Isolation House

One week in at Level 4 for New Zealanders and our homes and how they accommodate our needs is really being put to the test. 

Think about the different activities you want to maintain that you may have previously been able to do elsewhere but now need to do at home. As well as a being makeshift workplace (per two!), we now need our homes to accommodate a whole new set of activities well as all the normal things like be somewhere we share a meal, bathe, watch TV and go to sleep.

All the jokes about wanting to murder our spouses by week three aside, how can we make the most with what we’ve got? 

How can we allocate different zones for these activities or create different room layouts and set-ups that are changed through the course of our day?

Unless you are out working as an Essential Service (thank you!) you may well be finding yourself working from home. Here are some ideas for getting through our current situation and some beautiful home workplaces to enjoy.

  • If you can create a workspace out of the way to focus in, do so. I suggest not in your bedroom, you want this to remain a place associated with rest. Also not a dark, cold, miserable basement — because it’s dark, cold and miserable.
  • If your desk is also used for other purposes such as a dining table, make it easy for yourself to pack-up when you clock-off so you have clear space to share meals or play cards without your To Do list dragging you back into work mode. Are there boxes you can use or a nearby shelf you can clear to pack-up into?
  • Reduce distractions. I’m always an advocate of having nothing around that I don’t know to be useful or believe to be beautiful (thank you William Morris) but now is a really good time to act on this. We are wanting our spaces to do double- or triple-duty, so move things out that you don’t need. Especially around your desk, can you pack up the ornaments and accessories that will get in the way physically and visually?
  • Manage noise. Noise travels and even working under a blanket is unlikely to make a difference. As well as using headphones, can you book quiet-time with those in your bubble, or takes swaps managing the little people in your bubble.
  • Remember to give yourself good light and seating. Watch the laptop on your lap or being propped up in bed — our backs are precious and you don’t want to get a sore one on top of everything else. My friend has taken to putting her laptop on a chair on a table so she can stand!
  • Don’t forget the joy. Can you relocate a rug to reinforce your new zone? Once cleared of distractions there could be room in your space for something that adds colour and a bit of joy. Find some fresh green leaves or prop up your favourite photo or picture book.

Our environments affect us. I hope yours is working well for you and feel free to get in touch if you’d like some advice.

Honour Creative: Seatoun New Build Photography Bonny Beattie

Designed by Studio DiDeA Photo by Serena Eller

Eastwell House Designed by Technē Architecture + Interior Design Photography by Tom Blachford

Designed by Decus Interiors

Designed by Bryant Alsop Architects

Designed by 2LG Studio

Designed by Robson Rak Architects

Reading Room by Studio Carver