How To Create A Home Office

When the pandemic hit the world, many people had to revise their work schedules by working from home. Due to this new setup, people have had to be creative when designing their own office space. Whether sitting on pillows in the living room and using a coffee table as a makeshift desk or working in a dingy basement with little to no furniture, improvisation is essential.

However, creating a home office is about more than a desk. A home office design should consider comfort, leisure, and work. According to SimpleHomeSimpleLife, curating the right home office can be fun. Start by adding a functional desk and gathering organizational materials such as shelves, bins, and pen holders. Then, add art and other personal decorations to make the space feel cozy and inviting during those long work days. In a few uncomplicated steps, you can decorate your home office and make it perfect for boosting productivity.

Desks versus tables

When deciding on a work-from-home desk, find something quirky and out of the ordinary per The Spruce. Large solid desks can feel oppressive and cumbersome. Find a lightweight and clear Lucite desk. These desks create a negative space that looks like they're floating in thin air. It produces a modern touch to a traditional function. Another non-traditional desk style is a floating desk drawer. These desks don't take up a lot of space, and you can top them with marble for a classy look.

Are you having a tough time deciding between buying a desk or table? Unlike tables, desks come with shelves and drawers to provide more storage space (via Home Stratosphere). People associate their desks with a place to learn, focus, concentrate and feel motivated to work. Using a table feels less personal and more non-descript. Desks don't have enough leg room or space for more than one person, but tables provide enough room for multiple people to work on projects together. The downside to tables is that they usually don't have storage drawers. Tables come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors to fit different needs.

Find the right office chair

An appropriate office chair can make or break an aesthetic and even help or hinder a person. Spine-health reports that office chairs can add stress to the spine. Find ergonomic chairs with adjustable seating for best results. Since the lumbar spine curves inward, a way to prevent slouching and discomfort is to find office chairs with lumbar adjustments. Office chairs should have padded cushions with comfortable armrests. Additionally, they should swivel to allow easy rotation without straining the neck.

There's a wide variety of office chairs that can be bought online or in person. The Herman Miller Aeron Chair is one of the best chairs for your home office. The chair features a "purefit" design that lets it contour to your specific back shape. For adjustable lumbar support, the Union & Scale FlexFit Dexley Mesh Task Chair from Staples is the right choice for continual comfort. The breathable mesh material is a bonus.

Purchase the Union & Scale FlexFit Dexley Mesh Task Chair from Staples for $189.99

Consider shelving options

Choosing bookshelves for a home office may seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Bookshelves don't need to be boring. According to Houzz, they can feature a variety of fun designs, like darkly colored arches and pillared shapes for an academic aesthetic. Want a coastal-chic vibe? Find floating bookshelves in white or neutral shades for a simple yet original look. The negative space produces an ethereal and purposeful look for the bookshelf.

If you're on a budget, there's no need to spend thousands of dollars on an entire bookcase. Look into repurposing old wooden bookshelves to repaint and finish to hold books and other supplies. Installing shelves on the wall of a home office is a great option. Place the shelves above the wall near a desk to make your book selections easy. Instead of only filling the bookshelves with books, place small knick-knacks or artful ceramics on the shelves to add flair and style.

Repurpose containers to hold pens

Not sure what to do with stray pens or pencils for the home office? Repurpose simple containers into cute storage jars. I Love My Kids Blog uses crafted mason jars to keep small office supplies together. You can buy glass mason jars from most home decor stores. Grab craft paint in desired colors, paintbrushes, and paint sponges to begin the project. Make sure to paint the mason jars with at least three coats of paint to achieve an opaque effect. Before painting, put the mason jars on a paper plate or a ceramic plate to prevent paint spillage. After drying, place markers, pencils, pens, and highlighters inside the mason jars.

Instead of using breakable glass, look for empty plastic cups in your home (via Bob Vila). You can buy these at any grocery or party store. Designate a tall cup to house markers, crayons, pencils, and scissors. Smaller cups can hold paper clips, rubber bands, binder clips, and thumbtacks.

Get creative with corkboards

Need a way to remember important dates for meetings and appointments? Paste sticky notes on a corkboard as reminders. You don't have to reserve office corkboards for meeting reminders. You can also display inspirational quotes and kind words, as reported by Effective at Home. Hang up photos taken of family and friends to liven up the workspace. For corkboard walls, hang motivational plaques and word boards up as positive reinforcement of good things to come.

Corkboards don't have to be square or rectangular-shaped (via Homedit). You can cut them into ovals, circles, and triangles to be different. Grab fabric store polka-dotted ribbon or lace and a hot glue gun to decorate these shapely corkboards. Find colorful felt at local craft stores to cut and create animals or symbolic decorations. There are even ways to DIY a corkboard cabinet door to add texture. This element adds a modern yet artistic touch to otherwise bland cabinets.

Buy desk lamps

When buying desk lamps, find a lamp with brightness and clarity. Lamps Plus reports that lamps with incandescent bulbs are bright and clear, but LED desk lamps are more energy-efficient. Desk lamps with swivel heads and flexible goosenecks are adjustable and work best for different movements and placements. Think of the size of the desk before going out to purchase anything. Desk lamps with small bases fit well on small desks, whereas large lamps designed with swinging arms pair well with large desks.

While desk lamps should produce ample lighting, they shouldn't cause glare when viewing computer screens. There's no proof that poor illumination has any long-term effects, but it can cause headaches and eye strain (via Autonomous). Every desk lamp has its own functionalities, whether made of plastic, wood, or ceramic materials. Not all desk lamps require plug-in cords. There are desk lamps that have USB connectors or are battery-operated. Desk lamps with storage space are ideal for holding paper clips, thumbtacks, and rubber bands.

Recycle and reduce

While home offices are usually used by a single person, cutting back on waste is an effective way to keep the space clean and tidy. Does the room need to be prepped before turning it fully into an office? CleanRiver says to collect and recycle out-of-date electronics such as cell phones, computers, printers, and ink cartridges. Cell phone stores and electronic repair shops gather and discard these items. Don't throw away electronics or office supplies that still function. Keep these items in a closet or storage just in case.

Toss out broken pencils, inkless pens, and dried-up highlighters. Keep unused file folders, unmarked folders, and loose notebook paper. To cut back on paper clutter, scan documents on a laptop or desktop computer and save them to a USB drive. Be sure to back up personal information securely on your computer and switch to digital billing to make life easier.

Stay clean and tidy

Keep things clean and tidy in an at-home office by ensuring there is a vacuum, broom, dustpan, rubber gloves, trash bags, furniture cleaner, and dust rags. According to Woodard, you can stay persistent with the cleaning by creating a schedule on a handmade calendar and noting how many times a week or a month cleaning needs to occur. Tidy up your office desk by sticking to regular tasks such as emptying garbage bins, dusting windows, and vacuuming. Remember to throw away empty food and drink containers. Cups and dishes should also be washed, dried, and put back into the kitchen after use.

Before starting any major cleaning project, remove everything from the desk or the table (via ServiceMaster Clean). Put things in neat piles and dust the desk with furniture polish. Save anything important for work. Use shelves and binders to hold and organize papers. It's best to clean little by little each day to alleviate clutter and dirt. Look into buying plastic or rubber desk organizers to hold small supplies.

Add real or faux plants

Spruce up an at-home office space with greenery. Decide whether to go overboard with large potted plants or keep things minimal with small potted flowers. According to Eco Warrior Princess, hanging houseplants in the office can complement the room's aesthetic. Buy ceramic pots for a professional vibe, or purchase bohemian pots to create a laid-back and peaceful environment. You can use vintage alcohol or perfume glass bottles instead of flowerpots. Create plant shelfies by displaying plants on bookshelves or wall shelves as if they've posed for a photo op.

Want to go the faux route? The size of your home office will help you decide where to place the faux greenery (via My Almost Green Thumb). Having a big pot of fake flowers on your desk may get in the way of your work. Likewise, a small arrangement of faux flowers may be more suitable for your work. If you have sleek and modern lines in an office, simple fake plants will complement the look. Opt for large and colorful fake flowers in an office with loud wallpaper patterns.

Think about the pros and cons of desk humidifiers

Desk humidifiers are becoming more prevalent in home offices. One of the benefits of a room humidifier is that it removes dryness and increases humidity in the air, as stated by FlexiSpot. Desk humidifiers also combat respiratory issues and allergies from getting worse. Due to the desk humidifier's ability to clear the air with warm heat, they help moisturize skin from drying out and feeling flakey. These humidifiers also prevent the spread of flu germs.

There are plenty of desk humidifiers to choose from (via Medical News Today). For example, steam vaporizers run on electricity, cooling the air before releasing it from the humidifier. Ultrasonic humidifiers use vibrations to produce vaporized water. Impeller humidifiers use rotating disks to vaporize water. Central humidifiers are connected to central air conditioning in the home to fill the whole space with moisture. One of the downsides of desk humidifiers is that they get dirty. Be sure to clean water tanks and use pure water instead of tap water. Tap water contains various minerals that may wear down a desk humidifier and prevent it from working.

Curate a motivating workspace

The beauty about having to work at home is that the office space could be developed into anything desired. Having a personal space could feel motivating and happy. Don't want to fully commit to wall paint or hanging up pictures? Check out local hobby shops or bed décor stores to buy wall art stickers, as suggested by Angi. With wall art, there's no permanence and nothing has to be framed or nailed into the wall. Wall art could be posters, paintings, quotes, anything goes. Maybe create a space in the home office of DIY artwork above a desk. This could feature a mini gallery art wall and look chic and cohesive with similar artwork. Remember to keep the space low clutter and have needed work supplies close by.

With an at home office, bring the hobbies and interests into the mix (via Displate Magazine). Like video games? Check out local video game stores and purchase video game related posters that could be hanged on the wall near a desk. For those who prefer music, check out secondhand record shops to buy music posters or band bumper stickers to paste on at home office walls. Interested in fine art? Discover unique gallery prints from an art auction to buy and take home to have on office walls.

Fragrance your office for productivity

Sometimes it's all in the nose. Scents can help with problem-solving, work performance, and attention. For example, AllWork explains that rosemary can help improve memory and alertness. If you have a stressful Zoom meeting, fill your office with the lemongrass scent to reduce anxiety. Coffee is a popular scent that enhances reasoning and promotes focus. Cinnamon increases motor skills, while peppermint helps sustain attention.

Use scents or candles that spark productivity and are ecologically sound in your home office. Soy candles are safer than wax candles and don't burn as quickly or produce much soot. Candles help the mind feel centered (via Business First). Candles placed on desks or bookshelves in offices have become trendier. For added motivation, place a candle next to a desktop computer or laptop to feel motivated and add peace to a workspace. Remember not to leave candles unattended and to put out flames after use.

Design a coffee station

Love coffee and drink it every day? Design a coffee station for your at-home office. An at-home coffee station can be directly inside the home office, around the corner on a wall, or in the kitchen. Want to hang coffee mugs above the coffee station? Look for a bright or bold-colored open shelf in blues or greens and install hooks inside, per Unhappy Hipsters. Ensure that the hooks are stable enough to prevent coffee mugs from falling off and cracking. Art lovers will enjoy hanging framed art around a coffee station to add pizzazz to a bland space. Buy colorful cups with scenery depicting landscapes, animals, or other designs.

To be different, why not purchase a roll-out cart and go vintage with old-timey mugs and apothecary jars that could hold sugar and treats? A vintage-style framed chalkboard would also add to the aesthetic. For familial appeal, hang family photos around the coffee station. Copper has grown in popularity for home design. Coffee carts constructed of copper and wood add an industrial allure.

Go wild for rolling desks

Are you tired of sitting down for lengthy periods? Look no further than rolling desks. According to Autonomous, sitting too long can pose dangerous health risks. Rolling desks prevent major spinal and back issues by letting you move around freely. Some rolling desks are built at a particular height and can't adjust. On the contrary, some rolling desks are adjustable and can be used to sit or stand. These rolling desks feature a crank lever that adjusts to various heights.

There are essential things to consider before buying a rolling desk. Think about how much money you want to spend before purchasing something long-term and stay within a budget. Find wheels that lock into place. Large wheels work on rough flooring, whereas small wheels work well for smoother surfaces. Know about weight limitations when it comes to desktops. These desks can't be overloaded because they can topple over and break.