A space that inspires...

By Adeela Akmal
Tue, 11, 19

This week Karachi-based furniture designer Beena Asim talks about accentuating your workspaces to look aesthetically gorgeous...


Millennials are rewriting the rules of traditional workspaces especially when it comes to entrepreneurship. Nowadays, people prefer being their own boss rather than work for one.

This is an era of start-ups and out-of the box ideas. And to execute these ideas, one would need a workspace with an inviting environment. Keep in mind, there will be days when you won’t be motivated enough to work. However, if your space looked amazing, you might find yourself looking forward to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Beena Asim feels that any space one uses needs to be designed keeping in mind the choice, lifestyle and comfort. For an office space, it has to be designed as per the nature of your work, age and lifestyle.

Whether you’ve got an entire room or a tiny corner, this week You! takes a look at ways you can make your workspaces aesthetically gorgeous and (hopefully) boost your productivity...

Find the perfect spot

First you need the perfect spot to set up an office. The space has to be peaceful with least amount of chaos to distract you. “You could get an entire room or even a small peaceful corner which could be turned into a workspace. Ideally, select an area with a window that opens to an outside view like a poolside or a garden. Basically, you need a good sight to refresh you up and also allow sunlight in. Moreover, ensure that you situate your office in a quiet corner of the house and nowhere near that noisy washing machine or kids play room,” recommends Beena. “In case it is a corner, try to partition it wisely. It could be by getting a beautiful partition which you can find ready-made or if you have time, get it made according to the exact size requirement. It can be made in a way that it looks like a wall; and be painted different on both sides according to the themes of both sides of the room. This way, the themes of the new rooms aren’t compromised, yet you get the desired privacy,” she adds.

Let in the light

A well-lit room is essential to feel awake and get ready for the day. Lighting can make all the difference when it comes to boosting creativity, as a dark space can leave you feeling tired and uninspired. For this, try to ensure your space has access to plenty of natural light.

“When it comes to artificial light, there’s a whole set of considerations. For example, adults may want to use the work space at night with softer evening lamp light, while in some nature of work you need more lighting. Poor lighting can create eyestrain and detract from your enjoyment, and productivity, in your home office. Eyestrain is a serious problem, one that happens from intense use of your eyes - like staring at a computer monitor for long hours. Throwing a little ambient light into the mix will help soften the harsh light that can come from just overhead or task lighting. Ideal scenario is to keep lamps and shut off the ceiling lights when you want that cosy environment to turn it into your creative corner,” advises Beena.

Choosing the colour palette

A colour scheme is going to set the base of your office. It will define the look and feel of the space which will help you fit the rest of the things in. Whether you want to make your office look contemporary, classic or somewhere in between (neoclassic), you have to begin with the colour. Beena proposes that ‘white’ has a clean look that tends to not go out of style and makes it look modern in any time. “White monochrome colour schemes give an open feeling of airiness, making them work well at home offices. And since white opens up a space visually, it’s also a solid choice for small home offices. If you want something basic and clean, white just might be your choice,” she tells.

To build up the colour palette from there, Beena guides, “You can opt for rich wood which feels luxurious and other neutral shades. If you want one of those home offices that look like an executive suite, consider going with wood textures in the flooring, panelling and furniture.

Another idea for colour schemes is to combine neutrals and a solid pastel shade to create a transitional home office, meaning it isn’t likely to go out of style. Moreover, with a solid dark colour (ideally black or another solid colour in acrylic sheet cabinetry) creates a modern appeal against the open white walls and ceiling.”

Invest in your comfort

If you have a certain budget to follow, you should spend the most on your desk, chairs and sofa. They will never be a waste as they last for many years and can be moved easily anywhere if you plan to shift. “I always begin with ‘Furniture is an asset, invest right’. With a fabric change, polish or colour of furniture, desk, chairs and sofa can be refreshed and used even in another environment. So, the investment will not be a waste. You can compromise on the shelves, they will mostly be fitted on the walls and will be specific to size requirement of an area,” elucidates Beena.

Go for the ‘less is more’ theory here. Assess how much furniture do you absolutely need and how much space do you have; because the last thing you want is for the space to feel cramped after a while. Opt for more streamlined furniture and keep fewer pieces. This will also give you an opportunity to declutter your workspace and get rid of any unnecessary paperwork, books, files or decor. “Having a comfortable sofa in a corner is very important as sitting at one place and working might not let you work for longer. The size of the desk should be enough so you feel comfortable to work freely. A smooth, comfortable, easy to clean desktop with sufficient space to move your legs and few draws as per your need should work. Leg space is very important a lot of people tend to ignore it. Moreover, the desk and chair height should be according to your comfort as ideally the computer or laptop that you use should be at eye-level,” she suggests.

Get creative

This is the part where you make your office fun and exciting. You can be as creative as you want with your space whether it’s with colour, art or decor. This will define the vibe of your office. “You must have some indoor plants to make you feel there is life in the room. Add wall decor, quotes, painting, pictures of your choice which surely adds an environment and look to the room. A wall can be dedicated to a bunch of framed photos, quotes, your own work in any form,” concludes Beena.