Our favourite interior designers share their top home office tips for creating a one-of-a-kind space

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Jonathan Adler home office
(Image credit: Jonathan Adler)

Many of us have spent more time in our home offices than in any other room in our homes over the past year. Whether your home office is large or small, it's never been more important to create a home working environment that's inviting and inspiring rather than merely functional. 

We've gone to some of our favourite interior designers for home office ideas and tips that will make a big impact regardless of the size or aspect of the space – and even if your home office is, in fact, a corner of your small living room.

1. Create an accent with a colourful chair

One of the easiest ways to give your home office design an instant lift is to opt for a colourful upholstered chair over a simple office chair. You can still have an ergonomic shape for comfort, but be bold with a textured fabric finish in a bright shade. Studio Ashby have styled this home office space with a mid-century style upholstered chair in a vibrant ultraviolet colour that creates a focal point in the otherwise neutral room. 

2. Be inspired by nature

The botanical design trend never gets old, largely because it can be reinvented almost endlessly. Justina Blakeney offers her own inimitable take on the botanical theme with an upholstered screen positioned right behind a desk. 

The effect is intriguing, slightly boho, and unique. And – the beauty of a screen like this one is that it can be reupholstered when desired. 

3. Don't be afraid to experiment with wall design

'I’ve never met a wide stripe I didn’t like', says Sheila Bridges, whose gorgeous Harlem home office combines a traditional secretary desk with a bright, contemporary paint finish. What we like the most about this design is the distinctive choice of colours. 

Orange and purples are both very strong colours that can be difficult to pair in other rooms, but the home office is a prime candidate for experimentation. What Sheila's office design says is: 'be open to new ideas!'

4. Embrace creative clutter

There's a big difference between a messy workspace and one that benefits from creative clutter, as Martyn Lawrence Bullard's wonderfully busy office design proves. Clashing patterns, stacks of books and boxes, and a 'more is more' approach to wall art create a stimulating and engaging space with plenty of visual texture.

5. Invest in a statement desk

If your home office isn't an office but a corner of your living room or bedroom, then designing your home-working space will be primarily about choosing a beautiful desk. And you'll want something that can hold its own among the other furniture pieces in your home, like the stunning Jacques Desk from Jonathan Adler. It's finished in blue leather – a departure from the usual brown or black finish of home office desks, which is what makes it so at home in a bright living room.  

Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

Anna is Consumer Editor across Future home titles; she has a background in academic research and is the author of London Writing of the 1930s; she has written about literature, architecture, and photography, and has a special interest in high-end interior design.