Former HL Creative Director Katherine Botes recently renovated her own home and turned a redundant dining room into an inspiring new home office space. We chat to her about what drove the refurb and ask her to offer up some advice for anyone who’s looking to create a beautiful, productive work space in their own house.
What was the inspiration behind this particular makeover?
I, like many people, prefer a more open-plan way of living, eating and entertaining. So I identified that the room that the previous owners had used as a separate dining room could be better used as a private place to work. I reconfigured the living space to serve those functions and dedicated this room to a neat office space.
Why did you go with a black and white colour scheme?
A Scandi scheme that embraces the use of white, light wood and muted colour is simple to execute and won’t date too easily because it’s a minimalist look. It creates a quiet space.
Do you need a big budget to be able to do such extensive renovations? Or can these sorts of changes be made affordably?
An ODE floating desk and shelves are what transformed this space. Those may be an initial investment, but the rest of the changes – the new paint, the blind to screen the computer from harsh reflections, the graphic rug, the great De Steyl drawers and the Ceramic Factory planter – are less costly. You don’t need to do it all at once. Just keep adding personal touches to your space. But don’t overdo it – clutter doesn’t allow for a clear train of thought. That said, my desk at House and Leisure should not ever be photographed… it’s drowning in paper!
What tips do you have for people who want to turn an unused space in their house into a home office?
Think about which spaces you use most frequently. Do you find yourself always working at your dining room table? And always eating meals at your kitchen island? Then perhaps you need to consider how you are using your space more carefully. If you have the space, try to dedicate a separate room to an office. It’s easier to just close the door and leave work behind that way too!
From a design perspective, what can you do to make sure a home office lends itself to productivity?
A calm space should be more conducive to concentration. But do try to make your space inspiring, and consider your colour palette carefully. I once heard an advertising great quoted as saying, ‘Ideas don’t bounce well on beige’.