There are five things Ferdinand Dimailig, principal architect at Box Studios, considers when designing a better work-from-home space: ergonomics, light, nature, comfort and color.
“I think what makes a home a place of well-being is to have different places to work,” he said. “So we talked about maybe a living room. You could also be in the dining room. As you can see, there’s very muted tones in this space.”
Dimailig says muted colors and neutral tones as a base for a room and then adding pops of color is ideal.
“If you have the neutral tones and using that — what we’re calling the field colors — and periodically add a little red to that … as you can see, if I start creating more of a feature element there, it’s overstimulating,” he said.
Orange and yellow tones boost creativity. Red energizes. Blues and soft green colors provide a calming effect.
“Acoustics is very good for focus,” Dimailig added. “So it’s another option, or something that people can do to elevate their space … Curtains, which typically everybody has in their homes, also tend to grab those sounds as well.”
When it comes to ergonomics, it’s finding the right kind of chairs and tables that fit you much like a shoe. Dimailig said one size does not fit all.
“I don’t know if cost plays as much as comfort. You can probably find some good chairs at your local merchandise store,” he said. “It’s all preference.”
Sometimes it’s going back to nature and having items that remind us of that for good additions to your space.
“The plants — large, small plants, whether they’re live or artificial … it brings you back in to calm in nature,” Dimailig said.
But it doesn’t have to be plants; it can be anything that reminds you of nature.
“It doesn’t necessarily need to be that we have natural stone. We have particles in here that are natural,” Dimailig said. “During your planning of your office space, we talk about positioning your workstation to nature.”
When it comes to lighting, Dimailig suggested lighting anywhere from 3500 Kelvin to 5000 Kelvin.
“The blue is more of a natural light so it creates an alertness,” he said. “So as you’re focusing and you’re reading, you want more of this.”
Considering light, ergonomics, nature, comfort and color, if you only had one thing to change, Dimailig recommended lighting.
“Lighting is a simple use of natural material, or, let’s say, a natural environment, that allows you to be more productive,” he said.