10 Tips for Designing Your Home Office

Work in style in a beautiful and functional home office.

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May 08, 2020
By: Gretchen Roberts

Whether your home office is designated space for running a business, your remote workspace or simply a nook for paying bills and organizing your schedule, you deserve more than a metal desk and extra chair stuffed into a spare corner. Why? An office that reflects the design and comfort of the rest of your home is a place you'll want to burn the midnight oil.

Faux Skin Rug Lines Eclectic Home Office With Modern Desk And Chairs

Eclectic Bungalow Home Office

This eclectic home office features a gallery wall of art and quirky knick-knacks, with two mid-century modern chairs and a modern, white desk.

Photo by: Alyssa Rosenheck

Alyssa Rosenheck

Tips for Designing an Office at Home

1. Location, Location, Location

You'll likely spend many hours in your home office, so don't stiff yourself on space (e.g. squishing a tiny desk into a windowless closet to preserve the rarely-used guest room).

Also, consider traffic flow and your ability to withstand distractions. Do you work best in the thick of activity, or should your office be tucked away in a quiet space? If clients will be stopping by, a private space with ample seating is a must.

2. Don't Sacrifice Form for Function

Your desk, shelves and storage should serve you, not the other way around. Consider your workflow and what items you need at your fingertips before investing in furniture, and then look for pieces that are both beautiful and functional.

Home office furniture should complement other rooms in your house instead of screaming "soulless cubicle." If your home has traditional decor, warm wood and soft, comfy chairs or a loveseat are ideal if you have the space. A contemporary home office can feature artistic pieces or modern metal furniture.

Eclectic Home Office

Contemporary Home Office

A mix of classic and contemporary pieces paired with bright colors and unexpected accessories puts a twist on this traditional home office style.

Photo by: Danny Piassick

Danny Piassick

A mix of classic and contemporary pieces paired with bright colors and unexpected accessories puts a twist on this traditional home office style.

3. Invest in a Great Chair

You spend hours parked in your office chair; a beautiful, ergonomically correct, comfortable seat is worth every dime.

4. Paint the Walls a Color You Love

Forget "office beige": You need a color that gets your work motor humming. For some people, that's a bright, cheery color like orange or lime green. Others need a calming shade like botanical green or sea foam blue to perform. Find out more about how certain colors can affect your mood.

Home Office With White and Lime Green Wallpaper

Colorful Home Office Includes Mechanized Sitting/Standing Desk

Could colorful walls in your home office help you get more work done?

Photo by: David Duncan Livingston

David Duncan Livingston

Could colorful walls in your home office help you get more work done?

5. Give Yourself a View

Position the desk where you can stare at something more interesting than a blank wall (even if you do love the color) when you glance up from the computer. A window's natural light is ideal, but if you're in a windowless space, hang a pretty picture above the desk, or position your chair to face the door.

Home Office Flair

Home Office Flair

This home office space is flooded with light from windows that offer a break from the computer screen.

Photo by: Genevieve Garruppo

Genevieve Garruppo

This home office space is flooded with light from windows that offer a break from the computer screen.

6. Choose Homey Accessories

Unless you're going for a contemporary look, choose extras that enhance the comfy feeling of your home office, like a pretty mug for a pencil holder, trendy notepads and sticky notes, and a decorative waste basket. Wrap your bulletin board in a gorgeous fabric, and hide utilitarian bookshelves behind curtains made from the same material. Hang inspirational prints on the walls, whether that's simply your kids' framed artwork or a classic painting.

7. Organize Vertically and Horizontally

Many home offices aren't swimming in square footage, so using space efficiently is imperative.

Hang floating shelves on the walls to get papers and office equipment off the desk, and use vertical file folders on the desk to keep important papers within arm's reach. Are you a stacker or a filer? If you tend to make piles, get a nice basket to tame your mail, notes and papers. If you prefer a clean desktop, designate one drawer for your "to-do" papers. Wooden or metal cube storage is a fun alternative to bookshelves, since each space can be used for books, knickknacks or baskets of odds-and-ends.

HOME OFFICE HACKS
HOME OFFICE HACKS

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8. Master Your Technology

There's not much you can do to beautify the computer, printer and phone, but you can hide unsightly cords. Start by making sure your equipment is close to outlets and easy to access if you need to unplug. Encase cords on the desk in a fabric cord cover, and feed the cords into a desk grommet, a plastic or metal cap that helps guide cords through a hole in the desk and hides them underneath. Tame the cord jungle on the floor with cord winders, tubing, or a wire organizer that's attached to the desk and lifts the cords off the floor.

9. Let There Be Light

Here's a bright idea: make sure your office has plenty of light to cut down on eye strain and headaches. Position the computer monitor so there's no glare from a window or overhead light, and put a small lamp on the desk for task lighting.

White Home Office With Wooden Desk and Brass Desk Lamp

Natural Light Illuminates Contemporary Home Office With Wooden Desk

A desk lamp can keep the focus on work.

Photo by: Caitlin Murray

Caitlin Murray

A desk lamp can keep the focus on work.

10. Inspire Yourself

Set up a mini-shrine — a few cherished knickknacks, a piece of framed art, a special photo on your desk — that motivates you to create and/or get the work done so you can get out of there. A print of Paris can channel your inner muse, or a photo of your children might remind you that you're doing it all for them.

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