With the rise of working from home, whether as freelancer/solopreneur or as part of flexible work arrangements, home offices are becoming a common feature of our homes. It could be a dedicated room or part of an existing one, but when thinking about decorating a home office there are three interlinked things to keep in mind: functionality, décor of the space, and how it sits in the whole house.
Keeping the décor simple is an important aspect of functionality, as we want to be focused while working (although some of us can be distracted by a white wall!) For this reason, I encourage the use of statement pieces in a room that relies on colour, light and texture to stimulate the senses and awake our emotions. Simple doesn’t have to mean bare.
The ideal situation is a big room with a lot of natural light, but that’s not always possible. White or light coloured walls make the interior appear larger than it is. A simple but elegant décor on the walls will help to balance the emptiness of a light paint, and it could be anything from a painting or photograph to prints featuring quotes or even textiles, depending on taste (we love these discreet linen flags from White Flag, handmade by single mothers in Nashville; if this mission wasn’t enough, they also donate 10% of the cost to a charity partner of your choice). Many stylish offices for men have been decorated in darker tones than offices for women, but it’s not a hard and fast rule.
Natural light not only adds to the sense of a bigger space, but is better for our well-being in general. However, if an artificial source of light is necessary, it should be evenly distributed and replicate the effect of big windows as much as possible. Another consideration when choosing lights (as well as colours) is the type of work that you do: a therapist receiving clients in the home office would choose a more soothing mood enhancer than someone looking for a space that keeps their mood upbeat. A neutral colour option would be green, as it’s both tranquil and invigorating, since it reminds our brains of nature.
When it comes to furniture, there are three main elements in an office: the desk, the chair and the storage space. I would highly recommend a statement desk, as it would give character to the room without relying on too much decoration. Depending on individual taste, antique bureaus (or copies) do nicely to cover also most storage issues, especially Victorian designs which come with drawers to sustain the top.
A Chesterfield study chair is a retro alternative to the regular office chair and a statement piece itself, especially if bought in coloured leather rather than the traditional browns, but the most important consideration is that the chair is comfortable for the person working in that office all day. The whole feel of the office can be then worked around the chosen chair with décor to match the chosen style, and making use of any features of the space to create a pleasant work area. If the office has visible storage it’s possible to use the top of a filing cabinet as decorative surface, for example with a piece of art, a plant, or flowers. A beautiful and inviting workspace is an important aspect of keeping ourselves motivated for work, especially when our beds are very close on cold winter mornings.
Some offices, like for example the one of a therapist I already mentioned, have more main elements, such as a suitable sitting area for meeting the clients; designers and architects may have an old-fashioned design area for their work by hand, or mood boards, and every job will have different aspects that will appear in an office. While an office that is only used by the owner has functionality at its heart, for an office that reflects your professionalism to others (clients or partners) it’s important to think holistically about how to include these elements in a way that looks curated. This will project attention to details and care for the job, in contrast with the lazy stereotypes that surround working from home. It can also add to our own sense of leaving the home behind for work, especially if we make our own office in a space that has another function (for example a corner of our bedroom or living room).
I hope this tips are helpful, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if we can help with your design needs any further. If you are decorating your workspace, share with us the pictures of your end result, and we’ll feature them. You can also find more inspirations on Pinterest.