Blog posts tagged with 'zen'

10 Zen home office ideas to inspire productivity and peace of mind

Working from home has become a new “norm” in today’s workplace. For those fortunate enough to be able to enjoy the perks of flexible working conditions, having a suitable space is key to make this arrangement work. For some, the ideal of working from home does not always translate in reality and the space they are working from can be the determining factor in the success of this.

It is no coincidence that the most multinational organisations invest heavily into the design, layout and ergonomics of their offices. It has been shown that cleverly designed workspaces directly impact the productivity, creativity and overall happiness of employees. And we all know happy employees make for happy balance sheets. Your own home space should be created with this in mind.

There are many factors to consider when creating a home office; you want to create a Zen environment to tap into your creative potential.

The following are 10 easy steps to bring more Zen into your home working space;

2. Lighting

One of the key factors in designing any space – but especially a home office – is lighting. Studies have proved that lighting can improve mood, energy, alertness, productivity and decrease depression. 

Phillips Systems carried out research highlighting how light affects our circadian rhythms, determining your sleep cycle, moods, stimulation and relaxation. Getting the correct lighting is so much more than creating a pretty space as it can be the determining factor in whether you can work efficiently in your home office or not.

There are two aspects to consider when it comes to lighting, and they are natural and artificial. The space you have will determine how much natural light you can maximise. If you are fortunate to have a lot of natural light in your office, use it!

If you have big windows, try positioning your desk by the window or in direct sunlight. This will help keep you alert and focused. Dark, dim spaces will not only make you feel sluggish but it will make it much harder to stay motivated for any length of time.

Even with good natural light you should consider clever wall lighting to keep your office bright as the afternoon kicks in to avoid any mid-afternoon slumps in productivity. Wall features such as this Bamburgh light are fantastic for ensuring a bright space whatever the time or weather.



For those of us who aren’t blessed with great natural lighting, don’t stress as there are fantastic ways to brighten up a dark space with clever lighting.  Light features such as button ceiling lights are really clever ways to transform a dark dreary office space. The creative design of such feature not only brighten your home office but it cultivates an inspired feeling, adding a touch of Zen.

The beauty of multipurpose features like the button light (can be used internally and externally) are the ambience they create. Soft, subtle lighting will transform any office into a dreamy, bright, open space that you will enjoy spending time in.

2. Define the space

The most common pitfall of those working from home is that they fall into the trap of not having a designated space to work from. The novelty of working from home will quickly wear off if the lines between home life and work commitments are not defined. The secret to making this work is it has to feel like an office.

3. Desk Lights

Make sure to invest in a desk light if you plan on spending hours looking at a computer screen. Minimalist features such as the Yvon desk lamp will create a zen feeling to your home office. Make sure the lamp is bright but doesn’t take up a lot of space, the less cluttered your home office desk is the more productive you will feel.

4. Storage

Ensuring you have adequate storage will create a more organised environment. A cluttered space will clutter your mind. Clutter is a form of stuck energy and you do not want to have an energy block in the midst of work deadlines, clearing this will create the mental space needed to meet your deadlines and achieve your goals. You can remove this barrier to productivity by having clever storage solutions.

Have a specific desk, storage area (filing cabinets, folders, paper trays etc.). Once you have a space dedicated to work you can make it feel inspired without compromising on design. Be ruthless in clearing your desk every day, store what needs to be stored and dump the rest. By organising your documents into clever storage solutions will keep your desk and mind clear, sharp and focused on the task at hand.

5. Ambience

In order to make your office at home feel more zen like it is important to cultivate a creative ambience. Lighting as we have mentioned is key to pulling this off however there are other tricks that can transform your home office.

6. Scent

Scents can evoke a special feeling in a room so use your favourite scented candles as a way to create a relaxed feeling while stimulating your brain at the same time.

7. Plants

Plants, bring the outdoors indoors to create a zen vibe. There is nothing quite like nature and greenery to invoke an instant injection of zen and this feeling can do wonders for rebooted a stressed mind and improving your mindset and productivity. A couple of cleverly positioned green plants or your favourite flowers can add a zen like feeling to your home office, as with all features in your home office when creating a zen feeling remember less is more.

8. Water Feature

In Zen philosophy water symbolises the dual nature of the human mind and energy. We all know how calming time spent by the ocean is for the soul. By bringing a water feature into your home office it will tap into your subconscious mind throughout the day evoking a feeling of relaxation, calm and increased productivity.  Paired with one of the beautiful lighting features from Christopher Wray can create a beautiful aesthetic focus point in your home office.

9. Motivational Images

The power of nature and motivational mantras are key components in Zen philosophy and there is no reason why this can not be integrated into your home office. A quick and easy way of doing this is placing a picture or canvas of a beautiful sunset or ocean, or better still a memory that is very special to you. The power of the emotion triggered by these images or mantras can bring a sense of contentment, calm, peace which will translate by bringing a sense of mindfulness and perspective to your work.

10. Meditation Space

Creating a quiet space in your home office will allow you to make the transition from work to home life with ease. An easy way to do this is to have a corner of your room dedicated to this. Using cushions, candles, incense and soft light features from our collection will create a beautiful space for you to tap into your fullest potential both professionally and personally.

A meditation space may not be the first thing that comes to mind when designing an office but when you are spending most of your day exhausting your mental energy, creating, innovating it is important that you have the mental space to recharge. A regular meditation practice will increase productivity and serve as the secret ingredient to your success.

How to Give Your Bedroom a Fabulous Summer Makeover

A new season brings new inspiration, and sometimes all you need to feel more invigorated and energetic is to switch up your styles. This summer, you might consider making some interior decoration changes, and the bedroom is a great place to get started.

Forget about those winter blues that had you wanting to dive back under the covers where it was still toasty and warm. With a brighter, breezier look to your bedroom, you will want to bounce out of bed to greet the beauty of a warm summer morning.

So, without further ado, let's take a look at how to makeover your bedroom the Christopher Wray way.

1. Boost your bed

The most obvious piece of bedroom furniture that can provide huge benefit from an upgrade is the bed. It's normally the biggest thing in the room, and the choices you make can have a big impact on your comfort and lifestyle.

It really is best to go for the biggest bed you can get. That's because nothing beats a king sized bed for comfort and luxury. The larger mattress size means you have more room to roll around and find the perfect position for sleeping.

The parts of the bed that matter are the base, the mattress, and the bed head. For those who tend to be a bit accident-prone, there's a wonderful Christopher Wray bedroom solution especially for you.

It's called the Alexo, and one of the nicest features is it has a bit of extra padding all the way around, plus there are no sharp corners to bang your knees on when you're stumbling around in the dark.

The padded bead head of the Alexo bed is also great for those who have a tendency to sit up suddenly and accidentally bang their head on the wall. No more sudden shocks.

A stylish modern look can be achieved with the range of Cosmo Suites. The elegant, simple, rectangular style is so minimalist, it almost has a Zen quality to it. The result is a very clean look that can make a room feel more lively and energetic.

When the rest of your décor or architecture is more on the classic side, the Crest or Oaker beds will not seem out of place. These are sturdy, low profile bed choices that feel just as luxurious as they look.

The first thing you'll notice about the Crest design is that rather than the usual padded bed head, this one has an elegant hand carved design that looks quite ornate and regal. The Oaker is just a basic comfortable design that will look at home in almost any room. It is a very sturdy design with a large padded bed head.

Onto these beds you will need an excellent mattress, and one of the best choices you can get is the Simba mattress.

It's made right here in the UK, and provides cool comfort with excellent support. It's also the perfect size and shape to complement any of the Christopher Wray beds.

2. Top your bed with quality bedding

Just because winter is over doesn't mean you should toss your duvet away. You may want to switch to a lighter one for summer, however. If even a very light duvet feels too hot, there are specially made knitted blankets you can buy that may feel more comfortable. The holes between the stitches help air to circulate better, which can be a great relief if you've been suffering night sweats.

Sheets are also important, and while there are many choices, for summer what will feel the most luxurious and cool will be either genuine Egyptian cotton or authentic flax-based linen in the highest thread count you can find. A high thread count helps to make the fabric stronger and more durable. Using sheets made from these natural fibres will help you feel more cool and comfortable.

What most people will want to avoid is synthetic materials in sheets, because these can feel quite the opposite. Lacking the excellent moisture wicking capabilities and generous pores for air circulation that you find in the natural products, synthetic fibres can feel hot and unpleasant. They will do a poor job of absorbing sweat, thus allowing it to pool and create dampness.

Pillows are important too. Most people prefer a firm pillow for good neck support, and in recent years latex has become the most fashionable choice in pillows. One thing you should be careful of if you are considering upgrading to a latex pillow is that some people have allergic reactions to this material. "Try before you buy" is not a bad idea, especially when you consider the high cost of latex pillows.

3. Other furnishings

What type of additional furniture and how much you use depends on how much space you have available.

Bedside tables are good for helping you keep needed items within easy reach while you sleep, and of course, they're an excellent spot for adding a table lamp.

The styles can range from extra simple (Vaux) to extremely ornate (Grimaud). When choosing, think about the height of the bed. Your bedside tables should never tower over the bed, or it will be difficult to reach the objects you place on them. Also make sure you have enough room beside the bed to fit the tables.

When you need some extra storage space, a chest of drawers is a step up from the humble bedside table. These too, can be either simple or ornate, and they should ideally be a good match for your décor.

Features to consider apart from the look include whether or not the design includes handles for the drawers, the height and width of the chest body, and of course the number of drawers provided. Popular styles include Justine, Ouistre, and Wilsford.

A wardrobe is primarily intended for storing clothes, especially suits, jackets, trousers, etc. If you are buying a new wardrobe, think about things like whether it has hinged or sliding doors, the ratio of shelf to rail space, and any additional special features that you like in the design.

4. Light up your life

Of course the bedroom is usually a place where you'll be relaxing just before you go to sleep, so it's a perfect place to enjoy the benefits of a table lamp or reading lamp. This will make it easy for you to turn off the light, and also allows you a more comfortable personal light source don't need to rely on primary ambient light.

The Abazi lamps by Christopher Wray offer a wonderful choice of colours, and their modern lines make them an excellent choice for a contemporary or futuristic style bedroom. For a more elegant retro look, the Alicia range of table lamps is simply gorgeous.

We have a special fondness for the classic Art Nouveau look, which is revived in modern form with designs such as Garthurst and Neywood. These will add a practical light source for you to enjoy while also beautifying and enhancing your room.

The above tips hopefully have provided you with some inspiration for updating your room for the summer season. We'll be back with more home decorating tips and lighting suggestions, so be sure to visit the Christopher Wray blog often.