Traditional Home Office Design Ideas that Captivate

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What Is A Traditional Home Office?

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Home office design can be tricky and overwhelming. Traditional home offices often have a classic or formal style, with dark wood furniture and neutral or muted color schemes. For the classic home office, decorative touches may include artwork or framed photos, as well as plants or other natural elements to add warmth and texture to the work space.

Overall, a traditional home office is designed to be a comfortable and functional work space that allows individuals to focus on their work and be productive while working from home.

Incorporating traditional design elements and home office design basics into an office can create a comfortable and classic work space. Here are some home office ideas to incorporate traditional home office ideas. Any interior designer worth his/her salt will agree:

  1. Furniture: Choose wooden desks and bookshelves with carved details or a classic silhouette. A leather or fabric-covered office chair can add to the traditional feel.
  2. Color: Opt for neutral colors such as beige, gray, or cream for the walls and key pieces like rugs or curtains.
  3. Lighting: Use classic lighting fixtures such as a brass or bronze desk lamp. You can also add a chandelier or pendant light for overhead lighting.
  4. Textiles: Incorporate textiles like curtains or window treatments made of heavy fabrics like silk or velvet. You can also add a traditional rug to the space.
  5. Accessories: Decorate the space with classic accessories like a globe, vintage clock, or antique-inspired picture frames. Traditional art pieces, such as landscapes or still life paintings, can also add to the ambiance.

By incorporating these traditional home office ideas, you can create a warm and inviting home office space that is both functional and stylish.


The most defining features in a traditional home office are the furniture. That would include the chairs, desks, shelves, cabinets and even the rugs that tend to feature most prominently. 

Furniture in a traditional home office is mostly determined by legacy – in some cases, it has been passed down from generation to generation. Here are some of the more prominent characteristics of a traditional office.

The Darker The Room The More Traditional It Is

Most offices that fall within this niche do not have a considerable amount of natural light coming into them. Many of them are actually completely closed off – with no windows at all – to help enhance that conservative and masculine tone. 

If the room you have chosen for this style of office happens to have particularly large windows, the best option is usually to find curtains that are dark. 

If you find that curtains are not the most suitable option – for whatever reason – there is also the option to use a set of conservative blinds for your traditional home office. It is quite important that the blinds fit in well with the mahogany tone that is normally the strongest feature of an office like this. 

Your office should have an air of sophistication about it and the lighting of that home office contributes significantly to that business-like aura. 

We will touch on desk lighting in the paragraphs below but equally critical is the lighting on your ceiling in such an office. 

You probably want dimmable ceilings lights, which will help you gauge how light or dark it should be to best blend in well with the predominantly mahogany colors that feature throughout a traditional office.

Lights in an office like this could work well off a hanging pendant (which is a more masculine feature). 

Track lighting is also still a popular option in this environment, while we feel the most compelling option remains the use of an antique chandelier – which is best at giving off that aged and sophisticated feel. 

Each Office Should Have At Least One Desk Lamp

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Contrary to popular belief, you do not actually need to limit yourself here. The existence of a desk lamp is what makes the home office traditional and not so much the kind of desk lamp. 

If you are feeling whimsically archaic – which we would respect – there are still numerous antique options on the market…assuming of course that you have not inherited one from your great uncle that you never actually met. 

Among those antique options are the Tiffany Style Lamps, the Traditional Banker’s Lamp or the Edison Style Industrial Desk Lamp. 

Being traditional does not mean you have to feel old though. There are modern desk lamp options, like the bendable LED Styled Table Lamp. The modern desk lamp options are more energy efficient and more versatile too. 

The critical detail here though, is that the lamps should be on desks and not on the floor, as is often the case with modern lamps. 

There should also be lamps available for the smaller tables that are usually additional features in stately rooms like this – probably for a guest of yours taking tea or coffee with some biscuits.  

Art On The Walls Gives The Office Character 

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A traditional home office is about the finer details – artwork, mirrors, wall sconces, antiques. It does not have to be Van Gogh, Monet or Picasso but it must be respectable – something that could go up into an art gallery worthy of the name. 

As if we could not be any clearer on this, but posters are out of the equation! 

In keeping with this theme, your office should have artwork or mirrors which are ornately framed. What should not be lost on you is that you could conceivably be spending a considerable amount of time in this space and plain frames are frankly dull and totally mundane. They kill brain cells! 

Find A Desk That Fits The Tone Of The Office

Traditional Home Office Desk

For many, this kind of office is not just where you plan to get some work done – although that would be a priority of course. 

Your home office is also YOUR personal domain, the one place in the home where you are totally in charge and anybody entering that space should be completely aware of that. You finally have your own dedicated room (well, maybe), so let’s get busy and make it the best part of the house.

There is no more compelling way to send that message than by purchasing a solid oak wood traditional desk for that office, with drawers and compartments already built in. 

The suggestion of a solid oak wood traditional desk is certainly a power play but it will also have something to do with blending in with the remainder of the furniture and the traditional wall design in that office.  It almost has a rustic office feel. Overlaying components of the rustics style may be one of the best home office ideas yet!

Speaking of which…

Wooden Paneling Gives Off A Warm And Cozy Feeling

Every traditional home office worthy of the name should have wooden panels on the walls. This is a sign of a classic home office.

While this might depend on your taste, you will likely find that the most compelling wooden panels are always darker shades – something that would go well with a solid oak desk and matching desk chair.

Dark walls can be a great choice for a traditional home office. A darker color palette can create a sense of intimacy and focus in the room, which can be especially useful when working from home. Be sure to balance the darker components with lighter elements and adequate lighting. Colors such as navy blue, hunter green, or deep burgundy can create a cozy and classic atmosphere. Avoid using colors that are too bright or bold, as they can be distracting.

Along with the wooden wall panels, these rooms will invariably also have wooden floors. The more conservative the colors of those wooden floors, the more traditional the feel of said home office. 

Suffice it to say that the whole room doesn’t need to be paneled, but if you do have the cash to splash, then splash it. 

The design is not always going to be cheap and that is because the whole purpose of having a traditional office is to avoid looking cheap or dare we say it common. 

White Walls Work Too

White walls can be a great choice for a traditional home office, as they provide a blank canvas that allows traditional design elements to shine. Here are some tips for using white walls in a traditional home office:

  1. Add texture: To prevent white walls from feeling too stark, add texture to the space. This can be achieved through textiles like curtains, rugs, and throw pillows, as well as through decorative elements like molding or paneling.
  2. Choose classic furniture: In a traditional home office with white walls, classic furniture can provide contrast and create a timeless look. Look for wooden desks and bookshelves with carved details or a classic silhouette, and consider incorporating vintage or antique pieces for added character.
  3. Use accent colors: A white wall provides a neutral backdrop that can be complemented by accent colors. Consider incorporating traditional colors such as navy blue, hunter green, or deep burgundy through textiles, accessories, or artwork.
  4. Incorporate traditional elements: To create a traditional look, incorporate classic design elements like ornate lighting fixtures, vintage-inspired artwork, and traditional area rugs.
  5. Consider natural light: A white wall can reflect natural light, making the space feel brighter and more open. Consider placing your desk near a window to take advantage of natural light, and use light-colored window treatments to allow for privacy without blocking light.

Antique Rugs Will Make Your Home Office Feel And Look Bespoke

You will find that most of the features in your space serve to create that bespoke feeling or look. That is partly why we would put it to you that the older the furniture (including the desk lamps) the more traditional that home will look and feel. 

A bespoke look often involves custom furniture and accessories that are designed and crafted specifically for a particular space. This can include everything from built-in bookshelves and cabinets to custom-made sofas and chairs. By using bespoke furniture and accessories, you can create a one-of-a-kind look that is perfectly suited to the space and the client’s needs.

In addition to custom furniture, bespoke can also involve unique finishes, materials, and details that are tailored to the specific space. This can include custom wallpaper, unique lighting fixtures, and handcrafted decorative elements.

The thing about a bespoke look is that it also creates an air of warmth and comfort in your home office. For example, those among us who have a few extra bucks in the pocket will venture for the option of also including a fireplace in the space. 

The fireplace contributes to the warm feeling but can also be remarkably therapeutic at times when you feel like you just need to do some thinking. This is not just a space but it also doubles up as a cave, where you can just get away from all the drama that comes with the territory in one’s busy life. You may even be able to rest in your home office, if you plan it well.

We accept that this is not an option for everybody but another ploy you could adopt, to create that warmth and comfort, will be the fitting and subsequent purchase of at least one rug. 

Persian rugs are steeped in tradition, which merely confirms that they would be an outstanding fit for a space like this. 

The more antique the Persian rug, in this context, the better. Antique Persian rugs have rich colors, that will give out that professional, and even regal feel while working at home. 

Leather Seating Gives Off An Air Of Sophistication 

Here your best option would be to go for a leather chair – a Judge’s Chair – with a high back for you to sit with at your desk in your home office. Dark green or dark red leather are among the more compelling options and add a little more color to an otherwise dark room. Swivel chairs are good also as they provide flexibility to move around as needed.

However, a light shade of brown that would go with the mahogany feel is also perfectly acceptable, as is black (always a safe color under these circumstances). 

So, you would be adding that color to your home office without compromising on the air of sophistication that you are searching for in a room like this.

In keeping with this leathery theme, we are also going to expand a little on the additional features in a home office like this. You want to have a home office that will have at least one additional chair in it. 

That could be a chair on the opposite side from where you are sitting at your desk. It could also be a chair that you might have closer to a fireplace or certainly away from the main office desk. 

Always good for the occasional brooding! 

The latter option also gives off a slightly more informal feel about the home office, where you can wander away with your thoughts, especially if you are having a particularly stressful time at “work”.

Perhaps, you just need to spend some time away from the family and get lost in an enthralling book. So, you want to read in relative peace and quiet but you also don’t want to feel like you are on the clock. Sitting away from your main desk helps facilitate such a scenario. 

And then there are times when you are likely to receive visitors in your home office. Sometimes those visits will be work related and you will want to appear professional to your colleagues. Dark leather chairs or couches are always a safe option for them under these circumstances. 

Sometimes those visits will not necessarily be about the work and they will be slightly less formal. However, at the same time you will still want your guests to feel comfortable. It seldom gets more comfortable than it does in those leather chairs. They are soft and they are warm. 

They offer a sense of security, which is incidentally a perfect environment to discuss anything that you like with your kids, who might have come to confide in you. 

Consider a Gallery Wall

A gallery wall is a display of framed artwork, photographs, and other decorative items arranged in a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing way on a wall. In a traditional home office, gallery walls can add a personal touch and make the space feel more inviting. Here are some tips:

  1. Choose a theme: To create a cohesive look, choose a theme for your wall. This could be a collection of artwork in a similar style or color scheme, or a grouping of family photos.
  2. Mix and match: A gallery wall doesn’t have to be uniform. Mix and match different sizes, shapes, and styles of frames to create visual interest.
  3. Create balance: When arranging the wall, aim for balance and symmetry. Start with a center point and work outward, arranging items in a way that feels balanced and visually appealing.
  4. Consider placement: Think carefully about where you want to place your wall. In a traditional home office, choosing a space above a desk or bookshelf can add interest and draw the eye.
  5. Personalize: Use your gallery as an opportunity to showcase your personal style and interests. Add decorative items such as a clock, a vintage map, or a piece of embroidery.

Overall, a gallery wall in a traditional home office can add character and personality to the space. By choosing a theme, mixing and matching frames, and balancing the arrangement, you can create a beautiful and personalized display that adds visual interest to your work space.


You know you are in a traditional home office, when you feel like you have just walked into an ancient library once you step in. 

The most compelling feature of bookshelves that fall within this niche is that they are normally built-in and designed to blend in with the mahogany style that comes with such a room in the home. Built in shelves is one of the best home office ideas as shelves are functional, add color, and provide an opportunity to add a little “you” to the space.

If you are a genuine reader and God forbid a lover of Mills & Boons, there is nothing we can do stop you from stacking those shelves with books that are better suited to your reading tastes. We are going to exclude magazines from that though. Choose books that have an inviting appeal.

If you are not a genuine reader, there is still a glorious opportunity for you to keep up appearances by stacking these shelves with encyclopedias and other antique-looking books that could serve as a backdrop in a Game Of Thrones Library. 

If you feel that books are perhaps a little too dull or even a little intimidating, there is no reason why you cannot compensate for that by filling the shelves with ornaments and even small designer pot plants – preferably things that do not detract too much from the overall desired tone for that room.