We are so excited to be sharing our favorite Office Decor and ways to create a home office that are 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.
A home office can sometimes turn into a dumping ground for paper work and odd house hold items that we can't find other places for in our homes. Sometimes a space can also not turn out quite how you want it to the first time around. Over the last year, both of us have renovated our office and craft room areas and LOVE how they have turned out. Follow along as we share some of our best tips for achieving your ideal functional home office and how we choose the right office decor!
As Interior Designers, we 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.
A home office should be a space that is inviting and functional. the right room, proper lighting and Choosing the right office decor is important. You want this to be a space you want to spend time in!
We are going to share some inspiration for how you can think outside the box about home office decor and some basic office organization so that your space can be inspiring and practical in one!
Deb's office space has had many uses along the way. It began as designated craft room area for her work and handmade products for B Vintage. She had a permanent space set up for her sewing machine and a large craft table in the middle. As her business changed and she wasn't making all of her products anymore, her needs for this space changed too. She wanted to have a room that felt more like a studio or office space that could double as a craftroom for her kiddos too.
Britt's office had been a work in progress for 4 years, truthfully since the day they moved in. She is on my 4th desk and can say that it finally feels like the space that she needed.
Let us share our mistakes with you so that you can create a home office space with practical office decor that you love! You don’t need to have a large designated office to create the space that you need and LOVE too!
Here are a couple before images of some of the previous ways our office and craftroom spaces looked.
Deb's Office Before
Britt's Office Before
STEP #1 - Choosing the Room & NATURAL Light
Choosing the right space in your home can be more difficult then you think. Yes, there may be an area in the house that seems like it should be the office space but ask yourself if it is a space you could see yourself spending time in? Is there ample natural light, or natrual light at all? So many people think have an office in a dark basement is fine but we promise you that after a few weeks you will feel like you are depressed from it. Choose a space with a window and an open feel to it, you will be happy you did in the long run!
Step #2 - 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?
We both needed a office's and decor that felt inspiring, a space where we wanted to hang out in, but also space that we could do some paperwork and book work in as well.
Britt had created a space upstairs for her kiddos last year so she knew she could eliminate that need from her office.
Previously, Britt 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, she 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 her bills and such that she didn’t need them accidentally colouring on and cutting up. She 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.”
Deb on the other hand, renovated her space with her kiddos in mind. Her daughter in particular, needed a space where she could go to make crafts and the jewelry that she enjoyed. She knew she needed enough storage for this as well as a large central table with ample seating. She also knew this space would double as a studio to shoot her Vintage Society Co Shop photos and even as a space to work with flowers and garden supplies at times. she wanted to make sure it didn't get to full of decor that it wouldn't work for her needs.
Step #3 - Prioritize & Be Practical with your Home Office decor Needs
The next thing that really changed how we thought about our 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?
Deb knew this space was going to be used for not only an office but also as a studio space. She also knew that there was an old chimney that ran up the wall and she wanted to try and expose that! Exposing the chimney and paring it with ship lap would be the ideal look in this space. There already was a small closet in the room so she purged all unnecessary items and condensed all her needs to fit into that closet.
There was also an unnessacary door that went from this room into her daughters room. It had been put there by the previous owner as the space was used as a rental. She decided to shiplap right overtop of the door, leaving the opening behind the wall incase she ever wanted to open it up again.
Britt 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 she rarely needed access to! She had her taxes and books from 7 years ago stored in the armoire yet she was going to a hall closet weekly to get out her sewing kit… now that makes no sense right?!
So she purged that armoire, separated out what she really needed to have in her office and what could get stored away in a less accessible space. After she purged that armoire, she found that she really didn’t have that much that she needed quick access to on a daily basis. She still wanted to have her printer close by and office basics like pens, pencils, scissors, and her camera stuff but she didn’t need like old college course books or her old taxes occupying this prime real estate.
WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU OUT SO WE HAVE CREATED A FREE LIGHTROOM PRESET FOR YOU TO START CREATING GORGEOUS IMAGES
The key to organization we 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! 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.
Britt measured the ideal size of a cabinet that she was looking for and thought about how she 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 she really needed.
Deb downsized all the furniture in this space including the library cabinet she had just painted a month earlier. She kept enough storage for her printer and other required items like pens, pencils and printer paper. She hung a beautiful salvaged stain glass window insert above the cabinet that added an element of elegance to the room.
Britt was so lucky to find this primitive cabinet that had simple shelves that could be adjustable if she wanted and it had no floor in it so she could run an extension cord out the bottom for plugging in her 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 both of us wanted to achieve with our office space's and studios was having a space to display some of our 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. We wanted some of the more popular items to be more accessible for when those clients come over.
Deb exposed the chimney back in her room to find that it had been covered in beautiful shabby chic wallpaper at one point. Using a hand held jack hammer, she chilled back a lot of the concrete to find beautiful brick underneath. She sprayed the outside with a poly to seal the bricks and stop debris from falling. It turned out to be the perfect contrast in this space.
Deb had brought coat racks back with her from France last summer and also had this pretty salvaged hook from New York! She painted these the same colour she painted the floors in this room. Hanging it in this space allows her to change up the decor seasonally with out making marks on the walls!
Britt had this vintage set of hooks upstairs for her boys but she have other plans for that space so she brought the hooks down to her 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. Hooks let us hang things like the market baskets that we carry in our Vintage Society shop, but these items are also pretty and look displayed.
,Make sure the decor you add to your space is inspiring to you in some way. Just because that Ikea desk is affordable, doesn't mean you are going to love how it feels in a room. Invest in one or two items that you love to make the space feel more like YOU!
Britt loved her raw wood antique desk and Deb found a salvaged European fold out desk that fit under her chandeliers perfectly. Both tables are from the girls fav store Uniquities!
For both of us, 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.
Both of us painted our floors in these spaces and we LOVE it! Head to our post on painted floors to get step by step tutorial on how we achieved this look and how they are holding up !
Step #4 - 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 #5 - Choosing the right office decor
We have both been starting to add ship lap throughout ours home's and wanted to have a ship lap wall's that we could take pictures of our Vintage Society stock against so we knew we wanted to ship lap the entire room's as opposed to just a feature wall.
Deb even went one step further by having custom shiplap wainscotting made. To see exactly how this was done, head to our post ALL about shiplap!
Shiplapping was the biggest investment both of us made in these room and we 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 us more opportunities for hanging things around the room without needing to patch walls if we want to take it down.
Step #6 - 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 - 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.
Tip #7. Give yourself some grace - Rome wasn't built over night
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!
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: