We are so excited to be sharing our favorite ways to create a home office that is both pretty & practical! We both LOVE working from home and so we want to share with you how we have created spaces that inspire us daily and that we truly enjoy working in.
Sometimes we have ideas of how we envision a space looking and sometimes it turns out and sometimes it is a flop! That's what happened to my home office whenever I tried to change things up slightly. So this last time, I committed to doing a bigger a refresh and I am in love with how my small home office feels and functions! Follow along as I share some of my best tips for achieving your ideal home office!
As an interior designer, I hate to see home office spaces crammed into tiny dark spaces or converting a closet in the basement into a work space. Lets face it, even if you don't "work" from home there is always still paperwork and computer work to tend to and it usually is one of those chores that you dread and put off doing.
But what if your home office was somewhere that you enjoyed and what if it could function for what your needs were as well? Wouldn't that be a game changer?!
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I'm going to share some inspiration for how you can think outside the box about home office furniture and some basic office organization so that your space can be pretty and pratical in one!
My office has been a work in progress for 4 years, truthfully since the day we moved in. I'm on my 4th desk and I can say that it finally feels like the space that I have needed. Let me share my mistakes with you so that you can create a home office space that you love! You don’t need to have a large designated office to create the space that you need and Im here to give you some tips to help you along the way!
Here are a couple before images of some of the previous ways my office looked.
Step #1 - The first step is to think about what is the primary use of your space…
You can start by asking yourself these questions:
- Are the kids going to be using it?
- Are you simply doing paperwork and books?
- Does your main job include working from home?
- Are you crafting or creating in this space?
- How much time are you spending in this space?
For me, I needed a space that felt inspiring, a space where I wanted to hang out in, but a space that I can do some paperwork and book work in as well. I created a space upstairs for my kiddos last year so I knew I could eliminate that need from my office.
Previously, I had built a long table to go in the office so that the kids could sit at the desk as well for doing home work and crafts. Last year, I built them a table to go in their playroom, this table was more functional for them, it kept their play items and crafts separate from things like my bills and such that I didn’t need them accidentally colouring on and cutting up. I felt like the long table was unnecessary and really a waste of space that in the end would just become a handy place to collect “junk.”
Step #2 - Prioritize & Be Practical with your Home Office Needs
The next thing that really changed how I thought about my office was:
- What do I really need to have accessible on a daily basis?
- What are some of the things that I want to see displayed?
- What would inspire me to want to work in this space?
I previously had a massive armoire in the office, it was blocking part of the window and it was way to big for the room. The other revelation was that the armoire was actually filled with items that I rarely needed access to! I had our taxes and books from 7 years ago stored in the armoire yet I was going to a hall closet weekly to get out my sewing kit… now that makes no sense right!
So I purged that armoire, separated out what I really needed to have in my office and what could get stored away in a less accessible space. After I purged that armoire, I found that I really didn’t have that much that I needed quick access to on a daily basis. I still wanted to have my printer close by and office basics like pens, pencils, scissors, and my camera stuff but I didn’t need old college course books or my old taxes occupying this prime real estate.
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The key to organization I have come to realize over the years is that you need to think about areas of your home being more valuable for some items over others and that if you put items closer to where they are needed that it is easier to maintain a clean and organized home. You wouldn’t put your fridge in the laundry room, just like you wouldn’t put your bed in the kitchen. When items in your home have designated areas that actually make sense it really does make life easier.
For more Storage Solution Ideas you can check out our previous post HERE.
I measured the ideal size of a cabinet that I was looking for and thought about how I would need to store these items. The armoire had smaller drawers with a massive open space at the top and that wasn’t the type of organizing that I really needed.
I was so lucky to find this primitive cabinet that had simple shelves that could be adjustable if I wanted and it had no floor in it so I could run an extension cord out the bottom for plugging in my printer. This cabinet was also perfect because the inside of the cabinet was pretty so that meant it doubled as storage and a piece of home decor.
The other need that I wanted to achieve with my office space was having a space to display some of my Vintage Society Co. items that people come over to look at. Vintage Society doesn’t have an actual store front, so we offer local pick up from our homes. I wanted some of the more popular items to be more accessible for when those clients come over.
I had this vintage set of hooks upstairs for my boys but I have other plans for that space so I brought the hooks down to my office and the raw wood and the aged metal is the perfect contrast against the ship lap.
Again, allowing your decor to have 2 functions – 1. Decor 2. Storage. The hooks let me hang things like the market baskets that we carry in our Vintage Society shop, but these items are also pretty and look displayed.
I did a poll on Instagram about which table to keep in this room and the majority actually preferred my old long white table but I was just in love with the contrast of this Vintage French Primative table and I knew the size fit the office space better. I am obsessed with this table and do you know what? The table inspires me more than the white table and sometimes that is the most important thing when you are redoing a space.
For me, the needs of this home office didn’t require a traditional desk with drawers and a rolling chair. I kept my Vintage French café chair in here and every time I walk by this office I WANT TO COME IN! In fact, I am currently writing this post from this very spot! And that is how Deb and I love to create spaces in our homes! The spaces need to be functional but they also needs to inspire you above anything else so that you use the space for its intended purpose.
Step #3 - Finding the Perfect Location
Okay so what if you don’t have a bright office space? First, ask yourself where do you gravitate towards to work on your business stuff? Your bedroom, kitchen island, kitchen table? If you don’t have room for an actual desk near one of these spaces then can you put together a portable office? Find a pretty crate to put some of your essentials in, like a couple pens, paper and your laptop and then you can pull it out when you need to work and tuck it away maybe in your bedroom closet of broom closet when its not in need.
Step #4 - Making your Home Office Pretty
I have been starting to add ship lap throughout our home and I wanted to have a ship lap wall that I could take pictures of my Vintage Society stock against so I knew I wanted to ship lap the entire room as opposed to just a feature wall.
Shiplapping was the biggest investment I made in this room and I love how it gave this room texture but it also helped cut down on the echo in this small but tall room. The shiplap also gives me more opportunities for hanging things around the room without needing to patch walls if I want to take it down. Stay tuned for a post on ship lap coming soon!
Step #5 - How to tie everything together in your Home Office
Now you have all of these ideas and tips BUT how do you actually bring it to life?
1. Start small - purge out your office and minimize where you can.
2. Rethink your office desk and make this the focal point of your space.
3. Give it a facelift - paint, shiplap, wallpaper! Add a pretty element.
4. Try a different layout - my desk has been in 4 different spots, trial and error is key.
5. Get creative with hiding cords! We all need cords in our office, but things like large market baskets and crates can hide some of the power bars and computer hubs.
6. Give yourself some grace - Rome wasn't built over night and so you can't expect spaces to turn out perfect the first time either. The key to creating spaces is to be patient and be willing to adjust when things aren't exactly as you had hoped the first time! Or be willing to hire a professional if you would like it done right the first time, we offer interior design consults and can even do Video Messaging to consult on layout and colour schemes!
Now I would love your opinion …. Do you think I should paint this floor. I have been obsessing about painting my floors throughout my home and I was going to paint these floors but I couldn’t find the perfect colour and the right paint while I was in reno mode and by the time everything else was finishing I was just ready to have this room put back together, but its still on my mind…so comment below with your vote!
If you are looking for more Home Office Inspiration and Ideas please check out our talented friends who are sharing their home offices as well: