The New Home Office

Home Office Design & Decorating Ideas

The home office has become an essential area in the modern home, often integrating multiple functions of home, school, and work under one area.  If you aren’t lucky enough to have a separate room to designate for all this multi-tasking, then I have a few suggestions that utilize other areas but still work with your decorating.


First of all, the basic necessities:  comfortable seating, direct lighting, storage, and tech organization.  While an ergonomic chair gives the best support, sometimes a simple side chair will do the trick nicely as long as you can sit in it for long stretches.  This can be a dining chair, or an attractive pull-up chair, as long as the seat height works with your table.


Modern task lighting can blend well with any setting, even traditional.  A sleek adjustable lamp or a shorter table lamp is essential for a well lit work space.  Use incandescent or LED bulbs for a brighter light.  CFL’s are a great energy saver, but do not put out as intense of light that you may need.  Decorative lighting is also not typically bright enough.


Storage can be as simple as a lidded file basket to a dining buffet offering enclosed shelves.  File cabinets are still the most efficient, and there are much more attractive versions from sources such as Ballard Designs available.  Now that most tech is wireless, you can simply plug in the lap top in most areas.  However, if cords are an issue with a desktop, then try to position them so they can be hidden along a wall in a cord cover.

The dining table tends to be the go-to home office, but it also tends to become the most cluttered space if you let it take over.  A credenza with pull out drawers or doors can do double duty for storing dishes as well as important files or supplies. 

A smaller desk can perform double duty as a console when placed behind a sofa or against a wall in the living room.  It won’t look out of place, and the desk chair can be easily pulled in for extra seating when you have guests.  Another great piece for a living room is a secretary or drop-down desk that easily closes back up to hide what’s inside. 

If you have a standard 24” deep double closet, then you can easily transform it into a work space.  A pair of file cabinets can provide the bases for a solid top.  You can install extra shelves or use the upper shelves of the closet for storage.  Attach cork tiles to the back wall and you have an instant, functional work space that you can close the doors on when necessary.  

home office closet

File cabinets can be slipcovered to be disguised as a pedestal.  Tables can also have attractive skirts Velcroed to them to hide the cords but provide easy access.  Bookshelves are perfect in nearly any room for storage.  Consider your options to create functional, multi-tasking areas.

References: Photo 2 | Photo 3 | Photo 4