These days, home offices come in all shapes and sizes. You have the traditional, stately layouts that take up an entire room with built-ins and then you have the makeshift designs that are compressed into a tiny hall closet. Regardless of how big or small your workspace, designing an office entails a thoughtful approach.
Carving out a comfortable spot goes beyond splurging on a luxe desk and an ergonomic office chair — though that always helps — and lighting can have a significant impact on productivity, too. Beyond that, decor and storage solutions need to be considered as well — because a cluttered workspace won't do you any favors.
If you're planning to remodel an existing office, or perhaps create one, then you're in luck. Our editors have compiled this handy guide full of helpful information and dreamy interior design inspo to help you create a productive and stylish home office.
Home Office Design Ideas
Survey the area in which you'll be building out your office space to determine the layout that will work best for your needs. Will your workspace be in the living room, basement, garage, attic, library, bedroom? Or, perhaps your planning to make use of an empty corner or closet? Regardless of where you plan to carve out space to work, be mindful of where the electrical outlets are in the room — charging your laptop shouldn't be a hassle.
An important thing to consider for your home office includes natural light — positioning a desk directly under a window can seem great in theory, however, attempting to concentrate with the sun in your face isn't very comfortable. Also, don't forget to think about your budget, how many people are using this office, and even the temperature in the room — these are all factors that can make or break a functional design. Before you start your room makeover, check out our home office layout guide below.
Small Home Office Ideas
Small workspaces come in all shapes and sizes, whether it's a an empty office nook under the stairs or a desk tucked into an extra closet. If you're unable to dedicate an entire room to a workspace, seek out unused corners or walls that can pull double-duty. Stick to a minimalist decor scheme to limit clutter and keep the area as light and bright as possible for an open and airy feel. If your home office co-exists within another room, place an area rug underneath to visually divide the space.
Ensuring that you have all of the essentials for a productive workspace means maximizing the square footage you do have with thoughtful storage solutions — IKEA is a great source when it comes to designing small spaces. Make ample use of the walls, especially when short on space. Install a pegboard or a series of floating shelves above the desk to hold everyday basics and supplies. If there is room on your desk, invest in a tabletop file sorter and paper drawers. A desk with built-in storage is a space-saving alternative to an individual desk and cabinet combo. Need help designing your petite workstation? Check out this tip-filled guide for everything you need to think about.
Home Office Style Ideas
Have you been dreaming of a workstation where minimalism reigns supreme, a modern home office, a maximalist study, or something in between? Just because it's designated as a "workspace" that doesn't mean it can't benefit from some pizzazz. Go boho and fuel your creative spirit with an assortment of lively greens and vividly patterned textiles, or kick it old-school with wall-to-wall bookcases to emulate a traditional workspace. Whatever decorating ideas strike your fancy, our style guide will get you started on the right foot.
Home Office Color Ideas
Color psychology plays an influential role in determining the best hues for a home office. Generally speaking, anything too vibrant or bright — think red, hot pink, and even yellow — can be distracting and overly stimulating. Instead, when picking out wallpaper or paint colors, opt for subdued tones or cool neutrals to establish a soothing ambiance. Light blues, crisp grays, and even a series of off-whites are just a few options that you can't go wrong with.
If you're looking to make a bold statement with a dark pop of color, offset the intensity of those hues with lighter furniture or white trim and moldings, which will establish a high-contrast finish. If you can't settle on a palette, allow the size of the room to inform your color choices. In a tiny, cramped space, going lighter is always best, whereas a home office with plenty of natural light can afford a dark accent wall or two. Ready to pick your palette? Check out our complete guide to home office color ideas.
Home Office Storage & Organization Ideas
We'll be the first to admit that traditional office storage solutions aren't always the most attractive. The fix? Rethinking the basics with an aesthetically pleasing spin. Desktop options can do wonders corraling small items like pens and paper clips. If you're looking for something a bit more substantial, and don't have room for a wall of cabinetry, consider a petite filing cabinet, invest in shelving, a slim bookcase, or source a vintage piece that comes with a combination of drawers and doors. Alternatively, a desk with built-in storage is always a great idea. Lastly, don't be afraid to employ a slew of non-traditional solutions, such as baskets or a host of wall hooks, to keep things looking fresh. Consult this helpful and handy guide when you're ready to get organized.
Home Office Furniture & Decor Ideas
Obviously, the most important pieces of furniture in an office are the desk and chair. But before you start to shop around, don't forget to measure the distance from the floor to the tabletop, to guarantee that you can move freely when sitting — factor in enough space to cross your legs as well. If you tire easily from being in the same position all day, invest in a standing desk that can be converted into a regular one. They may run on the pricier side but it will give you a lot more flexibility. In addition to functionality and budget, you should also consider your storage needs and personal aesthetic. Would a midcentury desk blend in seamlessly? Or are you looking for something that feels minimalist?
Now you can think about your desk chair. From budget to swivel to ergonomic, there are a lot of different options to choose from. On the home decor front, treat your office as you would any other room. For instance, you can never go wrong with a few potted plants to liven things up. Perhaps a rug. And design-forward desk decor can be the difference between a snoozy or inspiring workstation. Need a bit more help deciding? Take a look at this comprehensive guide.
Home Office Lighting Ideas
A well-lit workspace is not only crucial but integral in creating an efficient and productive environment. Spending eight-plus hours under bright, fluorescent lighting isn't going to help you or your eyesight, that's why it's important to invest in a few different types of lighting to ensure that you have all your bases covered. A pendant or chandelier is ideal for illuminating the entire room, and a great way to sneak in a little extra flair.
If your home office already comes with recessed lighting, supplement those existing fixtures with sconces, desk lamp, or floor lamp — these are perfect for late nights when a dim source will suffice. And don't forget to also consider the style of your fixtures — from boho to modern to farmhouse, there are fixures for every aesthetic. Ready for some bright ideas? Check out our illuminating guide.
Home Office Wall Ideas
Once you've thought about some of the more practical elements of your home office, it's time to add just a little extra personality. From wall hangings to gallery walls to art prints to creative DIYs and bookshelves, there are so many creative wall decor options to choose from. Craving more inspo? Continue reading below.