How to create a sanity-saving office space…

Has the coronavirus got you suddenly working from home? Home offices around the world are suddenly getting a workout amid the COVID-19 crisis.

If you previously haven’t put in much thought to the functionality of the space you’re probably now kicking yourself and wondering how you can make it a better place to work.

Never fear, we’ve got 8 tips to get you started:

1. Keep papers of sight, out of mind

Utilise drawer space and employ a chic noticeboard to prevent reminders from littering your desk space.

Invest in simple desk and drawer organisers for documents to be stored safely and securely. Use boxes and trays in a uniform hue to conceal other items and tie the look together.

home office shelves

Keep that desk as clear as possible in order to maximise productivity and minimise distractions. Picture: Getty

2. Be minimalistic

Do you really need hundreds of pens, highlighters or pencils? Store away unnecessary items and use one at a time until they need to be replaced.

Keep everyday items on top of the desk and pack away everything else. Don’t let a rogue paperclip distract you from that important task.

3. Create a study nook

Do you have a tucked-away corner in your living room?

Transform this into a study nook by adding a simple desk, and incorporate complementary items such as a clock, plant, framed pictures or a sculptural piece.

How to style a nook:

 4.. Pare back the colour palette

Having lots of colours creates visual clutter, whereas sticking to one or two accent colours to maintain consistency and create a zen look in your workspace.

When shopping for stationery and desk accessories, try opting for white, black and neutral tones or else you could stick to a few pastel shades if you prefer some colour.

monochrome office

Black accents keep your look consistent. Picture: Getty

5. Accent your style

Create a chic look by adding metallic hues such as rose gold, copper or brass in small details such as paperclips, pens and desk accessories.

gold candle

A splash of metallic gold and some greenery instantly lift this study space. Picture: Three Birds Renovations

6. Vertical storage

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Lacking space in your office area? Vertical shelving increases the space in the room quickly and stylishly, while also making things easy to find.

It’s also a great way to keep your desk space clear and usable as well as keeping personal and inspirational items on display.

home office shelves

Install shelving to increase desk space. Picture: Getty

7. Add some plants

Soften the mood and create a down-to-earth feel by decorating with leafy green plants, succulents and simple florals.

Additionally, these emit oxygen, fight negative energy and add a beautiful natural feel to your office.

office indoor plants

Beautify your workspace with indoor plants. Picture: Getty

8. Keep it consistent

Decorate your home office within the theme of your existing decor. Don’t recreate a new look for a small space.

Boho, coastal or modern eclectic styles enable great opportunities to embrace colour and patterns in your workspace through accessories and upholstery.

home office theme

Align your workspace design with the rest of your home. Picture: Getty

With a little discipline and a few touches of creativity, you can reinvent your office space and make it an interior design showpiece that exhibits your creativity and flair.

Organising a bedroom to promote restful sleep…

These are trying times. No question about it. Being forced to stay at home for a long period of time can really play with your mind.

  5 ways to improve your sleep
 We all are in the same boat – and we can all empathise with what each other is going through.

As we all know, we’re doing this to make sure we do not come into contact with coronavirus and widen its spread. At the same time, we also need to keep our immune systems strong, and getting good sleep is a key part of this.

If you’re finding that you’re not sleeping well, take a look at your bedroom. Organising your bedroom for better sleep may help you get the kind of rest you need.

Here are some ideas that might help:

1. Clear the clutter

Clearing the clutter from your bedroom – especially from the floor – is an important first step.  Walking into a messy, cluttered room before bed just isn’t relaxing, and can even be dangerous.

Many people get up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet.  Having random items scattered across the floor creates dangerous trip hazards that can result in nasty falls or injuries.


If you’re struggling to sleep, try removing the clutter in your bedroom. Picture:

While you’re confined to your home, it’s a great time to get into the habit of keeping your room a little more tidy and organised.

2. Open the space

Anything that doesn’t have to do with sleep, romance, or getting dressed doesn’t belong in your bedroom.

Are there kids’ toys in your bedroom? Is there a desk in the corner?

Do you have workout equipment or crafts projects in there as well? If you’re having trouble with sleep, get these things out of the room.

 You need to be able to walk into your bedroom without having your mind triggered towards things other than sleep (or romance).

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have nowhere else to store these items. If that’s truly the case, then build a partition in your room and divide that area off.

The goal is to enter your bedroom and find calm, not energy.

Your bedroom should be your restful haven – make sure it’s so.

3. Stay cool

Studies show that the optimal sleep temperature for most people is between 17C and 22C. Even colder rooms are good – as long as you have a good doona! Air-conditioning, fans, or an open window can all help, too.

Stay cool and you’ll hibernate more quickly and fall into a deeper, more restful sleep!

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bedroom with fan

Keep yourself cool at night with a fan or an air conditioner. Picture: Unsplash

4. Help to make your sleep better

There are also other considerations when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. Is your room dark enough? Is it quiet enough?

Eye masks are more comfortable than ever these days.

The same goes for silicone earplugs, which now mould to the exact shape of your ear canal. Try them.

 A posy to help you sleep

5. Remove distractions

External stimuli can do more to quickly ruin a good sleep than anything else.

The TV and your phone are not your friends at night. Study after study shows that your body needs anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes of no screen time before you can fall into a state of deep relaxation.

Get into different habits at night. Read a book or a magazine. Maybe meditate just before bed. Have a shower or bath. Do anything you like, but if you’re looking for a quick trip to the land of nod, leave your mobile phone screen side down with the notifications switched off.

Staying healthy during these trying times is really important, and sleep is one way to help with your general health and well-being. Your only goals right now are to just stay home and stay healthy. Good sleep will help with that!

Stamp duty for first-home buyers to be temporarily waived on new properties worth up to $800,000….

A “long overdue” extension of stamp duty relief for first-home buyers will help Sydneysiders get into the property market quicker, experts say, but will do little to improve the overall state of the market.