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The perfect workstation for a relaxing retreat

After finding that a lively open plan kitchen diner and snug did not always offer the best place for their children to study. A family asked an interior designer to create a workstation for their much quieter lounge, but without inadvertently making it feel like an office.
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Project Summary
Project Summary

Is it possible to add a workstation to a room without it starting to feel like an office?

Styling: Classic Shaker

Location: Buckinghamshire

Client: Clover House

Children bring their own distinct energy into every home, creating a heady cocktail of fun and laughter with an extra-large helping of chaos. The effects of which can quickly spread across even the most well organised and pristine of home within moments of them entering the door. So in a bid to retain the tranquil, tidy and more adult feel of certain rooms, some parents decide to give them a ‘special status’.

This ‘special status’ was afforded to the lounge of a client of interior designer Jo Lothian (Clover House), who was asked to create a cosy, calm retreat from the normal hubbub of family life. In addition, it would also need to accommodate a workstation for the children to sometimes study from, as their main open plan living space wasn’t always conducive for this type of activity.

Jo and her client felt that it would be very important to ensure that workstation didn’t end up dictating the feel of the room, as the sight of something akin to a working office wouldn’t be the best way of helping busy parents relax and disconnect from their work. For this reason, Jo decided to explore ways of making the workstation blend into the interior, and also tried to ensure that it sat outside of the focus of those using the room.

In orientating the flow of the room to reflect its relationship with the sun and the natural rhythms of the day, Jo found the perfect place for the workstation on the rear wall. This location was outside of the natural gaze of those using the room, and would also help to limit distractions for studying children, due to facing away from the windows and television.

While perfect in many ways, Jo felt concerned that by locating a small workstation against this large wall it may actually end up drawing attention to it. So to help prevent this happing, she picked up on her client’s desire to ‘use the room as a quiet place to indulge in a book’ and created a design that wove the workstation into a mini-library. Doing so helped to scale the furniture proportionately to the wall, made the workstation feel even more secondary and also created lots of storage space. While her cunning design purposely reduced the available desk space, to prevent paperwork from gathering and stop it turning it into something resembling an office.

Foxstow worked closely with Jo to interpret and evolve her designs into this beautiful piece of bespoke furniture. Offering ideas and advice on everything from ways to make the hidden keyboard drawer work, to the best design for fitting smoothly on-site. Jo’s client loves its blend of classic lines and timeless shaker styling, and although they note that the piece fulfils its brief in offering the room a very secondary purpose – they still love looking at it nonetheless.

If you are looking for an interior designer for your own home, you may like to consider Jo who can be contacted via her website at, or alternatively through a personal introduction from Foxstow.


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Our bespoke capabilities allow you to create virtually any design or style of interior joinery that you can ever need or imagine. With endless possibilities, you may wish to view some of our ideas and past work when taking inspiration for your own project.