'We'll all be back in office in a few weeks,' they said, when we all started working from home back in March. No point buying in a whole new home office set-up then, you thought, only to find yourself still perched uncomfortably at your dining room table nearly a year later. And, while the end may be in sight, it has become clear to most that the 9 to 5 is never going to be quite the same again.
If your office space is all mahogany panelling and mid-century antiques, your desk space should reflect the same aesthetic. Lighting is key – the green banker’s lamp is a classic, but we also like these vintage table lamps by Laurel (Don Draper had a similar pair in his office in Mad Men). Throw in colonial-style seating, such as this Pierre Jeanneret design, and maybe even a home bar for real Roger Sterling attitude.
A minimal, uncluttered desk space creates a calm environment in which to work and means you can find all your essentials easily. But stripped-back doesn’t have to mean sterile: add some handmade pottery by Kana London (whose mugs double up as penholders) or Florence St George, and introduce warmth with smart textiles and potted plants. We also love Hay’s Kaleido tray for colourful keepsakes.
Work-from-home life can get lonely, so add some furry friends in the shape of Seletti’s mice lights to turn your desk into the coolest of remote-working spaces. High-design touches, like this abstract chair by Verner Panton, will help get you in the right mind frame, and if you work with your hands (or if you’re simply being extra-careful because of COVID-19), make sure they’re being looked after too, with a nourishing hand cream that doesn’t look out of place among your art (we love Officine Universelle de Buly, too).
Panton red chair, £259, vitra.com; hexagonal pine pencil pot, £95, pentreath-hall.com; palmarosa and vetiver hand cream, £15, austinaustinorganic.com; Seletti lamp, £66, johnlewis.com; Luke Edward Hall x The Lacquer Company tray, £395, matchesfashion.com
I salute anyone who can sit at a desk with the ocean in view and still concetrate on the task at hand, but if you’re of a more disciplined nature than I, make sure you create a space that doesn’t have you longing to leave. Graham & Greene’s gorgeous coral lamp has been on my wishlist for months, and a Gio Ponti peacock chair feels straight out of a Mallorcan beach retreat. Add a handful of chic accessories (no one does stationery quite like Papier) and you could kid yourself you’re in the Hamptons.
Gio Ponti chair, £1,093, pamono.co.uk; coral lamp, £125, grahamandgreen.co.uk; Hay Phi scissors, £22, kinhome.co; ikat cushion cover, approx. £20, tom-tailor.eu; mosaic notebook, £19.99, papier.com; pencil set, £3.37, etsy.com
Fed up with straining to see your screen? Altwork is redesigning the way we work, with screens suspended over a reclining chair – providing extra support for your back and reducing pressure on your neck. Counteract the rather clinical design with Mui’s streamlined virtual assistant, which looks like a panel of wood when not activated, and Plumen’s dimmable LED bulbs with 15,000 hours of power.
Altwork reclining work station, approx, £6,200, altwork.com; electronic notebook and pens, £199, iskn.co; Willow LED lightbulb, £25.00, ukshop.plumen.com; Mui touch panel, £445, mui.jp; Bluetooth desk, £3,820, gomodern.co.uk