10 Designer-Approved Home Offices to Inspire Your Own
Whether we like it or not, most of us have to work from home at some point. That's why creating a home office space you actually want to spend time in is so important. "Designing a home office can be challenging because the purpose of the space is for working rather than 'living,'" says Anjie Cho, interior architect and author of Holistic Spaces: 108 Ways to Create a Mindful and Peaceful Home.
The first step in creating a home office where you'll actually get work done, is finding the space to put one. "I've found that a lot of people can't find the physical space for a proper home office, so they have to carve out what they can in another room," Cho says. "If this is the case, I suggest using a fabric drape, roller shade, or freestanding screen or shelf to visually separate your workspace from the rest of the room."
When it comes to furnishing your home office, Cho says to start with the essentials. "A desk or work table is the most important furniture item in a home office," she explains, "so take care to properly measure the office area to make sure you have enough room for the one you want."
"Lighting is also essential in a home office," Cho says. "Opt for a furniture arrangement and window coverings that allow plenty of sunlight to stream into the room so you'll stay focused and alert while you work." No natural light in your home office? No problem. Cho says you can fake the appearance of more light by installing sconces, lamps, and other artificial light sources throughout your space.
Looking for more ideas on how to score a more motivating workspace at home? We asked ten different interior designers for tips on how to create a stylish but efficient home work space.
Choose Patterns That Keep You Energized
Decorate with Multifunctional Pieces
"Multifunctional furnishings are essential when designing a small home office area. Opt for desks with built-in bookshelves for storage or even wallpaper that looks like actual art to create a versatile home office without sacrificing any style," says designer Julie Massucco Kleiner of Massucco Warner Miller.
Use Floating Shelves
Keep your office as organized as, say, your vanity advises Elizabeth Miles of Hundley Hilton Interiors."It has to be a space that you want to go, it doesn't matter how big or small, but keep it organized and beautiful and you will be more productive."
Elevate Your Essentials
"Select aesthetically pleasing office supplies to help make your work day feel a little more elevated and chic," says Melissa Benham of Studio Gild. "For everyday necessities from paper clips and scissors, forgo big box office supply companies in favor of artisanal makers with a design-forward approach like Tools to Liveby and Hay."
Personalize Your Work Area
You don't want to think of your home office as an afterthought. If you're going to spend a lot of time in there, you should treat it as any other room. A good way of doing this is by surrounding yourself with pieces that inspire you. "I filled the office in my old New York apartment with drawings and sculptures that have sentimental meaning and had been passed down through my family, for instance," says Caroline Rafferty of Caroline Rafferty Interiors.
Declutter Your Space
"Keeping your home office clean, organized, and separated from the rest of the house is important to avoid distractions, but more importantly," says Nina Magon of Contour Interior Design, "it creates a comfortable environment where you can work more efficiently."
Install Good Lighting
"Working from a home office has become the norm, and for me, it is important to have a space with great natural lighting. Whether it is a dedicated office or just a nook in your apartment, lighting is key," says Jeffrey Alan Marks, of Jeffrey Alan Marks Design. If your home office area doesn't offer a solid amount of natural lighting, recreate it by adding sconces and oversized pendants throughout the space."
Create a Space That Motivates You
"Keep yourself motivated and inspired by spending your time in a visually stimulating space," says Blima Ehrentreu, of The Designers Group.
Give It a Calming Vibe
"When designing an in-home office, begin with a blank, clean space, and start by adding a simple, chic desk and a comfortable chair arranged so your back is to a wall for grounding—a Feng Shui technique," says Laurence Carr of Laurence Carr Designs. Her other tip: Remove anxiety-producing clutter, and opt for a simple tray and desk accessories to keep cool and calm while you work.