8 things you need to know before you design your home office

We asked Interior designer Emma Sims-Hilditch to share her top tips to create the perfect study

room with blue board on wall and wooden floor and white desk with blue chairs

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jan Baldwin)

1. Get practical

It is best to site your work zone where there's plenty of natural light, although task lighting can always be incorporated into a design. Practical features, such as power and data sockets, will need to be considered. Always opt for more sockets than you think you'll need and include a charger drawer with power built in for your mobile phone and tablet.

room with white wall and white desk and table with chair

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dan Duchars)

2. Keep calm

I like to keep the colours calm in home offices to promote a good working environment. Try combining florals with fresh, white paint to give the room a crisp, uplifting feel. I also use grasscloth wallcoverings to make a room intimate and inviting. Dark schemes create atmosphere, but should be paired with good lighting.

3. Get it right

Make sure your desk is the right height (around 70cm is perfect) and that the screen isn't facing a window, so you are not dazzled by daylight. The room should also be warm - underfloor heating is more practical than radiators if space is tight.

4.Tread carefully

Consider timber flooring rather than carpet if you want an office chair on castors. To define the space in an open-plan room, choose different flooring or wallpaper behind any shelving in the desk area.

room with white and grey wall and white drawer units and shelve and desk and chair

(Image credit: TBC)

5. Small is beautiful

We're currently finding that many people want a small but well-designed study space in their kitchen, so it is worth considering concealing a desk within the joinery. The Chichester Workstation by Neptune, looks like a larder cabinet, but behind its façade is a fully fledged work space.

6. All things equal

My husband and I work in the same study, so I have first-hand experience of sharing an office. We sit at a large contemporary version of a partner desk, facing each other. In any shared area, having two phones and your own storage is a must. I always include a table lamp as well as overhead lighting when designing a study scheme.

7. Ideas at hand

Keep all your ideas and inspiration
close to hand on pin boards ahead of your computer. A whiteboard can be
a useful addition to a home office for any brainstorming session. You
can now buy whiteboard, blackboard and even metalic paint to apply yourself so any blank
wall can be put to use.

room with navy coloured wall and wooden floor and shelves with desk and chair

(Image credit: TBC)

8. Bright and breezy

Always make sure you have a good source of light in your home office as you'll probably spend considerable amounts of time there. As the light fades create atmospheric yet focused lighting. Anglepoise lamps are a good classic but there are also a wide range of fantasic clip on lights coming onto the market which can be place for maximum practicality.

To find more ideas visit Home Office on House to Home.


Holly Walsh
Content Editor

Holly Walsh has been Content Editor at Ideal Home since 2021, but joined the brand back in 2015. With a background of studies in Interior Design, her career in interior journalism was a no-brainer and her passion for decorating homes is still as strong as it ever was. While Holly has written for most of the home titles at Future, including Livingetc, Country Homes & Interiors, Homes and Gardens and Style at Home, Ideal Home has always been her ideal home, and she can be found sharing her expertise and advice across both the printed magazine and the website too.