Working Remotely Now? Five Tips for Styling a Home Office

In the past couple of years, many of us have found ourselves working from home and wanting to design — or redesign — our home offices. Below, you’ll find some of the things I’ve learned while designing offices for my clients.

1. Choose the Right Location

Managing a healthy work-life balance can be challenging, so it’s crucial to designate a spot you only use for work. Some areas you might not have considered include the landing, a spare bedroom, a garage apartment, or under the stairs.

If you put your home office in a corner, choose the corner closest to the window. You’ll be glad to have somewhere else to rest your eyes besides your computer screen.

2. Pick an Office-Friendly Paint Color

Paint color psychology plays an important role in home office design. Blues and greens promote relaxation, but since blue is the sleepiest color, I don’t recommend it. Green is an excellent medium between restful and refreshing. Neutrals such as whites, beiges, and tans are also popular choices for both commercial and home offices.

3. Invest in Organizational Aids

You’ll want organizers and storage, but don’t buy anything you won’t use. For example, if you only use one pen, there’s no need to get a pen cup. Consider installing floating shelves on the wall or using a vertical file folder to save on desk space. Desk grommets, cable clips, and cord covers can help you manage cords, while power strips can be mounted to the underside or backside of your desk to keep them out of sight.

4. Select Appropriate Furniture

Ergonomic desk chairs should have a curved back that is firm rather than cushy for the best support. Include some comfortable seating for guests if you need to invite clients into your office or if you need a comfy chair to sit in while reading a long document.

5. Integrate Your Office with Your Home

Home offices should generally be in stylistic harmony with the rest of the house. For example, an antique writing desk is a great choice for an office in a traditional home, while the furniture in a midcentury modern office should be simple and streamlined. 

When you love your home office, you’ll be more motivated to spend time in it and keep the area tidy, too. Hopefully, with these suggestions in mind, you can confidently tackle your home office design project.

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Margaret Chambers

Margaret Chambers, a registered interior designer (RID) and member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), leads Chambers Interiors and Associates. Her colleague Caitlin Crowley helped edit this column. Find more design advice at

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