Home Office Inspiration
Having a home office is often a blessing and a curse. Your commute is SUPER short, and you get to customize the space however you want. But often this leads to stalling, confusion, and frustration of lack of storage that still deserves a place in your well-designed home.
How can I make it mine while still making sure it's super productive? Isn't it best to have all white everything? But I feel so uninspired with all white! How can I fit all the things I need into the space? I need to have so many supplies for my office and my business. All the organization products are boring. Where is that paper I had in my hand 3 months ago? I just put it here. I need more storage. I need more storage. WHY DON'T I HAVE ENOUGH STORAGE?
So I rounded up a few of my favorite home offices (and some creative business actual offices) and I'm going to explain why they work. We're covering minimalist to maximalist style, but even if it's not you style, there are often still ideas that you can use for yourself.
I love this office, it is true maximalist style that mixes definite distinct styles. I think I love it so much because it combines the juxtaposition of pink/frilly/girly and old/leather/masculine. I love both (well, maybe not frilly...). We can go on and on about the style but let's talk about how this office works. While it may look like chaos to some, it's clear that through the use of small shelves and drawers that everything has a place. That is the most important thing in organizing. Everything needs to have a place, otherwise a space like this will have piles of stuff, paper piles to dig through, and it will cause stress instead of inspiration. And see how the printer is hidden but still easily accessible (left side)? Even if you don't like the look of something, if you frequently use it, it has to be easily accessible. And OMG you can see the wires the shame. Lets be real, offices have a ton of electronics, you're going to have wires . Just be sure they aren't in the way (or have the possibility of tripping). Now I need some leather-bound books...
I love the simplicity of this setup - The shelves offer a combination of real storage with decorative storage (if you like you can always store unpretty things in pretty boxes), And the built in drawers offer a good amount of closed storage with beautiful pulls. You could easily do this setup in a nook or take over a closet. I especially love the built in cabinet light that saves surface space. It's a very functional mini-office in a small space.
This is technically not a home office, but what I want to focus on here is the memo board & office style. What I love about this office is the HUGE memo board. I love this style memo board - it's so flexible and stylish (I actually have a DIY of this style memo board coming up). This office using a very monochromatic color scheme to keep things simple, but mixes it with greenery and florals to keep things inspirational and stylish. You can do the same thing - keep a neutral color palatte and mix in patterns to your taste. If you're really wanting to use some busy patterns, balance it out by going very neutral and simple everywhere else.
I love this home office. It's a wonderful example of what you can do with a really plain space. She took what could have been a really boring space and made it hers by painting the walls, painting the Vittsjo shelving unit gold, hanging inspiration and beautiful prints, and adding greenery. Keeping trays on the desktop keeps small items coralled (remember a place for everything). Even though it looks super nice, there's still good storage (including file storage to the left).
This space is classic Swedish minimalism. This kind of setup seems unattainable for a true home office, but remember, this is a closeup of a desk. We don't see the rest of the room. So the desk works by having large flat drawers for small items (use drawer organizers), and it has another grid memo board I love for reminders, inspiration, notes, etc. To turn this into a complete office, add a lot of clean-lined, closed storage such as a white file cabinet, (paint the pulls black for a stylish DIY), white drawer units, or a shelving unit with a mix of stylish open items and closed boxes. Keep the scheme of black, white & wood for an easy home office style that's simple but warm.
I love this office. Gorgeous. The wall is covered in inspiration. Plus a shelf for goodies (keep them off the desk) and clipboards at arm's reach to keep notes & to-do lists on. The Magazine file holds magazines here, but it could easily hold papers in file folders that you need frequently. The shelving unit holds craft supplies & pinatas, necessary items for any home office. The important part of the shelving unit is holding small items in containers, even if it's visible still. Large mason jars & a gold bowl are used here. I've used beakers, old candle containers, repainted boxes that once held Christmas chocolates, jewelry boxes, and fancy little ice cream bowls to hold those small items. These are key for when you don't have desk storage. Keep things grouped together in a beautiful way (or a closed way). If it's too busy for you, use more opaque containers. If you have beautiful office goods, show em off! Or mix and match. Go for what makes you happy.
Now you might be thinking 'well this is just ridiculous I could never have this much storage' and you might be right. But let's look at why this is an amazing setup for an office. 1 using a drawer unit as a leg for a desk - Love this idea (I actually just implemented it in my own office). Why have a leg when you can have storage? Put storage anywhere you can. 2 Using kitchen cabinets in the office. Yas. Get creative about what kind of storage units you use. You are not relegated to only having 'office furniture' in your office. Cabinets with drawers would obviously be great, but shelf cabinets work too! Use all types of boxes and containers to hold all the goods in there. You can even hide your printer in there. Even better, you could totally do this with discount cabinets. Paint em white. Add A plywood top. Boom. 3 shelving with boxes. Magazine holders, binders, file boxes, and storage boxes combine to have a ton of paper storage that's still hidden away. You could absolutely make a mini version of this with 1 cabinet and a drawer unit with a counter-desk between the two and shelving. But I would highly recommend labeling all those boxes. Otherwise you'll have to look through everything to find what you're looking for, and then what's the point?
Another pretty but minimal desk. This desk uses an Ikea Helmer drawer unit plus closed boxes for storage. Add a white pencil cup & a small desktop file box and this is a pretty legit office setup. This office stays calm but pretty by using a very neutral color scheme with pops of robins egg blue. Also - inspirational pictures on the wall and clipboards to hold a calendar/notes/etc. If you're looking to create a workspace that's clean but still you, add in one or two colors. Do it on the cheap with your old friend spray paint.
This is the office of Earnest Home Co. - Here are a few things to note. 1 good task lighting (on computers that are not Macs oh look at that. love). A lot of these pictures have task lights in them. That's because they're important. Have good ambient lighting and good task lighting because straining your eyes is bad. 2 A dining table as a desk. Don't think you need a traditional desk. If you have room for other storage, get creative. I would want a drawer unit within arms reach, though. 3 Shelving Units filled with various closed storage. These are Vittsjo units painted gold, filled with Ikea boxes for closed storage. Mixing storage boxes with decor items (even better decor items that have a purpose) keeps you in the home realm of design.
This office uses a bunch of different methods to stay functional. 1 There's in-desk storage (the Alex unit). 2 You can't really see in the corner but they've hidden a boring old file cabinet with a printer over there. Yea! You can see it from the desk (and easily access it) but from the outside it's hidden. 3 On the wall is a cork-board in a beautiful frame for photos, notes, lists, etc., plus a shelf, plus a rail unit with hanging containers. Super functional area for things you might not reach for daily, but still need relatively often. Finally there's the Kallax shelving units. She uses closed storage at the bottom to hide things away, and mixes it with open decor storage on the top to keep things balanced and airy. If that were all closed it would be very functional, but it would feel really heavy.
This is technically a 'kids' desk area, but I LOVE it because it shows a genius way to create a renter-friendly office. Using a pegboard, you can hang a ton of different things up on the wall without having to put a million holes in it. This board looks like it's leaning against the wall, but you can also hang it on the wall using screws & spacers or cleats. It uses spice racks as shelves (genius for tall things) plus a few pegboard hooks. Plus they painted the spice racks and the desk leg the same minty-green. It's adorable and functional.
This final office is EPIC. So much storage it makes me giddy. That's not just me, right? Alright about this office... She built a desk using a Malm Dresser and another drawer unit. It looks like the other one would fit 2 file drawers. Topped with a desk-counter. Above that we have a huuuuge inspiration board that covers all the 'backsplash'. So we already have a ton of storage and inspiration. But above that we have this huge, epic, monstrosity that is storage. Like how big are those cabinet doors? OMG. Now if you don't have 20 foot ceilings, you can absolutely recreate this with regular kitchen wall cabinets. Flank an open cabinet or shelves with closed cabinets for more hidden storage. This is another chance where you can install under-cabinet lighting to use as task lighting. Another thing that really works in this office is using all the white. It helps balance that epic inspiration board. So if you like having tons of lists, photos, notes, and other paper things up on your wall, seriously consider balancing it out with lots of white (or other neutral). Again, I would also suggest labeling those boxes, even if its in a hidden place. (PS - you could totally hide a printer in one of the cabinets by taking off the front of the drawer and connecting it with piano hinges so it flips down flat).
Home office owners - what do you use for storage? How did you get creative for storing all the office goods?