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Home office ideas. Design & decor guide

Make your home office a place for work, play and relaxation

With more and more people working from home, whether full or part-time, home offices have become a necessity for many of us. But just because a space is for working in, it doesn’t have to be dreary or impersonal – in fact, with the right design a home office can become your own personal sanctuary from the stresses of the world.

While it’s quite simple to make a functional workspace in your home, creating a stylish home office requires a bit more inspiration. Whether you’re looking for a modern or vintage home office, or you’re going for a contemporary Scandinavian or industrial design, feel free to use these ideas to bring your workplace to life!

Modern home office ideas

If you regularly work from home, or have a hobby or side-project that you spend a lot of time on, a modern home office is a great way to be more productive and give yourself a small private space where you can work undisturbed.

Modern living room with home office desk and hessian floor rug

While modern workplaces are often a little functional in design, at home you’re free to put your own stamp on things. Set up a workstation – a wooden desk large enough to house a computer or laptop, along with a little table space for documents – and build around that, incorporating as much artwork, shelving and personal touches as you like.

If space is limited, consider a corner desk to give yourself a bit more room, or a set up in any available nook. Somewhere by a window is ideal, as natural light is great for productivity – just ensure you invest a good set of blinds so sunny days don’t interfere with your work.

To make your home office a bit more lively, consider incorporating open shelving where you can easily mix textbooks and functional items together with decorative elements and items of personal significance.

Neutral colours like greys, off-whites and muted blues are usually chosen for home offices to keep things simple and focused. However, if you find you work better in bright and breezy environments, go for it – a home office is a personal space as much as a professional one.

Vintage home office ideas

If you think a study should be your private retreat from the bustle and noise of the working world, a cosy vintage home office might be for you. An update on the gentleman’s sanctum sanctorum of years past – the kind of place Sherlock Holmes might curl up to ponder a case – this design offers a place for private relaxation as much as for work.

Brown, beige and gold tradition home office or study

Naturally, you’ll want to gather together some antique furnishings from your favourite eras, whether that’s a wooden bureau with a fold-out writing table or an antique oak desk filled with drawers for your personal effects. If you’re more a fan of the 1960s look, seek out some design classics like a Panton office chair and a Borge Mogensen desk.

Wood-panelled walls are an authentic touch but may be a bit over-the-top for some – however, a good helping of bookshelves so you can surround yourself with your favourite reads is easy to achieve. If you want a sofa, a leather Chesterfield is a timeless design that’s at home in any era.

Plush pleated curtains in burgundy add a classic and luxurious tailored look to your windows, which fits well with the theme of a cosy sanctuary. Fluffy Chinese rugs can enhance the effect – and the cosiness – while some classic desk lamps will help you work long into the night.

Scandinavian home office ideas

Efficiency, simplicity and style – the watchwords for the Scandinavian home office. The good news about this look is that it really doesn’t take much investment to pull off, and thanks to the popularity of Scandi-style furniture, all the pieces you need are readily available.

This style emphasises minimalism, light and space: in other words, if you don’t need something to do your work, maybe it shouldn’t be in your office. Begin with a plain, freestanding wooden desk, comfortable but not luxurious upholstered seating and perhaps a bookshelf bearing a few productivity-enhancing texts. Scandinavian décor is all about doing more with less, and if that’s your work ethic, embrace it!

White home office with modern wooden desk and grey desk chair

If you want to cosy things up a little, add a small couch and occasional table, a circular rug and a few picture frames bearing family photos. An anglepoise desk lamp is also a nice utilitarian touch that fits the theme.

Colours are mostly limited to black, white and pine in the traditional Scandi design philosophy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add a single statement colour if things are looking too austere. Alternatively, some greenery helps liven things up: invest in a few potted plants to bring a bit of the outdoors in.

Remember that clutter is the natural enemy of the Scandinavian home office. Keep things tidy and minimal, and leave yourself plenty of space to move around in. Furnishings should be small and unostentatious, and don’t forget to make the most of natural light with clean white walls and surfaces.

Industrial home office ideas

A trendy, contemporary look that’s right at home in city-centre apartments, an industrial home office softens the hard edges of industrial design in a personal, playful way to create a place that’s great for daily tasks, chatting to clients or chilling out after a hard day at the grindstone.

Industrial chic usually seeks to combine the textures of wood, metal and brickwork in a harmonious way, so keep these materials in mind when picking furnishings. Bare bricks and concrete floors, exposed pipework and metal stairways are all fantastic foundations to work with – just add the right furnishings.

Industrial style home office with funky accessories and large clock on the white brick wall

A wooden swivel chair against a plain wood writing desk with steel pipework legs is a great start. You can then add on-theme accents like an old-fashioned document tray and vintage anglepoise lamp – alternatively, hanging bare-bulb pendant lights are perfect for that authentic “factory floor” feel.

If you need a comfier space to relax, a black leather armchair and glass table makes a great coffee break station. Meanwhile, scattering a few Art Deco-inspired knick-knacks around – think miniature bronze sculptures or blown glass – provides a grander feel while retaining the industrial theme.

For window dressings, metallic office blinds provide a cool modern edge that’s in keeping with the surroundings. This style doesn’t have to be all brick and metalwork, though: a soft-pile wool rug can offer some welcome relief from a chilly concrete floor.

Creating a home office of your own? Pick up all the accessories you need, from table lamps and blinds to picture frames, at Terry’s Fabrics – you’ll find plenty to inspire you while browsing our stock.

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