Nice day at the workstation, darling?

Home working is on the increase, but an office needn't take over your living space.

ME PLC is one of the fastest growing companies in the world today. Jerry McGuire tapped into the feel-good factor of the modern day Davids who defeat the corporate Goliath. Entrepreneurial spirit, e-mail and the increasing instability of salaried staff jobs have made the home office a crucial part of the urban interior. Space is at a premium in any major city. Few of us have the luxury to convert a whole room into the home office. A work station has to be integrated into a living space.

Rhonda Drakeford and Harry Woodrow, graphic designers

Graduates of St Martin's, Rhonda Drakeford and Harry Woodrow launched Multistorey, a graphic design consultancy, from their ground floor flat in South London. Their office, shared with a surly black cat called Humphrey, is the larger of two bedrooms. "Work space had to come first, because we need a lot of desk space and floor space when we work," says Drakeford. "We've put a clothes rail rail across one wall to give us more space in our bedroom, but that doesn't get in the way."

"We don't like to work exclusively with computer graphics," says Woodrow. "We like work to be more tactile. So by the end of the day, I'm knee deep in paper, wood, glass, whatever." Yet apart from the clothes rail and the desk, the office is surprisingly minimal. Two Charles Eames chairs, part of a set of four, stand behind a home-made desk. These were not cheap, but "when you're designing on a computer, it's important to have the right chairs," says Drakeford. Behind the desk is a piece designed for the Urban Retreat Aveda salon in Harvey Nichols. Images from other projects, like the interiors department of American Retro, lie on the desk under Humphrey.

One of Harry's St Martins pieces - inspired by The Good, The Bad & the Ugly - dominates one wall of the office. The partnership, living and working together, is balanced. "Harry is the only person who can criticise me and I will listen," says Drakeford. "The only thing we do disagree on is me only being allowed to smoke in the kitchen."

Multistorey, 0171 735 1809

Charlotte Schepke, director, the Agency Contemporary Art Gallery

Charlotte Schepke found the ultimate solution for the home office in her Belsize Park apartment. Her central office is in her gallery in EC2, but she needs to work at home, too. Her flat is open plan - apart from the bedroom and bathroom - so the workstation would have to fit in with her living room/kitchen. "I think it is unhealthy to sleep and work in the same room," she says. "But I wouldn't feel comfortable with a desk in the corner of my living room. When I want to relax, I don't even want to see evidence of my working life." Already familiar with the work of designer Anand Zens, who designed the celebrated interiors of Belgo Noord and Ecco, Schepke commissioned the maverick designer to make a hidden home office. Zens built two concave cabinets into the parallel corners of her living room, flanking a central fireplace.

Built on castors, these doors - inlaid with shelf space - roll back to reveal a high-tech computer system, desk and library enclave. "This was a very special, unique commission from Anand," says Schepke. "The concept was to completely clear any clutter from the living space. Anand said he could paint the units into the scheme of the room so they would look to the naked eye like a rather strange wall. I wanted to feature them and I like the grain of the birch wood he used". They are heavy as an Egyptian sarcophagus to roll open. "I have over a hundred art books and catalogues which I didn't want to display in my living room. I particularly like the concept of closing a door on my working day and shutting it away for the night."

Anand Zens, 0171 793 9598

Anna Ryder-Richardson, TV interiors producer

Anna Ryder-Richardson, new girl on the BBC's Changing Rooms, is one of the chattering classes' favourite targets. Even on a brief holiday in Barbados, she was accosted by a discussion group round the pool, debating her choice of tangerine and lime for one changed room. "My home office is living proof that Changing Rooms isn't fixed," she says. "I really had 48 hours to redecorate, because the BBC publicity department wanted to photograph me at home." Living in an apartment behind the King's Road, Ryder-Richardson says, "I chose location over space. I've made an office space out of the smallest corner between my sitting room and kitchen. If I didn't work at home, it would be a breakfast bar. As it is, I only need my laptop, telephone and draftsman's drawing board. I've intentionally steered away from industrial style. When I moved in the walls were grey, the carpet was grey. It looked like a dreary office anyway. I laid the bleached wood floor first then painted the entire place beige. But you get so bored with beige and bleached wood." Now the kitchen/office/sitting room is a symphony of sugared almond pastel. "I don't like painting all the walls a uniform colour. So I chose aquamarine, duck egg blue and a yellowy green." She then whipped-up the gently curving desk and shelves herself. Knocking an egg-shaped window through to the kitchen lightened up the office corner, as do the aluminium blinds from Ikea. "My bar stool- style desk chair and bakelite telephone are Fifties retro from Flying Duck in Greenwich. A home office should never be too sober or humourless."

The new series of 'Changing Rooms' starts on 10 March at 8pm on BBC1

The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Melissa and Joan Rivers together at an NBC event in May 2014
peopleDaughter Melissa thanks fans for 'outpouring of support'
Life and Style
Life and Style
Life and Style
One in six drivers cannot identify a single one of the main components found under the bonnet of an average car
motoringOne in six drivers can't carry out basic under-bonnet checks
Pupils educated at schools like Eton (pictured) are far more likely to succeed in politics and the judiciary, the report found
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash
tvSimon Cowell blasts BBC for breaking 'gentlemen's agreement' in scheduling war
peopleWrestling veteran drifting in and out of consciousness
Arts and Entertainment
Shady character: Jon Hamm as sports agent JB Bernstein in Million Dollar Arm
filmReview: Jon Hamm finally finds the right role on the big screen in Million Dollar Arm
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Project Coordinator - Cisco Partner - £110 p/d

    £110 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Project Coordinator (SC Cleared), Cisco Go...

    Recruitment Consultants - IT - Trainee / Experienced

    £20000 - £30000 per annum + OTE £40-50K first year: SThree: The SThree group i...

    Primary teachers needed for supply in Huntingdon

    £21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary teachers need...

    SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

    £30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

    Day In a Page

    Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

    The phoney war is over

    Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
    From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

    Salomé: A head for seduction

    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
    From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

    British Library celebrates all things Gothic

    Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
    The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

    Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

    The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

    In search of Caribbean soul food

    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
    11 best face powders

    11 best face powders

    Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
    England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
    Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
    Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

    Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

    Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
    Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

    Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

    The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
    America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

    America’s new apartheid

    Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone