Working from home certainly seemed appealing. Or at least it did before you found yourself hunched over a sagging kitchen table, trying to hold it together at a Zoom meeting while your toddler hurled blocks at the dog. Turns out, making your home into a workable office is harder than it looks, especially when you’re low on space. Happily, Bobby Berk is here to help. The 39-year-old lifestyle-design expert and Emmy-nominated host of Netflix’s Queer Eye got his early education in interiors working at stores like Restoration Hardware, Portico, and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Since then he has parlayed his accessible design sense and winning manner into a growing national brand. When he’s not rescuing style-starved straight guys, Berk owns a bespoke interior-design company in Los Angeles and has his name on a collection of furniture sold at Target and other online stores. The ideal work environment, he says, allows you to concentrate and create without distraction. “People get obsessed over office chairs,” he says. “But good design is about what you take out, not just about what you put in.”
1. Lower the Volume
“I always carry my noise-canceling headphones when I travel, but they’re absolutely essential when you’re trapped in a noisy room and need to focus. It’s worth spending extra for the perfect pair.” Bowers & Wilkins headphones, $300 at amazon.com.
2. Get Comfortable
“If your dining room table is doing double-duty as your desk, your alignment is probably off. Pile up a few cushions to get the back support you need to work comfortably throughout the day.” Rheia faux-down pillow, $23.99 at society6.com.
3. Go Neutral
“Bright white walls bring calm and clarity to any office environment, but they can also feel sterile. A few well-placed splashes of color and texture will add a graphic punch. So will a neutral piece of art, a black accent wall, or a quiet patterned rug.” Modern Irregular Stripes by ViviGonzalezArt, $26 at society6.com.
4. Move Up
“If you’re short on space, traditional desks may be too bulky. But tall and adjustable desks that have a small footprint have plenty of room for storage. Keep everything you need in arm’s reach—getting up in the middle of the day to grab supplies interrupts your flow.” Ergotron desk, $1,000 at officedepot.com.
5. Go Green
“I love to add plants to work areas. They add life and are proven to help boost productivity. If you are lacking a green thumb, then go for a faux plant or tree. I love this one from Target, which comes in a modern white planter, looks real, but will never require any care.” Faux fern, $14.99 at target.com.
6. Sit Tall
”I’ve been working recently from my Sanni chair that I designed for my furniture collection with A.R.T Furniture. It’s the perfect place to keep me focused and comfortable throughout the day.” Sanni chair, $499 at houzz.com.