Design tips to separate remote ‘work’ from ‘home’

Cathy Hobbs | Tribune News Service

As home and work have converged for many, it can be challenging to discern how to separate the two. How do you avoid having home feel like “the office” while still creating an environment that feels like home? Where is the work-life balance?

Here are some recommendations for designing an ideal blend of work and relaxation under the same roof.

1. Create a separate area for work. Ideally, this should be a separate room. If you can’t, creating a work “zone” that is separate and distinct from other activities will help.

2. Take frequent breaks during the day. Once in the morning, once around lunch and once before the end of the day is ideal.

3. Spend some time outdoors. Taking time for a breath of fresh air will help instill a sense of calm.

4. Infuse soothing colors to inspire serenity. Pure white, neutrals and soothing blues are a good place to start.

5. Incorporate greenery and other natural elements. Trees and plants can go a long way in helping a space feel modern and fresh.

6. Use as much natural sunlight as possible, or infuse as much light as possible into a space. Sunlight can help increase serotonin in the brain.

7. Consider incorporating scent or fragrance. A calming effect can come from soothing the senses through aromatherapy.

8. Experiment with mirrors. Mirrors reflect light and can act like windows in a space.

9. Use wood and woodlike elements. This can help ground a space and make it feel cozy.

(Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design home staging expert and short-term rental/vacation home designer with offices in New York City and The Hudson Valley. Contact her at or visit her website at

©2023 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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