Tags: Home Office
By: Shades of Light
Once upon a time, remote work and a well-appointed home office were uncommon luxuries for the average professional, rather than the standard or the norm. That time has clearly passed! For obvious reasons we probably don’t need to mention, home offices are more common than ever. But, with any new norm comes expected growing pains. Designing your own ideal home workspace doesn’t have to be complicated, but we’d be lying if we said we hadn’t fallen victim to some common home office don’ts. It may seem obvious in hindsight, but many of us learned the hard way that dining room chairs are not suited to eight hours of computer work, or that pushing a desk into an empty corner of our bedrooms doesn’t necessarily mean our brains are suddenly going to see this room as a place for work rather than rest.
If you’ve been making do with a slapdash home office for the past few years, you’re probably ready for a change, and a more permanent and productive setup for your life on the clock. With a little bit of forethought and this handy guide full of actionable home office ideas and design tips, your haphazard home workspace will be a thing of the past!
The proper lighting for your home office may seem like a secondary concern next to the perfect desk and a comfortable chair, but well-designed lighting can truly make or break any space in your home. The positioning, brightness, and color temperature of your home office lighting will all play a role in how comfortable the area ultimately is. The right lighting layers will reduce eye strain and fatigue, help you focus, and look great all at the same time. Use the lighting ideas in this design guide to determine the best lighting for your office, and create a space that is comfortable and conducive to workday productivity!
When planning the lighting layout of your workspace, ambient lighting is an easy place to start. To light a room effectively, you should consider the three categories of lighting any well-designed room has. Ambient lighting refers to the general, base layer of light in your room, usually achieved with ceiling lights, sconces, and occasionally floor or table lamps.
How you position your office ambient lighting sources within your room will have a notable effect on the comfort and feel of the room. Aim to reduce glare, harsh shadows, and bright bulbs in your line of sight. Choose home office ceiling lights with diffusers, and home office sconces and wall lights that cast light on the walls or ceiling, allowing it to bounce around the room rather than aiming a spotlight at your desk. Be sure the lights aren’t positioned to shine directly on your computer screen where they will create glares, or behind it, where the light will cause strain on your eyes.
While the positioning of your light fixtures has a huge impact on the functionality of your room, the style and look of your home office ceiling and wall lights is entirely up to you! Warm brass and gold tones will give your space a refined, sophisticated look, or you can keep it sleek and modern with rich black, bronze or even chrome. For a truly unique take, consider accenting the home decor in your office with light fixtures in funky pops of color, like serene blues and vibrant reds and oranges. The important thing is to make this space your own—you’ll likely be spending a lot of time here, and the more comfortable you are with the feel of the room, the more pleasant and productive your workdays will be!
This quirky ceiling light makes a statement with calming warm tones and white globe shades that scatter the light and reduce eye fatigue.
For rooms with lower ceilings, this slim fixture has a modern, unfussy silhouette, with just a pop of gold to keep things interesting. And the 3000K integrated LED is the perfect color temp to keep you alert and productive throughout your workday.
The subtle traditional/transitional design of the Tracie Sconce is right on trend for rooms with classic inspiration. The white glass shade softens the light, so you get the perfect ambiance for your space.
Whenever possible, install hard-wired fixtures on dimmers, giving you complete control over your room, and be sure to utilize any natural light available to you. Choose lightbulbs or LED fixtures with color temps around 3000k-4000k; these bulbs will be cooler, with higher numbers resembling natural sunlight, and should help keep you vibrant and productive throughout the day. Lower color temps are warmer, and may induce sleepiness as the day goes on, so avoid bulbs labeled ‘warm white’ for home office use!
Floor, table, and desk lamps are essential for the perfect home office design. If you’re unable to use ceiling lights or sconces to create your ambient lighting layer, floor lamps and table lamps with shades are the best alternatives. If you already have ambient lighting covered, reading floor lamps and desk lamps (or possibly swing arm sconces) address your next lighting layer needs: task lighting.
Task lighting is exactly what it sounds like—illumination that shines a spotlight on workspaces. If you work with physical (as opposed to digital) papers and pages, like to handwrite your daily ‘to do’ list, or plan to complete any drawing, drafting, or crafting at your workspace, adjustable task lighting is absolutely essential. Look for fixtures that can be aimed directly at your desk so you can see all the minutiae of your work.
Lamps, multi-functional as they are, also make great accent lights! If your task and ambient lighting needs have been met, but your space still feels a little flat, petite accent lights bring a subtle, soothing glow, and can be positioned anywhere you need a hint of extra light. For example, while you don’t want a bright light shining at you from behind your computer screen, a warm, gentle glow positioned behind your monitor can further help reduce eye strain if the area around your screen is cast in shadow.
This sleek, modern LED office lamp pulls double duty with a charging station for your cell phone!
The classic design of this pharmacy floor reading lamp is a must have for trendy traditional-inspired spaces, and the light can be easily directed at your work with the adjustable shade angle.
Totally adorable, and small enough to fit wherever you need some extra glow, this mid-century accent desk light will add a whimsical and fun element to your home office decor.
The lighting and furniture of your office will work together to create a unique and inviting area that you’ll love to work from. Designing your own home office layout offers you the valuable option of customizing your space to your exact needs, so no matter what your job may throw at you, your environment won’t impede your productivity.
Aesthetically, the design of this area offers a lot of flexibility. Home office furniture that blends with the style of decor elsewhere in your house might be a satisfying way to bring some cohesion into your workspace. Or perhaps you want to flex those creative muscles and design an accent room that stands out from the overall style of your home. Whatever you choose, don’t underestimate the ways your office decor ideas might serve to improve your workflow. If cluttered workspaces make you feel scattered and unfocused, a minimalist desk and home office can help keep you on task. For jobs that rely on an abundance of creativity, a maximalist home office offers plenty of opportunities to use decorations that keep you upbeat and inspired. And for fast paced or demanding careers, soothing decor with thoughtful and simple accents can help keep you calm and centered as you move through your workday.
No matter the size, style, layout, or function of your room, every home office needs a desk. Other accent furniture like loveseats, end tables, or lounge chairs may or may not make their way into your decor scheme, but both the largest and smallest of offices require this quintessential, specialized workspace. In fact, if your space is limited, your entire home office may very well be the perfect desk and a comfy chair tucked into a quiet corner of your home.
What style desk you choose will depend on two factors: the aesthetic design of your room, and the practical necessities of the space. If most of your work is digital, you may prefer an uncluttered, minimalist desk for your home office, with just enough space for you to comfortably use your computer. If this space will be used for non-digital tasks (sketching plans, editing physical documents, or hand-crafting goods, for example) you may need a more expansive, organized office desk with plenty of surface area to work with. The amount of storage you need is also an important consideration. A simple study desk with few or no drawers is a practical option that looks sleek and sophisticated, but if you have a lot of supplies or files to keep organized, this desk design probably won't suit your work.
Since your desk will be the focal point and command center of your office, be sure to choose one that meets your specific and unique needs, but still looks amazing. The more you love your desk, the more you’ll enjoy using it!
Simple, sophisticated, and practical, this desk is ideal for the modern minimalist home office. Open storage shelves leave your supplies within reach and offer a space for your favorite desk decorations without sacrificing tabletop real estate or cluttering up your functional workspace.
With quirky storage shelves, natural wood tones and textures, and a veneer stone top, this desk has something for everyone. Lovers of maximalist decor will adore the fun shapes, contrasting colors, and room for displaying decorations. The simple, clever design is a fun twist on typical minimalist desk styles. And for those designing a Zen home office, warm woods and stone accents offer calming, organic inspirations.
For home decorators who need a more substantial workspace with plenty of storage, this working bench desk has a solid, practical presence, and enough style to make a lasting statement.
If working from home is a new normal for you, it’s possible, or even probable that you didn’t have a designated office space when you made the switch. Since 2019, many workers have found themselves setting up office spaces in spare bedrooms, dining rooms, or living rooms, which means those areas are now pulling double duty.
If your home office is moonlighting as a bedroom or living room reading nook, multifunctional furniture like floor lamps with tables or even rolling bar carts can be a clever way to optimize your space for both uses. A storage bench or storage ottoman looks great in a bedroom or living room and offers the perfect hideaway for your laptop and journal when guests come to call. A mirror with a built-in shelf mounted over a bedroom vanity (that could double as a desk!) supplies you with a handy space to tuck a pencil cup or your favorite desk ornament during the workweek and touch up your hair and makeup before heading out for your weekend plans.
Storage benches are the perfect blend of form and function. You can tuck your work out of sight when the day is done, and you’ll always have cute and cozy extra seating in your workspace.
Mirrors are always a wise decor choice; not only do they look great and serve an important purpose, but they also help reflect light and make a room feel bigger, combating that dim, claustrophobic feeling that can impede workflow. And mirrors with shelves add some decorative real estate for photos, desk toys, or office supplies.
Home office storage cabinets and bookcases don’t have to be bland and boring — this drawer bookshelf has ample display shelving and four enclosed drawers, so you can dress up your space with fun accent decor and a plant or two, while still having plenty of room to hide away papers, files, and office supplies.
It’s easy to get bogged down in the functional details of designing your home office. The right lighting and furniture play pivotal roles in making your office a bespoke haven of productivity and focus. But don’t discount the importance of unique home accents and decorations, especially if you're jumping on the maximalist home office trend. Not every item in the room must be purely functional. Adding wall art and decorative sundries is the best way to personalize and refine your home office, so that you don’t just need to work in the space—you want to!
These totally adorable bookends will keep your notebooks, reference materials, and books upright and organized—and will make you smile every time you see them, which is exactly the kind of multi-purpose decor accents we want in our work areas!
The serene colors and subject matter of this giclee print create a calming focal point to keep you centered and relaxed throughout your workday. This print is vibrant without being loud or distracting, this is the ideal contemporary wall art canvas to accent any home office with an organic aesthetic.
The right rug can make or break a room, and home offices are no exception. Neutral rugs add a polished, professional appeal to your office, and are especially useful if you have hardwood floors or very fluffy carpeting; choose a woven rug with a low pile or flat weave so the wheels on your office chair won’t damage the flooring or get stuck in the soft carpet fibers.