A dedicated work space in your home helps you set aside household distractions and focus on work. Here, we’ve gathered a few home office ideas that will inspire you to design a work-friendly space in your own home. These home offices, located everywhere from Beverly Hills to Brooklyn, have one thing in common: a sophisticated space secluded from such tempting distractions as TV and snacks. Photographer Steven Meisel even installed a hybrid office/master bath in his home for those moments when genius strikes, say, in the tub, and an idea must be documented. From actor Julianna Margulies’s Manhattan apartment to author Judy Blume’s Key West, Florida, retreat, these home office design ideas will not only inspire you to get that last bit of work done, but enjoy your surroundings while doing so.
Sleek and Unique
Some super sleek curves—architect Charles Gwathmey’s signature—distinguish his St. Barts home office and its sucupira-wood desk, designed by Kang Chang and fabricated on the island. The swivel chairs are by Hans Wegner from DK Vogue, and the ceiling fan is by Boffi. The rainbow display of books is a nice touch, too.
Midcentury Loft Office
For all your midcentury-modern motivations, look to Stephen Harvey’s mezzanine office of his Sagaponack, New York, retreat. A great combo of sleekness and color, the Arne Jacobsen pendant light paired with the golden Moroccan kilim and Navajo rug, decorate the space.
Alexandra von Furstenberg’s Sunny Work Space
This cheerful space is full of sharp angles while also maintaining a lot of fun. Alexandra von Furstenberg created the acrylic desk, side table, and (in collaboration with Dax Design) shelving for her Los Angeles home office, which is also outfitted with two Milo Baughman lounge chairs, an Eames desk chair by Herman Miller, a Dax Design cabinet, and a Philippe Starck floor lamp by Flos; the large photograph is by Kim Keever.
Parisian Maison Bureau
Painter’s canvas is used as paneling in the office of fashion designer Stefano Pilati’s Paris apartment, which was renovated by architect Bruno Caron. The repetitive crisscrossing elements on the Moroccan rug and yellow chest of drawers definitely make the room captivating.
Dark Walls and a Bold Rug
With a cozy fire and some dark, moody elements, the office in this New York townhouse of art dealer Christophe Van de Weghe and his wife, Anne-Gaëlle, designed by Annabelle Selldorf, showcases a Sarfatti light fixture, Prouvé desk, and Finn Juhl chair. The mirrors are by Line Vautrin, the artworks are by Cy Twombly (left) and Jean Dubuffet, and the banquette cushions are clad in a Great Plains fabric. And that zebra rug, come on.
Don’t Sacrifice Form for Function
Your desk, shelves and storage should serve you, not the other way around. Consider your workflow and what items you need at your fingertips before investing in furniture, and then look for pieces that are both beautiful and functional.
Home office furniture should complement other rooms in your house instead of screaming “soulless cubicle.” If your home has traditional decor, warm wood and soft, comfy chairs or a loveseat are ideal if you have the space. A contemporary home office can feature artistic pieces or modern metal furniture.
Paint the Walls a Color You Love
Forget “office beige”: You need a color that gets your work motor humming. For some people, that’s a bright, cheery color like orange or lime green. Others need a calming shade like botanical green or sea foam blue to perform. Find out more about how certain colors can affect your mood.
Give Yourself a View
Position the desk where you can stare at something more interesting than a blank wall (even if you do love the color) when you glance up from the computer. A window’s natural light is ideal, but if you’re in a windowless space, hang a pretty picture above the desk, or position your chair to face the door.
Choose Homey Accessories
Unless you’re going for a contemporary look, choose extras that enhance the comfy feeling of your home office, like a pretty mug for a pencil holder, trendy notepads and sticky notes, and a decorative waste basket. Wrap your bulletin board in a gorgeous fabric, and hide utilitarian bookshelves behind curtains made from the same material. Hang inspirational prints on the walls, whether that’s simply your kids’ framed artwork or a classic painting.
Organize Vertically and Horizontally
Many home offices aren’t swimming in square footage, so using space efficiently is imperative.
Hang floating shelves on the walls to get papers and office equipment off the desk, and use vertical file folders on the desk to keep important papers within arm’s reach. Are you a stacker or a filer? If you tend to make piles, get a nice basket to tame your mail, notes and papers. If you prefer a clean desktop, designate one drawer for your “to-do” papers. Wooden or metal cube storage is a fun alternative to bookshelves, since each space can be used for books, knickknacks or baskets of odds-and-ends.
Master Your Technology
There’s not much you can do to beautify the computer, printer and phone, but you can hide unsightly cords. Start by making sure your equipment is close to outlets and easy to access if you need to unplug. Encase cords on the desk in a fabric cord cover, and feed the cords into a desk grommet, a plastic or metal cap that helps guide cords through a hole in the desk and hides them underneath. Tame the cord jungle on the floor with cord winders, tubing, or a wire organizer that’s attached to the desk and lifts the cords off the floor.
Let There Be Light
Here’s a bright idea: make sure your office has plenty of light to cut down on eye strain and headaches. Position the computer monitor so there’s no glare from a window or overhead light, and put a small lamp on the desk for task lighting.