Designing a home office is all about balancing form and function.
Here, we share our top 5 tips for creating a cohesive workspace that promotes productivity, focus and creativity, whilst showcasing your own personal style and supporting well-being.
// 1. Functionality & Decor Style // 2. Furniture & Organisation // 3. Lighting // 4. Accessorise: Loved, Living, Lustre // 5. Layering
STYLING TIP #1: Functionality & Decor Style
We recommend exploring our Style Library for step-by-step styling tips for a range of decor styles or take our Interior Style Personality Quiz if you are still discovering your unique style.
Considered use of colour in your space will also evoke different feelings and shape your perception of the space.
- Monochromatic: to ground the space for a streamlined look.
- Colour Combination Template: Select a base colour + complimentary accent colour + metallic element + natural material.
- Light & serene colours: Pure white offers a crisp + clean base palette for a bright and fresh feel. Off-white provides a beautiful warm glow if your room has ample natural light. Warm grey/beige is easy on the eyes and can keep the stress levels down. Nickel accents are calming & facilitate productivity. If you have lots of natural wood accents, soft-blue green hues can balance the warmth in most woods for a sense of calm.
- Dark & moody colours: For coziness, we love a dark, bold colour for the office wall, trim, and ceilings. A deep, dark green is associated with harmony, balance and reassurance. Olive green promotes peace and a sense of bringing the outdoors in. Darker blues and charcoal are associated with focus, intelligence and strength.
Here is a great resource for diving deeper into how to combine colours in your home:
FUNCTIONALITY: ZONING YOUR SPACE
- Zoning ideas: Add subtle spatial boundaries with as small area rug, concertina doors, potted plant or piece of wall art.
- Separate Home office: If you have a dedicated home office space, placing the desk away from the walls can emphasise the purpose of the space and allow you to maximise the space for complimentary reading nooks and storage pieces.
- Open floor plans: Open floor plans often call for workspaces that blend with your existing interior décor, allowing for a subtle flow in between rooms. For cohesion, link through colours and materials. The beauty is in the detail, so consider storage options such as leather or rattan trays, pen holders or desk caddy's in lieu of plastic generic items.
STYLING TIP #2: Furniture, Storage & Organisation
Consider the purpose and requirements of the space.
How quiet does the space need to be? What do you do in a typical day; mostly computer work or paper-generating work? Is it a shared work space?
Do you require a keyboard & monitor or a laptop only?
These questions will help you decide furniture placement and the storage options will function best for your needs.
- A sturdy desk: select desk at the right height, size and style. Desk types include traditional desks with storage, a concealed office cabinet, half moon or corner desks, "L"-shaped and "U"-shaped desks or a floating desk. Styles include secretary, writing, computer, standing, partnered or executive.
- An ergonomic chair: pay attention to the adjustable features, lumbar support and seat depth. Consider breathable materials and if your home office is situated in an open-plan space, select a chair that will fit seamlessly with your existing decor style.
- Additional seating: if your home office caters to more than one person or also serves as a home library, consider guest seating options such as storage ottomans, drum stools, window seating, a two-seater sofa or an armchair.
- Storage furniture: start by decluttering and editing what you currently have, then decide on a clear, designated storage system. Small space storage options include discreet filing cabinets, desks with deep drawers, extra shelves and wall-mounted shelving systems. Large pieces include open or closed bookshelves, ladder shelves, filing cabinets, buffets + sideboards.
- Storage accessories & stationary: Stackable rattan document boxes, stationary holders, waste paper bins, filing trays or pencil holders to minimise messes and keep your workspace looking tidy and uncluttered.
STYLING TIP #3: LIGHTING
To maximise efficiency and cater to the task or energy level needed, lighting needs to be flexible and varied.
We suggest including one of each of the different artificial light sources listed below for a balance of direct and indirect bounce lighting.
- Task lighting: An adjustable or articulated desk lamp brightens areas where routine tasks are performed.
- Window treatments: the addition of translucent blinds, sheer curtains or roman shades will reduce any glare whilst maintaining natural light.
- Accent lighting: LED picture lights, wall-sconces and strip lighting can highlight and enhance storage options.
- Diffuse ambient lighting: dimmable overhead lighting and tall upward-shining floor lamps bounce the light off of walls and ceilings to achieve even light dispersal. Consider the ritual of lighting your favourite fragrant candle when working, adding life and light to the space. Fragrances that boost productivity and mood include mint, lemon, lavender, jasmine, rosemary and cinnamon.
- Natural lighting: natural light promotes well-being, boosts your mood and balances the overall ambient light. It is a bonus if your room offers a view, allowing your eyes to refocus throughout the day. Tip: every 15 minutes allow your gaze to travel at least 10 metres for 20 seconds to refresh the eyes and minimise strain.
STYLING TIP #4: ACCESSORISE: LIVING, LUSTRE, LOVED.
Allow your home office to reflect your own individual style and personality by accessorising with something loved, something living, and something with lustre, balancing old and new items to achieve a look that is visually considered.
Fresh cut greenery, faux plants, flowers or potted plants brings living energy into your space.
A workspace that inspires and evokes positive feelings will increase productivity. Add a few cherished objects such as art, books, fragrant candles, and decorative accessories that will bring necessary beauty to the space.
Something with Lustre:
Crystal and mirrored surfaces assist in circulating the natural light throughout the room. Glass obelisks, clocks, candleholders, picture frames, water decanters, reflective surfaces and muted brass, gold, pewter and bronze details add an element of glamour and charm.
STYLING TIP #5: LAYERING
- Natural Materials: Natural materials are soothing for a work zone. Contrast natural woods, ceramics, cane, leather and other tactile textures to create a warm and comforting atmosphere.
- Rugs, cushions & throws add texture, coziness and help mellow the acoustics of the space. Layering contrasting materials such as a stone-washed linen throw alongside a chunky-knit woven rug or upholstered plaid armchair.
- Desk vignettes: Experiment grouping your accessories together in odd numbers of 3 or 5 items for visual interest. Creating vignettes on your desktop or on a decorative tray allow you to showcase a mix of functional and aesthetic items in a curated way.
Use an eye-catching lighting fixture to elevate the room & make it the focal point.
Lighting changes how we see a space and how we feel when we are in that space.
There are 4 main lighting styles; Accent Lighting, Ambient Lighting, Task Lighting and Mood Lighting. Use accent lights such as wall sconces to frame an artwork, mirror or mantelpiece. Ambient lighting is fundamental to a properly lit room and provides the overall illumination through lighting fixtures such as Ceiling Pendants and Chandeliers.
Task Lighting brightens areas where routine tasks are performed and makes a nice addition to the ambient lighting throughout your home. Task lighting includes adjustable floor or table lamps. Lastly, Mood Lighting is where you can get creative with pretty candleholders, hurricane lamps or decorative lights that function both as decorative objects and provide soft illumination.