Home office ideas: 25 stylish work spaces designed for productivity

These home office ideas will transform your working from home experience, whether you have a designated home office, a very small office space or are currently working from the sofa...

home office ideas: home office with noticeboard and other storage solutions
(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Everyone is looking for fab home office ideas at the moment, which makes sense given that most of us are working from home now more than ever.  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 ideas.

You may have a dedicated home office (lucky!) or you may have just a corner of your living room to play with, but we've got you covered with our home office ideas and tips to help you create a space you (almost) won't want to leave. To help nail your home office design be sure to visit our feature.

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1. Create a multi-purpose home office

home office ideas: pink home office in living room space

(Image credit: Ikea)

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

Home office ideas: modern home office with chair

(Image credit: John Lewis)

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. 

3. Choose a light scheme for a small home office

home office: white office in hallway

(Image credit: Cult Furniture)

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

home office ideas: office tucked into corner of home

(Image credit: Cult Furniture)

If you're lucky enough to have the 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

Drop down desk home office ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

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

Home office built into a small alcove

(Image credit: Original BTC )

6. Get creative with your home office storage

Ikea storage ottoman with desk storage

(Image credit: Ikea)

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

home office with chalkboard wall

(Image credit: Cult Furniture)

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.

8. Hide a home office under the stairs

home office ideas: small office under the stairs

(Image credit: Oak Furnitureland)

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 set up, which would work well in modern 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

home office ideas: stylish garden office with hanging plants

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

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

home office ideas: traditional home office

(Image credit: Cult Furniture)

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.

11. Or be inspired by stunning mid-century style offices

home office ideas: mid-century inspired space

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

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 

Ladder desk in a small office

(Image credit: Garden Trading )

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

Home office painted in blue

(Image credit: HolzDesignPur)

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. 

14. Add some greenery to your home office 

home office ideas: pink papered home office with plenty of houseplants

(Image credit: Cult Furniture)

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

home office ideas: dark home office with red shutters

(Image credit: Original BTC)

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.

Black out blinds or curtains are a great options 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. 

Jenny and Anthony Kakoudakis combine colour, heirloom pieces and mid-century style in a home reminiscent of a Parisian hotel

(Image credit: malcolm menzies)

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.

17. Work an office space into your bedroom

home office ideas: small office at the end of a bedroom

(Image credit: Made)

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.

18. Or even into your living room

Mid-century home office

(Image credit: Alun Callunder )

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.

19. Hide your home office away at night

The Dormy House armoire

(Image credit: The Dormy House)

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.

Plus, this set-up is idea if you have a load of home office gadgets – we're talking monitors, keyboards, a small printer and the like – that slightly ruin the aesthetic of your home.

20. Choose a stylish noticeboard to organise thoughts

home office ideas: stylish wire noticeboard

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

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 wire finish of this Farringdon Memo Board, from Garden Trading, as a minimalist alternative to the traditional cork noticeboard.

21. Build a home office into an awkward space

home office ideas: built in home office

(Image credit: Dulux)

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.

22. Make the most of natural light

home office ideas: bright home office with large windoe

(Image credit: Fiona Walker Arnott)

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.

23. Design an ultra-minimal space

home office ideas: minimal home office

(Image credit: Cult Furniture)

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.

24. Don't be afraid to go for a moody paint colour

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

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 postcards have been used for a kind of informal gallery wall, which could be changed regularly to provide fresh inspiration.

Plus, this spaces would work well for adults and kids, which is great news if you're trying to work from home and home school at different point in the day.

25. Work a sweet wallpaper into your office space 

Pale pink mid-century inspired office

(Image credit: Made.com)

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.

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