A home office is a space where utility meets aesthetics, where you want to feel inspired and creative while surrounded by décor which is specifically designed to enhance your productivity. Too often the home office is a sterile, boring space but we’ve compiled some of the best home office ideas and tips for creating a stylish and functional workspace that you’ll adore to spend time in.
Whether you have an entire room available to dedicate to your ideal home office, or just a tiny sliver of free space to convert, no space is too small when it comes to your dream office sanctuary.
Here are 40 home office ideas to help decorate your space:
Use of space
Start by making a list of the ways you intend to use the space. Home offices often fulfil a range of needs for the whole family and may be used for much more than a dedicated workspace for a single family member.
- It may be a place where you take care of life admin
- Where the kids do their homework
- Exclusive as your work zone
- A quiet place to take business phone calls
- Big enough for meetings with other people
- Small business area with multiple desks
By knowing the potential uses for the room or space will determine the kinds of furniture and storage that you will need.
Home office furniture checklists
The non-negotiables will be:
But if it will be a shared space, you may need to look into chairs that are height-adjustable, or set up unique organisational systems for each person to access.
Home office storage ideas
Once you’ve worked out the room’s needs, you can figure out the kind of storage options that will work best.
As we all know, organisation is key to creating a neat, tidy and functional space. Home offices by nature are full of paperwork, books, stationary, computer cords and accessories – so storage is integral to home office design.
With so many options out there, from bookshelves to floating shelves to cabinets, sideboards and cubbies. Let’s take a look…
Onwards and upwards
Firstly, consider how you can maximise your vertical square metres. Space is typically at a premium for most of us, so it pays to see the height of your wall as an asset when you are decorating your home office. If possible, install cabinets all the way up to the ceiling, and rest a ladder against them, to really optimise this space.
An open book
Even if you can’t utilise your entire vertical space, large open shelving is a must for most small offices and makes a practical and stylish way of maximising office space. Having a grid of shelves installed along a wall provides storage space for all your office files, books and attractive knickknacks.
Filling shelves with a range of colourful boxes and baskets for storing smaller items is visually appealing as well as practical and gives the room a nice creative vibe. When painted white, bookshelves open up the space, or paint them in an accent colour where they will offer symmetry and flair.
Whatever floats your shelf
Rather than bookshelves, installing floating shelving is a very visually appealing, airy-looking way of making use of vertical space. When filling shelves, the rule of thumb is to group like with like, and contain irregular shaped items in baskets or boxes which give them a more uniform, tidy appeal.
Customise your filing cabinets
There’s no need to purchase an expensive brand-new filing cabinet – just grab an old metal filing cabinet for a few dollars off your local Facebook buy-swap-sell page and give it a lick of paint to suit your décor. You could even paint a side in chalkboard paint for extra functionality.
Sort it out
Keep your desktop clutter-free with a collection of appealing tubs, baskets, trays and other desk accessories. No more rummaging around in the chaos of a desk drawer. Metallics always look a little luxe so why not have a play with a mix of different metals?
Box the dox
Kit your office out with stackable boxes in the colour scheme of your choice, or using colours to categorise and organise paperwork and filing. It’s hip to be square…or rectangular. And oh-so-much neater than having piles of paperwork rustling around your desk.
Home office decorating
It’s business, but it’s also personal
Open shelves and cabinets are equal parts practical and fun. They’re a way to express your personality, and enable you to display personal items you cherish or find meaningful. Rather than just being for reading material or office supplies, you can use them to decorate your office with keepsakes and curated collections of items representing your life and style—mementoes, little objets d’art, tiny cactuses, generally anything you find appealing to look at (after all, you’re the one who will be looking at them the most!). The beauty of the home office is that you can create an eclectic, arty environment, mixing colours and patterns that personally appeal, with no need to worry about what others think.
Add little vintage elements which give warmth and visual interest, whether it’s a gorgeous antique rug, an aged roll-top desk, distressed leather chairs, or a vintage lamp. Haunt the antique stores, church op shops, eBay, Gumtree and Facebook groups–the treasure hunt is part of the fun! The trick is to pair these pieces with brand-new items as the juxtaposition creates a rich, layered look.
Small home office ideas
Nooks and craniums
Even if you don’t have a dedicated room or study for your home office, it’s easy to create a space where you can concentrate on work, out of even the tiniest bit of spare space, such as under the stairs, or in a narrow recess.
Even an emptied-out closet can be converted into an office nook, with a narrow desk and shelving above and below it. If you paint the inside a vivid colour and ensure you have adequate lighting, it will feel cosy rather than claustrophobic. As an added bonus, when you finish your work, you can close up the office out of sight for the duration.
Home office accessories
Welcome to the jungle
Whether it’s a single succulent perched on the corner of your desk, a huge fiddle-leaf tree statement plant, or simply a vase of gorgeous roses, plants are a vital element of every home office. Breathing life into the room, they contribute to a sense of calm and help you connect to the great outdoors while you are ensconced inside. Apart from adding colour and often acting as an air purifier, green foliage gives texture to a room, while flowers provide beauty and harmony.
Pegboards to personalise
Pegboards allow you to increase the functionality of the wall space in front of your desk, to hang to-do lists, collate mood board inspirations, and even organise office supplies.
Stay on the grid
Wall grids are just as versatile and come in a range of finishes to suit your style, from rose gold to glossy black.
Be drawn to art
Fill your home office with gorgeous art that inspires you every time you sit down to work. Whether it’s a single piece of oversized art or a framed grouping of artworks, art energises you as well as making a statement. You might even want to consider having your children’s artworks framed for that extra personal touch or perhaps consider having a local artist paint a replica of your favourite painting.
Style up a gallery wall with prints or photos that you love, and hang them with removable wall strips. Fill your space with stunning imagery, but do create a harmonious look by clustering pieces together which have a common element, to avoid the ‘dog’s breakfast’ look!
String them along
If you don’t want to commit to permanently-hung framed artwork or photography, simply string twine across the wall and peg images up as the mood takes you. Vintage wooden pegs look fab.
The seat of power
Arguably the most important piece of office equipment you will purchase, your office chair needs to be high quality, ergonomically well-designed and provide optimal lumbar support so that you can work all day in comfort without impacting your health. If you won’t be sitting for prolonged periods, however, you will be able to get away with focusing more on the aesthetics of your chair. Of course, you’ll still want to be so comfy that you’ll stay put and get stuff done.
So-called “ghost chairs”, whether the famous original Philippe Starck version or a budget knockoff, remain very popular in home offices, thanks to their see-through nature which means they take up less visual space.
Home office desks
When deciding on your office desk, you’ll need to consider its main function. Does it need to be double-sided so that you can hold meetings over it? Will two people be working side-by-side? Do you need to fill a tricky space with a custom-designed desk?
Whatever its function, you’ll want an attractive and sturdy desk with lots of surface space and generous drawers. But it doesn’t need to come from Ikea. Pick up an old treasure from an op-shop and repurpose it with fabric and a glass top cut to fit. For DIY inspo, check out this gorgeous upcycled teal desk.
A stand-up act
Transformative workstations which are height-adjustable to enable either sitting or standing are increasingly popular, as research shows working while standing up provides health benefits (improved mood and energy, reduced back pain) as well as productivity gains.
Float your desk
If space is very limited, you can have a desk wall-mounted as well, such as this nifty little desk-shelf combo.
Look at it from another angle
You don’t need to be an architect or a designer to access the ergonomic benefits of using a gently sloping, adjustable draftsman’s desk, and they hold a lot of aesthetic appeal as well. (Not so great for laptops, though!)
Home office lights
Next on the list of home office fundamentals is excellent lighting. Ideally, you’ll have as much natural light as possible, supplemented by adjustable task lighting to enable you to work well and avoid eye strain. Aside from its ability to help you focus and keep you alert, lighting, of course, contributes to the overall ambience of your space.
Luckily, you don’t need to put up with sterile fluoro office-tower lighting and instead can choose from a multitude of bold options in the way of statement lamps which you find personally aesthetically pleasing, such as this pretty lamp with gold accents.
Add fairy lights for glam
Consider adding bulb or fairy lights for a little added sparkle.
Add a chandelier
Nothing adds glamour and excitement like a chandelier or other extravagant light fitting twinkling above your desk.
No light, no matter how big and beautiful can match natural light. It is a real mood lifter and more is always better!
Home office tech fit-out
Monitor, monitor, on the wall
Desktop computers can be an eyesore and take up a fair amount of desk space, so a wall-mounted monitor make a great streamlined solution. If you need help with having your computer monitor affixed to the wall, it’s easy to hire a handyman who can have it installed in a jiffy, ensuring all the cords and wiring are neatly tucked away as well.
Keyboards that won’t have you bored
Who said your technology needs to be black? Express your personality with a quirky rainbow-hued keyboard. These days, you can find a keyboard or keyboard skin in just about any colour scheme to mix and match with your décor.
A tangle of cords and cables is always unsightly and can ruin all your efforts to create a streamlined, mess-free home office, so it’s important to do what you can to conceal the tech clutter. Use cable ties or command hooks or a range of other solutions available on the market to remove the eyesore that tech cords create, and set up wireless charging stations where possible.
For an easy DIY, just cut a hole in the back of an appealing gift-style box, and house your router and other ugly tech items in it, feeding cords out the back. You can also mount a power strip under it or attach one to the back of your desk. Another item of tech that doesn’t need to take up valuable desk space is your printer, especially if you don’t use it daily. Hide it away with surplus office supplies in storage.
Home office wall ideas
Stick to what you love
Peel-and-stick wallpapers aren’t going out of fashion anytime soon—if anything the variety of options available only increases by the day. Whether you choose a mural, abstract patterns or a design which directly references your line of work, wallpapers are a fun way to instantly transform your space.
Home office floor ideas
A colourful area rug ties in all the elements of your office space as well as making it feel cosier and more inviting and has the added benefit of muffling the sound.
Dress it up with a rug
Not only can rugs bring your floor from drab to fab, but it can also add a lot of soundproofing which is really helpful if you’re taking a lot of phone calls or video chats with absorbing sound.
Home office colour schemes
Get hygge with it
I know the Danish pronounce it ‘hoogah’, but that would just spoil my pun. No matter how you say it, the concept of creating a welcoming, cosy, warm and intimate space has been internationally appropriated and is undoubtedly here to stay.
When it comes to the home office, hygge equates to extra textiles (blankets, throws, pillows, yarn wall-hangings), candles, natural materials and neutral colours, in a celebration of comfort above all. Hyggify (sorry) your home office with woollen blankets draped over your chair, a tray with a teapot covered in a tea cosy, an aromatherapy diffuser—little elements that will help you enjoy spending as much time in the space as possible.
Colour inspo: Colour pops
What’s on-trend may well inspire you, but always go with the colours that speak to you personally. A colourful work environment is inspiring and fun and can inject energy into your space. Luckily, home offices don’t have to be neutral—hey, you’re the office manager and you can pick whatever colour scheme your heart desires.
An all-over paint job (walls, ceiling, shelving) can help enlarge the space. But applying bright colour pops to elements such as chairs or filing cabinets can be invigorating and look modern, especially when unconventional colours are applied to more traditional items, such as a hot pink filing cabinet.
Keep in mind the principles of colour psychology: yellow stimulates happiness, red can energise, purple is related to transformation, and orange is linked to creativity.
Colour inspo: Accent walls
The accent or feature wall continues to be popular, with darker accent walls adding depth and drama, while lighter and brighter accent walls offering an invigorating element without overpowering with colour. If you aren’t keen on a painted feature wall, consider peel-and-stick wallpaper in a block colour which you can easily change up when you get bored.
Colour inspo: Back to black
Black offices have a sexy appeal, and when combined with brass accents are especially stylish. Choose charcoal for walls, which has more depth. While dark office colour schemes can be dramatic, you’ll need excellent lighting to prevent eye-strain as there’s less reflected light than from light-coloured walls and furniture.
Colour inspo: Bottle green
This is a beautiful colour that has both a professional and fresh aesthetic. Teamed with beautiful leathers and a touch of brass gives you this dreamy West-Elm inspired look.
Colour inspo: Millennial pink
Still en vogue, millennial pink needs only a light touch to avoid seeming too child-like. Add touches of cream and gold to add maturity to this notorious shade of rose quartz. For example, a luxe office chair with gold detailing.
Style inspo: Minimalist
This is a timeless favourite that will basically never go out of style as it is so well-suited for the home office, providing a stress-free, calm atmosphere that promotes clarity and productivity. All you need is a simple, minimalist table and chair, a lamp, neat storage units, and an overall neutral colour palette. Warm it up with a plant or some natural-toned soft furnishings.
Style inspo: Boho chic
At the other end of the spectrum from minimalism lies Bohemian chic style, where more is more and everything goes. Boho suits creative types especially well, allowing them to decorate their space with a multitude of inspirational design elements and items which tell a unique story. With layers of soft furnishings in an array of colours and patterns, the Boho style is perfect for free spirits.
Style inspo: Glam
The most feminine aesthetic for home offices, glam office style fuses beauty with practicality and evokes luxury, elegance and fashion. If this is you, consider a glass-topped desk, a plush floor rug, gold or brass desk accessories, touches of white leather and velvet, and a feature wall in a dramatic, deep colour. Chandeliers work particularly well with this style.
Style inspo: Ultra-modern
For a modern look, you’ll need sleek sharp lines with zero clutter and a stunning glass desk and an eye-catching pendant light.
Style inspo: Vintage-industrial
The industrial style is a perennial favourite, prioritising functional design and hard-wearing metals. If the always-cool industrial look appeals to you, make sure you add vintage elements!
To achieve this look, source a mid-century aluminium desk, swivel stool, distressed metal bookcases and filing cabinets, wire-framed pendant lights, and some beautiful classic pieces of wooden furniture.
Style inspo: Mid-century retro
Mid-century interior design is back in a big way with wooden furniture in a darker wood but kept fresh a crisp white wall and other accessories.
Finally, remember it’s a work in progress
Don’t feel you have to decorate your home office overnight. It may take some time to complete your look as you gradually incorporate items you love. It’s more important just to start with the fundamentals and build from there, focusing on making yourself feel at home in the space. Once you have your essentials figured out (desk, chair, lamp, shelving), you can add things you love as you discover them. Most of all, your home office should bring you joy and motivate you to spend time in it.
We hope you’ve found our home office ideas inspiring. If you have any tips or ideas you’d like to contribute, we’d love to hear them in the comments below!