Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bring Your Work Home; One in 7 Londoners Work from Home. Ruth Bloomfield Finds Ways to Fit in a Home Office

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bring Your Work Home; One in 7 Londoners Work from Home. Ruth Bloomfield Finds Ways to Fit in a Home Office

Article excerpt

Byline: Ruth Bloomfield

MORE Londoners are giving up the expensive and frustrating daily commute to work to go it alone at home, with new research revealing about one in seven -- or 14.6 per cent -- of the capital's workforce has taken this route. The rise in the trend in London over the past decade is the highest in the UK, a Trades Union Congress poll shows.

Home working requires a workspace. Even if you can't dedicate a whole room to it, there are solutions for you to carve out your own zone. Architect Claire Sa, director at De Rosee Sa (deroseesa.com), chose this option when remodelling a flat in Notting Hill.

She says: "Having a formal study is not always possible, so we decided to have a little niche 'kitchen cupboard' office space." The office has been built into a large floor-to-ceiling cabinet, with doors that complement the kitchen decor. The desk is made with Carrara marble to match the worktops, with a removable panel to hide plug sockets and cables.

Shelves and drawers have been placed above head height and built from painted MDF. Sa adds: "We put the desk at counter height just to make it feel less formal."

AN OFFICE ON THE LANDING All sorts of unused corners can be converted into a home office. Barbara Genda, founder of Barbara Genda Bespoke Furniture (barbara-genda.com), created a workspace with plenty of storage on a half-landing of a house in Chelsea.

"Our client had been working on the kitchen table because she could not think where to put a little study," she says. But the landing was wide enough and the perfect place for it. Bespoke floor-to-ceiling shelves and cupboards, built from lacquered MDF, have been installed on either side of the landing.

Genda designed an oak table, stained to match the wood floor and with a leather top, to avoid a look that was "too built-in". The cost of a similar project would be about PS4,000 plus VAT for the shelves and PS800 plus VAT for the table. A wide hallway can also make a good office. Interior designer Ben Bambrough, managing director of bB Design House (bbdesignhouse.com), worked on a Battersea home where a 6ft-wide hall between the living room and kitchen has been given a "floating" timber desk. …

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