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Best Decorating Tips for Your Home Office

Updated on February 21, 2018

With so many people working from home or simply seeking a quiet space to pay bills, creating a functional home office is imperative. When setting up your office space consider your particular needs, budget and personal taste. It should enhance your efficiency and productivity as well as reflect a pleasing design that blends with the rest of your home decor.

Determine the Location

Do you have a dedicated room for a home office? If so, that's great. However, many home offices are shared with another space like a basement or spare bedroom. You can even set up an office in your garage or in a backyard storage shed provided it has adequate insulation and adequate heating and cooling. Once you've determined your home office location, you can get down to furnishing and accessorizing the space.

Short on space? Set up a home office in your bedroom.
Short on space? Set up a home office in your bedroom. | Source

Pick a Color Scheme

If you're 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 chips to tempt you, most paint manufacturers include in-store and online images of interior color schemes to get your creative juices flowing.

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

These idea cards include all the paint names and product numbers necessary to achieve a pulled together look. This no hassle color planning is a huge time saver and gives you options you may never have considered. Just remember most colors look more intense on your wall than on the paint chip. Play it safe by going a shade lighter to avoid overpowering your home office.

Save with Secondhand Furniture

Furnishing a home office typically takes up the biggest part of the budget. Keep expenditures to a minimum by checking out secondhand furniture sources. Start by choosing your desk and chair. These are the two most important components of a home office.

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

Don't skimp when it comes to choosing an office chair. It is an investment in your health. Your chair should be ergonomically designed to take care of your spine, lower back and legs. You can find good deals on pre-owned or close-out office chairs--just make sure to try them out before buying.

Purchase secondary furniture pieces as your budget permits. Don’t worry about exact matches in color and finishes. As long as a bookcase, filing cabinet and credenza have similar lines and styling they will give your office a coordinated appearance. Look for furniture in good condition and made from quality materials.

Where to Look for Previously Owned Office Furniture

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 will often sell its furniture to the public.
Thrift stores
Sometimes you can find fun vintage furniture pieces.
Garage or yard sales
Check listings of sales in your area to look for specific items you need.
Estate sales
Excellent source for quality office furniture.
eBay and craigslist
Lots of office furniture. Check often because good deals go fast.

Create Unique Office Storage

Setting up a home office comes with the struggle for extra storage space. If you don't have ample floor space consider going up. Shelving, cabinets or baskets can be affixed to your wall for additional storage that doesn’t eat into valuable square footage.

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

Convert a small closet into your office “supply room”. Remove the door or bi-folds and install several tiers of sturdy shelving across the entire width to hold the 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.

Use Upcycled Desk Organizers

If you’ve shopped for desk accessories lately, you know they can be pretty uninspiring. Repurposing items by giving them a new life will inject much needed personality into your office.

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 a retro napkin holder as a mail caddy.

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

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 your office feel more like an extension of your home, rather than a utilitarian space. Avoid too much clutter--edit your treasures and showcase a few 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

Incoporate Wall Art

Like accessories, art helps to personalize a space. Whether it’s your own photography, paintings or a few vintage reproduction posters, artwork adds excitement, color and interest to bare wall surfaces. Don’t forget incorporate a message board to serve a dual purpose. You can post important reminders plus special photos and small pieces of ephemera.

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

Cute Home Office Ideas!

© 2012 lindacee

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    • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Arizona

      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!

    • Lady_E profile image


      3 years ago from London, UK

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

      Brilliant hub

    • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Arizona

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

    • SidKemp profile image

      Sid Kemp 

      5 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 imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Arizona

      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! :)

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 

      5 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 imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Arizona

      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! :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      5 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 imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Arizona

      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! :)

    • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Arizona

      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 imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Arizona

      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!

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 

      5 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!

    • samnashy profile image

      Sam Graham 

      5 years ago from Australia

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

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 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.

    • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Arizona

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

    • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Arizona

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

    • mvillecat profile image

      Catherine Dean 

      5 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.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      5 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


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