9 Top Tips for Styling Your Home Office
by Carlisle Homes
Explore our expert tips to maximise space and productivity in your home office.
Spending more time working from home? Turn your study or home office into a buzzy hub of ideas or a haven of calm with the right colours, fixtures, layout and lighting. Follow these nine great styling tips from our interior designers or watch our short videos on how to set up the ultimate home workspace.
1. Space to spread out
When home is your workspace, even if it’s just for a couple of days a week, you’ll want plenty of room to spread out. As a guide, seek out a freestanding desk that is at least 120cm wide – bigger if you plan to share your desk with another person at times.
For a stylish and seamless look, consider a built-in desk with matching joinery in a luxurious finish, such as a timber laminate. A wall-mounted style that maximises floor space is a great option if you want to make a small study appear bigger.
2. Focus on ergonomics
If the sofa has been your workspace for a couple of years, it might be time to move on. Not only is it bad for your spine, but generally speaking, it’s not the most productive spot to work.
Invest in a quality desk chair with decent back support. So how can you tell if you’re properly supported? When seated, your feet should rest flat on the floor and the chair back should follow the natural curve of your spine.
3. Personalise with style
Chances are you’ll be spending hours every day in your home office, so it pays to make it a space you really love. Liven up the walls with artwork, a gorgeous, framed print or beautiful, patterned wallpaper.
Create softness underfoot with a cosy rug and bring in nature with a few indoor plants on your shelves or desk.
4. Add an inspiration board
Keep your goals top of mind by having them visible on an inspiration board above or beside your desk. Display anything that inspires you, whether it’s magazine cut-outs, photos or invitations or a mix. This is also a good spot to pin up your work goals for the day or week.
5. Shelve it
Freestanding or built-in shelves running along an entire wall of your study will give ample space to store files and reference books, which helps keep the desk clutter-free.
Open shelves provide a great styling opportunity – stack books horizontally and vertically, add in a few decorative objects, try some colour grouping or incorporate artwork.
Or, if you prefer a minimalist, Zen-like working space, choose a shelving unit with a mix of open shelves and cupboards so you can keep folders, files, and books, hidden away behind doors.
6. Light it right
Good lighting – both natural and artificial – is essential for preventing eye strain and creating a pleasant workspace. Position your desk in a spot near a window that receives natural light and choose coverings such as linen sheers that let in the sun’s rays.
If your home office is in a shaded part of the house, try placing a large mirror behind your desk that bounces what light you do have around.
Add in a desk lamp or wall lamp with an adjustable arm and a dimmer switch that allows you to create the exact amount of illumination you need, whether you’re working on your laptop or reading.
7. Stay organised
Use labelled boxes and folders to keep all your important documents organised and close to hand. Colour coding can help keep things even more accessible and will transform an otherwise utilitarian item into something decorative and attractive.
8. Choose colours for productivity
When choosing colours and patterns for your home office, the key is to understand your work style. Soft blues and greens will create a serene environment – ideal if you need to concentrate for long stretches. A warm hue like a rose inspires creativity and helps get those mental juices flowing. Pops of bright colour, such as sunshine yellow, will lift your spirits every time you walk into your study (a boon on a Monday morning!)
Navy, forest green and warm neutrals such as greige or mushroom will set a cosy, nurturing tone. And then there’s white – just the thing to create a clear, calm mind when you start the day.
9. Make space for a break
If you’ve got the room, set up a seating area in your home office where you can step away from your desk.
A comfortable armchair and a side table, a small sofa or a cushioned window seat will all create an enticing spot to read a book, take a call or simply avert your gaze from your screen for a few minutes. Then you can return to work, refreshed but not distracted.