June 13, 2024

Architectural Design Kingdom

Home is where the heart is

23 Home Office Ideas That Will Make You Want to Work All Day

9 min read

Whether you work from home or have carved out a space for something you love (like crafting, reading, or writing), your home office is a place that should inspire the flow of creativity and allow you to get down to business. But it can be hard to come up with home office ideas that are truly inspiring. These areas can be the most neglected spaces in our homes. They’re messy, they’re cramped, and they drive us to work anywhere but in the actual office–like the couch, kitchen, or bed (guilty!). To help you create and update a truly stimulating space, we asked experts—from designers to bloggers and editors—for home office ideas that will make you want to buckle down and get to work.

Think Chic

Your space should inspire you—and reflect your unique personality. “We wanted to design a space that was fashionable, functional, and reflected homeowner Desi Perkins’ personality,” Leura Fine, CEO, and Founder of Laurel & Wolf says. “The black accent wall added some drama and depth to the space, and we added a chandelier above the desk to add a little glitz and glamour. The wood-tiled sideboard keeps the space organized, serving as a storage unit for beauty products and a countertop for office supplies. The functionality of the space makes it possible for Desi to stay on top of the business side of her career while the chic decor provides the perfect backdrop for her videos and Instagram photos.”

Add Green

Breathe some life into your space, so you’ll want to stay longer. “I try to ensure a balanced home office that is practical, ergonomic, comfortable, and clean—if these elements aren’t in place I know I’ll end up working at the kitchen table,” Niki Brantmark, founder of My Scandinavian Home says. “A lovely plant is said to help keep you feeling calm and clean the air—plus it looks pretty too. I like either a snake plant or a ZZ plant. Both look lovely, are good for cleaning the air, and are low maintenance!”

Get Artsy

Decorate with images that speak to you. “Fill your office with vibrant art to energize your space and make you feel motivated,” Dabito, Founder & Creative Director at Old Brand New says. “I create my own artwork and have it framed by Simply Framed, or I shop from Chairish and Society6.” Dabito is happy to share his genius DIY instructions for his multi-purpose wall shelf/desk. (They’re surprisingly easy to follow, phew!) But if you don’t want to spend your Saturday spray-painting and building shelves, this wall unit from Ikea is a similarly chic option that can be up and ready fast.

Find the Rug

Ground your space with a colorful area rug—for visual interest and soothing sound-absorption. “The multi-colored rug brings in other colors that accent the peach and green nicely, too,” Joy Cho, Founder & Creative Director of Oh Joy!. “But you could also do a neutral gray rug with this color combo. Keep the furniture simple and clean to make it more sleek, and then add in some green foliage to give the room some texture!”

Practice Hygge

Make it welcoming—but not too cozy that all you want to do is nap. “Neutral colors on your walls and floor, paired with natural wood, plants and some kind of textile, like blankets, throw pillows, rugs, or a yarn wall hanging, create a simple yet cozy working space,” Caitlin & Manda, Co-founders of The Merrythought says.

Hang a Gallery Wall

It’s your space—crowd it with what you love. “Style a gallery wall against a neutral wall. You can arrange them on the floor first, moving the prints around until you achieve the harmonious look that you want,” Geraldine Tan, Founder & Editor of Little Big Bell says. “Use removable wall strips to hold your prints up. This allows for the flexibility of changing the look of the wall.”

If you want to achieve a similar look, we love Minted for their huge, affordable collection of prints. They also provide a free service so that you can text a picture of your wall to their stylists, and they’ll put together a recommendation of art pairings for you. Matting and frames are a way to make art prints look more expensive and styled, but can be a pricey investment. Don’t rule out Michaels—they do custom framing in the store!

Mix Old and New

Don’t be afraid to steal decor from other rooms in the house. A mix of vintage and modern makes a home feel warm and lived in and personal, instead of feeling like a showroom. “We paired a gorgeous antique rug that the client already had (hidden away in a dark spot elsewhere in the house!) and a pair of new red chairs,” Melissa Mascara, designer at Homepolish says. “The art on the walls is limited to black and white images so that the color in the space doesn’t become too overwhelming. It is such a comfortable, beautiful room to work in.”

Let Light in

Stay connected to the great outdoors. “Natural light makes a space feel bigger—which is always a plus in a small space,” Hayley Francis, founder and blogger at Neon Doves says. “For my home office, I actually used fogged window film on all the windows so I could always have the blinds up. This allows enough light to feed the plants in the room and keep them, as well as myself, lively! And when you feel alive, you’re always more efficient.”

If you, like Hayley, have an office that also functions as a dressing room/walk-in closet, affix a non-adhesive frosted film to windows, to allow sunlight into your space while maintaining privacy.

Work in Color

Choose colors that speak to you—not what’s trendy. “I found this Stone Blue color by Farrow & Ball provided the perfect background for a productive day’s work,” Emily Murray, founder and editor at The Pink House says. “Having a bit of fun with the filing cabinets in a non-conventional turquoise meant that even the more functional elements of the room looked attractive.”

Optimize Your Space

Organization is key—use every trick in the book. Nobody works well in a messy home office. “Don’t waste an ounce of space by tucking printers, filing, etc. into corners and in drawers,” Carly Callahan, designer at Homepolish and founder of Callahan Interiors says. “Use all your vertical space, too, by putting cabinets up to the ceiling with varying types of storage and a wall hanging pin board to help organize supplies that might otherwise end up shoved in a drawer!”

Make it Moody

If you want your home office to feel like a cozy library, opt for dark paint and vintage accents. Built-in bookcases can evoke a more lived-in appearance (as well as provide more storage). Swap out the traditional floor or desk lamps for old-fashioned sconces to create a rich, moody environment.

Keep it Minimal

Not everyone needs two large monitors, a printer, and a file cabinet to do their work. If you prefer a more minimal interior design style—and don’t need that many physical materials to get your job done—then allow your home office to reflect that. Use a simple, yet well-crafted, table as your desk and pair it with a similarly streamlined chair to seamlessly integrate your home office area into your existing home design.

Use Up Vertical Space

In smaller spaces—when you don’t have a separate room to dedicate to a home office—utilizing vertical space is crucial. Instead of a large, bulky floor desk, look for desk and storage units that can be installed to your walls. Building upwards will create more visual space—even if your “home office” is actually just an unused corner of your kitchen or dining room.

Invest in a Stylish Chair

As is the case in any room of the home, a good chair can really define a space. While ergonomics may be the most important factor for some, a beautiful, well-designed chair (like the iconic Cesca chair) that fits your style can make your home office really feel like yours. Of course, you shouldn’t ignore the importance of comfort, either.

Opt for Natural Materials

Warm, neutral color palettes can create a calm and cozy work environment. Match tones of wood and keep your decor to a few similar shades for a consistent look. To keep the space from feeling dull or boring, make sure to introduce varying textures, balancing softer and more structured elements, and include natural materials, like rattan and pampas grass.

Make the Most of a Nook

If you’re short on space, look to those unused, awkward corners of your home. With a little imagination, they could become the perfect spots to settle in and get some work done. If all you really need is a desk and a chair, you can transform almost any nook into a makeshift home office. Plus, with minimal space to work with, you may even be able to avoid clutter from building up in your workspace.

Go Maximalist

Just because most commercial office spaces tend to be toned down in both color and personality, that doesn’t mean your home office has to be. Use the opportunity to play around with fun colors and pattern mixing, making your workspace as bold as you are. After all, environment can have an impact on your overall mood and productivity—so infusing your space with creativity could, in turn, help get your creative juices flowing.

Go All Out With Vintage

Not into the modern minimalism and clean lines associated with many of today’s office spaces? Swing hard in the other direction with a space that’s entirely outfitted in unique antique pieces. From your desk and chair to the frames on the wall, filling your workspace with vintage and antique pieces can add a lot of charm and create the feeling of a slower-paced lifestyle. (Just one note: A large computer monitor probably won’t fit in with this set up.)

Angle Your Desk

If space allows, pulling your desk away from the wall is a great way to give your workspace some more breathing room. To break up the space in an even more unique and visually interesting way, try angling the desk in front of one of the corners of the room.

Dress it Up With Wallpaper

You don’t need a bunch of decor items to jazz up a home office. Some statement-making wallpaper can do the brunt of the work. If you don’t have the furnishings yet, start with a wallpaper print you love and allow that to dictate the color scheme and style for the rest of the room.

Add a Lounge Area

Everyone needs breaks in the work day. Adding a secondary seating area in your home office—whether that’s a loveseat or a cozy armchair—is a great way to encourage yourself step away from your desk every now and then to recharge and rest.

Pick a Focus Color

One quick way to make your home office design look cohesive and intentional is to pick a dominant color to carry throughout the room. In the example above, a soft, sage green is repeated in the desk and storage cabinets—and even some of the plants. It’s a good idea to choose a color that makes you feel happy and productive.

Simplify Your Desk

If you aren’t someone who needs a whole lot of storage space in or around your work area, then it may be best to choose a hyper-simple floating desk that takes up very little visual or physical space. Then, you’ll have more room to decorate around your desk with artwork and cozy touches (like the adorable lamp featured in the example above).


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