5 ways to improve your mental health when working from home

Posted by Phoebe Oldrey in Interior Design Advice

Image curtesy of Emma Jane Palin


It’s a first on Smartstyle Interiors blog as I invited the amazing Fred Latty from Key & Quill to write us a Guest Blog about how to stay sane while working from home. Our Guest bloggers explore some interior tips and tricks that can give you that much-needed boost on homeworking days.

Take it away Key & Quill!

For many, working from home sounds like a dream come true – and, in many ways, it is. We started our new business “Key & Quill” last year, and have had to adapt to making the transition from the nine-to-five rat race of a busy office, to a much more self-motivated approach to workdays in our own houses.

Just because we’ve ditched the early-morning commutes and ‘al desko’ lunch culture, however, homeworking still comes with its fair share of challenges, particularly in terms of mental health. Simply put, running your own start-up company can be a lonely experience, and one that, if left unchecked, can have a detrimental impact through isolation and lack of social interaction.

There are interior design solutions to help, though, which will give you a much healthier and more well-rounded experience of working for yourself…

Image curtesy Marlène Fao from My Mindful Home


Have an office

Creating an office space is a way of mentally distinguishing between work and home life, in a place that’s separate from the rest of your home. Not only can you decorate and style it in a way that boosts productivity and self-discipline/motivation, but it also means that you’ll be able to clock in and out, leaving your work where it rightfully belongs when it’s time to switch off and relax each day.

Choose the correct room

Just because you’re working from home, doesn’t mean your job should consume your every waking moment. Before making your office your own, choose a space that’s semi-detached from the rest of the house, like a conservatory, loft conversion or spare room towards the back of the property, ideally close to a bathroom or toilet; a level of seclusion and privacy will go a long way towards keeping your mind more focused.

Image curtesy of Emma Jane Palin


Get the colour scheme right

Colour is so important when it comes to mental health. Whatever you do, steer clear of loud, deep block colours, and go more towards lighter, calmer shades; as well as their soothing effects being well-documented, they also generate a greater sense of space. The last thing you want is to feel boxed in by dark tones, and aggravated by oppressive, garish walls when trying to look after yourself mentally.

Light your way

Much like colour, lighting plays a pivotal role in our wellbeing. The logic is simple, really: Have you ever felt at ease under glaring fluorescent lights? No, us neither, which is why LED-driven illumination can be much more beneficial. Its even distribution of colour results in more saturated, vivid rendering, while directional downlighting improves visibility. And of course, opt for as much natural light as possible for a brighter state of mind.

Embrace plant power

Never underestimate the positivity of houseplants on your mental health. By adding a selection to your home office, the air will be cleaner, your anxiety will be lowered, and your mood will be boosted through ‘outdoorphins’. Plus, their mere presence acts as a visual nod to nature and the outside world, reminding you that there’s life beyond your four walls, while watering and caring for them is a confidence-building exercise in itself.

Big Thanks

Our big Thanks go to Key & Quill for writing this guest blog post to find out more about Key & Quill, visit I also wanted to thank the kindness of Emma Jane Palin and Marlène Fao from My Mindful Home for allowing me to use include their images of their home offices.

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