Our home office ideas will not only provide inspiration for those with a designated home office, but also to those designing a productive space at their dining table or in the corner of their living room or bedroom.
The trick is to get the balance between decor – colour schemes, soft furnishings and wall art – and practical additions like storage and office furniture, just right. And whether you're looking to create a calm and contemporary space, or a more traditional office look, you're sure to be inspired by our roundup of office ideas. To help nail your home office design be sure to visit our feature.
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1. Create a multi-purpose home office
If you home is slightly on the small side, having a space that is purely dedicated to working from home may seem like an impossible dream. But just because you don’t have an extra room to turn into a home office, that doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze a small desk and some essential home office storage into your bedroom or living room.
In fact, you'll likely notice an increase in productivity if you take the time to create a designated work space, rather than relying on your 'soft office' – by which we mean your bed or sofa. And when you aren’t WFH, the space could double up as a sideboard, a dressing table, or even a dining area.
2. Choose your home office chair sensibly
We all know that the key to WFH is having a designating place to work, a desk rather than say the kitchen table, or the sofa, or your bed. Physically sitting at the best desk you can find gets you into that "work mode" and a good, comfortable chair is all part of that mentality.
So make sure you get you take time to choose the best office chair to suit your needs. It really is worth perusing reviews and testing out a few models before you pick.
- Best Amazon office chairs – comfy desk chairs you can buy right now
3. Choose a light scheme for a small home office
If you're designing a small home office – be that a designated room or a workspace squeezed into an unused area of your home, like in the image above – opting for a light scheme will make it feel larger and lighter than it really is.
Attempt to keep your space free of clutter and it will feel larger again, as well as lending itself to greater productivity. Tidy house, tidy mind, as they say...To help, we have a feature on how to clean your home office.
4. Turn a corner of your open plan space into your home office
If you're lucky to have enough space, dividing an open plan kitchen or living room is a great option for designing a home office. Particularly if you opt for a simple and neat furniture layout with soothing colours that complement your existing space.
Pair that with good kitchen and living room lighting, plus, plenty of storage, such as drawers and cabinets to contain the day to day mess, and you will reap the benefits of a space that is motivating and seamlessly incorporates your personal style.
5. Or opt for an alcove office if you're short on space
Alcoves are usually a pretty neglected space, so put them to work by creating a small home office. Even if you can't squeeze in a full-sized office desk, you could install a wall mounted work surface with shelves and cupboards fitted above for maximum storage opportunity.
Recreate this idea really quickly, using our guide to how to create an alcove office.
6. Get creative with your home office storage
Yes, that is an ottoman being used as home office storage. If – like many of us – your home office is your kitchen table, but you'd like a space to keep papers, stationary and tech that's out of eyesight, using an ottoman that can just sit at the end of your bed is an easy solution.
Here, a stylish grey ottoman has been filled with desk organisers, with the lid used as a space to store reminders.
7. DIY a functional home office feature wall
We love this home office idea! There are plenty of wall planners and noticeboards on the market to help you organise your time and your to dos, but if you fancy a project, why not make your own? All you need is some chalk paint to get started.
- Find out how to make a chalkboard wall with our clever tips and ideas.
8. Hide a home office under the stairs
This stylish spaces shows you how easy it can be to reclaim the space under your staircase and create a workplace in the process. We love the unfitted feel of this setup, which would work well in a variety of homes. But, you could also opt for a made-to-measure solution designed to fit right up to the underside
9. WFH not quite working? Build a garden office
For properties that may have planning restrictions, building a standalone garden room is an efficient use of outdoor space – and a great home office idea.
Designate it as a work space from the outset and it can be fitted out accordingly with power points, tailored lighting solutions and natural light from large windows. Properly insulated, it will be as comfortable as any room in your home.
Use our guide to garden rooms to build yours.
10. Design a traditional home office with plenty of character
There's something appealing about a traditional home office – or a study as one may prefer to call it – that even those with the most contemporary of interiors tastes can't help but love.
Overflowing with character, this space combines inky tones with art-deco inspired wallpaper – and not to mention the chunk oak desk – to create a space that wouldn't look out of place in 1920 or 2020.
- Browse our pick of the best traditional office chairs to make your design ideas a reality
11. Be inspired by stunning Mid-century style offices
Mid-century modern home offices often provide design inspiration, with their sturdy furniture, ample storage and simple colour schemes proving popular amongst those seeking a productive workspace.
And once works over, they're also a stylish spot for sipping an Old Fashioned and contemplating world domination.
12. Create a stylish work station with a ladder desk
Proof that you can fit a home office into even the smallest of spaces, a ladder desk provides a handy desk and plenty of home office shelving in one. And without taking up any precious square footage.
13. Pick a paint colour that will boost your productivity
Different colours affect our moods in different ways, so choosing the correct paint colour for the room you plan on working in is no small matter.
Surprisingly, the colour that has been revealed as the ultimate productivity booster is... orange. This does not mean that you have to paint your home office a garish shade; choose a stylish hue such as Picture Gallery Red from Farrow & Ball. If reds and oranges don't appeal, try a combination of soothing greys, greens and blues, which create a calm feeling, much more conducive to stress-free working.
14. Add some greenery to your home office
That on-trend cheese plant won't just look great on your office shelves, adding houseplants to the space can also help purify the air, apparently helps absorb noise (who knew?) and improve productivity.
When choosing the right plant for your home office, consider the light levels it might require and its watering needs – staring at a brown, shrivelled plant isn't going to do much to boost motivation on a Monday morning.
15. Let the light in (or keep it out) with shutters
A good work area needs plenty of light, but at the same time you don't want any glare on your laptop or computer, so it's worth considering a variety of home office window treatment ideas before making a final decision.
Blackout blinds or curtains are a great option as they will obviously stop any issues with glare. But then you also run the risk of being sat in the dark. Shutters, however, allow you to control the amount of light coming into the room throughout the day.
16. Experiment with pretty window treatments
If you don't like the idea of blinds or shutters, but would like a little more privacy in your home office, it may be worth considering a window film. Easy to install – and a super simple way to add interest to your space – this option are just what you need if you feel a little overlooked in your workspace.
17. Create a gallery wall in your home office
Because a home office needn't be all work and no play. Add some pattern, colour and (most importantly) inspiration to your space with the help of a gallery wall.
18. Work an office space into your bedroom
When using your bedroom as a home office, colour can be used to express your style, as well as creating a relaxing atmosphere. By opting for office furniture in a light wood, this already small space isn't overwhelmed by a large desk in a contrasting colour.
Home office accessories, such as a small pin board and a couple of stunning desk lamps establish this as a work space, while complementing the interiors style seen throughout the rest of the space.
19. Or even into your living room
This stylish living room proves that you can work a tiny office space into even the smallest of spaces. And you can do so without your home beginning to feel too corporate.
Here, a vibrant blue desk complements the sunny, yellow feature wall, creating a space that you might actually enjoy spend time working in. Next to this streamlined desk is a handy storage solution perfect for storing paperwork, cables and other office essentials.
And while this desk is positioned against a wall, a little wall art make it much more entertaining to look at than plain paintwork.
20. Hide your home office away at night
What we love most about this home office idea is when you are done with work for the day you can shut the doors and it just looks like a lovely dresser – great if you're trying to achieve good work-life balance.
We have found that being able to separate your workspace from where you 'live' is so much better for your mental health than leaving your work on the kitchen table all evening.
21. Choose a stylish noticeboard to organise thoughts
It's worth investing in the best noticeboard as part of your home office set-up if you're more of a visual person. The perfect spot for storing reminders and to-do lists, you could also try pinning images that inspire you to your noticeboard for extra inspiration. And if not, a well-designed noticeboard adds plenty of aesthetic appeal to a space.
We love the minimalist feel of the SKÅDIS Pegboard from Ikea. Our top tip for recreating this look is to pick a colour theme for your pegboard that matches your interiors and use it to add personality to your room, as well as storage.
22. Build a home office into an awkward space
This home office idea may require slightly more planning than the others, but if you're planning a larger renovation project – or have a particularly awkward space you're prepared to spend a little more money on – we think it's a great option.
This streamlined solution makes the most of a space that might otherwise be wasted. And it offers plenty of options in terms of home office storage, as well as providing a practical desk space.
23. Make the most of natural light
Okay, so we know that most people won't realistically have access to such a stunning work from home spot, but the use of natural light in this gorgeous home office is an idea we can all apply to our own homes.
In our experience it's best that you choose a space with as much natural light as possible if you're looking to minimise the risk of straining your eyes. Plus, you may find that exposure to the sun (when it decides to show itself) helps boost your energy.
24. Design an ultra-minimal space
If you need a tidy space to work effectively, you'll love this Scandi-inspired, ultra-minimal space. Not only is it free of clutter, it's neutral colour palette is also really calming making a great spot to get into a productive work flow.
Prioritise making the space as functional as possible, with high-quality furniture that encourages good posture, as well as suiting your aesthetic requirements. Effective office lighting is also super important, especially since days have already started getting shorter.
25. Don't be afraid to go for a moody paint colour
We know we've banged on about light, bright office spaces, but this home office idea proves that you shouldn't be afraid to go dark if neutral interiors aren't your thing. We love how propped up prints have been used for a kind of informal gallery wall, which could be changed regularly to provide fresh inspiration.
26. Work a sweet wallpaper into your office space
To avoid staring at a blank wall for the majority of your day, pop up some wallpaper behind your desk. Use it as a basis for your colour scheme to you can make the area feel more cohesive and less just an area you had to throw together when lockdown started.
We love this home office because all the colours are nice and soft and muted so won't be distracting but the wallpaper print still adds a bit of subtle pattern.
For a similar wallpaper check out Boråstapeter Golden Marble Wallpaper.
27. Design a space that inspires you
When designing a home office, what's most important is ensuring your space inspires you. And while for some people that may mean a minimalist space with clean lines and next to no distractions, for other it will mean embracing bold colours, patterns and other interesting bits and bobs.
We love this bright space, which we think is exactly what you need if you want to get your creative juices flowing.
28. Zone your space with this on-trend paint idea
If you're working a home office into a larger area – perhaps a living room, or bedroom – consider using this simple paint idea to zone your space.
Opting for a complementary colour will ensure your office works within your wider scheme while ensuring the space is distinctly separate – great news if you're looking to create a clear definition between work and leisure.
Check out more of our colour blocking wall ideas.
29. Build your own wall-to-wall storage, but half depth
If you have the room and requirements to need heaps of storage space, then our hot tip is to break down your storage units into shelves, separate drawers, boxes and little cabinets so it doesn't look clunky, and of course, so it is easier to order without shoving everything together.
Our second hot tip? Make it half depth: everything is easy to reach and find and it won't take up so much floor space. This floating unit from IKEA, £63, can be placed above a few storage cabinets – and you have yourself a storage paradise without ruining the chic home office look.
30. Design a suitable office for home schooling
Just as important as a suitable workspace for adults working from home is a spot for kids – and especially teenagers – to be able to get on with their homeschooling assignments. But rather than making the space feel clinical, why not make it a space that they (almost) enjoy spending time?
This compact desk slots seamlessly into the corner of this teen bedroom and is decorated with plenty of images and accessories that still make it feel like their space. Check out more teen bedroom ideas for inspiration.
31. Pick a desk with bags of character
We know it’s easy to get carried away with creating the perfect space to sip Old Fashioneds and contemplate world domination, but don’t lose sight of the fact that an office is primarily a place to work in. This means spending some time picking the right home office desk that fits with the Mid-century vibe but also works for you.
Where to look? John Lewis is a good place to start but we'd always prefer a trawl around flea markets and antique shops for something authentic.
Find more inspiration in our pick of the best modern office desks.
32. Be bold with your lighting choices
When choosing lighting, think simple but sculptural. In an otherwise minimalist interior the right light fixture can make a striking statement - the curved silhouette of an arc lamp or a bright anglepoise adds an instant Mid-century feel to a room without going overboard.
33. Add a feeling of luxury to your home office
Want your home office to feel comfortable? Add a seat that looks like it belongs in a living space or bedroom, despite being perfect as a home office chair. If you're looking to strike the balance between your love for Mid-century furniture and a desire to experiment with on-trend paint techniques in your home office, colour blocking is a stylish option worth considering.
Paint a dark shade up to where the dado rail would naturally sit and opt for a neutral – white being the most obvious option – above. Pair with a stylish, brass toned, round mirror, a desk with hairpin (or hairpin inspired) legs and a geometric inspired rug.
Want to recreate this look? Browse our colour blocking paint ideas for more tips and inspiration.
34. Choose an accent colour and incorporate it into your shelf styling
if you're working with a neutral scheme – we love this use of white wood panelling on both the walls and floors – you might consider incorporating an accent feature to add depth and create more interest within the space.
Opt for a statement piece of furniture in red, burnt orange or another shade that's attention-grabbing, then incorporate the tone more subtly throughout the rest of your scheme – styling shelves with books in your chose shade is a great example.
35. Or add an accent colour with your chair
Our top tip when you are trying to update any room on a budget, shop around your own home first. You will probably have to invest in a good office chair and you might not find one of them hanging around, but a console or dressing table that could become a desk? Or some neglected shelves you could turn into office storage? Perfect.
You could always update them with a lick of paint too, just. check out our guide to how to paint furniture to learn what to do.
36. Get organised with a DIY wall planner
So now you have your little nook filled with your already owned furniture, time to make it really practical by adding a wall planner. These are great for jotting in meetings, deadlines and all those fabulous weekend plans we are all making at the moment (not). It's super easy and cheap to create the look at home all you need is masking tape to create the grid and chalkboard paint to create the squares. Remove the tape once the paint is dry and then fill in the numbers with a chalk pen. Easily done for under and tenner and it looks fab!
37. Pick shutters as your number one window treatment
Shutters are brilliant for home offices: they keep the light filtered so it's always at the right levels, they ensure privacy and security, and of course, they're great for allowing in a draught when it's hot outside or keeping out the cold when it's not. Take a look at our guide to how to choose shutters for more info. These DIY shutters are from California Shutters.
38. Pick a monitor designed for small home offices
Having the space for a dedicated home office isn't a choice we can all make – but that doesn't mean you still won't need to work from home occasionally, find space for a passion project or need a specific spot for the kids to sit down and do their homework. So, what to do if you're limited on space, and particularly desk space? The clever, space-saving (clue's in the name) Space Monitor could be the answer.
What makes it so special? Put simply, it's a super slimline screen that can be placed, flush, against a wall, as well as adjusted to variety of other angles, depending on what suits you.