Today, with the number of people working virtually, there are tons of reasons to update your home by creating an office or study. If you have an underutilized spare bedroom or a formal space that’s rarely occupied, perhaps you’ll get more enjoyment out of having a dedicated space for work or reflection. For empty nesters, turning a teen’s bedroom into a usable space could give you a fresh start on this new phase in your life. Need separation from working remotely and family affairs? Create this separate are to ensure your functioning at your best! So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get to creating that new space!

Believe it or not, home office interior design can be one of the trickiest areas for a homeowner to get right. First, you’ll want to make sure the space is arranged so that it functions well, and this requires a keen eye for detail and a thorough understanding of workflow and ergonomics. You’ll also want to make sure the room ties in aesthetically with the rest of your decor, especially if it’s visible from the main areas of the home. A professional interior designer will ensure function and form are followed to deliver exactly what you desire.

To get started with planning, consider these components of a well-designed home office:

Highlight Your Personal Style

One of the joys of working at home — whether you are a full-time freelancer or just have a flex day or two each month — is that you get to create a space that is all about you. You can “just say no” to boring institutional furniture and lighting and instead focus on the things that give you energy and joy. This means the freedom to fill some space on your bookshelves with your favorite collectibles or painting the walls any color you like. Choose a palette and theme that energizes you and excites you as you start your day. Purchase that awesome desk that exudes your personality and taste. Create motivational vignettes with accessories or artwork. The options are endless!

Design for Function & Organization

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Your study or home office should, above all else, be designed to support your work objectives. Chose furniture and other components designed to allow you to do everything your job requires. This could include a traditional chair and desk or a large table to use as a drafting board or design center. It could mean a standing desk or an option to sit/stand, depending on your mood. Depending on what you need to store, you may need more drawers and cabinets; or the thought of open storage may mentally declutter your mind. Take an inventory of your work needs and draw up a wish list of items you need to work at your best — then hire a designer to help you think outside the box on additional components and professionally layout the space to accommodate everything. Looks and function go hand in hand on this one!

Create a Welcoming Space

Your home office should be inviting enough to make you eager to come in and get to work — no small feat I’m sure, since many of us would rather avoid work! One of the best ways to add comfort is to focus on appropriate seating. An ergonomically correct desk chair is a must. Then, add a plush chair and ottoman in a corner where you can kick back and relax with your laptop or entertain a single guest. If space allows, you can even provide a sofa or multiple guest chairs, if you’ll be hosting clients, too!

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Tips for Designing the Perfect Home Office or Study

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Designing the Perfect Home Office or Study

Insist on Professional Lighting Design

Casual Elegance Meets Livable Function

A single overhead fixture doesn’t provide enough flexibility for all your office lighting needs — in fact, it barely even lights the space adequately. In addition to general overhead lighting, you’ll also need focused task lighting over your work surfaces and ambient lighting to highlight the decor — think accessories on shelves or wall art. You may also need a reading lamp and mood lighting for quieter moments next to that lounge chair!

Tying it All Together

Finally, it’s important to make sure your office ultimately blends well with the overall aesthetic of your home. If you can close the door on the room, you have more leeway, but you’ll still want make sure that permanent fixtures like lighting or built-in cabinetry and trim pieces work with the house’s general style, if only for future resale purposes. Working with a designer will allow you to find the perfect balance of form and function to make your home office a personalized success!

A version of this article was originally published April 3, 2017

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  1. Tyesha Potter July 11, 2017 at 2:18 am - Reply

    Excellent Ideas. Home offices inspired via Moroccan decor also are charming

  2. Interior Designer Blake Riley July 14, 2020 at 9:06 am - Reply

    I totally agree with having home office inviting enough to make you eager to come. I don’t think i can concentrate or be productive if the home office is boring. I was barely giving enough time to work everyday ever since pandemic has hit us and now after making a home office (it’s nothing fancy) it is fun. I spend more time in there now and getting things done. Also thank you for the awesome tips. Im still working lightening in my home office and mood lightening sounds like an awesome idea.

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