By definition, a home office is a workspace within the home. In smaller homes, such as those typically found in New Orleans, there is not always an entire room available to dedicate as a home office. More often than not, homeowners have to resort to creating an office nook in a bedroom closet, the corner of the living room, or even in a hallway.
Regardless of where you establish your home office – or its size – it’s important that your home office be a space that inspires you to be your most productive self. And the best way to do that is to fill it with things that you love or that make you happy.
Once you have established a neat and organized workspace, it’s time to add in some decorative pieces and design elements to spruce up your home office and make it a place where you want to conduct work – even if it’s just sitting down to pay your bills. Here are seven simple décor ideas that you can use to accent your small home office:
1. Table the desk
2. Take a seat
3. Let there be light
4. Climb the walls
5. Go back to nature
6. Embrace color
7. Get cozy
Below, you will learn how each of these design ideas can help you create a home office that inspires productivity and creativity.
Table the Desk
Who says that you need to use a traditional desk? Many small home offices are better suited for a petite table or foldaway desk. Truth be told, now that most people are using laptop computers, the days of needing a large surface space to house a monitor, keyboard, and mouse pad are long gone. A beautiful table, perhaps coupled with built-in cabinets and shelving, will work nicely in most instances.
Using a table rather than a desk also allows you to play with style. If you like a more industrial look, why not consider mounting a slab of wood – or even an old door – to a set of steel legs? Or for a more feminine and glitzy design, you could use a mirrored table or vanity as a desk. A set of filing cabinets could pull double duty and serve as the base to a table top as well.
Maximizing space in a small home office is important, especially with so many adults now working from home and children attending virtual school. Taking a nod from the kitchen, you could run a countertop along one wall to create multiple workstations, giving each person their own under-counter cabinet to store their office or school materials.
Another option is more of a coworking concept, using a double-sided desk, where the two workspaces face each other. Not only does a double-sided desk look cool as the focal point of the room, but it takes up much less floor space than two separate desks.
Take a Seat
Just like you don’t need to use a traditional desk in your home office, you do not need to use an “official” office chair either. Any chair can serve as a desk chair, as long as it’s a proper height to allow you to use your computer keyboard or laptop comfortably.
If you are working from home and sitting at your desk for hours upon end, you will want to choose a chair that offers cushioning and support. A dining chair is a great option. It provides structure and comfort along with plenty of style.
You can pick fabrics to compliment your office and surrounding space or to provide a pop of color in an otherwise neutral room. Another option is to use an acrylic chair. This clear seat virtually disappears, allowing your office furniture and other design elements to take center stage.
Let There Be Light
Space is at a premium in a small home office, so you don’t want to take up any prime desktop real estate with a bulky lamp. Instead, consider a carefully placed pendant light or a wall sconce. Both options can emit enough extra light to allow you to read and work, while also letting you put your personal touch on your office décor.
Climb the Walls
When it comes to decorating your home office, why not think vertically? The walls themselves should not be overlooked in a small home office. A fresh coat of paint in your favorite color or a few rolls of peel-and-stick wallpaper can instantly brighten up your workspace.
For a combination of form and function, consider using chalkboard paint. It will instantly transform a wall into a giant notebook where you can jot down your most brilliant ideas, create to-do lists, or simply post your favorite inspirational quotes to help motivate you while you work. If chalkboard paint isn’t your style, consider covering a wall in corkboard. It will serve the same purpose.
Go Back to Nature
Plants are a great way to create visual interest in your home office. From the tall sword-like leaves of a snake plant to the vibrant hues of a delicate orchid, houseplants can add color and texture to your space. Additionally, you can further establish your sense of style with the pots you choose, from whimsical planters you find on Etsy to repurposed coffee mugs.
As an added bonus, using plants as part of your home office décor improves the indoor air quality. According to NASA, plants have been proven to help remove toxins and other contaminants from the air. House plants also create good feng shui – and who couldn’t use some more positive energy when it comes to work?
A small home office is a great place to experiment with color. You could embrace a more modern, monochromatic look by designing a tonal office, perhaps white on white with a few pops of color in your artwork and accessories.
On the flip side, your home office may be the perfect place to play with bright and bold colors that you are afraid to use in other rooms in your house. Think Lilly Pulitzer patterns. They might be too much for the family room, but a few pops of hot pink, lime green, turquoise, or orange could create a vibrant workspace that inspires productivity.
Last but not least, don’t be afraid to add personal touches to make your small home office a cozy retreat. After all, this is your house and not a professional business office. Tossing a throw blanket over your chair or lighting an aromatherapy candle can emit a homey ambiance.
Try to surround yourself with décor pieces that conjure up happy memories, such as family photos, pictures of your favorite vacation spots, or even keepsakes like a jar of seashells collected during your beach vacation or a bulletin board with ticket stubs from sporting events, concerts, or plays you attended.
It’s okay to incorporate your hobbies into your design as well. An avid golfer could use old golf clubs as an alternative to a traditional curtain rod and a sailor/boater might want to try using knotted rope as a drawer pull for a nautical flair.
Decorating a small office calls on creativity as well. It’s good to think outside of the box to come up with clever storage strategies. For instance, to keep your space clutter-free ,consider installing an appliance garage.
Although typically used in the kitchen to hide small appliances like the coffee maker and toaster oven, this type of cabinet can easily be used in the office to keep your printer, and all of its supplies out of sight.
The kitchen is actually a great place to get home office décor ideas. A spice rack is perfect for storing paper clips, rubber bands, push pins, and other small objects. Larger items like scissors, rulers, and letter openers, can be stashed in a decorative utensil holder. And a cutlery tray tucked inside a drawer makes an ideal system for sorting and storing pens, pencils, and highlighters within easy reach.
For more surefire tips on how to alleviate clutter and optimize the space in your small home office, check out Six Tips for Optimizing Space in a Small Home Office.
If you want to be your most productive self, it’s important to put the “home” in your home office. The best way to do that is to personalize your workspace with design elements that inspire and motivate you. With a small home office, design decisions are extra important because space is limited. Hopefully, the seven simple décor ideas outlined in this article will provide you with the inspiration to create your ideal small home office.