Interior stylist and Secret Styling Club founder Laurie Davidson shares 5 clever ways your home decor can make remote working easier and more efficient 


As working from home becomes the new normal, many of us are exploring the nuances of how we stay motivated and focused in an environment we now share with rest and play. How do you create an office space that provides comfort and also takes care of business? 

Someone who knows a thing or two about that is Laurie Davidson, interior stylist and owner of Secret Styling Club. “Never before have we needed our homes to provide such a sanctuary from the stresses of the outside world, and creating an environment that nurtures us is vital to ensure we stay feeling calm yet creative,” says Laurie.

“Choose a colour scheme that you find relaxing, add in touches of nature and surround yourself with items you love and you’ll instantly feel able to think ahead and feel creative and refreshed, without worrying about clutter or looking around lia home that you’re unhappy with.”

Read on for Laurie’s top 5 styling tips to create a focus-friendly space to work from home.

Keep it light

Working in a dark, unlit space is never going to be conducive to a good quality of life and productive environment, so if possible, place your desk as near to a window as you can. “If sitting near a window isn’t feasible, or your home office is in a room without windows, make sure you keep your colour scheme as light as possible, hang a dedicated ceiling light directly over your desk, and ensure you have a work lamp for the days – or nights – you need extra illumination,” says Laurie.

[Image credit: Ligne Roset]  

Use plants to boost creativity

According to a study (conducted by Texas A&M University), plants can boost your creativity by 15 per cent or more, so pop some greenery around you in your work space. Not the best at caring for real plants? Fake it! Faux varieties, or even botanical prints on the walls will all help create a sense of the outdoors inside. “We’ve seen a boom in biophilic design and the benefits of introducing nature into the workplace, “ says Laurie, “and if you have a windowless room this can be especially beneficial, as the greenery instantly relaxes you,” says Laurie.

[Image credit: Garden Trading


It seems obvious but clutter can have a really stressful and detrimental effect on us, and it can be hard to focus on the task at hand when there are piles of paper, laundry or toys strewn around. “Invest in some good storage options, from desks with drawers, to under-desk filing cabinets, wall shelves with box files, and try to keep the rest of the room as uncluttered as possible,” says Laurie. 

[Image credit: Rockett St George

Zone your office space

If your home-working area is in an open-plan room, or you’re based at the dining table, it can be hard not to become distracted by noise, chatter, phones ringing and everything else that’s going on in that room. If you can, zone your desk space so that you have your back to the rest of the room, or use a screen that you can pull across to create the illusion of ‘walls’ when it’s time to work. “If your desk is in a multi-functional room, give it its own designated space by painting the wall it sits against, placing a rug underneath, and creating a mini styled-up area to work in,” says Laurie. “The benefit of a screen is that you can also use it to disguise the work area at the end of the day and close the door on ‘work’.”

[Image credit: Oak Furnitureland]

Make it homely

As much as you don’t want clutter in your work space, having an area that’s lacking in any decoration can make it feel sterile and uninviting. Plan this area as you would any other, with a colour scheme and all the finishing touches that makes it as stylish and appealing as the rest of your home. “Choose an office chair that is comfortable, practical but also a beautiful design,” says Laurie. “Add a cushion, a small vase of flowers, and some artworks on the wall – small mementos and favourite decorative items that will ensure it’s a space in which you’ll want to work.”

[Image credit: The Painted Furniture Company

For more of Laurie’s styling tips, follow her on Instagram @lifeofaninteriorstylist)

Check out our next MW event on ‘working environments in the ‘new normal’ 

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