Transform your home office from a plain work space into an inspiring place to spend time. We have all the interior inspiration you need when you’re working from home
Does your home office put the emphasis on ‘office’ rather than ‘home’? It may be an area for work, but there’s really no need for a home office to look corporate, grey and dull. Whether it’s a desk and chair in the corner of a living space, kitchen-diner, hall or bedroom, or you have the luxury of a dedicated room, designing a home office is a chance to create an interior that’s attractive and inspiring.
Colour schemes for home offices
Opt for a colour scheme that’s going to put you in the mood for work for your office space. Which shades will do the job? Steer away from cosy and cocooning darks that’ll tip you towards feeling sleepy rather than focused. Likewise, the relaxing green that’s good for a bedroom may not be the wisest choice in a home office. White walls will make an office space feel bright and spacious, or choose colours fizzing with energy. Orange – whether as part of a patterned wallpaper, or for a single wall – can create an atmosphere for creativity, or try a mid to light blue that’ll make the atmosphere stimulating.
Don’t want to paint or paper in an energising shade? Use it for accessories instead: filing cabinets or even desk accessories in a punchy colour will work a treat to create a mood for working hard. Easily swapped in pieces are a great solution for a home office that’s part of another room, too. With the walls the same colour throughout the space, accessories in an accent shade will delineate the office area.
Fabulous furniture for office spaces
Don’t settle for a desk and chair that could have been wheeled straight home from the floor of any open-plan office building when it comes to your home office. A stylish console table will work just as well as a desk if it’s a place to use a laptop and you don’t need to spread out papers. It’ll also have a lighter presence in the space, helping a separate room or shared area to feel uncluttered.
Need room to spread out and plenty of depth? A specially designed desk will do the trick, but opt for painted furniture finished in a pale colour rather than heavy wood or metal when buying for your home.
The desk chair needs to be at the correct height for using a keyboard and help you sit with your legs at the right angle, but handsome chairs are still an option. This is especially important if your home office is part of another space where an office standard design will jar with the rest of the décor. Wheeled desk chair a necessity? Look for a version that allows you to choose an upholstery fabric that complements the room’s other furnishings for a pulled-together effect.
Brilliant storage for paperwork
No matter whether it’s a separate room or work corner, a home office will turn into a horror if there are documents scattered everywhere. Here again, there’s no requirement to fill the space with boring filing cabinets. Instead, opt for designs in a fun colour, or with a painted finish that matches other furniture, or ditch the traditional altogether and corral papers into matching box files that can be on show on shelves without compromising the look of the room.
Alternatively, double up with a wooden window seat or upholstered box that can be filled with papers and essentials for the office without giving away its contents, and which helps put style first in the office area.
Window treatments for home offices
Great light control is a must-have in an office space to stop glare spoiling the view on screens, and sunny days making the space overheat. Curtains just won’t cut it and blinds might not be sufficiently adjustable for the job. The window dressing that’ll do exactly what you need? Shutters, of course. They’ll maximise light to keep the office bright and spacious-feeling, but keep screens viewable throughout the day.
Keep them understated in white, or turn them into a focal point with a coloured finish you can then repeat in accessories for the shelves and desk.
Task lighting for desks
When you’re concentrating on a screen or reading documents, adequate task lighting is essential, so don’t just rely on a room’s pendant lighting. A desk lamp that ramps up light levels where you’re working is an essential for the office. Office part of another room? Choose a material for the light that repeats one you’ve used elsewhere in the scheme and the office will feel like a happy part of the whole.