Design Centre Stories

Make it Personal

One of the advantages of working from home is the way that it allows for a much more personalised approach to the design of our surroundings. Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is conversing with its creative community to find out how they’re making it work, as a way to to stay inspired and stimulated, and celebrate great design.

Katharine Pooley’s workspace is full of cheering touches, so it is clear to see why she advises making a home workspace as personal as possible: “Add artwork, framed photos, colourful flowers, objects you associate with happy memories. Even though you are working this is your home – make it feel happy.” For those of us setting up makeshift offices from smaller apartments, Pooley recommends “adding a neat desk to an alcove or window. It’s much more uplifting than facing a wall.”

In the midst of a busy home life with her five children, Claire Sa, co-founder of architecture and interior design studio De Rosee Sa, has managed to carve out a slice of solitude in the form of her home workspace. Her tips will apply to anyone with little ones at home: “Find a corner of the house to set up a desk so you are not somewhere busy and constantly interrupted. I made a very large study table with lots of stools around so that the kids can come and sit next to me and work if they need help.” When it comes to creating a cosy set-up, Sa suggests: “Add lamps with low level light to create a nice atmosphere for evening work when the house might be quiet. Art and colour also make a work-space feel less clinical.”

Nicky Dobree, founder of her eponymous interior design studio, advises a varied approach when it comes to playing with textures and layers to increase the comfort and add interest to the room you are working from. “These layers can be art, books, objects or throws. By making it personal, you tell a story and add depth and personality to a room. Play with contrasts and don’t be afraid to mix it up.” She also urges us to play with scale: “Having large table lamps, for example, add impact as well as creating a cosy atmosphere in a room without compromising on the space.” Dobree is also passionate about having comfortable furniture in the room for those precious moments of downtime. “One of my regularly visited showrooms at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is Flexform, whose sofas I think are among the most comfortable in the world,” she says, also naming Stark Carpet and Porta Romana as some of her other go-to showrooms.

Working from her London flat, Natalia Miyar of Natalia Miyar Atelier shares her tips for a workspace that inspires creativity and productivity, while also utilising space in a practical way. “This is an opportunity to transform space that feels underused and make it into something both inviting and productive,” she says. “A corner in a reception room or bedroom near to a window to provide good light in a task area is ideal. Bedroom spaces can often be quieter than the general areas in the home, providing an oasis of calm.”

Main image, top: Katharine Pooley. Second row, left to right: Claire Sa, Nicky Dobree and Natalia Miyar