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Working from home - The new 'office'

The effects of the Covid-19 world health pandemic continue to unfold and we continue to adapt to meet the new challenges it presents.

For those of us lucky enough not to have suffered the loss of a loved one the impacts have been mainly practical in nature, but increasingly we are realising that the impacts could be further reaching e.g. on our mental well being, on our fitness.

The lockdown meant many people have had to spend more time at home than they typically had and this in turn has lead to many people re-evaluating their homes and how they use them. As architects we are interested in how to make the most of space and how good design can create delight.

Working from home has enabled a large majority of professionals and businesses to continue their work in a safe space and for some, a more productive space away from normal office distractions. However, some have gained new distractions, whether that is having their children home because their school is currently closed, the cat or dog seeking their undivided attention, or just trying to share the same home and working space with their other half for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s been a challenge for a lot of us!

So, if you have found yourself thinking about the limitations of your existing home by asking yourself what you can you do to better adapt the space you have? Or realising you need to improve how it works, or maybe that you need more storage, or having a space that offers peace and quiet away from distractions would be beneficial? We can help you by finding bespoke solutions that fit your home, lifestyle and budget.

There are a range of options depending on what space you have to work with in the first place.

If for example you are only living in a small studio apartment, you may want to consider installing some clever space saving solutions such as having a stowaway office desk to create a new office space. An example of an off the shelf option is something like this wall mounted desk by Urban Outfitters.

Bespoke options are our speciality and we liked this example by Designer, furniture maker and builder of timber cabins and Jeremy Pitts for a compact desk space incorporated into this cabin in the woods.

Convert existing spaces e.g. a spare bedroom

A cost-effective way of creating your own office space at home, could be to convert unused space e.g. a box bedroom or storage room in your home. In 2016 Ironmongery Direct gathered data on unused space in our homes across Britain, which revealed that 65% of households have an unused spare bedroom.

Now is a great time to better utilise the spaces you have and we can help with designs and any necessary approvals that may be required should you want a bespoke solution.

Plan for an extension

Extending your home, whether that involves increasing the footprint of your house, or converting your loft space, an extension is a great way of creating the extra space you need without moving house and can add value to your property in the long term.

In most cases, if you are thinking of extending your home contact us for a free initial consultation and we can advise you on the process of obtaining the required statutory approvals (e.g. planning consent, listed building consent, conservation area consent and building regulations). hmad|architects have a proud 100% planning success rate due to our collaborative approach to planning. If you appoint us we will spend time with you to discuss your project aspirations and needs and guide the project from start to finish. Our fees are typically far less than the value our designs will add to your home.

Garden cabins, rooms and pods

An increasingly popular trend in home working, especially when you are seeking a quiet space away from any home distractions, is a garden cabin, pod or building.

The added benefit of a space like this, is that it creates separation between your home and work spaces, which is great for when you reach the end of your work day and need to switch off. Creating that separation ensures that work doesn’t interfere with home life, or vice versa.

There are several companies now offering ‘off the shelf’ garden pods and cabins which are often pre-fabricated structures and very cost effective. These offer a good solution if you don’t want a bespoke solution.

However, if you want something different designed with you in mind or to fit your house, if your house is historic or listed an ‘off the shelf’ solution may not be appropriate. This is where we are well placed to help. hmad|architects would work with you, your needs and aspirations to design a unique, functional, comfortable home office or workspace that unlocks the true potential, out of any space, unused outbuilding or plot of land as part of your home.

For many of us the adaptations we have had to make are having a knock-on effect to our work/home life. People talk about ‘resetting’ priorities and can see the benefits of cutting out most commuting to/from work every day.

Imagine being able to set your alarm later, take your time getting ready for the day and walking across your garden in the fresh morning air, coffee in hand, less than a minute later entering your unique workplace – inspired by it being just how you want it - to start your work day.

If you are looking to unlock the potential from the unused spaces in your home, to adapt a space to work from home or to simply create somewhere to relax, enjoy a hobby, entertain or accommodate guests get in touch with us today to book your FREE initial 30 minute consultation with one of our experienced Architects.

01392 459777 or

Check out our Pinterest home office board for more home office inspiration!

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