Boutique Architectural
& Interior Design Studio

Clapham London

Home Office Interior Design – Step 5


I always feel like I am up-levelling my life and business by anchoring in my success every time I do something to my home office.

Step 4 is about choosing furniture that makes you want to use it and items you love that are incorporated as investments rather than just another flippant purchase.

Step 5 is about digging a little bit deeper into the hidden secrets of decorating.

One of the questions I get asked by people as an architectural designer is “how do I know what items to buy?”

The first main step to decorating, now that you understand your space, limitations, budget and have a vision, you need to have a….wait for it…


What? Like for a party, play or movie? Yep!  The key to success with decorating is to have a theme and until you understand the key elements of the existing themes in design, interiors and decor, I would usually stick with one of the existing ones before getting so outlandish that you create a theme that no-one understands or appreciates. You might be at the stage where you are confident with themes, but may need some guidance on what they are and how to achieve them more confidently.

A theme is also a style. So choosing your “theme” is also confirming and making a decision on what style you are going to design this room in.

Because you now have a lot of information about your room, its boundaries, limitations and opportunities, you are ready to decide on your own style.

So here are my decorating secrets:

  1. Decide on your theme (style) for your home office. To start off with, list whether you are drawn to any of the following styles: Rustic, country, modern, colonial, industrial, mid century modern, British Colonial, minimalist, contemporary, traditional, art deco, south western, Shabby chic, Asian, Hamptons, Moroccan, Spanish, French, Victorian, Art Nouveau, Arts & Crafts, Tuscan, Shaker, Scandinavian, Classical, Italian, Rococo, Baroque, European Traditional, eclectic, transitional… you get my point? Search images and collect ones that inspire you. Try to figure out which theme they are, then decide on the style you want to decorate your room.
  2. Once you have a collection of images that represent your style, try to see which elements in those images will work with the space you have for your home office. For example, lets say your style is Country and you have found a few different images that all have some kind of country feel. (Don’t get hung up on whether you are french country , country cottage, Scottish country, or alpine country just yet). Write down what makes it look or feel “country” to you. Is it the curtain material, the exposed beams, colours or the patterns and items associated with the country in the pictures (or is it just the view out the window?)
  3. Now this next part won’t be so difficult that you have a guide, because with a list of crucial elements you can work on bringing your theme into your home office. Start collecting materials and colour samples, timber finishes, fabrics, and relate them back to your theme as well as to each other. The only final element you need to really consider here is the overall mood you want to create, because you can have a cosy country feel or a bright country feel or even a fresh and healthy country feel. So whilst putting together your theme, think of the mood you want to create and create a “mood” board to help you to purchase the right items and use this to make decisions when purchasing items.

To be honest in almost 20 years working with design, art and architecture, I know of a million different ways to start designing a room and for most, this technique I just shared with you, is usually the best way to get a great end result, even without any design knowledge or talent.

Designers are always referencing the past and being inspired by nature, culture, travel, art… The best way to develop this skill within yourself is to start by looking at what others have already done and learning from their success.


Architectural & Interior Design Studio In London

Invent Design Create Limited trading as Jo Chrobak is a registered company in England and Wales UK.

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