With most of us spending more time working from home than ever before, there has never been a better time to show your workspace some love. “Your study should be a space of calm and concentration, but most importantly somewhere you actually enjoy spending time,” says Andrea Lucena-Orr, Dulux Colour and Communications Manager.
“We all need different things from our study/home office, depending on the type of work we do. You may want it be a serene spot where you won’t get distracted or an energising and uplifting one that inspires creativity,” she says. “This is where colour comes in; if your study is drab and lifeless, a lick of paint is the fastest, cheapest and most effective way to switch up the mood and make it a space you’ll love.”
To show you just how easily it’s done, Dulux worked with stylist Julia Green to give a study area three different looks using colours from the Dulux Colour Forecast 2021. The colours in this collection, which were informed by global research, are inspired by various facets found in nature, from soothing, sun baked neutrals to saturated, oceanic blues, allowing you to give your study area a distinctive look.
Wall colour above is Dulux Five Fingers Peninsula
“Who amongst us hasn’t worried about their workspace not being camera-ready when it’s time for that video-conference call? Fortunately, you don’t need a big budget or lots of time to add style to this space. By focusing on colour, we were able to achieve these three looks very affordable in a day,” says Green. “Colour can be used in clever ways too. For example, if you don’t have room for a separate study and want to delineate a study nook within an open-plan room, simply choose tones for your nook that are different to, however harmonise with, the palette in the adjoining living/dining areas. You can then use folding screens to tuck your workspace away when it’s time to switch off,” Lucena-Orr says.
Whilst the three looks Green created are all very different, she kept certain elements consistent throughout. “With each look, we fully committed to the colour palette, carrying it through from the walls and artwork to décor items in order to give it a curated and intentional feel, paired with a warm white on the ceiling for cosiness. And we were careful not to overfill the room – allowing plenty of breathing space which can make a
room feel calm.
“Natural light is important for wellbeing, so we used soft sheers on the window that let in filtered light. We added a statement artwork to each look – this anchored the desk set-ups and gave the user something beautiful to look at. Touches of greenery help clean the air and provide that all-important connection to nature,” she says.
Home Office Colour Scheme No. 1
For the first look, Green took her cues from the Reset palette by Dulux and painted the walls a soft grey-mauve, Dulux Wash&Wear in Aura; and the ceiling a warm white, Dulux Ceiling White in Natural White™, combined with pink clay and punches of terracotta in artwork and accessories. “These colours will brighten your outlook without being a distraction – the perfect tones to surround yourself with if you’re in the
business of ideas,” says Green.
Wall colour is Dulux Aura with Dulux Natural White ceiling
“There’s an eclectic feel to this palette, so we had fun mixing old and new – a graphic, contemporary artwork and a modern lamp sit alongside a traditional patterned rug and a rustic style desk with trestle legs. A scheme like this calls for natural textures so bring in touches of timber, leather and wool.”
Home Office Colour Scheme No. 2
When it came to the second scheme, Green looked to the calming colours in the Retreat palette. She made a feature of the back wall by painting it a rich, oceanic blue, Dulux Wash&Wear in Five Fingers Peninsula, paired with a warm white, Dulux Ceiling White in Whisper White on the ceiling.
Wall colour above is Dulux Five Fingers Peninsula with Dulux Whisper White ceiling
“Bold colour contrasts generally energise a room, but there’s a lovely muddiness to this blue that makes it feel tranquil and relaxed. It’s a classic scheme that would work beautifully in a traditional or contemporary home,” she says. Green completed the look with a traditional writing bureau in dark timber, an inspiring artwork and a zebra-print rug. “When you’re styling your workspace, don’t be afraid to bring in pieces from other rooms, such as a rug or chair – you’ll find it personalises the space and makes it more dynamic,” she says.
Home Office Colour Scheme No. 3
For the third scheme, Green layered earthy neutrals from the Nourish palette for a look that speaks of warmth and comfort. Dulux Wash&Wear in Morocco Tan on the walls and Dulux Ceiling White in White Exchange Half on the ceiling, combined with tonal shades of tan and clay in the artwork, rug and furniture. Woven detailing in the rattan screen and desk chair add texture. “Layering similar tones like we’ve done here creates a nurturing, comforting feel – you could imagine happily working here for long stretches,” says Green. “Rich earthy neutrals are also easy to work with and integrate beautifully with the warm whites many of us already have in our homes, as well as the natural materials such as timber and leather we’re seeing so much of.”
Colours above are Dulux Morocco Tan with Dulux White Exchange Half ceiling
“We all respond so differently to colour. The key is finding the hues that speak to you and then having the courage to pick up that paint brush,” says Lucena-Orr. “Like anything, it can feel daunting the first time, but chances are once you start your colour journey, you’ll never look back.”
Related: Why you should be decorating with warm neutrals
You can see more inspiration from Dulux Australia.
Julia’s home office styling tips:
- Consider mood: Choose colours to suit the mood you want to create – warm tones will create a cosy, nurturing feel (great for a teen study), while brighter hues are energising and inspiring – ideal for creative thinking.
- Personalise: Family photographs and mementos from your travels can add character to your study and make it feel more welcoming.
- Buy quality: A comfortable and supportive office chair and an adjustable desk lamp that allows you to see what you’re typing or writing, are must-haves for a home office.
- Greenery: Add plants or fresh flowers to purify the air and provide a connection to nature.
Related: Why indoor plants are good for your health
Which is your favourite home office colour scheme? I would love to hear from you in the comments below. If you are building, renovating or just undertaking a weekend decorating project, you should download my free e-books and checklists to help you. I have an e-book to help you put a mood board together to ensure that you get a cohesive colour scheme for your next room makeover. You can download it all here for FREE.
Related: My Guide to the Perfect Home Office