Best Decorating Tips for Your Home Office

With so many people telecommuting, working at home or simply seeking a quiet space to pay bills or catch up on social networking, having a functional home office is imperative. When setting up a home office you should consider your needs, budget and tastes. You not only need a space that is organized and enhances productivity, you also want a pleasing design that blends with the rest of your home decor.

Cramped for space? Set up a functional office in your bedroom.
Cramped for space? Set up a functional office in your bedroom. | Source

Determine the Location

Do you have a dedicated room for a home office?

Most of us end up incorporating our home office into another space like a basement or spare bedroom.

You can even set up an office up in your garage or in a backyard storage shed (provided you have adequate insulation and the ability to heat and cool the space).

Once you have determined where your home office will be located, you can get down to furnishing and accessorizing the space.

Pick a Color Scheme

If you are color-challenged or just pressed for time, make a trip to your local home improvement center and head straight for the paint department for color inspiration. Not only do they have racks and racks of paint color chips to tempt you, many paint manufacturers also offer cards with images of completed room color schemes.

These idea cards include all the paint colors necessary to achieve a specific look. This no hassle color coordination is a huge time saver and gives you options you may never have considered.

Choose from a rainbow of colors at your home improvement center!
Choose from a rainbow of colors at your home improvement center! | Source

Just remember most colors will probably more intense on your wall than the paint chip indicates. To play it safe, once you find a color you love, go a shade lighter to avoid overpowering your home office.

Save Money With Secondhand Furniture

Furnishing your home office typically takes up the biggest part of your budget. Keep expenditures to a minimum by checking out second-hand office furniture sources.

The first pieces of furniture you should purchase are your desk and office chair. These are the two most critical components of a home office. You can purchase secondary pieces as you go along.

Shopping for separate office furniture pieces may sound like a difficult task, but there are a few tips that can make these important purchases relatively easy. Don’t worry about finding exact matches in color and finish. The main goal is to purchase pieces with complementary lines and styling.

Don't overlook used furniture to save $$ in your home office.
Don't overlook used furniture to save $$ in your home office. | Source

Your other major concern should be quality and durability. Solid hardwoods or metal are your best bet. You may be able to save money with a particleboard desk, but it will not stand up to constant use and frequent moves.

Your chair selection is extremely important. It should be comfortable and ergonomically designed to take care of your spine, lower back and legs. You can find good deals on used, upscale desk chairs – but always test them out before purchasing. Remember, your office chair is an investment in your health and productivity. Don’t skimp too much on this purchase.

Where to Look for Previously Owned Office Furniture

There are many places you can go in search of gently owned office furniture. Check out this list for ideas:

Where to Look
What You'll Find
Used Office Furniture Store
Usually a large selection but you will pay a bit more.
Company liquidations
A company that has closed an office and will sell it’s furniture inventory to the public. to the public
Thrift stores
Sometimes you can locate quality office furniture.
Garage sales
Check local paper and item listings to find what you need.
Estate sales
Excellent source for used office furniture.
eBay and craigslist
Lots of office furniture. Check often because good buys go fast.
A closet is a great place to house home office equipment and supplies.
A closet is a great place to house home office equipment and supplies. | Source

Create Unique Office Storage

Many of us with home offices often struggle to come up with extra storage space. If you don't have space on the floor, consider going up. New or vintage shelves, medicine cabinets or baskets can be affixed to your wall for additional storage that doesn’t eat into valuable square footage.

Convert a small closet into a “supply room”. Remove the door or bi-folds and install several tiers of sturdy shelving across the entire width to hold all the office supplies you don’t use every day. If you’re lucky enough to have an electrical outlet in the closet, think about relocating your wireless printer and fax machine to the closet as well!

A napkin holder lives on as a mail caddy.
A napkin holder lives on as a mail caddy. | Source

Use Upcycled Desk Organizers

If you’ve shopped for desk accessories lately, you know they can be pretty ugly and uninspiring. Taking items designed for another purpose and giving them a new life will inject some needed personality into the space!

Upcycle anything from baskets, small vases, tea cups, floral frogs, vintage jars, small dishes and even old furniture springs as a home for your pencils, paperwork, paper clips, notes, stamps and spare change. You can even use an old napkin holder as a mail caddy!

Choose Accessories Carefully

Here again, you can use your imagination and choose items that speak to you. Travel souvenirs, your vintage camera collection or a grandma’s silver tea service will add a touch of individuality to your office – it also makes it feel more like an extension of your home, rather than a utilitarian space. Avoid too much clutter – edit your accessories and showcase a few of your favorites in a special spot.

Inject your individuality into your home office with personal accessories.
Inject your individuality into your home office with personal accessories. | Source
A grouping of framed black and white photography would be suitable wall art for a home office.
A grouping of framed black and white photography would be suitable wall art for a home office. | Source

Incoporate Wall Art

Art is a suitable addition to your home office. Like accessories, it personalizes the space. Whether it’s your photography, paintings or a few vintage reproduction posters, artwork adds color and interest to vertical surfaces.

Don’t forget a note or bulletin board can serve a dual purpose. You can post important reminders and use it to display photos or pieces of special ephemera.

Cute Home Office Ideas!

© 2012 lindacee

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Start a Conversation! 18 comments

carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

Lots of good ideas here. I have a large table that I decoupaged. I also have a bed for company. And much too much stuff all over the place. I know I need to get some old shelves to get stuff off the floor...and paint the walls a favorite color. Anyway. I voted Up and share


mvillecat profile image

mvillecat 4 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

I will take an office just like the one in the video please!!! I love, love, love the office. I voted up, pinned, facebooked, and tweeted.


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Carol, there's a beautiful home office waiting to be born! Thanks for the read, votes and share!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

I agree, mvillecat. Isn't that office just the dreamiest? Thanks for you vote, pin, share and tweet. Greatly appreciated!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I may have to redo my office now after reading through your wonderful suggestions. Love your photo posts too. We spend so much time iin our offices as writers, it is beneficial to make them a place to really enjoy. Thanks for sharing.


samnashy profile image

samnashy 4 years ago from Australia

Great ideas. My husband works from home, I may suggest he take on a little project ;)))


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York

Buying secondhand office furniture is a really good idea to save some cash when you need to outfit a new business! Great hub, lindacee!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Teaches, right now I'm working at the dining room table! Not terribly inspirational. We'll be moving @ the end of the year and one of the main things on my wish list is a designated office space! If you've got the basics of a home office, it shouldn't take much to make a change to the décor. Have fun!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Samnashy, making a pleasing home office environment is important if it is the primary place of work. An office redo is a good thing to add to his "honey-do" list! Thanks for stopping by!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Leah, it's amazing what you can stumble on. A few years back my husband bought an Aeron office chair for a song when a local business closed their office and liquidated the furnishings. Thanks for reading! :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

When my kids all got married I got a small bedroom for an office (its also a guest room so its cozy) but having the space is wonderful. You've made some very good points...used office furniture is often available and so reasonable. Sometimes its cheaper (and better) to buy a used chair than to buy one of the newer ones that may not hold up as well. This is a great hub full of great ideas!

Voted up, useful, and interesting.


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Tillsontitan -- Looking at new office furniture, I see these rickety desk chairs that you know will only hold up for a few months -- I've purchased several over the years and have always been disappointed. Buying used just seems to make more sense. So glad you liked this Hub. Thanks for the votes and comment! :)


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

Very nice advice! My home office is very small, so I like your idea of creating extra storage space using wall baskets and shelves. I got most of my office furniture from Ikea, which didn't cost too much because they were all on sale. My desk, I believe, was only $25 and it's very cute and sturdy.


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Om, you can't beat Ikea for budget-minded furniture of any type. They are particularly good for those of us who are space challenged. Since we don't have one here, I totally spaced them out. Thanks for mentioning this great resource for office furnishings! :)


SidKemp profile image

SidKemp 4 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

Thanks - I did a good job setting up my home office 6 years ago, using a lot of these tips. Unfortunately, I didn't take the time to paint the walls, which are a color I really don't like (pale sh*t brown, to be exact). I think it's time for an office facelift. No time to paint, but I'm thinking of postering the walls with all the thank-you cards I've received.


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Hey Sid, that's a great idea! Cover up that not-so-wonderful paint color with personalized "wallpaper". Love it! :)


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 17 months ago from London, UK

Very useful Tips. Thanks for the extra info on where to look.

Brilliant hub


lindacee profile image

lindacee 17 months ago from Southern Arizona Author

Lady_E, this was a fun Hub to write. I think it's good to add helpful hints wherever possible. Some people don't know all the options for finding good deals on office furniture. Thanks for the comment!

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