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The Home-based Interior Design Studio: Tips for Boosting Your Productivity While Working From Home

These days it is becoming increasingly common for interior designers to work from their homes. Technological innovations make remote work easier than ever. However, it still requires planning and the instilling of habits to ensure that your productivity is maintained while working outside of an interior design studio in a commercial space. Here we visit some of the most important things to keep in mind when setting up your home space and structure.


The most important aspect of working from home is your workspace. Make sure you have a designated space for your interior design work. Take over a room, set up a desk and comfortable task chair, and make sure that there is ample natural light.

Set physical boundaries with the people and animals you share your home with, whether it is a roommate, a spouse, family members, or your pets. Having a room with a door that you can close is the best kind of boundary. You should set up a communication system so that everyone understands your need for work privacy. For example, a closed-door to your studio room could communicate ‘I am busy working, please don’t disturb,’ whereas if you have an important Zoom with a client, you might want the additional message of a post-it note on the door that says “in a meeting.” Amazon (here) sells a host of hotel-style door signs that allow you to alert everyone to the need to be uninterrupted during a meeting. And, yes, you’ll find it tempting to leave that hanging well past the meeting for additional quiet moments.


As an interior designer, you are likely to have a ton of samples that you keep in your design studio. While working from home, make sure you have adequate space for storage so that your desk remains clutter-free. These can be rattan baskets, a cabinet, or even a section of your garage that you can easily access for quick reference. The same goes for files and folders. Neatly mark client files and folders and arrange them, alphabetically, or according to the priority of work, or timeline of meetings, so you have them handy.

If you also have a commercial design studio and think you work better on your office desktop, bring it home with you or buy a similar one for your home. Invest in an ergonomic chair and maybe even a standing desk to support your posture during long work hours. Get post-it notes, notepads, sharpies, highlighters, mood boards, and anything else that makes your home studio more professional. Organize your most frequently used materials around your workspace in such a way that they are easily reachable when needed – this includes your stationery, cables, and headphones. Nothing spells frustration more than a missing eraser in the middle of a quick hand sketch or a missing headset in those moments before a client call.

Exploit Technology

With work models embracing working from home, more and more communication has moved to digital platforms. Interior designers are finding an increased amount of digital client meetings. Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, Microsoft Meetings, and Facetime have all become highly popular.

Keep in mind that your entire family is using your home internet connection for work, school, or entertainment purposes, so make sure your bandwidth is capable of handling all the digital data traffic. If not, then speak to your internet service provider and improve your bandwidth. The last thing you want is for the video to pixelate when your client is explaining their major pain points or while you are offering your brilliant design presentation.

When possible, download useful applications to help you streamline your work. From project management to billing, many online software now offer desktop apps that require less bandwidth to use. Setting reminders and notifications on the app help you stay up to date about all current and upcoming projects, billing needs, etc.

Also, make sure that your home studio is set up for video calls. You’ll want your camera to be at the proper height and for your background to communicate your brand. And, you’ll want to make sure that you have sufficient soft materials in the room so that your voice doesn’t bounce around and provide an echo to the listener.


With less in-person interaction with colleagues and business partners, the internet is now your water cooler meeting point. As human beings, we have the innate need for company. While some prefer to keep to themselves, in the business of interior design that is seldom desired or even possible. Therefore, it pays to keep multiple communication channels open.

Routines and Schedules

For many designers, the working from home process usually falls at the two extremes. On the one hand, they go into overdrive mode, working round the clock, forgetting to eat, or hydrate and feel fatigued or burnt out by the end of the day. On the other side, they find themselves distracted and unmotivated to get their work done. The key here is to find the ideal balance between the two ends of the spectrum – relaxed and productive, engaged and balanced.

Some designers report that pretending like it’s a regular office day significantly boosts their productivity. Think about everything that you do on a regular working day, right from the moment you get out of your bed, until the time you get back home, and try to replicate that as much as possible. This would mean waking up at a set time, making your bed, getting your morning workout, meal prep, dressing up for work, wearing makeup, or anything that signals to your brain that a particular task is at hand. It is all about creating the habits that support attention.


While working from home, it is necessary to be mindful of your personal well-being. At the end of every workday, write up your plans for the following day. Make sure to do your work in an environment that supports your attention and spirit. Many designers find that playing music helps them focus during working hours. Highly focused mental work is best done to music without words. Studies have shown that even songs in foreign languages that we don’t understand impair our concentration. So, select ambient music for those tasks. When your work is lighter and more playful, support it with a peppy beat and catchy tune.

Many designers like to do their afternoon or evening design work with a glass of vino in hand. Others confide in turning to other substances – from CBD and THX (both deriving from cannabis), to microdosing psychedelics (at levels so subtle that the mind is quieted and more creative but not distracted or hallucinating). Kava, ginseng, Ginkgo biloba, caffeine, and nicotine all offer subtle changes in brain chemistry allowing for different work states. We are all adults here so the obvious needn’t be mentioned, yet here we are saying it, be responsible about any substance use and make sure it doesn’t impair cognition. As a designer, you are at the intersection of art and function. Leave the impairment to those that haven’t taken on the responsibilities that you have committed to.

Consider biophilic design or just having a few plants or greenery near your work area. Plants bring a sense of freshness and positivity to your workspace and that brightens up your mood. Decorate your space with things you like, a beautiful frame, a positive quote, candles, or pictures of your pets. Get creative with color – use colors that make you happy and motivated. 

For your well-being, it is important that you stick to working hours. After work, make time to take walks with your dogs, exercise, meditate, spend time with family, catch up on reading, develop a hobby, and tend to household chores.


Many designers report stress reduction from eliminating the time and hassle of commuting to work. Many see enhanced productivity – especially when they don’t have little ones at home. The key to using your home as your interior design studio/office is being intentional and systematic. Only you know what distracts and inspires you. Take inventory of your personal situation and then actively design a space and protocols that provide you with optimal working conditions. If you can so masterfully design a home for your clients you can certainly use those same inner resources to masterfully design your work life.

Do you work at home? Do you have any suggestions that we overlooked? If so, please comment below. It is the best way to communicate with us – we promise to respond.

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