A daring colour choice, playful orange accents and a unique mix of furnishings combine to create a modern home office designed by Helena Cousins of Zinc Interiors Ltd. Having worked at home herself for many years, Helena wanted to create a space that was both ‘creative and innovative’, emphasising the fact that working at home doesn’t have to be boring.
With the rise of technology over the last two decades, the mantra ‘work here, work anywhere’ has never rang more true. People can now shift seamlessly from work to play, all in the comfort of their own home. Helena’s home office plays with this sense of fluidness effortlessly. It’s functional yet comfortable, professional yet homely, vibrant yet not overwhelming to the senses – something which Helena credits to her colour choices.
Picking Colourtrend’s vibrant Peacock Blue in Interior Matt finish to adorn the walls, alongside the softer hues of Subtle from Colourtrend’s Historic Range to coat the woodwork, Helena’s design is undeniably vivid, yet calming. “Colour affects us all on a psychological level. So, it’s really important when you choose a colour to choose something that is going to reflect your image,” Helena muses. “So for example, if you want a very zen-like relaxing zone, pick a blue, as blue tones are really calming. It stimulates, but not overly, so it is just a really good work colour.”
It is this sense of purpose and intent that really comes to the fore of Helena’s design. Whether it is the orange accents of the ring binders, the soft cushions and dangling throw, or rather the task lighting dangling directly overhead the desk – each colour and texture has a unique function, each accessory thoughtfully chosen to create a safe space for productivity and creativity.
“Instead of choosing one colour, I wanted to make a point of having an accent colour as well,” she explains. “I chose orange, which is a great pick-me-up colour. So, if you’re feeling tired and you need something finished off at the end of the day, orange is going to give you that final push.”
Helena strongly believes that choice of colour can affect the mood and space of any room and highlights that, while you may work at home, it doesn’t mean that your home life and work life have to merge into one.
“If your office is in the house, when you walk into the office, your brain needs to pick up that you’re now in a different mode, you’re in the work area,” she explains. “That’s why I would really encourage people not to have the same colour in the rest of the house. So pick a different colour that signifies to them that ‘now I’m in the office and I’m ready for work’.”
Her final tip? When doing up your own home, Helena recommends using an item that you love as a stepping stone of inspiration for your colour choices. And when choosing a colour – don’t be afraid to reach outside your comfort zone and use darker tones in smaller spaces.
“Pick something that you love. It could be a rug, a vase – anything like that. Then pick a colour that you really love from that item,” she explains. “Sometimes people are afraid of going too dark for fear that it might enclose the space. Don’t be afraid of colour. Dark colours can make a space feel more inviting and snug. So be brave.”