How to Decorate a Home Office

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, more people than ever are working from home—and some companies have announced that they’re never going back to the office. If you find yourself trying to decorate a home office for the first time, you’re not alone. People all around the world are trying to create a home office or optimize their existing space. Here are our top nine tips for how to decorate a home office:

Cut the clutter.

It’s difficult to work in a messy space, so do yourself a favor and go through your office and get rid of anything you don’t need. This will also help you see what you really have to work with. For example, you might realize that you don’t need a large filing cabinet after you toss all your outdated documents.

Choose a color scheme.

Your color scheme will guide all your decisions, so it’s important to set it upfront. If you already have major items that you’re working with, such as a desk or chair, that makes the decision for you. If you’re starting from scratch, choose colors that are easy on your eyes and broadly available to give yourself the most options. Neutrals and popular colors like teal and pale pink are generally good bets.

business woman suffering back pain

Prioritize form over function.

If you buy a chair that looks cute but it’s uncomfortable to sit on, chances are that it’s going to sit in the corner and gather dust instead of being used for its intended purpose. While that may be fine for an empty corner of your living room, you can’t afford that when it comes to your home office. Make the space work for you, but don’t invest in unnecessary or cheap decor that’s going to break as soon as you use it.

Make the space enjoyable.

Yes, home offices are practical spaces meant for working—but that doesn't mean that they have to be all work and no play. Your office should be a space that you want to spend time in, so don’t be afraid to add some homey touches such as a comfortable chair, a blanket, wall art, decorative objects and reed diffusers. (And if you’re wondering how to make your whole house smell good, not just your office, check out our guide.)

workplace table and office chair

Settle on your anchor pieces.

A desk and a chair are the must-haves for any home office. Choose a chair that provides enough support, but is comfortable to sit in for long periods of time. The desk should be solid and have at least some storage—a couple of drawers at a minimum. If you like to work while standing up, you might also want to look for an adjustable desk that you can raise or lower as needed.

Make the most of your space.

If your office is small, or it’s really a corner of another room, don’t give up yet. There’s a lot you can do even with a small space. Get creative and really think about how you can maximize the room that you have. For example, you might be able to free up the floor by using a wall-mounted document holder instead of a freestanding filing cabinet.

Let there be light.

Proper light is essential for good work. Try to choose a home office space that gets good natural light, but do position your computer screen away from windows to reduce glare. Supplement the light as needed with lamps and overhead lights. Steer away from harsh fluorescent lights and choose more muted yellow light bulbs for a more flattering glow.

stacks of supplies

Invest in organization.

When it comes to your home office, it’s absolutely worth it to invest in organizational solutions such as document storage, plastic bins, drawer organizers and more. Even just putting your items in bins instead of piling them on shelves will make your space look neater and give you peace of mind. Your organizational solutions don’t have to be complicated or expensive to be helpful.

Don’t forget the small touches.

When decorating any space, including your home office, small touches can go a really long way towards elevating the space. For instance, getting color-coordinated desk accessories in a cute pattern may cost a few more dollars, but they will really pull the space together and make it look like you designed everything with thoughtful care (which you did!).

If you’re wondering how to decorate your home office, follow these nine steps to create a cute and practical space that will suit all your work needs. And if you did get that reed diffuser for your office and aren’t sure what to do with it, check out our guide for how to use a reed diffuser.