You’ve seen that picture circulating on social media and Whatsapp chats, a snaking queue outside IKEA Alexandra, right before our nationwide “Circuit Breaker” measures kick in, of brave (or very, very bold) Singaporeans willing to spend their last weekend on this essential activity — shopping for furniture and dining on Swedish meatballs. Obvious disregard for social distancing aside, we can still sort of understand their situation; as many workplaces are strongly encouraged to telecommute this week, Work From Home has become a new reality for the majority of us. And not all of us have ready desks and work stations set up.
What we’re saying though is this: you don’t have to haul your sorry self to IKEA to make a frenzied purchase, not their physical store anyway, because you can always shop online. As they say, just a click of a button away! So here you go, some of our recommendations for the most aesthetically-pleasing home office you can dream of. Very necessary too.
Think “home office” and maybe you’re imagining a space away from the clutter and, perhaps, cosiness of the rest of your house. A place of pure function and absolute focus. If you’re shopping at IKEA though, know that both these can coexist harmoniously. In true Scandi-style, you’re not sacrificing comfort and aesthetics for functionality. Not when desks come this sleek, and storage units are a quirky sight to behold, all with an affordable price tag too. There are tons of options no matter your space constraints, and even a standing desk-and-stool combo for all you healthy workaholics. Have fun, while tackling your to-do lists in style.
1: NILSERIK Standing Support, Black / Vissle Black, $79 ; SKARSTA Desk Sit/Stand in White, $349 ; HELMER Drawer Unit in Blue, $69
2: LILLÅSEN Desk (Bamboo), $199 ; FJÄLLBERGET Conference Chair, $299 ; LÅNGFJÄLL Office Chair in Gunnared Dark Grey / White, $219 ; BEKANT Storage Unit in Mesh White, $379
3: EKET Wall-Mounted Shelving Unit in Golden-Brown, $95 ; SKÅDIS Pegboard in White, $73.90 ; YPPERLIG LED Table Lamp in Light Grey, $59
For comfortable, ergonomic options.
Productivity, people! Yes, we all want to make the most of our 9 to 5, and boy do we try — though at what cost? Desk-bound office workers often spend long hours sitting, or hunched, in awkward positions, which obviously lead to posture problems. We don’t just mean the older folks, by the way. If you’re serious about self-care, investing in the right desk chair might do the trick, especially an ergonomic one. Scoff at their non-aesthetic practicality all you want, we’ve got converts raving about stunning lumbar support, enhanced stability, a just-right seat, and basically, an overall more comfortable experience! While you’re at it, Courts also has a futuristic smart desk with gesture-controlled height adjustment and charging ports. Leave your back pains and more in the past then.
1: Intello Smart Desk with Module, $1,399 ; Dale Study Table, $199 ; Delonghi ECOV311.BK Espresso Coffee Maker, $329
2: Pofit High Back Office Chair, $928 ; Cello Mid Back Study Chair – Grey, $228 ; Ergohuman Plus Elite High Back Office Chair, $998
For a stylish statement.
The Commune life is certainly a beautiful one, and somehow, we’re more inclined to call the work office space our “personal study”. You know, lined with bookshelves and heavy tomes, the kind secret spy organisations wouldn’t mind meeting in? We digress. It’s just, with those peg legs and old-school desks, a lot of their furniture echoes mid-century aesthetics, though made contemporary with smooth wood and fluid design. Their craftsmanship is functional, quality, yet pleasing on the eye; distinctive enough to stand out, while also fitting in with its surroundings without being ostentatious. Something you’ll definitely want to flaunt, even if your study’s just, well, the spare room.
For affordable, trendy picks.
Online furniture shopping a strange new experience to you? Not for Castlery. The homegrown start-up has been selling furniture online since day one, which is fitting for a direct-to-consumer model that cuts out the middleman, so they can pass the cost savings to you. Every item you see is designed, sourced, manufactured, and then sold by them, for total supply-chain control. Formidable huh! Another thing they have going? A catalogue of modern Scandinavian-inspired furniture that’s mind-blowing in its sheer variety — every office-worthy design we came across was easy on the eyes and versatile, so you won’t have to overhaul your home aesthetics for this set-up. If you’re thinking of backing a success story and a workspace set up for success, this one’s a happy convergence.
Any Crazy Rich Asians mom-in-law would be impressed. That’s how welcome SCENE SHANG’s lifestyle pieces are, of inspired designs that take reference from 1930s Shanghai and its resplendent Art Deco glory. That their furniture and home accessories look this modern says a lot about intelligent design; like the calculated yet effortless stroke of a calligraphy brush, they’ve managed to elevate even the rather tired East-meets-West trope, one side table, one armchair at a time. If you’re looking to introduce some Asian heritage to your contemporary home, and absolutely need an office space this luxe, this one’s worth it.
1: YUAN Loft Side Table (Tall) – MEI Plum, $470 ; THE BANKER Desk Lamp – Satin Emerald, $280 ; MOJO Chair, POA