The Pandora’s box has been opened – working from home has suddenly become a practical reality that many of us wish to make a permanent part of our lives.

How many of us, though, have been in Zoom meetings where our work colleagues have had, as a backdrop, their home laundry or kitchen? Permanent home working spaces need well considered solutions that should meet a range of criteria. They should be…

  • spacious enough to be comfortable and accommodate potential future expansion;
  • private and sound-proofed from the main house, and ideally with sufficient isolation to give us a sense of separation between our home and work life;
  • bright and naturally lit;
  • well insulated for ease of heating and cooling;
  • independently accessible for visiting clients and/ or work colleagues;
  • flexibly designed so that, should working life change, the space can easily be repurposed;
  • data enabled, and with adequate power points and good artificial lighting;
  • cost effective, ideally by adapting within our existing home.

When I started my architectural practice 4 years ago working out of a small front room, I quickly saw the potential in developing our integrated double garage into a generous and flexible studio space. The adaptions were straightforward – installing a glazed screen and front door in place of the garage door; building in a new floor structure; insulating the roof space; fitting a kitchenette and forming an opening to a next-door toilet. After that, our cars were accommodated beneath a new carport and, hey presto, I now have a wonderful, spacious studio with room for me and my work colleague Haylee.

My wife and I planned the studio to be easily adapted into a bedsit for our daughter, once she goes to university. A future move out of my comfortable work space, though, is looking increasingly unlikely, given recent events!

Is sacrificing a double garage acceptable? Not to everyone, perhaps, but our cars have ample shelter from the weather under the carport and a new garden shed holds the detritus that once languished in our former garage. A little imagination and innovation and we now have a fantastic home-working space.

Arcuate can help you design innovative solutions for homeworking, compile documentation, get development consents and find a suitable builder.