study
WORKING HARD

Working from home is the new normal. Whether you have plans to set up shop in a styled up Mad Men-inspired office or need to carve out a corner of a room to call your own, these designer ideas for your desktop, practical ideas to keep things neat and tidy and slick solutions for even the smallest office spaces will keep you motivated to keep up the good work.

CREATIVELY CURATED

Cape Town stylist Shelley Street combines her love for a monochromatic colour palette and found natural objects in her work-from-home studio. Form and function are perfect partners in this space that can double up as a shoot location at any time.


Photography: Greg Cox and Warren Heath | Bureaux;Production: Sven Alberding

DESIGN NOTES

  • Floating shelves are ideal for aesthetes who love to play with their favourite pieces and discoveries - no need for nails! Simply lean prints against the wall and group finds together as you please.
  • The simple palette is the perfect canvas for seasonal changes – a textured rug in the winter or blossoms in the spring are just two easy ways to change the mood in a flash.
CORNER OFFICE

How to transform a formerly nondescript corner into something seriously impressive? Paint or paper the background in a dramatic colour or print! This teeny space oozes urban smarts and designer appeal.


Photography: Greg Cox and Warren Heath | Bureaux; Production: Sven Alberding

DESIGN NOTES

  • Simplicity is key to the success of this small yet sorted desktop empire! Simple wooden shelves are suspended on black brackets while the shiny stone top is a sophisticated and elegant touch.
  • Playful tchotchkes and flashes of metallic are the undeniable marks of a creative mind at work.
VINTAGE CHARMS

A contemporary shared office space evokes a private gentleman’s club atmosphere – with none of the snobbery and all of the style cred. Raw timber floorboards, a graphic Persian rug in unconventional brights and a gallery wall featuring a mix of classical and more modern landscapes together tell the tale of its owners who make their own interior rules.


Photography: Greg Cox and Warren Heath | Bureaux; Production: Sven Alberding

DESIGN NOTES

  • Love the look? Use vintage finds like wooden tennis racquets to emulate a tongue-in-cheek sports club atmosphere.
  • Plywood shelves were used to build the no-nonsense shelves in this private library-like space. An antique Cape refectory table was stripped of its traditional glossy varnish and given a matt finish instead – bringing it straight into the 21st century.
CONTEMPORARY CLASSIC

Charcoal grey walls and a glass fronted cabinet lined with collectables and memorabilia are a striking focal point in this smart office space that embraces both classic and contemporary style perfectly.


Photography: Greg Cox and Warren Heath | Bureaux; Production: Sven Alberding

DESIGN NOTES

  • The glass tabletop and no-nonsense trestle legs helps this home office to embrace modernity while the patchwork Persian and handcarved chair pay homage to the past.
  • Exotic collectables dotted around the room are a fascinating decorative detail and invite conversation.

More and more we’re embracing that a high functioning home office area doesn’t need to be huge. All that’s needed is an area you can call your own, space to think and sometimes a chance to shut out the world for a while (thank you noise cancelling earphones!)


Photography: Greg Cox and Warren Heath | Bureaux; Production: Sven Alberding

DESIGN NOTES

  • A corner of a bedroom or living room can easily be converted into a discreet spot for work – and one that doesn’t have to interfere with your preferred aesthetic. The sleek desk doesn’t skimp on storage but together with the chair ensures high design standards are met.
  • Here, the monochrome palette and the addition of plants as living accessories completes the tasteful, utterly liveable picture.
WORK POD

This compact sleep-work-play unit has a place for everything and everything has its place. It is a perfectly conceived space with a clearly defined sleeping area and place to work too. A bracketing system with units that slide up and down to form seating or act as storage is at the heart of the design mastery here.


Photography: Greg Cox and Warren Heath | Bureaux; Production: Sven Alberding

DESIGN NOTES

  • The laptop bureau has a folding front that acts as a perfect countertop (or a spot to enjoy a between-deadlines sandwich).
  • Tiny homes are here to stay and their success comes down to careful (and hardworking) design and aesthetic considerations. The same philosophies of less-is-more can be applied to working from home in an apartment too.
GALLERY SHOW

A lifelong collection of much loved art exhibition posters is elevated to gallery status in this retro-fabulous home office and studio.


Photography: Greg Cox and Warren Heath | Bureaux; Production: Sven Alberding

DESIGN NOTES

  • A pinboard crammed with tourist stand and museum shop postcards becomes an art installation of its own.
  • The steel legged and glass topped desk is a functional choice that embraces this Mid Century modern aesthetic perfectly.
YOUNG AT HEART

This ultra cool pad could suit the needs of everyone from teen to guitar-toting Dad. The utilitarian plywood wall detail is a pragmatic, no-frills choice that ticks the on-trend box while dramatic black details are so simple yet so strong.


Photography: Greg Cox and Warren Heath | Bureaux;Production: Sven Alberding

DESIGN NOTES

  • This home office embraces practical must-haves (you can never go wrong with cubular shelving) and marries them with trendy touches like hexagonal cork tiles for real life Pinterest moments.  
  • The wall-mounted rack is an efficient solution to avoid clutter while the trio of treasured guitars become an eye-catching design feature of their own.
SPACE MAKER

This tiny corner has been transformed into a hardworking work-from-home zone with enough space for a laptop, stationery, filing and reference essentials. A simple wall-mounted unit provides ample storage space while the metallic touches along with the hand woven chair and sheepskin cover bring in just the right amount of laidback luxury.


Photography: Greg Cox and Warren Heath | Bureaux; Production: Sven Alberding

DESIGN NOTES

  • The simple palette of all-white and wood is a cohesive and uncomplicated choice and a perfect solution for a small space. Painted the same crisp white as the wall, the desk unit ‘melts’ into the background perfectly.
  • Keep clutter at bay in your work-from-home zone by accessorising with coordinating containers for paperwork and other essentials.
  • The shelving unit works hard but is anything but corporate – look for homeware pieces (like bedside tables to slot under desktops) to use in your at-home headquarters.
ALL LINED UP

Two tables of the same height are lined up to form an impressive desktop in this eclectic creative studio. The large room is dotted with furniture and décor items that command attention - from the oversized table lamp to mid century leather chairs.


Photography: Greg Cox and Warren Heath | Bureaux; Production: Sven Alberding

DESIGN NOTES

  • Two tables of the same height are lined up to form an impressive desktop in this eclectic creative studio.
  • The large room is dotted with furniture and décor items that command attention - from the oversized table lamp to mid century leather chairs.

(Words: Vicki Sleet; Cover image photography: Daqi Zhang)

Tips
  • A chunky table with hand turned legs is given a lick of black paint and teamed with an Eames office chair – it’s a playful and charming combination.
  • If you’re going to be spending hours at your desk, make sure you invest in the best chair you can afford – while good looks are great, you want something that will support your spine while burning the midnight oil.
  • When marrying old décor details with new – do it with bravery. The secret to the success of this room is the tongue-in-cheek old school narrative propped up with details like the worn desk chairs, a vintage globe and a vase full of billiard balls.
  • The dark paint detail of the wall of shelves helps pull this office look together, creating a sense of intimacy and calm.
Products

Room By Room Guide Filled With Expert Advice