Creating A Home Office You’ll Love

*This post first appeared as a guest post on Wandeleur.com where I occasionally write interiors focused articles for their Nest column.

When we moved into our apartment almost three years ago, there was an odd bonus room just off the dining room. It was too small to be a lounge or family room. And with no door to close the open concept space needed to look nice at all times, since anyone could see it! I deemed it my new office and set out to make it look great, on a budget.

Notice the bonus room opening to the left.

Notice the bonus room opening to the left.

Whether you’ve got a corner, a closet, a nook or an entire room to create your home office, I hope these tips will give you new ideas on how to arrange your furniture, and what elements you might consider purchasing to stay organized and keep your space looking pretty!

A Few Inspiration Images First:

Office inspiration by Kashuk Constantine.

Office inspiration by Kashuk Constantine.

Office inspiration House and Garden UK.

Office inspiration House and Garden UK.

Office inspiration from Apartment Therapy.

Office inspiration from Apartment Therapy.

Power Source:

One of the first things to consider in the space is where you have access to power outlets, and how that effects where you can arrange your furniture. I had only one outlet, and quite far from where I wanted to place my desk. My solution, an attractive and colorful extension cord that allowed me to place my desk where I wanted, and allowed the necessary wall space for added shelving above. You can find a similar one at Conway Electric.

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Storage:

The next most important element to consider is storage. How can you achieve maximum storage and minimal mess? Do you purchase a desk with lots of storage? You’ll notice mine has none! Do you have access to a closet to hide your mess, or can you install shelving on the walls? Do you need to purchase freestanding shelving?

I have access to a closet (with no door or frame) so I created a fabric curtain to hide the mess and add a big does of color. I also wanted this sleek standing desk (made and designed by my husband), so I needed to maximize desk storage by adding shelving above. The white shelves above the desk are from IKEA. You can find similar ones HERE.

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Pretty Design Solutions: 

Now you’ll want to start thinking about your particular storage challenges. For instance, as a designer I hoard magazines and fabric! I needed a way to keep my magazine collection looking good, and attractive storage with easy access to fabric samples. My solutions became a magazine rack installed on the wall with a pretty chair and side table added to create a small “reading area” and lots of baskets for all my fabrics.

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Make It Personal:

Perhaps the most important design element is, what inspires you?! How can you make your new office area reflect your sense of style, and feel like an inspirational place to work? I suggest jotting down a list of things that uplift your spirit. For me, that list looked like color, natural light, plants, personal mementos and space to create.

My design solutions took shape in the form of an old art easel (found at a garage sale) that I use as a real life pin board, and shallow wall shelves to mix and match artwork that I find inspiring (shelving from IKEA). Plus, utilizing the natural light in the space by adding a light filtering natural woven shade and adding plants to the windowsill.

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What are your design challenges to create a functional and beautiful office area at home? I’d love to hear from you!

XO – CLAIRE