Whether it’s working from home, doing a few admin tasks or the kid’s homework, more and more of us are looking to incorporate a study area in our home. However, very rarely do most homeowners have a dedicated room that they can simply turn into a study, so a clever use of space is key. With thoughtful planning and creativity, almost any space in the home can be turned into a useful home office.
If you’ve only got a nook or small office zone to play with, make the best use of any vertical space available by building shelving units right up the ceiling and buy a pair of steps to access them if necessary. Also ensure that cable management and integrated task lighting is included if you’re starting from scratch with a bespoke built-in solution.
Don’t be afraid of introducing pattern into a small space behind a desk, as an interesting wallpaper or mural will cleverly distract from a messy desk and can play with the perception of space. If wallpaper isn’t your thing, you could use a pinboard, wall-mounted clipboards or rows of curtain wire with small pegs to hang up inspirational tear sheets, photos and postcards to make an interesting backdrop to your study area.
A real trend is to have a designated study area in the kitchen right now, so it’s worth making a concealed desk within the kitchen joinery with a drop-down or pull-out desk that can be put away when not in use. It’s a great location with the kitchen being the hub of the home ? you can watch the kids getting on with their homework while you prepare the dinner. Garden rooms are also becoming a more popular solution for creating a dedicated study space, providing peace and quiet away from the main house.
After more home office inspiration? Take a look at these great ideas for home office garden pods?
Space permitting, a garden office provides a bespoke room in which to create a professional environment on your doorstep. For the ultimate home office, choose from many modular designs, sizes, materials and styles to suit the location. Position the desk so you have sufficient natural light. A view from your desk is also an added bonus. If you are likely to have visitors or clients, add a personal touch with a welcoming seating area.
Similar trestle table desk
With a carefully considered layout, it is possible to turn a guest bedroom into a dual-purpose space that can accommodate overnight guests and also work as an office. Keep the sleeping area well defined and choose a desk that suits a bedroom setting. This versatile arrangement allows the bedroom to function as an office when necessary without looking like one.
Creating a work area in a corner is a great way to make use of otherwise under-used space. An alcove is ideal for this as it does not encroach too much on the rest of the room. Create a comfortable feel by using soft colours such as taupe and dusky pink that are easy to live with and will co-ordinate with other tones. Look for a fold-down desk like this one; it provides surface space when needed and folds up out of the way when not.
A boldly coloured oversized canvas will give instant impact to an otherwise simple scheme and adds a sense of creativity. The blue and white combination creates a contemporary feel and makes the overall look fresh and crisp. Furniture in similar shades will complement the scheme and give a cohesive effect. A lovely inspirational space.
Turning a garden room into a home office is ideal for keeping work and living areas separate. Using one side for correspondence and filing and the other for more creative work helps create a sense of serenity. And there's nothing more inspirational than a garden to look out over while working.
Make a corner of a room an obvious office area, by virtue of a meaningful wallpaper. The design seen here features words hidden within a grid of calligraphy-style letters, making an intriguing puzzle. With a patterned wall like this choose simple, contemporary furniture to complete the look and add one strong accent colour too add interest.
Green is said to be refreshing and uplifting, making it an ideal choice for a home office, especially when it is a classic mossy tone like this. Team with fresh white furniture to stop the space becoming too dark and add pattern with a blind using complementing shades of green.
A smart, ordered scheme creates an inviting workspace. A large desk is ideal for using the computer and can be cleared and left clutter free by making use of the wall above. Hang up clipboards for simple, easy-to-access notes and fit a standard peg rail - a great solution for hanging and storing essentials.
Similar peg rail
If you decide to use pattern in your home office, block print designs offer a slightly softer approach because of the nature of their production. They can, however, be busy, so work best when used in isolation. Team with furniture and accessories in similar complementing tones for a calming contemplative work space.
The hallway landing is a space that is often overlooked, but if it is large enough it can provide an ideal spot for a small home office or workspace. Use wall-mounted shelves, storage units and lighting to keep things in order and free up extra space on the desk.
Alexander & Pearl
Vitra at Utility
Conceal office space within floor-to-ceiling storage to ensure you can shut away work cares at the end of the day. Jazz up your home office with a statement wallpaper for a completely unique look.
No spare room? Then use a corner of your living room for your home office. Traditionally, an office keeps you shut away from the rest of the house, but these days, social and work lives are more closely entwined. Recessed overhead storage keeps surfaces clear in this open-plan home office.
Graham & Green
Keep walls white in your home office so you can display colourful swatches, photographs and pictures to inspire you. Continue the theme with co-ordinating stand-alone furniture and accessories, such as the desk lamp and shelf unit, for a cohesive feel.
Who says you need traditional office furniture in your workspace? Make it a little more enjoyable by swaying in a rocking chair while you work. Decorate your home office with soothing white shades for a calm feel.
Similar rocking chair
For more home office design ideas and advice, check out our home office galleries.