If you survived 2020 (and since you’re reading this, we’re assuming you did), there’s a pretty good chance you came away with some serious work-from-home skills. What was once your kitchen table is now your makeshift standing desk, and you’re definitely storing files under your bed, in your nightstand, and maybe even in your living room. Whether you're an Apple addict and you have both a Mac and an iPad, or you love your Dell computer, you've probably even started investing in office tech, like BlueTooth magic keyboards, a wireless mouse, and a laptop stand.
If there’s one thing the pandemic showed us, it’s that e-commuting works. As we gradually return back to work, many of us are being given the option to continue or work from home routine, or even elect to participate in hybrid programs working in the office a few days of the month while finishing the rest of our work at home. The days of everyone working side-by-side in the office seem to have passed us by.
Now more than ever, the home office is a crucial part of your home’s style and design. If you’ve already got a home office space, we can help you curate it to be more effective, functional, and aesthetically pleasing.
If you’re starting from scratch, move the futon out of the guest room and get ready to build an office that is the perfect blend of functional and fabulous.
Home Office Must-Haves
Even if you don’t have a dedicated room for your home office, you can still create a space that is perfect for your specific needs. You only need a corner, nook, or loft to place a piece of furniture and enough room for a chair. We promise, it’s workable.
There are a few must-haves every home office should consider, even if you’re seriously limited on space. Here’s our list of must-haves for creating the perfect office space.
Don’t call it a home office desk; call it a workspace. The place where you bring your ideas to life, prepare your work for your clients, or send out after-work emails has to have a surface to support not only your laptop, but your files and devices as well.
When considering the perfect workspace, don’t sacrifice form for function. Yes, your workspace needs to have space to hold your Macbook, tablet, and papers, but because this workspace is in your own home, style and beauty reign supreme.
Think in terms of artistic simplicity instead of a monotone cubicle.
- Best piece for small spaces: The Hampton Desk. This beautifully designed workspace features a sleek, slimline design that’s perfect for fitting in small spaces. A seamless mezzanine offers additional storage space vertically, while a large divided drawer offers more options for organization.
This piece is solid wood with a leather surface, perfect for ensuring neither laptops nor wine glasses skid from the surface while you’re finishing up assignments after hours.
- Best pick for corner spaces. A corner workspace is great for optimizing surface area. The Broome Corner Desk fits neatly into a corner space but can easily transition elsewhere when needed.
This desk is perfect for establishing a modern contemporary look in your home office with its industrial style and distressed concrete structure.
- Best pick for the minimalist office. Continue your home’s minimalist theme right into your home office space with The Walker Desk. The two-part design of this piece is both artistic and minimal, and serves as a conversation piece and workspace in one.
Two pull-out drawers offer ample storage, and the surface is large enough to accommodate your essential workflow items.
Even if you only use your home office on occasion, you will find you have the need for some level of storage. While someone who doesn’t work exclusively from home will need less than an entrepreneur with a home-based business, the selection of your storage units should be the same: function, form, and design that accentuates your home.
You can easily determine how much storage you’ll need by assessing what you typically use in your workday. If your client base is small, a single filing cabinet may be the solution to your needs. In fact, if your client files are electronic, you may need only the drawers of your desk.
If, however, you have the need for hard storage, and more of it than just a small two-drawer filing cabinet can provide, consider a stylish and functional credenza. A credenza is a waist-high storage unit with divided drawers that allows you to store files and other items out of sight and keep the aesthetic of your space clean and organized.
The Stylish Chair
Trust us on this one; you want a chair that is visually appealing just as much as you want one that is comfortable. A large, wheeled, high back office chair is only fitting in a home office with an ample amount of space, even if it does have amazing lumbar support. Even then, a desk chair can be an eyesore (we’re looking at you, mesh-covered seating).
Ditch the ostentatious faux leather monstrosities and opt for a smaller chair that is comfortable and matches the style of your home. The Duane Chair is the perfect blend of ergonomic comfort and sophisticated design. It is understated, functional, and built to last.
Home Office Extra
If you’ve got more than a small corner to work with, you can add pieces to your home office that will help you move more efficiently throughout your workday and add style and design to the space. Here’s how.
Desk returns are traditionally the sides or “arms” of a standard desk. In other words, the portions of the desk that form ninety-degree angles to either side of the seated user. These spaces are generally good for writing surfaces and extra storage.
A home workspace with a desk return offers a little more in terms of fashion and charm. In fact, some desk returns are separate pieces of furniture that connect to the side of your desk, offering additional space but in a less conspicuous manner.
Are you even practicing law if you don’t have volume after volume of state and federal statutes lining your shelves? Whether you collect statutes, medical journals, or are simply curating a library of favorite lore, shelving is necessary for keeping your material organized in one easily accessible place in your work environment.
Opt for bookshelves or bookcases that are slimline, and you’ll save yourself space and remain consistent with your home’s modern, minimalist look.
- One to try: The Bayard Bookshelf. This wall-mount bookshelf doesn’t take up floor space and helps cover empty walls with immediate function and design. The open design and clean lines help you retain a minimalist, modern feel while keeping your most-used office work items and books close by for easy access.
Lighting is crucial in your home office, especially if your space isn’t directly in front of a window. While it’s most often the best idea to choose a space that receives direct natural light for your WFH office, that’s not always a possibility.
If your space is dark, additional lighting is the answer to avoiding eye strain. Shy away from intrusive overhead lighting, which can create a glare on your computer screen. A desk lamp is a great option for providing additional lighting to your workspace and adding decorative flair to your home office design. That way, when you have conference calls over Zoom, the lighting will be optimal to make a good impression.
Make it Your Own
Your home office should be as functional as your actual office (if you’ve got one) but comfortable enough that you enjoy spending time in it. If your home office is your main office, it is essential that you make your space comfortable and create a space where you want to work.
Making your home office your own without over-decorating with distractions can be a challenge. Here’s how to do it correctly.
- Go big on paint. Color affects your mood and productivity; it’s science. It’s crucial to paint your home office a color that lifts your spirits, encourages you to work, and keeps you relaxed.
- Hide the cords. We can’t stress this one enough. Nothing creates more of an eyesore than numerous electric cables and chargers streaming from your workspace to your outlet power strip and your router. Considering this office is also in your home, there’s little room for error in terms of making this space attractive.
There are many options for cleverly concealing your cords, from specialized under-desk gadgets to simple clips that coral cords into one group.
- Add inspiration. It’s your home office, and it should look like something personally yours. Adding art or pictures to your space can make it homier or give you a nice background for video calls, but be careful of adding so many pictures or favorite paintings that you constantly feel distracted by them.
Even though life may be on the “back to normal” trend, there’s always going to be a need to have a home office. You can go beyond the wifi connection to make a home office functional and fabulous by selecting the right furniture, ensuring you have great storage options, and designing a space that speaks to you.
Modloft is your go-to design source for modern contemporary home office furniture as well as design inspiration and information.
The pandemic forced a massive remote-work experiment. Now comes the hard part | CNN
Psychology of Color: Why We Love Certain Shades | HGTV
How To Hide Unsightly Computer Cords on Your Desk | HuffPost