With more Americans working from home than ever before, home offices are becoming a very important room in the house. And whether your daily commute involves a drive or not, it’s always a good idea to make your home office a haven for inspiration and a reflection of your personal style.
In fact, getting a chance to design your own office space may be one of the greatest benefits to working at home. It’s also a lot of fun to design, because the more you make it your own, the more you’ll love it – and that may mean you’ll love your job more, too.
Below are some design ideas to get you started creating a home work space that will make you stop looking at the clock until quitting time and start looking forward to the day ahead.
Think color and sophistication
This year’s design trend is all about bold, dark colors. Consider painting a wall in your home office a very dark shade like dark grey or black. Or, forget about what’s trendy and paint a wall in your favorite color. Then, compliment the color and add an element of sophistication to the room with a dramatic light fixture like this Clarissa chandelier from Pottery Barn, or this Rodan Hammered Metal Pendant light from Crate & Barrel.
One of the current trends in home office design is an added fireplace like this Altra Lamont Mantel fireplace, and sleek but comfy couches like this mid-century couch by West Elm.
Studies have shown that plants help people feel calmer and make you more productive. Give your home office a touch of the serene with a house plant or two, placed someplace where you can see it while you work. African violets and peace lilies add a touch of color while being easy to maintain. Jade plants are another easy plant to care for, as are succulents.
It’s all about the rug
Your home office rug can tie your look together and it’s an excellent opportunity to indulge in one that speaks to your unique style. For example, if you’re a world traveler with a penchant for far away places like Asia or India, consider a beautiful kilim or Persian rug. Etsy.com is a great source for antique and new kilim rugs that you can buy from dealers in Turkey and other areas where the rugs are made.
Or, perhaps you like geographic, modern patterns like the Grammercy Gold Hexagon rug from Crate & Barrel.
The more organized your home office, the more comfortable it will feel. Think vertical when adding shelves and other storage units to your space, and don’t be afraid to add shelving all the way to the ceiling. The Idasen collection from IKEA features cabinets with sliding glass doors so you can see items, making it that much more efficient.
We also recommend storing only what you need in your home office. For example, only a month’s supply of office supplies, and this year’s paperwork. Do a thorough cleaning every month and toss out anything you don’t need, so that clutter on the desk doesn’t lead to clutter in the mind.
Let there be light
Home office spaces tend to be smaller than most of the other rooms in your home. To make the room feel larger, let lots of natural light in by keeping the blinds raised and the curtains open. You could also choose sheer window curtains or panels, or add café rods halfway down the window so that the top part of the window lets in light.
Add photos and artwork that inspires
It’s not often, when you’re working in a shared office space, that you have a chance to hang photos and artwork that means something to you on a very personal level – like a painting your child created for you or a photo of a loved one on a special occasion.
Your home office, however, is the perfect spot for the pictures that inspire you. Consider hanging framed photos and artwork on a wall rather than trying to fit them on your desk. This alleviates clutter and gives you something to look at when you need a little motivation.