The Insider: Make your home office motivational


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The Independent Online

I recently read some research supporting what companies such as Google know instinctively: that open-plan offices increase innovation. It got me thinking about productivity-boosting office-design tricks – but for home workspaces. So I asked Sejal Parekh of Trifle Creative (

Out with the trad

"Avoid traditional 'office' furniture: it is often expensive and ugly," says Parekh. "There are so many cost-effective, beautifully designed items that work better: we made pen pots from Lego for one client."

Away grey

"Natural light and colour are key to a productive workspace: grey offices equal a grey workforce."

Space Odyssey

"Make different zones, such as a comfy area (however small) for reading documents away from the distraction of your computer."

Smooth moves

"Flexibility keeps things fresh: try putting wheels on Ikea Expedit [shelving] units to create movable dividers."

Write on

"Notebooks don't bring ideas to life. Get creative on walls or even your desk with IdeaPaint ( it looks like regular white paint, but can be written on then wiped clean."

Pin it to win it

"To keep you inspired and fresh, fill an 'inspiration wall' with random finds and change it frequently. Similarly, a drawer of random stimuli (packaging, magazine cut-outs, textures) will help when you're stuck on a problem – it takes you to a different mind-set."

Foundation course

"Get the un-sexy stuff, such as storage, right (don't have loads of rubbish under your desk!) and you'll get a space you feel proud of, enjoy being in and aren't distracted by. You'll automatically feel more creative and productive."

Find Kate's blog on affordable interiors at