Designing a home office is not an easy task. It can be difficult to set up your home office to make the best use of limited space while also trying to create a comfortable and productive environment. However, with the information below and 12 ideas at the end of the post, you will have ample tips and home office ideas to enhance not only the design of your office but also the home office decor!
What is the best way to design a home office?
As with anything, a good plan is key for home office design. Consider the following questions before you begin:
- What types of activities will you primarily be doing in your office? With what frequency? Will it be used for other purposes, like watching TV or taking a nap?
- Do you plan on working from home full time, just some days, evenings and weekends?
- Will more than one person be working in the home office? Do you need to consider someone with physical disabilities?
- What is your budget?
- Do I have any favorite furniture pieces that will be used in the home office design?
- Is there anything particular about this space, like a slanted ceiling or windowless corner, which might affect how things are placed in it?
- Do you want to utilize the services of an interior designer? An interior designer is trained to assess your needs and is well versed in different home office designs.
Answering these questions will help you later as you consider the furniture and layout that will best meet your needs.
Be sure to consider the style when making decisions and purchasing items for your home office.
Organization is key when designing a home office. Make a list on a whiteboard or use sticky notes to document your needs and thoughts. Go through your daily work flow to make sure you don’t neglect any areas that will be important to the design. This will also help you identify what furniture and accessories are absolutely necessary and which are optional.
Keep a list of gaps between what you currently have and what is needed. This list will come in handy later as you consider different home office design ideas.
Home Office Layout
How you lay out your home office space is based on your personal preference. Some people prefer a desk at the center of the room, while others prefer their back against a wall with the ability to see the entire office space. There are many factors to consider when deciding how best to layout your home plan:
- If there are any exceptions in your home office plan (e.g., if your home office has multiple entrances), take measurements of these areas so that all furniture will be placed correctly from the beginning.
- Write everything down in a single book so measurements and other information will be handy when needed.
- As you design your home office, keep in mind that it is just as important to have some open floor space without furniture to keep the work area clean and orderly.
One of the most important items for your home office is access to the internet. Let’s face it, the internet is something we all have to use on a daily basis. To minimize cords and clutter, you may want to place your desk close to the internet connection or move the connection.
Don’t forget about electrical outlets when designing your home office. Outlets should be placed along walls where electronics and other items will be used or meetings will be held. This will eliminate long extension cords and clutter. Consider installing additional outlets as needed which will pay off in the long run.
Consider electrical outlets when deciding furniture placement.
If your home office seconds as a guest room or other room, factor in traffic flow as well as entry and exit points. If there are people who need access to this room on a regular basis like children, consider their needs too.
When planning your home office design, consideration of distractions is important for the layout. While planning your home office design, think about making it a distraction-free zone, if possible. It’s important to minimize distractions so that you can be more productive and get things done.
- Will my layout create distractions or interruptions?
- Do I need to keep an eye on the door? If so, position key furniture pieces to avoid getting up or turning around.
- Do I have the ability to minimize interruptions by closing a door or sliding a partition?
Try to find a space in your home that minimizes distractions.
One of the most important things in home office design is privacy. It’s important to keep the work and living areas separate. If you’re in a small space and your office is part of another space, like a living room, set up a divider. You can buy one or improvise with things around the house. Here are some ideas for purchasing:
If you have an area with windows, curtains can help provide some added privacy.
Also consider the following:
- Where do you want people to enter? Do you want them close by or off in another room entirely?
- The way to achieve privacy in a home office is to consider the layout. Can you close a door? Is there space for curtains or blinds?
Is my office right next to an outside window that faces the street or a noisy room (such as the family room)? Can I hear the traffic or noise? If so, considering placing your desk on the opposite side of the wall.
Common noise issues for a home office:
- Constant hum from fans and other computer equipment
- People talking outside your door
- Small children running around or playing
- Dog barking
- Phone ringing
- Television in another room
- Lawn mower outside your office window
You will undoubtedly need a pair of headphones or anti-noise earmuffs to cancel out background noise, but you also need to consider background noise for your audience if you’re on a conference call.
Do you have children in the house?
If you are designing a home office with small children in the house, make sure you have a door or some way to close off the space.
In addition, if you have teenagers who will also be using the home office, the ability to close off the work area allows privacy.
Do you have pets?
Consider how your animals might affect the layout and design of your home office. If there is lots of furniture, for example, it may be better to move lighter pieces away from any area designated for animal access or use. You don’t want your pet to knock over anything that could cause injury.
Home Office Furniture
Consider what home office furniture will best suit your needs. A desk and chair are always essential, but if space permits you may also choose a lounge area with a sofa or armchair for reading or taking breaks.
Home Office Desk
A good rule of thumb is to allow for a desk area that can be used as your main work station, and then have an area behind it where stationary storage space (e.g., filing cabinets) may exist. It may also be beneficial to include areas in the home office design for additional storage space such as bookcases or small credenzas that will complement your desk.
Other things to consider:
- Use a desk that is adjustable and can be raised up to standing height (i.e., standing desk). This will allow you more options and help keep you healthy by encouraging movement throughout the day.
- Make sure the size of your desk will accommodate the work you need to do. You may need a desk with sections so you can add or remove sections as needed.
- Consider choosing a desk on wheels, if possible. This will help you move the desk if needed.
- If multiple people will be working in the office, consider whether they will be working at the same time. If so, make sure there is ample room for everyone, if possible. If space permits, you may need to consider adding another desk. The second desk can be smaller and placed away from the primary desk.
Home Office Chair
When choosing an office chair, make sure to sit in it and test the arm height for comfort. If you have a desk that is adjustable, your chair should be adjustable too.
The height of your desk chair should allow you to work without straining the neck or back. It should also allow you to see your computer at eye level.
A good desk chair should have a depth that supports the thighs and has room in front for the knees. If possible, get an ergonomic task chair with good lumbar support.
Storage is necessary for home office design because it provides a place to keep materials and important items. From file boxes, printer paper, electronic gadgets – determine what needs to be stored and make sure you have ample space to store it.
Storage can be built-in, or it can take the form of cabinets and shelves that are placed against walls in your office space.
If possible, choose furniture pieces that have storage built in (like your desk). It may come in handy later.
Home Office Lounge Area
For those who need an area where they can take breaks or read books on their break, consider adding this into your home office design.
A small sofa is a nice place to read or take breaks.
Bookcases are typically essential for a modern home office. This is where you keep any books, binders, files and other reading materials that are necessary for your work. Consider a large book case for storage if you have many documents that need storing away from your desk.
Other office furniture to consider:
- Filing cabinet to store any files and documents you need but don’t want cluttering your desk.
- Credenza to organize office supplies and other items.
- Conference table , if your home office will be hosting any meetings.
- Lamps and floor lamps are essential for any home office as they provide light and illuminate the work space.
- You may also choose some home office accessories such as wall mounted shelves or magazine racks which are designed for the modern home office or workstation. These can be used for keeping stationery items like pens, pencils and paper close at hand.
Interior Design Ideas
Following the basic concepts of interior design will help you find alternatives to what you already have in terms of furniture pieces or other items that are constantly cluttering up your work space.
Many people hire an interior designer when designing a home office. Others prefer the DIY route which is completely doable with a few tips. There are also online tools for designing your home office.
What does an interior designer do?
Interior designers interpret their clients’ needs and develop a plan to meet those needs. They take into consideration trends in interior design, as well as the client’s personal taste and style in creating a modern home office.
Other benefits of hiring an interior designer is that they can help in furnishing, installing and renovating the work space if needed, and usually have great contacts and home office ideas.
When selecting colors, be mindful of how they can affect the mood and productivity in your space. Warm shades like red and orange tend to invoke positive emotions while cool tones like blue-green and purple can create a sense of calm.
If you’re not able to repaint the entire room, then consider painting just one wall in your favorite color or pattern. This will help make it feel more like a modern home office without spending much money!
Paint walls with colors that are lively (not too bright) so they are easy on your eyes while working at home all day.
Lighting is an important consideration when designing home offices because different tasks require different levels of light intensity. Natural light will help create a calming atmosphere; artificial lighting may be needed as well to provide enough illumination when the sun sets or during winter months.
There are many styles of lamps on the market today – try different ones out in order to find what works best for you!
Place lights at shoulder height as most people tend to look down towards their desks while working on projects – this will ensure good illumination without glare in the eyes.
Consider using windows with a lot of natural light during the winter months when they get little sun exposure. Additionally, make sure any office furniture chosen reflects well in all types of lighting conditions so it doesn’t turn into a headache.
Another thing to consider is the mood that lighting creates. Many people find that natural light helps them stay alert while yellow-hued artificial light can have the opposite effect. Use lamps with bright bulbs if there’s no window nearby.
12 Home Office Actionable Ideas
Decorating a home office is an important part of creating your own personal work area. In addition to the information above, here are 12 ideas to make decorating your home office easier and to make your office more enjoyable!
Idea 1 – Use throw rugs to warm up the space and make it a little more inviting. Throw rugs add color and texture to an otherwise dull space.
Idea 2 – Add some personal touches to the office with decorations or framed photos of loved ones that make you happy. The more personal items you have on your desk, the more inspired you’ll be when working.
Idea 3 – Use an accent wall to bring attention to one area of the room and call out its function. Accent walls help bring together the design of the room and make it more unified. They also tie paint colors and fabrics to other accessories and furniture. Using an accent stripe or pattern on walls to create interest in a small space is also helpful for those who want something unique.
Idea 4 – Consider painting the wall behind your desk a bold color will make your work space appear larger and give it more personality.
Idea 5 – Consider creating a focal point in the space with one or two large pieces of furniture. This will help make your home office design more cohesive and pleasing to look at.
Idea 6 – Personalize your home office design with artwork, photography, paintings, shelves, bookshelves – anything that makes the room feel more like home.
Idea 7 – Conduct research to gather home office ideas before you start purchasing items. Take pictures of what you like. Visit furniture stores either online or in person. Most furniture showrooms are decorated by an interior designer, so this is a great way to get inspiration and an abundance of home office design ideas for layouts, fabrics, furniture, paints, etc.
Idea 8 – Add plants to your home office to add color and life to your work space. Plants are healthy too because they purify the air and create a natural humidifier.
Idea 9 – Use wall space in your home office wisely. There are many ideas to utilize walls to maximize space. You could mount shelves, install a pegboard system for organization, or create an art gallery of sorts by hanging photos and paintings. Wall art is relatively inexpensive and can help you find alternatives for decorating without adding clutter or taking up valuable floor space.
Idea 10 – Place mirrors strategically in your home office to reflect light and give the illusion of depth and a larger space. Tall mirrors create height and may make the room appear taller.
Idea 11 – Design your home office to blend with the furniture you already have. Consider painting your desk to give it new life. You can hire a painter for little cost which will make your desk look professional.
Idea 12 – Place an air purifier near computers as computers create a lot of dust. Also, printers or fax machines release ozone gas into the air which can be uncomfortable, so an air purifier will help with this too.
Home offices are often places where we spend our time working or thinking, and as such, design should reflect this importance. Designing a home office takes time, patience, and research–but this article has helped simplify some aspects by giving you information and 12 home office ideas and tips!
You will no doubt spend a lot of time in your home office, so investing in home office design will pay off in the end. You should love your work space!