an interior of Richard Parr's cotswolds studio which features a desk, a couch, and a woodstove

4 Home Offices Offer a Glimpse of the Future of Remote Work

With remote work here to stay, these architects and interior designers dream up fresh takes on the home office.

In March 2020 nearly every home became a workplace as the COVID-19 pandemic cleared out cubicles and corner offices around the world. Many of us quickly learned that working at the kitchen table isn’t the same as having a dedicated space in which to escape domestic distractions. Of course, home offices aren’t only a pandemic-induced phenomenon. For many creatives and small-business owners, they have always been a way of life (and a way of work). And with flexible work arrangements becoming routine, home and workplace are bound to become even more entangled. Residential architects and interior designers are rising to the challenge, developing work-from-home solutions that are multifunctional, gorgeous, and downright quirky.

At right and above: Richard Parr, principal of U.K. architecture practice Richard Parr Associates, designed his home studio before the coronavirus became a part of our daily lives. He and his small staff work in a cluster of repurposed agricultural outbuildings (formerly a hayloft, cowshed, dairy barn, and bull pen) on his 19th-century farm in England’s rural Cotswolds. Though he lives on the property, having multiple buildings allows Parr to separate work and home. “Within a few paces, I can completely change my mood,” he says. 

An exterior photo of Richard Parr's cotswolds studio

a photograph of the interior of a home office with a suspended desk in dining area.

In Chicago, architecture firm dSPACE Studio designed a Lincoln Park residence for a couple relocating from New York City. A simple but eye-catching work-from-home arrangement includes a suspended wooden desk that appears to float before a glass wall. Situated in the dining area of the open-plan residence, the workspace is at the heart of the home, offering connection to daily rhythms, and blending, rather than separating, life and work.

a geometric black backyard cabin for work or play

Maybe your home doesn’t have enough space for a dedicated work area. U.K. prefab experts Koto Design (in partnership with the New Art Centre) have developed a modular solution: Home Office #1, a carbon-neutral cabin that can serve as a home office, meditation room, or backyard retreat. A charred timber exterior gives the almost-geologic-looking structure durability and a unique matte-black finish, while a minimal interior gives you room to think. 

a green backyard cabin shaped like an artichoke

Inspired by 18th-century garden follies and the humble artichoke, London-based Studio Ben Allen designed A Room in the Garden to be used as an office, a play structure, a bedroom, or a gardening shed. Created with affordability and ease of construction in mind, it’s a whimsical response to the challenge of feeling cooped up at home.

gif showing A Room in the Garden transforming into a guestroom.

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