Minimal living room
Mid century modern desk
20 Surprising Home Office Ideas Real Simple

20 Surprising Home Office Ideas Real Simple 20 Surprising Home Office Ideas Real Simple

A post shared by Joy Cho / Oh Joy! (@ohjoy) on Oct 9, 2017 at 7:31pm PDT

A post shared by The Pink House (@pinkhouseliving) on Feb 22, 2018 at 6:36am PST

Get The Look: We adore this elevated cute little clay planter—perfect home for a snake plant—to add some dimension to your work space.

Breathe some life into your space, so you’ll want to stay longer. “I try to ensure a balanced home office which is practical, ergonomic, comfortable, and clean—if these elements aren’t in place I know I’ll end up working at the kitchen table! A lovely plant is said to help keep you feeling calm and clean the air—plus it looks pretty too. I like either a Snake Plant or a ZZ plant. Both look lovely, are good for cleaning the air, and are low maintenance!” — Niki Brantmark, Author and Founder of My Scandinavian Home

Choose colors that speak to you—not what’s trendy. “I found this Stone Blue color by Farrow & Ball provided the perfect background for a productive day’s work. Having a bit of fun with the filing cabinets in a non-conventional turquoise meant that even the more functional elements of the room looked attractive.” — Emily Murray, Founder & Editor at The Pink House

Get The Look: World Market is great for beautiful, affordable textiles, and we’re loving this multi-shaded patterned rug, which works with light blue, plum, apricot, or creamy white walls.

The space that was once called your office is now filled with toddler toys, a crib, and possibly even princess décor. Think that means you must wave good-bye to your workspace? Think again. Be creative about your set-up and no one will ever notice that your (pink!) desk is part of your daughter’s room.

Count on this workspace growing with your child and eventually turning into her area for reading, writing, and tackling alegbra homework.

Experts reveal home office decor ideas that help you maximize space and creativity.

Kitchen on one side; office on the other. A simple architectural detail can divide a space without making it feel out of place. Keeping the color palette consistent and neutral will allow you to bring in all sorts of utilitarian pieces like file cabinets, storage containers, and shelves for organizing items.

A post shared by Laurel & Wolf (@laurelandwolf) on Feb 1, 2018 at 11:47am PST

Get The Look: Nothing in the attic? Shop antique stores, flea markets, and even Craigslist to find pieces for your office, whether it’s an aged roll top desk or vintage lamp, and pair these with brand new items, like a pair of vibrant chairs for guests to use when you’re hosting a meeting from home.

Get The Look: This is one home office decor idea that’s non-negotiable! Kick off your newfound commitment to organization with this rose gold wall grid.

Throwing back to this cute home office where we made good use of every inch of space! One of my first projects completed when I started Callahan Interiors 😊 📷: @jennanibal . . . . . #throwbackthursday #office #officedecor #interiordesign #homeoffice

Get The Look: If you, like Hayley, have an office that also functions as a dressing room/walk-in closet, affix a non-adhesive frosted film to windows, to allow sunlight into your space while maintaining privacy.  

Go bold. Think bright. If you want to carve out a space for your child to get homework done, keep the color scheme cool, invigorating, and fun. Add shelving and functional storage accessories that work with his or her style.

When you’re short on space, a bare wall can be a valuable asset. Consider building up (rather than always extending wide). Simple, easy-to-install floating shelves or bookcases are a practical way to maximize your office area.

Your space should inspire you—and reflect your unique personality. So don’t be afraid to go all out. “We wanted to design a space that was fashionable, functional and reflected homeowner Desi Perkins’ personality. The black accent wall added some drama and depth to the space and we added a chandelier above the desk to add a little glitz and glamour. The wood tiled sideboard keeps the space organized, serving as a storage unit for beauty products and countertop for office supplies. The functionality of the space makes it possible for Desi to stay on top of the business side of her career while the chic decor provides the perfect backdrop for her videos and Instagram photos.” — Leura Fine, CEO and Founder of Laurel & Wolf

Get The Look: This soft space-dyed throw from West Elm is just what your home office needs. Create a DIY blanket ladder, and hang a few wool ones near your desk for keeping warm in winter; switch them out with thin, cotton ones in the summer.

We used plants a plenty and garden-inspired art to bring this pretty peach and green office to life! (👀 link in profile for our styling tips!) 🌱🌿🌵 #OhJoyColorAdventures

Good evening Insta friends. Hope you’ve all had a good weekend. I’m proud that I’ve managed to get a NEW BLOG POST up despite the flu going round my household, from one kid to another. I’ve styled a few different rooms using the ARCADE range by @amaraliving . This is the first in a series of 2. I’ve tried to bring a bit of Spring to my desk with a couple of beautiful vases and pots. More details on the blog. Have a lovely evening all and fingers crossed I will evade that flu. I’m reassuring myself that I’ll be ok as I’ve had the vaccine. 🤞🏻. Good night 💕( paid partnership with Amara Living).

A post shared by Carly Callahan Bristol (@callahaninteriors) on Apr 5, 2018 at 10:45am PDT

It took two plus years, but I finally have a home office sitch situated. Feeling extra stoked for being able to actually post up on the hanging chair without ripping the ceiling down 👍🏼#neonbungalow #minefinds

Get The Look: One way to glam up a home office is by refreshing your lighting. This eye-catching pendant lamp with gold detailing from Target will give your space a luxurious, yet professional feel.

A post shared by Melissa Mascara (@mizmascara) on Nov 14, 2017 at 8:30am PST

Organization is key—use every trick in the book. Nobody works well in a messy home office. “Don’t waste an ounce of space by tucking printers, filing, etc into corners and in drawers. Use all your vertical space, too, by putting cabinets up to the ceiling with varying types of storage and a wall hanging pin board to help organize supplies that might otherwise end up shoved in a drawer!” — Carly Callahan, Designer at Homepolish and Founder of Callahan Interiors.

Throwback Thursday to my study in my Edinburgh House, with its @phillipjeffriesltd teal grass cloth wallpaper (lush but doesnae come cheap), Stone Blue @farrowandball woodwork and parquet floor. I’m working on the renovation of my new London study right now and I can’t WAIT to show you. Will there be plenty of pink? You betcha. P.s. I still have those @christopherfarrcloth Carnival print curtains – can’t decide what to do with them 🤔. P.p.s. I need to stop writing Insta posts on the tube – I keep missing my stop! Sorry Kate @mad_about_the_house – I’m on my way! 😅 #tbt

A post shared by Hayley Francis (@neon_doves) on Mar 16, 2017 at 6:39pm PDT

Dare to add color? Just do it. If your space is on the darker side (navy walls, metal cabinet, wooden accent pieces), then rely on your chair and table lamp for the sharp bursts of color.

Get The Look: Dabito is happy to share his genius DIY instructions for his multi-purpose wall shelf/desk. (They’re surprisingly easy to follow, phew!) But if you don’t want to spend your Saturday spray-painting and building shelves this wall unit from Ikea is a similarly chic option that can be up and ready fast!

Ground your space with a colorful area rug—for visual interest and soothing sound-absorption. “The multi-colored rug brings in other colors that accent the peach and green nicely, too. But you could also do a neutral gray rug with this color combo. Keep the furniture simple and clean to make it more sleek, and then add in some green foliage to give the room some texture!” — Joy Cho, Founder & Creative Director of Oh Joy!

A post shared by The Merrythought (@themerrythought) on Feb 8, 2018 at 9:19am PST

If you’re under the impression that you need a spare room or a huge master bedroom to set up a workspace in your home, you’re wrong (although both sound quite nice). Brilliant work-friendly spaces can emerge from a spare corner, a few inches of a wall, or other areas you never thought to explore. Sounds too good to be true? Take a peek.

Make it welcoming—but not too cozy that all you want to do is nap. “Neutral colors on your walls and floor, paired with natural wood, plants and some kind of textile, like blankets, throw pillows, rugs or a yarn wall hanging, create a simple yet cozy working space.” — Caitlin & Manda, Co-founders of The Merrythought

Don’t be afraid to steal decor from other rooms in the house. A mix of vintage and modern makes a home feel warm and lived in and personal, instead of feeling like a showroom. “We paired a gorgeous antique rug that the client already had (hidden away in a dark spot elsewhere in the house!) and a pair of new red chairs. The art on the walls is limited to black and white images so that the color in the space doesn’t become too overwhelming. It is such a comfortable, beautiful room to work in.” — Melissa Mascara, Designer at Homepolish

It’s finally time to ditch the stuff you had in college! Click the #linkinbio for 4 easy ways to update your space.

Get to work. . Photos by @jess_isaac. #HomepolishLA #homepolish #melissamascaradesign #homeoffice #interiordesign #colorlove #red #turquiose #vintagemodern #colorandpattern #joybird #benjaminmoore #galapagosturquoise #losangeles #toomuchbeauty

It’s your space—crowd it with what you love. “Style a gallery wall against a neutral wall. You can arrange them on the floor first, moving the prints around until you achieve the harmonious look that you want. Use removable wall strips to hold your prints up. This allows for the flexibility of changing the look of the wall.” — Geraldine Tan, Founder & Editor of Little Big Bell

A nook is really all you need to make a spot work for you. In fact, a spare surface can easily transform into the most productive place in a home or apartment. Installing extra shelving reinvents this living room into a working and/or studying space.

Hanging a decorative curtain can give you a little extra privacy for those late nights when you need to step away.

Get The Look: We love Minted for their huge, affordable collection of prints. They also provide a free service so that you can text a picture of your wall to their stylists, and they’ll put together a recommendations of art pairings for you. Matting and frames are a way to make art prints look more expensive and styled, but can be a pricey investment. Don’t rule out Michaels—they do custom framing in store!

One wall can be easily divided into two productive spaces. A smart design choice would be one long desktop (it should be large enough for two people to comfortably work side by side) and sleek roll up chairs.

So happy with my workspace after a little spring cleaning. Spot my shiny new #MANTIS table lamp (from @thehouseologists) eeeee! 🖤. Note – I kept my 2016 calendar up as it was designed esp for My Scandinavian Home and I love the colours. Time for a new one though perhaps?! See more on the blog today (link in bio). #tablelamp #workspace #homeoffice #mantistablelamp

A post shared by DABITO (@dabito) on Aug 18, 2017 at 12:43pm PDT

Finally have all the kiddos back in school after some illness; hoping to be a lot more productive work-wise today!

Decorate with images that speak to you. Even if you’re crunching numbers all day. “Fill your office with vibrant art to energize your space and make you feel motivated. I create my own artwork and have it framed by Simply Framed, or I shop from Chairish and Society6.” — Dabito, Founder & Creative Director at Old Brand New

Whether you work from home or have carved out a space for something you love like crafting, reading, or writing, your home office is a place that should inspire the flow of creativity and allow you to get down to business. But often, that’s not the case. In fact, home offices can be the most neglected spaces in our homes—messy and unfriendly environments for inspiration, driving us to work anywhere but in the actual office, like the couch, or kitchen, or bed (guilty!). To help you create and update your own inspiring space, we asked experts—from designers to bloggers and editors—for their advice on the best home office updates and small home office ideas that will make you want to buckle down and get to work.

Get The Look: Whether you’re painting office walls, shelves, and ceiling with one color to make the space feel larger, or using a filing cabinet like this one from CB2 for just a pop of color, working in a color-filled environment can make you more inspired to work from your office—and not the couch.

A post shared by my scandinavian home (@myscandinavianhome) on Apr 8, 2017 at 3:28am PDT

A few key pieces (desk, chair, floating shelves) can transform a quiet sleeping space into an efficient work area. If space permits, try and keep the zones distinct from one another by setting the work area away from the bed. The trick is making sure all of the decorative elements (color palette, furniture finishes) play well together.

Got a corner? Work it. Even a formal living room can accommodate a work zone. Sneak in a table, chair, and a few office accessories (task lamp, storage bins) so you have a spot to retreat to for working on an assignment, writing a letter, or reading the paper.

Stay connected to the great outdoors. “Natural light makes a space feel bigger—which is always a plus in a small space. For my home office I actually used fogged window film on all the windows so I could always have the blinds up. This allows enough light to feed the plants in the room and keep them, as well as myself, lively! And when you feel alive, you’re always more efficient.” — Hayley Francis, Founder and Blogger at Neon Doves

There’s no reason a little sunlight should cramp your decorating style. Set a desk and chair in front of a window to help get the creative juices flowing. Keep the furniture in sync with the existing pieces (here, it’s black and blush) so it blends seamlessly with the entire look.

A post shared by Geraldine, London, UK (@littlebigbell) on Feb 18, 2018 at 12:19pm PST

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