Fresh ideas for a workspace that matches your style

For many people the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s not just when there’s a party, adults and kids love to gather around their hearth on a daily basis. 

But people don’t just cook, eat and talk in the kitchen, they can also work here – so in this article we want to give you a few furnishing ideas and design tips for a creative zone that’s usually used for more culinary purposes. The thing is, even without a separate workspace or dedicated office corner in another room, the work you do at home can still be productive and focused.  

Store more! The 2:8 principle is helpful here

You can see the effect of the 2:8 principle most clearly in a kitchen: you can create an uncluttered impression in your space by putting away most of your stuff. Interior design experts recommend that the ideal is to have 20% of your things on display (preferably the pretty ones) and store 80% of them out of sight. From this we can conclude: the secret of a well-planned interior design strategy is mostly a question of intelligent storage, and this pays off in particular if the home office is occupying space in the kitchen.

Slick design with a recurring theme

A harmonious interior effect usually features a recurring theme: an element, colour or material that recurs throughout. One trick you can use to give your home some structure is to repeat the same or similar elements at several points. This means intentionally revisiting the same colour, texture, form or line in several rooms around the house. This makes it look as though your furniture matches and you have thought out your design carefully.  

Harmonise your colour scheme with the 60+30+10+B rule

Some people who hope to bring more colour into their homes with accessories realise that the additional colours don’t work well and the resulting look is not harmonious. What’s the answer? Just add in a few more colours! Using the same principle as the golden section, a lot of interior designers like to apply the 60/30/10+B rule. What this means is that 60% of the room should be designed in one or two colours. 30% should consist of accent colours similar to the main colours or in harmony with them. 10% of the space can then be decorated with contrasting colours. The +B is a small amount of black to underline the other colours.  

Designing still life scenes and grouping objects

Accessories look their best when they are grouped together rather than lined up. Here are some basic principles that are useful:

  • Use different forms, materials and sizes as a basis. 
  • Include the following features in your design: a high point (e.g. a high chandelier), a low point (a bulbous vase), a focus (a detail to serve as the main attraction) – and don’t forget an organic form.
  • Think in triangles.
  • Always have an odd number in your arrangement.
  • Position objects so that they overlap.
  • Work in three dimensions, building up layers.

An arrangement example (for a home office) in the kitchen: Group oils, herbs and chopping boards together.

An arrangement example on your desk: Group pens, brushes, tools or stationery to create a still life.

Interior design using light (and shade)

Shade can be a source of atmosphere in a space – although that doesn’t apply to workspace illumination. If you have a ceiling light, then you need an additional light source to help you see properly. For your desk the best option is a direct task light. Diffuse or indirect light is better for a relaxing atmosphere and is ideal for decorative lighting.

Isovist is a key aspect of wellbeing

Have you heard of Isovist? Architects use this term to refer to what you can see from a certain point. This can be an important wellbeing factor if you have a workspace in the kitchen or dining room. To explain this, we need to go back a few thousand years in our evolution: at that time it was a crucial advantage to have a good view of your environment. Nowadays we also often intuitively choose places with good Isovist to allow us a clear perspective on our surroundings. 

Admittedly we sometimes need a space for privacy as well. So a lounge, dining room or kitchen/living area should have both of these elements. Use low bookshelves or plants to create secluded corners in an open room.

The recipe for success when your home office is in the kitchen:

  • multifunctional furniture
  • adequate storage
  • good lighting
  • effective visual/acoustic screening.

Learn more in the workbook

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