In addition to 2020 being the year of an unexpected, worldwide pandemic, it'll also be known for another thing: working from home. If you didn't already have a dedicated space to attend to important matters, gathering all of those home office ideas is likely feeling a tad bit overwhelming right about now.
But we know this: Having a workspace, whether it's a whole room or just a corner of your home, will make you feel better and more productive. Creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing office could help you fight burnout and increase creativity — and it can double as a remote learning space for your kids as well.
If you need help making your WFH experience a lot more pleasant, you're in luck. We've narrowed down the sea of home office furniture and decor ideas, so that you don't have to. Let's get started.
Home Office Ideas: Furniture
Unlike a living room that requires a sofa, chairs, side tables, and more, home offices tend to be pretty simple. Basically, all you need is a desk and a good chair to start working, so it makes sense that they be the focal point. Think of the other pieces, such as shelves or storage cabinets, as bonus additions.
As you weigh store-bought desks (that are within your budget) and DIY options, you should also ponder if you want a desk with built-in storage. Standing varieties can help you feel more alert throughout the day and burn off some extra calories to boot. A minimalist pick, free of ornate details or fussiness, will blend into most spaces and fit just about any ambiance. Or, midcentury desks are ideal if you're going for a modern-meets-vintage vibe.
After you find a desk that suits your style and needs, move on to the chair. You'll want to seek out a seat that feels comfortable to you — you know, something that you can envision yourself sitting in for long work sessions. And the good news is that a lot of desk chairs won't break the bank (there are a whole host of choices for comfy seats under $200) — you can even score one at IKEA or on Amazon to help you stay on budget.
Beyond the desk and the chair, we recommend you take a look at adding storage to your space, too. IKEA is a great resource for desks that include drawers, but if you have plenty of room, feel free to go all-out with your storage. This can include an entire wall of open shelving and built-in cabinets.
Home office furniture and decor ideas can extend to non-traditional situations as well. For instance, let's say that both you and your partner are working from home. In this case, set up an office for two by installing adequate storage and finding (or creating) side-by-side desks. Even a cozy corner can act as a home office with the right furniture and decor. Go minimal and streamlined with your desk or consider a fold-out version to save even more space.
Maybe you don't need to have a permanent office in your home — perhaps WFH is a temporary situation, and you'd prefer not to invest in office furniture. That's perfectly OK, especially since there are furniture rental companies that you can take advantage of for however long you need.
Home Office Ideas: Decor
We know that home office ideas are intended for work and hammering out projects. But, like any space in your home, it doesn't hurt to combine function with style, right?
Your home office can absolutely have a point of view, and it should. Think of it as a place to reflect your personality, soothe away stress, and inspire creativity — all things that can be accomplished with the help of the right home office furniture and decor ideas. Even in a small space, there are tons of opportunities to create stylish visuals. Whether you choose to go with an industrial, boho, rustic, modern, or even colorful office, there are some standard pieces you should probably weave in.
Let's start with lighting — you'll need to be able to see what you're working on, after all. You, of course, can't go wrong with a desk lamp, and luckily, there are many attractive and modern-looking options out there. A flush mount is an under-the-radar pick if you don't want to overwhelm a small space and it'll provide plenty of light. Or, to represent your personality in the space, go big or go home with a flashy chandelier or eye-grabbing pendant light, and build the rest of your space around it.
As for the walls, a large tapestry can make a chic statement, a gallery wall allows you to display framed mementos and meaningful artwork, and a memo board can display your to-do lists while acting as an inspiration board. To truly punch up your walls, a tile accent, wallpaper, or floor-to-ceiling cork will do the trick.
To warm up the space and provide patterning, a rug (or two, for a layered look) is just the ticket. You don't want to forget tchotchkes and other treasured belongings to display as well — remember, it doesn't have to be all work when it comes to home office ideas. For example, showcase your favorite all-time books, which is what Kate Middleton does in her workspace.
Plants can bring life and good energy into a home office. In fact, plants may help you focus and increase productivity. Just be sure to choose varieties that are appropriate for low-light if you have small windows (or none at all), like a ZZ plant, philodendron, snake plant, or African violet if you desire some flowers in your space.
Lastly, think through any other items you want on your desk. You can certainly go the minimalist route with your desk accessories and choose a few special pieces to display on your desk, but they shouldn't disrupt your organization game. Think diminutive potted succulents, a pretty pencil cup, or a decorative paper weight. Anthropologie is a particularly great source for desk decor: hourglass timers, catchall bowls, jars, and candles galore.
Home Office Ideas: Trends
As you sift through home office furniture and decor ideas, see if any of the current trends pique your interest.
According to Modsy, midcentury modern currently reigns supreme as the most popular home office style around. We personally love it when midcentury is mixed with an unexpected style, like boho, resulting in modern block-print wall art, hanging tassels and hats, and a mid-mod desk chair for good measure.
These days, people are utilizing their small spaces to create beautiful home offices, ones that surprisingly can fit into tiny nooks, wall recesses, or the corner of the living room. Right now, especially, people are making the most of what they already have, even even using unpredictable rooms as home offices. For instance, have you ever thought about a library leading a second life as an office? Or an attic?
Minimalism continues to be a huge trend, and it certainly applies to home office ideas. Although we're on board for a maximalist look in an office, minimalism does naturally encourage uncluttered, clear minds. To go with a less-is-more approach, many people are painting their home offices all-white, a hue that lends itself to clarity and the feeling of a clean slate.
Where to Shop for Home Office Furniture and Decor
Now that we've gone over the basics, it's time for the fun part: shopping. Here are a few of our favorite retailers for office furniture and decor.