You planned a work corner in the living room. How did you go about it?

My goal was for the home office workspace to blend elegantly into the living room. So I chose materials and colours that were the same and coordinating. The desk in the lounge is against the wall, not in the middle of the room, so it plays more of a secondary role – living is the main function here. The carpet under the desk clearly defines and delimits the working area. The visitor chair on glides has a homely and dainty look, which fits in better with the whole situation than a classic office chair. It’s the same colour as the cushion.

Do you work from home? How do you manage to switch off at night?

I work from home, and as a freelancer I count myself lucky to have the luxury of a dedicated office space. Unfortunately I’m not great at relaxing when evening comes and I often spend longer sitting at my desk than planned – so I try to plan fixed working hours at home too, and stick to them as far as possible. When I finish work I pack my stuff away, shut the door on my office and resolve not to open it again. (laughs) I don’t have a commute home from the office, so I make sure I have an improvised “transition phase”. That might be a walk, a run or a yoga routine – sometimes I even focus on my garden when things are looking really desperate there!

How do you organise your day?

As I have two school-age children, my first priority in the morning is to get them to school on time and without stressing them. After that I have a quick yoga session and a small breakfast, and then I sit down at my desk. First I draw up a to-do list for my home office day. In the morning I usually undertake planning and creative tasks, as long as no online meetings are scheduled – at that point I can still think straight and I have better ideas. My lunchbreak is either based on my children’s needs or around my workflow. After lunch I often work through my list, deal with paperwork, and write quotes or invoices. By late afternoon I start to find creative tasks easy again!

One thing that helps me through the different work phases at home is to use different positions: I sit down to do paperwork and stand for planning, while I stand up or move around for creative work (looking for samples, comparing, holding up to the light, etc.), I walk around while I’m on the phone, and sometimes I even like to go out into the garden! This way my body is dynamic all the time – and so are my ideas.

Can you give us a secret tip: What’s the best way to hang pictures?

There are several things to bear in mind here, and of course that doesn’t just apply to your workspace. (laugh) First of all it’s important to consider the environment and size proportions: A big picture goes on a big wall, or with larger furniture, while a small picture needs a small wall.

  • Effect: a horizontal alignment makes walls look wider, while hanging pictures vertically gives height.
  • Height: Always hang pictures at eye level, in other words plan the position so the centre of the picture is about 1.6 metres off the floor. Bear in mind whether they will be seen from a standing or sitting perspective, or in passing. It’s a good idea to use an existing line within the room as orientation.
  • Preparation: You can experiment with the layout on the floor first, and once you start hanging them it’s essential to use tools like masking tape and a spirit
  • Rows and edges: All pictures are aligned to a (hypothetical) line, which might be the edge of the picture or an imaginary line in the centre of the picture. The distance between each picture should always be the same. If you hang a group of pictures, the best way to create an uncluttered look is to ensure identical frames and mounts.

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