Ideal home office ideas

Working from home is pretty much standard now for a lot of people, and whilst some have already been embracing this new way of life for years - how many of us can say we actually have a perfect office setup that’s conducive to producing a distraction-free day’s work?

If you’re someone who hotdesks at home (hello, working from the kitchen table whilst your other half is gaming in the living room…) or if you have a specific space set up to do your daily work, but it’s lacking…something… then we’ve hopefully got some help and advice for you. We’ve caught up with some interior experts who’ve given us hints and tips on home office ideas that will inspire productivity and make every working from home day a pleasure.

What Makes the Ideal Home Office?

Ideal home office ideas

Your ideal home office has to strike a delicate balance between being somewhere that’s distinctly different from the rest of your living space, but comfortable and still with a relaxed vibe.

You’ve obviously got to be able to work well in it, and you have to be productive - but it still needs to have elements of interior design that make it feel homely, whether that’s personal belongings like pictures and art, or plants and flowers that create a welcoming ambiance.

Think also about how to style a room for those all-important video calls, too. Clean, distraction-free walls are great but can also feel a little cold. But too much clutter can be overwhelming for you, and for the people you’re talking to.

There are lots of other considerations like:

  • Wall colors and interior schemes: Do you want neutral and calm, or something bold and energizing to help you focus and knuckle down? Plain walls, or patterned wallpaper and paint designs?
  • Flooring: Think about carpeting or rugs, or whether a finished wooden floor would be better. You’ll need something easy to keep clean and maintain and that’s hardwearing.
  • Desk, chair, and furniture combinations: An ergonomic workstation is a superb idea. Keeping you comfortable, and sitting in the right position while you work is super important - as is having the right kind of desk and space for your computer. Do you want to also consider having an easy chair or sofa in your space, to have regular breaks throughout the day?
  • Personal belongings: It’s nice to have some personal items with you - such as family photos, artwork, or mementos that remind you of good times in your life. Having these in your workspace helps remind you why you’re there, working hard and achieving.
  • Coffee/tea equipment: Whilst it’s always a good idea to get out of the office at certain points during the day - sometimes you might want to stay put, but make sure you’ve got hot drinks on tap. Thinking about a small coffee machine or something to make tea with is ideal. And handy too if you’re holding meetings at home but don’t want to disturb others.
  • Shelving and storage: What are your storage requirements? You’ll need to work out what space you need for office equipment and paperwork. Consider shelving for any books you might have or important items you must have to hand (all the essentials like chips, cookies and candy, etc).
  • Computer and other tech items: Your tech items are a huge investment and they’ll need to be factored in. Do you have a printer or telephone that needs to be accommodated?
  • Lock on the door: Lastly, and it may seem trivial - but it might be wise to get a lock on the door. At the end of the day, lock your work in one room and leave it there - but also to ensure everything stays safe and secure and that if you really can’t afford to be interrupted during your day, you’ve got the means to stay private!
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So let's hear from the experts now…

How Can You Make a Home Office an Inviting Place to Work?

“Whilst too much can cause your desk to look messy, a few choice items that truly inspire you are certainly a good thing. Postcards of places you love, a mood board, or carefully selected print and pattern to enliven your home office will help create a productive space. But be careful not to go overboard – too much clutter will only clutter your mind.” Sarah Barratt and Rachel Edwards writing for Country Living.

What Should Your Decor Considerations be?

“The first thing to keep in mind is that your office is essentially an extension of your home. If you want it to flow, then keep the style of the adjoining rooms in mind. My home has an organic modern design style, and so I continued that into my office. Start with a color palette that coordinates. I chose the colors in my tile, which coordinate with my wainscoting and wallpaper. From there, you can choose your decor accents.” Sarah Symonds Writer and Designer at Grace In My Space.

What if You Don’t Have a Dedicated Room to Turn Into an Office?

“Home office ideas aren't limited to a dedicated space. With a carefully considered layout, it’s possible to turn a guest room into a dual-purpose space that can accommodate overnight visitors and also work as an office, too. The key to this partnership and organizing a home office of any kind is built-in storage, which conceals clutter and work-related papers, keeping the room ordered.” Jennifer Ebert writing for Homes and Gardens.

How can the space you work in positively affect your productivity?

“The space you work in can have a significant impact on your productivity. Here are a few ways in which the space can positively affect your productivity:

Focus and Concentration: Having a dedicated spot to work (that is not your bedroom, if you can avoid it) helps create a mental association between that space and work. This can enhance your focus and concentration, allowing you to dive deep into your tasks without getting easily distracted.

Reduced Distractions: Working in a well-organized and clutter-free environment can help minimize distractions. Studies have shown that cluttered environments can increase stress levels and hinder productivity. By keeping your workspace tidy and organized, you create a conducive environment for focused work.  Keep in mind that you don't need to be a minimalist or a neat-freak.  If you have a lot of clutter, even just swiping it all to one side or under your desk can work as an immediate focus enhancement.  You just want to have your visual field be as clear as clutter as possible.

Ergonomics and Comfort: A comfortable and ergonomically designed workspace can contribute to your overall well-being and productivity. Investing in an ergonomic chair, adjustable desk, and proper lighting can help prevent discomfort and fatigue, allowing you to work for longer periods without physical strain.

Inspiration and Creativity: Your work environment can also influence your creativity and inspiration. Consider personalizing your workspace with items that motivate and inspire you, such as plants, artwork, or meaningful quotes. These elements can create a positive and uplifting atmosphere, fostering creativity and boosting your productivity.

Everyone's preferences may vary, so it's essential to find a workspace setup that works best for you.  That might mean that you'll need to experiment with different arrangements and pay attention to how your productivity is affected.” Alexis Haselberger, Owner of Alexis Haselberger Coaching and Consulting

What do you think makes the perfect office interior to inspire productivity?

“I think that being close to natural sunlight is the best thing you can do to create an inspiring workspace? Why? Because as the sun moves through the sky throughout the day it’s changing colors and those changes in color are actually communicating to our bodies to be more alert or more sleepy! Nothing inspires more than being energized and ready to go. And the added bonus- it’s absolutely free. You just have to align yourself with Nature.”Gala Magriñá Well AP, CFSP, HID Principal + Founder

What steps can you take to ensure your work space inspires productivity?

In order to create an environment that inspires productivity, check in with your 5 senses. Visual elements are often the best place to start. What colors create the energy you thrive in to do your best work? Do you need natural light, a dimly lit room, or other specific items (like a photograph of your kids or pet) within view to keep you focused and motivated?

Temperature is another factor that can truly make or break your productivity. Be sure you either have control over the thermostat, or have clothing layers within reach to adapt to a space that is too cold or too warm.

Sound is also an environmental element with high impact on levels of productivity. Some people need background noise and others work best in silence.  A set of noise-canceling headphones &/or an app that provides various sounds and instrumental music is a low-tech solution to creating a productive environment.

Finally, don't overlook the ergonomics of your desk and chair (impacting physical comfort) & and the power of essential oils which have been proven to enhance focus and creativity!” Elisabeth W. Galperin Owner and Business Coach | Peak Productivity

How would you keep a home office tidy and organized?

"Start by decluttering your workspace – get rid of any unnecessary items and only keep the essentials. Too much "stuff" means too much visual and mental clutter and can keep you from being productive and focused. Once you declutter your space, make it a habit to clean up at the end of each day, so you start fresh and clean the next morning.

Also investing in storage solutions like shelves, baskets, and organizers will help keep things off your workspace and keep, what I call "the uglies" like papers, receipts, and bills, out of sight. Labeling can be a game-changer, ensuring you know where everything is at a glance." Lori Brasseur Owner of Our Repurposed Home

How can you protect your mental well being when you work from home?

 “After two decades of working from home, I can attest that setting clear boundaries is the best way to maintain your well-being. Find something to hang outside your workspace so the rest of the family knows you are not to be disturbed. Learn to say no to customers and clients wanting meetings outside of your working hours. And most importantly, find time for yourself that you hold sacred for working out, getting outside, or absolutely nothing at all!” Paul Strobl MBA Master Life Coach and owner of Confide Coaching

What should you prioritise when looking to set up a home office space?

“When looking to set up a home office, I suggest first and foremost taking time to truly understand the main purpose of the space.  Whether you will you be spending a lot of time in the space working from home, or using it as an area to pop into to pay bills, keep files and supplies etc, it's best to have it function as efficiently as possible. Keeping the space free of clutter so as not to distract yourself or those watching you on a video call is imperative. Having your everyday or monthly "go-to" files close at hand is helpful to prevent yourself from having to get up which could lead to distraction and piles instead of putting items where they belong. Making the space personal to you also helps to create function. ”Andrea Krohn, CVOP™ President, NAPO-LA LA Move Consultants

What should you prioritise when looking to set up a home office space?

There are a few items that are non-negotiable, in my opinion, when setting up a home office. One of the important things to prioritize is quality ergonomic furniture. A comfortable chair and a spacious desk are essential. Opt for ergonomic designs to support your posture and reduce the risk of discomfort or injury during prolonged work hours. The same is true for computer equipment. An ergonomic keyboard will help to minimize repetitive movement problems in your hands and fingers.

Along those lines, you will definitely want to prioritize connectivity. Ensure a stable and secure internet connection. Invest in a quality router and consider a backup internet source to prevent disruptions during virtual meetings or deadlines.

Lighting and acoustics are also important for a well-functioning home office. Good lighting reduces eye strain, so position your desk near natural light sources. Additionally, consider using task lighting. To minimize noise disruptions, use curtains, rugs, or acoustic panels.

Lastly, and often overlooked, you'll want to establish boundaries with those who share your home. While not an "item" for a home office, it is a crucial element of working from home. Clearly define your working hours and communicate them to others in your household. This helps maintain a healthy work-life balance and minimizes interruptions during crucial tasks.” Karen Highland - Webmaster at Frederick Real Estate Online.

How can you keep a home office clutter and therefore stress free?

“When I first imagined building a business in service to people struggling with clutter and disorganization, I wondered how best to approach this. So I began by practicing, in my own home, with my family, and with my own clutter. I asked myself these questions. What if my goal is less stress and more joy rather than a fixed image of a perfectly tidy home or office? What if I approach this as a life style and practice rather than an end point? As I considered those questions, the third, and most important question of the three grew from my new awareness. What is it that my family and I need to thrive?

Creating and sustaining an environment that supports who you are and who you are becoming is wholly personal. There is no one-size-fits-all plan for this. But there are some guidelines and must haves that I find helpful in my home office.

A planner. Yes, I use an electronic planner, but I have a strong tactile modality and think best on paper. So I have a paper planner too. That is where I capture ideas and notes to reduce the steady stream of sticky notes that might otherwise be scattered everywhere.

A dry erase board to zoom out and see my bigger picture for the week. 

An analog clock to externalize the passing of time, and structure to my mornings and my evenings.

I have a series of tasks I do each morning which set me up for the day. And my closing tasks leave my desk and my head clearer.

Frequently used tools are close at hand in a drawer or box. For me, these include a label maker, stickies, book tabs, my favorite pens and highlighters, a “time timer," binders to hold project ideas, and pocket dividers, a water bottle, a small shredder.

A few visuals on the wall to inspire me and colors and art to make me smile.

Having a place to capture ideas and a way to containerize the many projects and ideas I have, reduces what I call visual noise. Having opening and closing routines add structure to my day. I remind myself that having less stress and more joy is a process which includes letting go of perfectionism and letting good enough be good enough.

The last and most important pearl of wisdom I have gleaned from years of trial and error is this. Sleep is essential. As Eric Tivers says, “Get more sleep to get more done.”Jennifer Raphael, CNC, CPO®, RN  ADHD/Neurodiversity Coaching & Consulting, Less-Stress Organizing Solutions

What two things make for a great working from home space for a full time virtual assistant?

“The two things that make the perfect work-from-home space for a virtual assistant are equal parts functional and inspirational. I love to have both a standing desk with a walking pad as well as a beautiful desk with art or bookcases that make zoom calls and filming content a breeze.

Think about ways you can create a functional space while also bringing you joy. For me, this is a clean workspace where everything I need is within reach and fresh cut flowers on my desk each week!” Amanda Rush Holmes from

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