How to create an inspiring home office

2 years ago Posted by: skinflint Lighting advice

Time to get playful with your home working set-up, above. If you're short on space, try flexible solutions such as Less is Better's Fold Desk and plug-in-and-go vintage lighting pieces from our Home Working Lighting collection.

Love it or loathe it, working from home is here to stay. Whilst the number of us choosing to WFH (that’s right, it has its own acronym) was steadily on the rise before Coronavirus came along, many of us were forced into improvised setups once the pandemic hit, discovering the hard way how tricky it can be balancing the day job alongside household clutter and nagging family members.

However, with the easing of restrictions on the horizon, it’s likely that many will continue to take advantage of the flexibility and various other benefits working from home can bring. Now more than ever we realise the importance of creating an inspirational home office space. Thankfully it isn’t too difficult to achieve a practical and attractive space with advice from our vintage lighting and styling experts.

Above: A salvaged 1950s Russian army field wall light illuminates the desk below, whilst the floor light, an original Eagle Alusig converted American traffic light mounted on a wooden surveyor's tripod, can be easily adjusted for additional task lighting.

How we feel is directly linked to how productive and focussed we are. Therefore a well-designed, dedicated workspace can help shut out distractions, center the mind, and inspire creativity. “Think about the location of your office - is it in a shared space or do you have your own building?” says stylist Anya Rice. “Space informs all the styling decisions, including layout, furniture, and colour palette.”

If you already have a dedicated office or study room where you can close the door and separate daily life from your work, you’re one of the lucky ones. But even those of us short on space can create a nook or area that is a direct reflection of our personal style, passion and aspirations. Consider favourite colours that you might not have in other areas of your home, artwork that inspires blue-sky thinking, and considered or collected objects that can keep you grounded if work can get stressful.

“Think about the flow of the space - if it’s a shared area consider a foldaway desk or a desk that takes up less visual weight in the room,” continues Anya. “Start with the pieces you want to invest in; a timeless desk, great lighting, and an ergonomic chair.” Comfort is key in your home working space, and smart design can make all the difference with these key big pieces. Your chair should offer strong lower back support and allow your feet to sit flat on the floor, all whilst fitting comfortably under your desk. Likewise, your desk should ideally be specifically engineered at the correct height for long periods of study (balancing your laptop on your lap just won’t do).

A converted 1930s medical heat therapy light by Panexsol Austria makes a functional table light, above.

Lighting is a hugely important factor to consider - from a functional as well as aesthetic perspective. At skinflint our vintage lighting ticks both boxes. Every desk needs functional and flexible lighting – ready to adapt to whatever you need. Consider task lighting and pose-able pieces such as machinist lights and desk lamps to create brightly lit workspaces anywhere in the home to inspire concentration and focus during these times. Similarly, a stylish floor lamp, or an elegant pendant light, can complement your space and how you work day-to-day.

Lighting can also be another useful way of dividing and separating work areas from relaxation, creating different zones in the home with the flick of a switch. Not only essential for improving mood and our resulting behaviour, lighting zones can also be beneficial for energy-saving, enabling us to illuminate areas in use with light appropriate to the purpose, switching off certain zones when not in use. Once work is over, just the physical switching off of a light can give us the mental switch-off we need in a home-working environment; transforming the space back into our homes and sanctuaries.

Layer up your lights (l-r): An original 1940s magnifying work light by EDL, an original Eagle Alusig converted American traffic light mounted on a wooden surveyor's tripod, and a cluster of two 1950s industrial Simplex pendant lights salvaged from a manufacturing facility in the Midlands, UK, suspended at various heights.

Continuing this idea of creating a home sanctuary, another important element to consider when planning an office is storage, says Anya. “There are some great solutions on the market that can hide all those unwanted files and make the space feel light and uncluttered.”

Similarly, the trend of biophilic design (incorporating the natural environment into interiors through the use of nature, space and place) has been proven to aid our health and wellbeing and lower stress levels. Working near an open window with the sights and sounds of the outdoors is a simple trick to boost your mood and productivity, as does taking advantage of natural daylight and fresh air as much as possible. Bringing plants into your space can help purify the air (simultaneously absorbing carbon dioxide whilst creating oxygen through the process of photosynthesis) as well as providing a connection to the natural world. If you don’t have light space, faux plants or dried flowers can also work. You could also mix natural elements such as wood and stone with soft materials to absorb sound, as we’ve done here with wall hangings and natural stoneware ceramics.

Explore our Home Working Lighting collection

With thanks to our local Cornish makers who helped create our inviting home working space: Less is Better, Badger and Birch, Block Design, Julia Florence, S.M. Ceramics, Rose Moon Textiles, Scarlet Paperie, Paper Birch, Atlantic Quilting Co., Kitty Hillier, Wendy Wilbraham and Flowers with M.


Celebrating the launch of our home office lighting collection, we’ve teamed up with award-winning handcrafted furniture brand Less is Better to give you the chance to win a Fold desk and one of our 1950’s Eastern Block Machinist’s Floor Lights.

Less is Better is also offering skinflint subscribers an exclusive 15% off its entire range. To reveal the discount code and enter the giveaway just follow the link below. Good luck!

Enter the giveaway and reveal the discount code.