56 home office ideas – inspiring designs for working spaces big and small

The most good looking home office ideas will help you create a stylish space – big or small – that will boost productivity.

Maximalist home office ideas by John Lewis and Partners
(Image credit: John Lewis and Partners)

The best home office ideas will take your WFH setup to the next level. Whether you have a dedicated space or are working from the corner of your living room, inspiration is a must to get the look spot on. 

Finding the perfect balance between decorative and practical additions is achievable, and you don't need a big budget either. Well thought-out storage and furniture brought together by color palettes, soft furnishings and wall art is the way to go – whether you want to create a calm and contemporary space, a traditional office look or something a little quirky.

1. Create a maximalist home office design full of pattern

Maximalist home office ideas by John Lewis and Partners

(Image credit: John Lewis and Partners)

A maximalist home office design scheme will give you energy on tap. This might include a busy printed wallpaper, opting for heavily patterned drapes, investing in a statement console table or all three, there are no limits.

2. Go dark and dramatic with an all-black home office

Crown home office idea in shade 'Aftershow'

(Image credit: Crown)

Even smaller spaces can work with a dark color on all four walls for a grounding finish. 'For smaller sized spaces take one color over every surface. This technique helps blur the lines between where one area starts and the other stops, making a room feel bigger in size and less distracting.', says Patrick O'Donnell, brand ambassador for Farrow & Ball. 'Dark colors can be good to enclose a space and cause limited distraction; ideal for smaller rooms and for those who are working with data and stats.'

3. Play to historic home strengths with vintage decor

Green home office idea by Little Greene

(Image credit: Little Greene)

If you have the luxury of a historic home without the luxury of a separate home office space, to not despair. Incorporate your desk into a free area that is already full of character. Lovely hallway wallpaper ideas make the perfect backdrop and this small white and green patterned number is not without its charm. 'Greens are naturally calming and help us to relax, especially if we can create an environment that feels like the great outdoors.', says O' Donnell. 'The symbolic color of nature’s ‘green’ in all its shades can be a very effective color to focus the mind, from pale, soft cool greens to the deeper richer end of olive tones! Greens inspire thought and logic, perfect for dealing with your daily tasks.'

4. Multi-use and built-in

Sharps The Home Collection Shaker Style Slate Home Office idea

(Image credit: Sharps)

Work spaces shouldn't be limited to a quiet corner in a room with no noise. If you're someone that thrives on a busy environment with high traffic consider giving your dining room or even kitchen space a dual purpose. This grey shaker style office by Sharps works like a charm.

5. Opt for an ethereal color scheme

Pink and green ombre wall decor in home office idea by Crown

(Image credit: Crown)

If you're a creative, choose an ethereal color palette to inspire you daily and to open up your space too. Ombre wall paint ideas are guaranteed to put a smile on your face and boost your WFH momentum also. 

6. Create a tranquil space with brown and beige tones

Brown, beige and black home office idea by John Lewis and Partners

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

Nutty and warm, woody shades bring modern vibes and a close connection with nature to a space also. 'Brown is often a surprising choice to create calm spaces but has a similar impact to greens. Teamed with natural materials such as wood, brown becomes an easy zone of zen like quality!', says O'Donnell.

Gallery wall in home office idea by Desenio

(Image credit: Desenio )

Take your gallery wall up a notch with inspiring quotes, energizing images and more to make you smile and to creative a home office environment that is totally unique.

8. Use primary colors for a Bauhaus-inspired office

Red wallpaper in home office idea by Little Greene

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Thought primary colors were too childish to be used in a home office design? Not according to Bauhaus. 'I love the way this trend brings us ‘back to the future’,’ says Crown Paints color consultant Neville Knott. 

‘With a functional approach to design aesthetics reflective of the Bauhaus, its strong colors and shapes provide graphic focal points within a space.'

9. Create a scandi chic scheme with white and wood

Wooden desk and shelf combo by Next in home office idea

(Image credit: Next)

Bright and airy, a light wood and white home office is a nod in the right direction towards Nordic design and Scandinavian chic schemes.

'White is the color of purity and clarity - the easiest option for most, especially those nervous of committing to too much color.', says O'Donnell.

When looking for the right, white shade, we recommend School House White for creating a clean workspace with little distraction. This off-white, creamy hue is a warmer, less clinical cousin of crisp, cool and icy whites which may make the room feel 'cold'.

10. Take it outside with a summerhouse setup

Wildflower Garden Summerhouse home office by Lights4Fun

(Image credit: Lights4Fun)

If you have a large garden space with a dreamy summerhouse design, make the most of this outdoor scheme when the sun is shining.

Whether you want to escape from the kids, or have a half in, half out idea, owning an outbuilding or even a she-shed will allow you to align with nature why ticking off your to-do list.

11. Create a multi-purpose home office

home office ideas: pink home office in living room space

(Image credit: Ikea)

If your 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.

12. Choose your home office chair sensibly

home office ideas: white office with grey chair

(Image credit: Cult Furniture)

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. 

13. 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.

14. Corner off an open plan space for your home office

home office ideas: office tucked into corner of home

(Image credit: Cult Furniture)

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 colors that complement your existing space.

15. Give yourself a view

home office ideas: moody open plan space with simple desk set up

(Image credit: GoModern Furniture)

Natural light and a view to inspire you is a great addition to a home office setup. Keep house plants around too for a little more of the outdoors by your side.

16. Or opt for an alcove office if you're short on space

Home office built into a small alcove

(Image credit: Original BTC )

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

17. 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 organizers, with the lid used as a space to store reminders.

18. DIY a functional home office feature wall

home office idea: A small desk area in an alcove with dark walls

(Image credit: Ikea)

We love this home office idea! There are plenty of wall planners and noticeboards on the market to help you organize 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.

19. Hide a home office under the stairs

Victorian cottage slow living scandi home office

(Image credit: Future)

This stylish space 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.

20. WFH not quite working? Build a garden office

home office ideas: stylish garden office with hanging plants

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

For UK 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.

21. Traditional 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.

22. 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 color 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.

23. 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. 

24. Pick a paint color that will boost your productivity

home office ideas: small desk with green paint scheme

(Image credit: Furniture Choice)

Different colors affect our moods in different ways, so choosing the correct paint color for the room you plan on working in is no small matter. 

Surprisingly, the color 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. 

Mid-century inspired office

(Image credit: Nest)

25. 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, shriveled plant isn't going to do much to boost motivation on a Monday morning. 

26. Go for bags of woody tones for warmth

home office ideas: dark home office with red shutters

(Image credit: Original BTC)

Want to create a traditional-feeling space that's warm and welcoming, too? You need to fill your home office with warm-toned wood – and this can stretch from the desk to the window treatments. 

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. More on those later.

27. Experiment with pretty window treatments

home office ideas: desk space with bright floral window film

(Image credit: Pulrfrost Window Film)

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.

28. Create a co-working space

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, color and (most importantly) inspiration to your space with the help of framed wall art.

This co-working space will put city hotdesks to shame, comes without the hefty monthly rent costs, and you can guarantee you've got a familiar face to keep you company.

29. Get your hands on lots of home office accessories

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

(Image credit: Made)

When using your bedroom as a home office, color 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 color.

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.

30. Bring your office 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.

31. 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.

32. Choose a stylish noticeboard to organize thoughts

Ikea storage hack using Skadis

(Image credit: Ikea)

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 color theme for your pegboard that matches your interiors and use it to add personality to your room, as well as storage.

33. 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.

34. Make the most of natural light

home office ideas: bright home office with large window

(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 minimize 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.

35. 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 color palette is also really calming making a great spot to get into a productive work flow.

36. Task lighting

home office ideas: minimal office with white and grey interiors scheme

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Prioritize 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 in all seaons.

37. Nautical vibes

office space with blue walls and slim wooden desk, grey desk chair and grey carpet

(Image credit: Rachael Smith)

Go nautical if neutral interiors aren't your thing. We love the blue against all the wooden furniture accents, making for a warm and charming look.

38. 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 color 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 colors 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.

39. Design a space that inspires you

Home office updated with paint

(Image credit: @all_things_interior_)

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 colors, 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.

40. Statement chairs

Maisons du monde feature chair in bright pink

(Image credit: Maisons du monde)

If you're working a home office into a larger area – perhaps a living room, or bedroom – consider making your office chair the centerpiece.

41. Complementary colors

Home office space in a corner of a bedroom with a colourful paint effect behind the desk

(Image credit: Dulux)

Opting for a complementary color 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 color blocking wall ideas.

42. Build your own wall-to-wall storage, but half depth

home office

(Image credit: IKEA)

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, can be placed above a few storage cabinets – and you have yourself a storage paradise without ruining the chic home office look.

43. Design a suitable office for home schooling

home office ideas: teen bedroom with stylish office chair

(Image credit: Cult Furniture)

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. 

44. Pick a desk with so much character

Home office with flooring by Carpetright

(Image credit: Carpetright)

We know it’s easy to get carried away with creating the perfect space, 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 best desks that fits with the Mid-century vibe but also works for you.

Where to look? Think flea markets and antique shops for something authentic.

45. Be bold with your lighting choices

Home office by John Lewis

(Image credit: John Lewis)

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. 

The light (and everything else) below is from John Lewis. West Elm have some great retro lighting, too. 

46. Add a feeling of luxury to your home office

home office with white and blue colour blocking on walls and desk with large round mirror by pooky

(Image credit: Pooky)

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, color 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.

47. Choose an accent color

home woffice with pannelled walls and floors and desk with burnt orange desk chair by pooky

(Image credit: Pooky)

If you're working with a neutral scheme – we love this use of white wood paneling 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.

48. Add art

Neptune Carter desk, Brompton desk lamp in Antique Brass , City plan print

(Image credit: Neptune)

A piece of art will give you both escapism and decor in one. Hang your favorite abstract piece in your eye-line for maximum impact.

49. Pops of color with paint samples

Home office ideas

(Image credit: Shutterly Fabulous )

It’s not just us that’s working from home more, it’s our teens and uni aged kids too, so make them a fun space to encourage them out of their beds to do a bit of online studying! This light and airy space has natural light from the window. If you don’t like blds, then consider a shutter – while they can be pricey, they are great for privacy and security too. Opt for modern furniture and pops of color to make this workspace more inviting to them.

50. Create a customized desk, then paint it to suit

Home office ideas

(Image credit: Dulux)

Buying your home office furniture from somewhere like Ikea (ie, it's not costing a bomb)? Customize it with paint – and use that as a starting point for your whole scheme. Living rooms and bedrooms are the two main spaces that double as a home office, as generally they are the largest in a house. To make it work choose a desk and seating that ties in with the rest of the room, here, the pale blond desk top and trestle legs work well with the bare floor-boards and jet black of the fireplace. The copper plant pot on the mantle links to the copper accessories on the desk – it’s all in the details! And not forgetting the pinboard that’s cleverly painted in Heart Wood, the same color as the walls. 

51. Get organized with a DIY wall planner

Chalkboard wall calendar above a desk in a home office

(Image credit: Rachael Smith)

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!

52. Shutters as your number one window treatment

Shutters within a home office setting by California Shutters

(Image credit: California Shutters)

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.

53. Pick a monitor designed for small home offices

small space monitor by samsung

(Image credit: Samsung)

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 a variety of other angles, depending on what suits you. 

54. Add a cork board wall 

Cork board wall in a home office

(Image credit: Veronica Rodriguez)

Take your cork memo board up a notch and add a whole cork board wall. It's an easy DIY job too, all you need to do is cover a wall in cork tiles, you can pick them up from Amazon, then just get decorating!

55. Create a home office in an unused landing space

Drop down desk home office ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

If space really is at a premium, a drop leaf table and folding chairs you can hang on the wall in your landing is a genius idea. That way, you can fit your home office into the tightest, shallowest of spaces, without taking up loads of room. This Norberg set up is by Ikea (of course it is).

56. Experiment with metallic paint in your home office

Home office ideas

(Image credit: Crown)

Metallic paint has come on leaps and bounds and this Striking shade from Crown has great coverage. Use it to zone a wall that you can pop your desk against and create a pinboard for inspirational images and quotes. The calming blush colour works really well with metallic – accessorize with gold, silver and pink stationery to tie the two shades together.

How can I make a home office in my bedroom?

'In house-shares and homes with teens, sometimes the only sensible spot for work and study is a bedroom, which can make it tricky to switch off at the end of the day.', says O'Donnell.

'To turn a corner of any room into a dedicated workspace – that doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb – try painting a mounted desk in the same color as the wall.'

'This keeps the contrast low and creates a more soothing look, especially in focus-promoting greens and blues.'

How can I make a home office with no space?

'If you’re lucky enough to have an unused alcove or an old kitchen serving hatch, why not make a feature of it by painting the interior. Voilà: an (almost) instant workspace.', says O'Donnell.

'Kids will especially love these secret pockets of color for after-school homework sessions, but they’re just the right size for part-time home workers to pop a laptop on, too.'

Emily Shaw
Emily Shaw

Emily first (temporarily) joined the Real Homes team while interning on her summer break from university. After graduating, she worked on several publications before joining Real Homes as Staff Writer full time in mid-2018. She loves a second-hand bargain and sourcing unique finds to make her rented flat reflect her personality.