10 Essential Tips For Creating a Hardworking Home Office

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo / Published by Dwell
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Whether your home office consists of a designated room or a tight corner in your kitchen, there are certain key strategies for making the most of it.

Take a look at these 10 effective tips for creating a home office space that will allow you to feel at home and comfortable—but also just as productive as you would at the company hub.

Reserve a Well-Lit Area

Working is much more pleasant when you have natural light to brighten up your space. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a window, then invest in some stylish lighting.

A Mash Studio Wall-Mounted desk offers a place to study. The rug is from One King’s Lane and a SoCo Modern Socket pendant illuminates the room.

A Mash Studio Wall-Mounted desk offers a place to study. The rug is from One King’s Lane and a SoCo Modern Socket pendant illuminates the room.

Find a Spacious Desk

A tabletop desk with trestle legs is a modern, customizable, and budget-friendly option for creating a clean surface to work from. 

The study has a fun, playful atmosphere thanks to a red Square Dining Chair from MAP, a Tempo wall clock by Naoto Fukasawa for Magis, and house sculpture from David Band.

The study has a fun, playful atmosphere thanks to a red Square Dining Chair from MAP, a Tempo wall clock by Naoto Fukasawa for Magis, and house sculpture from David Band.

Invest in a Bookshelf Wall

Dividing off your workspace with a temporary "wall" can be particularly effective if you're renting and can't make any permanent alterations to your home. Bookshelves also clearly serve a functional purpose.  

Custom-fabricated modular bookshelves create a corridor leading to the home office.

Custom-fabricated modular bookshelves create a corridor leading to the home office.

Create an Office Cubby

A nook between two walls or two closets can be the perfect spot to squeeze in an office cubby. Look for a small-sized desk or have one custom-built to fit the exact measurements of your space. 

The office cubby, outfitted with a diminutive window, is furnished with Atlas shelving.

The office cubby, outfitted with a diminutive window, is furnished with Atlas shelving.

Consider a Built-In Unit

Built-in units can solve storage issues while making your office space look like it was there all along.  

Upstairs, their son’s bedroom features a built-in walnut bookshelf and desk. Smart details—like the magnetic paint in lieu of a bulletin board—help keep the space tidy. The chair is an Eames Molded Fiberglass Side Chair.

Upstairs, their son’s bedroom features a built-in walnut bookshelf and desk. Smart details—like the magnetic paint in lieu of a bulletin board—help keep the space tidy. The chair is an Eames Molded Fiberglass Side Chair.

Get Tucked Away

This bright apartment renovation in Barcelona by Architectural design firm YLAB Arquitectos Barcelona, yielded a discrete home work space that's divided from from the living room with a sliding door.  

A sliding oak door leads from the living room to the studio library, outfitted with custom, white-lacquered built-in units and furnishings. The floor lamp is by Marset, and the MDM lounge chair and poufs, all from Materia, form a cozy reading nook.

A sliding oak door leads from the living room to the studio library, outfitted with custom, white-lacquered built-in units and furnishings. The floor lamp is by Marset, and the MDM lounge chair and poufs, all from Materia, form a cozy reading nook.

Create an Attic Hideaway

A finished attic can be the perfect spot for a private—and quiet—home office . 

In one of the three upstairs bedrooms, a Muuto chair is flanked by a built-in desk with deep drawers that take advantage of the room’s distinctive angles.

In one of the three upstairs bedrooms, a Muuto chair is flanked by a built-in desk with deep drawers that take advantage of the room’s distinctive angles.

Camouflage Your Workspace

By creating a desk out of roof beams, this home office perfectly integrates into an open-plan renovation of a Northern Italian farmhouse. 

The sitting area and office are on the second floor, reached via the catwalk. "We watch TV here, use the computer, and sit by the fire," says Chiavelli. "The way you access the space is part of the architecture, and that’s part of the beauty of it." Near the sofa by Piero Lissoni for Cassina is a Bourgie lamp from Kartell; on the large table, made from old roof beams, is a Taccia lamp from FLOS.

The sitting area and office are on the second floor, reached via the catwalk. "We watch TV here, use the computer, and sit by the fire," says Chiavelli. "The way you access the space is part of the architecture, and that’s part of the beauty of it." Near the sofa by Piero Lissoni for Cassina is a Bourgie lamp from Kartell; on the large table, made from old roof beams, is a Taccia lamp from FLOS.

Think Multifunctional

This couple makes good use of limited space by using the front loft of their weekend home for both work and play. 

Church and Jett use the front loft for both work and play, thanks to a vintage midcentury desk that converts to a game table.

Church and Jett use the front loft for both work and play, thanks to a vintage midcentury desk that converts to a game table.

Try Out the Garage

This Vancouver-based designer took an unused garage and turned it into a brilliant home office.  

@andrea_mclean took a garage in Vancouver and turned it into a minimalist work area. The designer credits the geometric tile and reclaimed windows for making the space pop. 

@andrea_mclean took a garage in Vancouver and turned it into a minimalist work area. The designer credits the geometric tile and reclaimed windows for making the space pop.