6 Office Decor Ideas from Our Tours
Creating or revamping a space in which to work from home? Let these ideas help you do it beautifully
If you’re stuck for where to start, these examples from Houzz designers should get your creativity flowing.
In this workspace belonging to Beth Dadswell of Imperfect Interiors, copious storage appears to melt into the background thanks to some clever paintwork.
Discreet panelled cabinetry has been painted a delicate pink to blend with the bare plaster walls. It keeps Beth’s swatches, files, product catalogues and styling items out of sight, while the things she wants to look at are what the eye is drawn to. This allows artworks to take centre stage – ideal for a creative person.
The neutral monotone backdrop also helps her decorative objects and moodboards to sit harmoniously together, rather than feel as if they’re competing with each other.
An L-shaped desk is another good idea to steal where space allows, as it creates a separate surface for decorative items as well as having a clear desk area. “It’s a really lovely, inspiring place to work,” Beth says.
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In this home office, created by designer Gemma Fabbri of Studio Fabbri, warm grey panelling envelops the desk area. The texture creates a subtle demarcation as well as providing a solid surface for heavy-duty shelving, strong enough to support the owner’s books.
This panelling is made out of salvaged floorboards and does offer some sound insulation, but if a quiet space would be helpful for your work, this look could equally be created using acoustic panelling, which is widely available and would further dampen the noise.
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Contact interior designers through Houzz.
Lots of home offices are in rooms with dual functions. In this example, by Josie Harris-Taylor of Kia Designs, the office doubles as a guest room.
The use of a zoning colour – a deep blue along the ‘work’ wall – is key to its success as a multifunctional space. “This room had to work really hard,” Josie explains. “It needed to be a home office that felt lovely to work in, but also a spare room that really felt like a bedroom.”
The use of a dark colour, particularly, is effective, as it helps the wall to recede, making a more relaxing backdrop for visitors.
Here, the storage is all open, but it would be simple to add some closed compartments to the low-level box shelving – or even close off the lot, which would quieten the space further for overnight guests.
The wall-to-wall high-level shelf allows for the flexible display of artwork, which also dilutes any potential ‘office-y’ feel. Note how the colours in the artworks tie into the colours of the rug. This makes the room feel like a whole, while that blue-painted back wall still keeps the desk ‘contained’.
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A vintage desk is worth considering if you’re fitting a work space into a living room and worry about creating a visually discordant corner. A statement piece like this one will always add character rather than screaming “functional” (though choose well and it will be that, too, if required).
Sacha Berger of Honey Bee Interiors used the same colour palette throughout this ground floor flat to create harmony between the different areas. Here, restful sage green walls work beautifully with the warm wood tones of the desk. “I used earthy colours, which are relaxing to work in,” she says. “I wanted it to feel warm, not boring.”
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If you or a younger family member is working out of a bedroom, you’ll need a design that’s sensitive to the room’s primary purpose. Who wants to look at a desk that shouts “office” the second they wake up or while trying to get to sleep?
This example, in a teen’s bedroom designed by Chi-Chi Baber of Lomax & Chi, demonstrates one successful approach. It’s a simple, achievable idea: shelving spans the gap between two built-in wardrobes and, being painted the same colour, feels very much part of the bedroom.
The shelves create a desk as well as storage for collectables and space for homework essentials if required. The back wall has also been used to display a coordinated postcard collection. Nudge your teen to arrange displays in a neat, themed grid like this for a chic take on an inspiration collage that works with the room as a whole, not just with the desk.
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In a room like this one, where closed storage is an option for office bits and filing, there’s room to go to town decoratively on shelves that don’t need to be put exclusively to practical use.
“We designed joinery across one whole wall to hide clutter and make it comfortable for two people,” designer Caroline Milns of Zulufish says of this shared office/spare room in an Edwardian villa.
The benefit of all this concealed space (on the left-hand side) is that the owners are able to display elegant, decorative objects around and above the desk, making for a relaxed, stylish and inspiring mood. Textured wallpaper adds a luxurious feel.
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Which of these work spaces most floats your boat and why? Share all in the Comments.