Design Centre Stories

The Joy of Home

Now that home-working is the norm, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour’s social media team has been asking leading interior designers to share not only their own home workspace set-ups, but also their top tips for curating stimulating settings from which to work. Joy and comfort are just as important as productivity in these uncertain times – so how do the experts create the optimum working environment?

Susie Atkinson likes to add a personal touch: “Rugs, throws, books and pictures help to create a relaxing and inviting interior,” she says. She also recommends being playful with tactility to keep things interesting: “I like to have a variety of textures that balance each other, something smooth like a marble table or a lacquered piece of furniture with something textured like a boucle fabric or sisal on the floor.”

Further afield, Anna Beeber, partner at Champalimaud Design, is hunkering down in her 1820s farmhouse in the Hudson Valley. “We’ve had this house for six years and finished renovating it about two years ago; however, I never needed an office here until now,” she says. “The house is furnished with vintage pieces I found from local antique stores over the last few years. For my ‘new office’, I pulled various pieces from around the house into a quiet corner to work. I keep swapping out the furniture every few days as I find new inspiration.”

Suzy Hoodless has also stamped her personality on her home office. “The ‘Snoopy’ lamp by Achille Castiglione for Flos, designed in 1967, is one of my favourite pieces, not least of all because I love all things Snoopy,” she says. “The print on the wall is Tracey Emin’s ‘Space Monkey’ bought at the Royal Academy of Arts summer exhibition 12 years ago.” When it comes to updating your own workspace, Suzy recommends sensory mood lifters: “Dot plants and flowers around, as nature is, of course, the greatest of all healers. Fragrance is also important – plenty of scented candles and flowers.”

As Emma Burns, design director at Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, continues her creative process from her home, she recommends using ambient lighting in a home office: as well as “a big old tin oil container converted into a lamp” she has a desk lamp with a counterbalanced design, so it can be pointed in any direction. Like Suzy Hoodless, she recommends a touch of nature to add joy: “Flowers are more than usually vital at this grim time and a small pot with just three tulips can make a huge difference to my mood.”

Images, left to right: Susie Atkinson, Anna Beeber, Suzy Hoodless and Emma Burns