office look this autumn, why not look for a few brighter accents? Matthew identifies himself as 'a lover of more vibrant colours all year round'. His top tip to refresh an autumnal interior is to 'spike this look with a shock of pink in the form of a pleated lampshade, or an abstract, richly patterned rug in lime green or pale blue.' We love the idea – and it's non-committal in the sense that if you don't like the effect, you can always put the lamp or rug somewhere else.
3. Don't settle for home office design clichés
Matthew's brilliant summary of home offices as spaces is that 'they should work for you, just as much as you work for them.' Sure, a workspace should help you focus on, well, work, but Matthew suggests that 'the way you decorate and orient your workspace should feel at once restful and inspiring.' This rule applies 'whether you prefer a quieter, more focused environment, or a more bustling spot' – the point is that just keeping everything calm and traditional won't do your space justice.
This particularly applies to seasonal decor, which tends to follow the same tropes year after year. Instead of once again decorating your home office in shades of brown, 'throw out the rule book for traditional seasonal interiors – we’ve mastered the clichés, so it’s time to put your stamp on your autumn home.' Whether this stamp means choosing idiosyncratic soft furnishings or even exploring painted wall ideas, don't be afraid to experiment.
Anna is Consumer Editor across Future home titles; she has a background in academic research and is the author of London Writing of the 1930s; she has written about literature, architecture, and photography, and has a special interest in high-end interior design.
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