How can I stop my family taking over my home workspace?

Your question

I’ve started a business from home which is doing well. The problem is my family – they take my office corner to be part of the general living space! How can I shut my corner off, especially from my children, and let everyone know that’s my business space?

Our answer

I’m very keen on screens for dividing space. The visual break should be enough to make children forget the pens and paper on your desk and make it possible for you to pass from work mode to relax mode at the end of the day.

I’m writing this from my office corner in the bedroom. My computer station is one of those modern glass desks with shelves on the side for printer, scanner, etc. To this I’ve added a set of flat pack wooden shelves for filing and storage, which act as a dividing wall, forming a square.

To hide it all neatly away, I’ve used a folding screen, closing in my little ‘office’ square from the rest of the room. Folding screens come in all price ranges. Some of the prettiest and most affordable, however, are open design so won’t really hide anything. Widths of cloth held with dots of DIY glue can take care of that quite nicely but in this case I made my own to measure.

It’s an easy DIY project and allowed me to have one panel hinged to the back of the shelves, allowing two-sided access, and the other two panels to be hinged to the front edge of the shelves to close it off. A simple hook and eye at the open side can secure it to the wall to make it toddler-proof! When open, the extra extension of the screen also gives the effect of a larger working cubical.

Answered by Janet Pain. Find out how to build a screen like Janet’s, and get tips on assembling flat packs and other DIY help from a feminine point of view on her blog.