The home office has taken on new importance of late. These gorgeous spaces manage to seamlessly combine practicality with inspired decorating choices. The result? Rooms that would make even paying bills feel decidedly chic.
Go Light and Airy
A white-on-white color scheme and airy elements such as this floating glass desk are handy ways to create a work space that is more akin to a personal sanctuary than a place for professional toil. If your work is fueled by an inspiration board, opting for a simpler decor scheme will allow each point of inspiration you pin up to take center stage in both the space and your thinking.
Max Out a Modest Space
If your home office isn’t that big, focus on ways you can make the space you do have as interesting as possible. Daring wall treatments, such as designer Sheila Bridges’s multicolor stripes, layers of pattern, or statement-making art, can transform what may have seemed like an uninspired closet into a total gem.
Skip Business-y Furniture
There’s no rule that says a desk can’t be a repurposed dining table and an “office” chair can’t be a shapely wingback chair. Approach your home office with the same decorating gusto you’d pump into your boudoir or living room. Use techniques such as matching pairs, fanciful finishes, and a gallery wall to conjure up a space that is functional but also feeds your creativity.
Carve Out Room
If your home lacks a dedicated office space, just reimagine a corner of your favorite room to double as a home office. Kitchen shelving can hold storage baskets just as well as it can glassware, and a nightstand can serve as a workstation that easily tucks into a bedroom corner. Of her built-in office area, designer Nina Farmer says, “I like keeping an eye on what’s happening in the house yet having my own space off the kitchen.”
Having to make a call to the carpenter might seem daunting, but if that’s what it takes to gain the efficiency you need from your office space, do it. For the home he shares with wife Jessica de Ruiter, Jed Lind, an artist-designer at Commune in L.A., crafted a wood L-shape desk that gives the pair the work space they need while accommodating the depth of the Murphy bed that transforms the space into a guest room when needed.
Focus on the View
In her petite apartment, blogger and author Heather Clawson chose a sunny spot in front of the window for her tiny but hardworking home office. Given the option, a work spot with a great view is hard to beat. Short on storage? Skirted tables can stylishly hide away unattractive filing boxes, not to mention tangles of cords.
Use Unexpected Juxtapositions
When disparate objects play off each other, interesting things happen. Designer Kim Bachmann’s office features the requisite ample storage and a classic desk chair, but to those she added a glam mirrored desk and a funky ’70s-era Lucite ceiling lamp. Both unexpected choices break up the utilitarian feeling of the room. “This is my little space, and I felt like I could do whatever I wanted in here,” Bachmann says.
Keep It Uncluttered
Strategic decor choices can help you keep clutter at bay. In her home office, designer Rachel Roy didn’t fill every inch but instead kept the space pretty pared back, which lets her stunning sculptural stone desk (which is actually a dining table) shine. She did, however, add a large storage piece along one wall to keep her work essentials neatly tucked away. The items that do get left out are all beautifully designed everyday objects.
None of these offices look like any work is really ever done in them, they are all nonfunctional workspaces that are purely decorative for people who pretend to work.
Yup, I’ll have to agree. Too busy looking. I couldn’t get anything done in a space cluttered with so many decorative elements and details. Too distracting. Although they do look beautiful, but only as a showcase office.