Carving out a house Office that not solely conjures up creativity, but in addition helps you attain peak productiveness if you’re working from your home will be relatively simple. And it doesn’t require a devoted room or ample sq. footage both. Once you’re thinking about structure Ideas, get artistic with the area you have already got—even when meaning making use of a spare nook in your bed room or an unused closet.
Then, focus in your wants, says Keira St. Claire of Anthony Wilder Interiors Studio. “All people has different preferences with regards to their work environments.” Ask questions like: How typically will you employ the cellphone? How quiet does the Office should be? From there, you possibly can discover what kind of furniture will operate finest and get to work on the fun half: adorning.
Whether your objective is to go modern and sleek or cozy and chic, here are sensible (and delightful) Home Office decor Ideas and suggestions from the pros that show even the smallest areas can help you become more industrious.
Put unused spaces to work
Need a family office but don’t have the space to spare? Take a look again, advises designer Malcolm Davis, principal at Malcolm Davis Architecture, as you may be able to optimize your square footage by transforming an unused closet or long hallway into a workspace. “This built-in desk runs along a hallway near the entry of the home.”
Consider turning a hallway into an office
With so many people working from home these days, this is the perfect solution for a couple sharing an office in a not-so-large space. “By opening up the walls, this home office automatically feels significantly larger,” says Sullivan. “A glass desk in the center acts as both an informal conference table and as an additional desk. The reflection of the glass doesn’t take up visual space making the office appear to be more open.”
Love the design but don’t have it in your budget for the customization? Look to Ikea or The Container Store for a floating desk and shelving system you can install yourself. To give it a custom feel, add a few coats of paint so there’s contrast between the unit and walls. (Yes, you can paint laminated wood. Check out this tutorial on how to get the job done.) To finish the look, install warm under-cabinet lighting below your first set of shelves and pull up a chair!
Personalize the space based on your interests
“Sometimes, infusing a homeowner’s hobby into the design plan is the best way to personalize a home office,” says Sullivan. “This homeowner was a rower. His love of the sport was celebrated with the use of nautical colors, patterns, and art.”
Opt for a small writing desk in the bedroom
Though the bedroom isn’t the ideal space to set up shop, you may not have a choice. In these scenarios, look for a smaller profile writing desk, says St. Claire. “They’re usually much more stylish, they can double as a nightstand or vanity and can be very lovely when accessorized with flowers or plants, a beautiful lamp, and framed photo or art.”
Think strategically about how to accommodate two desks
If two people will be working together at the same time, it’s important to think about the best furniture arrangement, says Josh Hildreth of Josh Hildreth Interiors. “For collaboration, I love the idea of partners desks—they can be very beautiful and just the sight of one makes me want to get to work.” But if the work is individual, think about ways to arrange furniture that promotes focus and concentration instead. “Perhaps desks located in opposite corners or using a screen or curtain to create a zone of privacy and concentration,” says Hildreth. “If the desk itself is going to be shared by members of a family, consider having a bookshelf that can hold attractive storage baskets or containers as a way of storing incomplete work.”
Try a statement painting
Since it’s not a common area, your home office is a great place to take design risks with art and furniture choices. (We love the curvy design of this desk and lamp!)
“Art should not always be saved for the main and sometimes more important rooms in the home. Adding beautiful art to a home office has a way of elevating it to feel like the destination anyone would feel happy in,” says Sullivan. “Tall stained oak bookshelves that go up to the ceiling maximize shelf space for artful objects, and of course, books.”
Maximize vertical space
Organization is especially critical in a small space, says Annie Elliott of Annie Elliott Design. Accessories like hanging file folders, shelves, rods with hooks, and even dedicated wall systems help you corral office supplies while keeping them close at hand, she explains.
Don’t be afraid to make the space feel more cozy
Though you likely won’t reach peak productivity perched on your bed, you don’t have to design a sterile space, either. “I love to give all offices a cozy feel by using lamps with a warm glow (2700k color temperature) and by adding other homey touches, such as candles, plants, and soft things like throw pillows and blankets,” says Tracy Morris of Tracy Morris Design.
Give yourself the option to stand
If you’re clocking long hours at your workspace, look for a more modern desk that accommodates both sitting and standing positions. Studies show there are many benefits to switching positions throughout the day, including decreased back pain and blood pressure.
Don’t overlook the details
Play with hardware to make your work space looks less “officey,” Cohen suggests. When mixing metals, make sure that they are different enough from one another. “In this case we used a recessed pull combined with a regular pull in two different finishes.” And have fun with the placement. “When mounting hardware, they don’t always have to be centered on the drawers or doors. I often mount them half an inch from the top of the drawer center so that they don’t get lost in the design.”
Include comfy furniture
Adding a chaise or a sofa into the design helps keep the style of your office consistent with the vibe throughout the rest of your home. It also gives you the option to switch back and forth between your desk and a more lounge-y area throughout the day.
Start with storage
Designer Jenny Kirschner agrees that storage is integral to any home office and even uses it as a jumping off point for her designs. “When a budget affords for me to do so, I design highly customized built-in storage specific to the needs of the homeowner. For example, I incorporated a hidden murphy bed into my personal home office, so that the room can double as a guest bedroom when needed.”
If built-ins aren’t possible, a daybed that masquerades as a sofa by day can do double duty when guests arrive. Go for one with storage underneath to maximize space.
Consider everyone’s needs
Need your office to do double duty as a homework area for the kids? Keep them in mind when designing it. “Most parents know the struggles of getting school-aged children to do their homework. When this family designed their custom home, they created their “project room” as a destination for both kids and mom,” says designer Linda Sullivan, founding principal and CEO of Sullivan Design Studio. “Mom and kids selected fabrics for their own chairs to represent their favorite colors for individuality, and each household member has a designated project and homework box, so losing homework is not an option! The ladder provides help for reaching supplies on the highest shelves, and the customized island is made with an extremely durable laminated glass surface for cleaning up even the messiest of projects.”
Give yourself a view
Open floor plans often call for offices that match the interior décor for a subtle flow in between rooms. This office was made for a Silicon Valley executive in mind who did not want a traditional office, says Sullivan. “The option to view the inside of the home while also being able to see the beautiful outdoor landscaping gives this office a sense of peaceful relaxation. The seeded glass doors allow natural light to inhabit the room for a light and airy feel making the space appear larger than it may actually be.”
Don’t have an office area with many windows? That’s okay! Keep your wall color light and airy (think white or light wood tones), forgo heavy draperies in favor of gauzy curtains or a neutral roman shade, and bring in a bit of the outdoors with plenty of potted plants. (Etsy and Amazon are great resources for indoor plants!)
Add a jolt of color
One way to ensure your office isn’t a snooze? Add a bold pop of color while keeping the rest of the space neutral. “Our client did not need an enclosed or secluded space. Her home “office” was a spot to check email and go through mail,” says designer Alexandra Mangimelli, principal at Strang. “A correspondence space filled with light and bold color makes it a happy space for an artist.”
Go matchy-matchy to make a statement
Mangimelli designed the office of a couple’s part-time Miami home with minimal—but matching!—furnishings for a look that feels both luxe and intentional. “It needed to be functional for both of them, private, and sophisticated but still in keeping with the design of the overall home,” says Mangimelli “We designed a custom, dual-sided desk supported by brass legs with a walnut cabinet in the middle and topped with the same Calcutta used for the palladiana terrazzo on the floor. The walnut wall paneling is strategically used to also conceal built-in cabinetry that houses equipment and storage behind flush doors.”
Be a minimalist
There’s a reason minimalism is favored by some of the world’s most successful people. A clutter-free space outfitted with simple furnishings and a neutral color palette has a way of freeing the mind and sparking creativity. “This simple office was carved out of the massing above a staircase, allowing a compact house to live more spaciously,” says Davis. “A sturdy Masonite top with a leading Douglas Fir edge makes up the desk surface.”
Go floor to ceiling with storage
Maximize every inch of space in your office by opting for floor-to-ceiling shelving on all four walls. In this home office space designed by Davis, exposed 2 x 12 wall framing was employed to create display and storage cubbies. Organization is key in keeping things from looking chaotic, so if you tend to be on the messier side, consider doing the floor-to-ceiling treatment on just one wall.
Minimize visual clutter
To carve out a workspace without calling too much attention to it, look to furniture made from clear or transparent materials like acrylic or lucite for a playful-yet-chic vibe. In this sleek master bedroom renovation by Andrew Mann, principal at Andrew Mann Architecture, a clear decorative credenza in the entry vestibule doubles as a handy place to pile books to be read or pull out a laptop for a quick email. (Going the clear route also allows the art placed above to take center stage.)
Show off your collections
Instead of hiding your hard-won collections in storage, put them to work in your home office! To keep things looking chic, concentrate your collections in one area of the room. (A grouping of like objects in one space makes for a striking and strong display, but a grouping of like objects dispersed around a whole room? That can look a little crazy.) “In this home, where gallery walls display the homeowner’s plein air paintings, an antique drop front desk provides a handy work surface for a home office while the glass front cabinet contains a collection of native American artifacts,” says Mann.
Play with decorative items
Faith is partial to both oversized statement-making art as well as a framed grouping of art made by her kids. “It helps put the ‘home’ in home office,” she says. Decorist’s Creative Director Jessica McCarthy likes pieces that can serve as an inspiration point for creative projects. “If you are able to layer in personal touches that bring you joy, happiness and inspire creativity, you will see it reflected in your work,” she says.
For gallery-worthy personal photos, try Artifacts Uprising, Shutterfly, or have a curator put together a collection to match your decor and creative vibes from Saatchi Art. Or, there’s always affordable options on Etsy.
Focus on lighting
Bright ideas call for a brightly lit room. “If your office doesn’t have a ton of natural light, add as much task lighting as you possibly can,” McCarthy suggests.
For small offices where floor and desktop space may be limited, narrow sconces work wonders and lend a more laid back mood when put on a dimmer.
But, choose the right kind of light
One important thing to consider when selecting lights for a work space: “White light is what improves productivity where as a yellow light can often make people feel tired and less productive,” Cohen says, highlighting research that has shown how cooler, more bluish-white light can improve alertness and lower melatonin, which in turn reduces fatigue.
Layer in personal touches
“Your home office should be a true representation of you and your personal style,” McCarthy says. “Designing a home office gives you the flexibility to be creative with mixing colors and patterns as you don’t have to worry about offending your fellow colleagues!”
Decorate with plants
When spending long hours in a space, plants will help you feel connected to the outside world, McCarthy says. A large fig tree, a vase of roses, or succulents will add a nice dose of color to your home office space, too.
In a more dramatic fashion, McCarthy chose an oversized floral-print wallpaper from Anewall as her nod to nature in the office and podcasting room of the Bachelorette’s Kaitlyn Bristowe’s home.
“They have an incredible range of murals that are all peel and stick in the most gorgeous patterns,” she says.
“Think about the interiors of your storage too,” Kirschner says. “So many home offices get cluttered simply because there isn’t a place for ‘stuff’ to live.” In a home office designed by Stacey Cohen, file drawers and a pull-out printer cabinet make for a clutter-free space. Wall-mounted drawers, like the ones shown here, can be bought separately and grouped together or stacked for hidden storage.
Make the most of corners
“We carved out extra space in this entry mudroom to double as a home office by building a custom desk that can be disguised as a console table,” says Caroline Grant and Dolores Suarez of Dekar Design. “The middle cabinet doors can be pulled out and opened/closed to hide or reveal leg space for the desk. Floating shelves are also a great way to add extra storage and they look amazing on an accent wall.”
To get the look without all of the customization: Choose a versatile desk that can be disguised as a console table when not in use, along with pre-made reclaimed wood shelves and nice dark brackets, both of which are widely available, bring the eyes up, and add a level of warmth, according to Grant and Suarez. An accent of colorful wallpaper will help make the space feel inviting and give you something beautiful to look at while working.
Invest in desk accessories
“Since it’s harder to leave work behind when your office is at home, your space musn’t cause mess-related stress,” Faith says. To that end, desk accessories are key, be it a good basket (or a small collection of baskets in an assortment of shapes, sizes and textures) or trays to corral messes and keep your desktop looking tidy.
In this corner work space, a classic secretary desk helps keep items contained. Faith also loves a tray that can sit atop an ottoman. Or—even better—a storage ottoman with a tray attached.
Make a list of your business needs
“When I design a home office…the most important factor is also the most obvious one. It has to work for you,” says designer Elizabeth “Muffie” Faith, principal of Elizabeth Stuart Design. In other words, put your specific business at the top of your list. (Will you need to store products? Is it quiet enough to take calls? Do you need to accommodate an occasional guest?) Then, fill in gaps with the other office non-negotiables: A desk or table, a comfortable chair, etc.