13 clever home office ideas to take yours to the next level

A home office with a standing lamp and bookcase
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Home office ideas are still all the rage, since working from home is becoming a more permanent solution for many of us. Even if you work from home for only a day or two per week, you want your home office to be spacious, welcoming and practical, so it doesn’t deter your productivity or creativity.

A nice home office can mean all the difference to your mood each day. It’s not just about having the best office chair or the best desk either. The perfect home office will make the most use of its space and will have a good balance of decor with practicality. You should be able to access everything you need with ease, and you should feel comfortable working in this space for the majority of the day. But, what can you do to improve your space? Here are 13 ideas to make your home office look fantastic. 

Plus, here are 7 things that don’t belong in your home office and 10 ways to reduce cable clutter around your home.

Home office ideas to spruce up your workspace

1. Take advantage of shelves and bookcases 

A home office with a large bookcase behind it

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Shelves and bookcases not only vary the height of your furniture, which can help break up a room, but they’re also a lifesaver if you’re tight on space. 

Even if you don’t have a lot of books or work to fill the shelves, you can use all manner of objects from empty bottles to ornaments to better decorate the room. If you’re a fan of photos, you can use one of the best digital photo frames for a gallery of memories. 

2. Upgrade your desk 

A woman working at a standing desk

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Your desk is arguably the centerpiece of your home office, so you want it to look and act the part. If you’re not attached to your current desk, you should consider the options available to you. 

Standing desks can help with stretching your legs, improving your overall wellbeing. While if you’re very tight for space, or you only occasionally work from home, perhaps a floating desk or corner desk would better suit the space. Check out the best desks for some inspiration. 

3. Position yourself near a door or window 

A woman sitting at a desk in front of a large window

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Sunlight is thought to increase the levels of serotonin in the brain, which is associated with boosting your mood, while fresh air is good for your digestive system and can help improve your blood pressure as well as heart rate. 

So if you have a window in your home office, make sure it’s in your line of sight and you’re taking advantage. One of the best air purifiers can also help with keeping the air fresh in your home office.   

4. Upgrade your lights  

Dyson Lightcycle Morph

(Image credit: Dyson)

You'll also need one of the best desk lamps for those overcast days or if you're working late. However, desk lamps are capable of so much more than switching on and off. Some designs can adjust the brightness and tone, depending on the time of day and what you’re doing. Some can even adjust automatically based on the level of ambient light in the room.  

While you’re there, you might want to upgrade your general lighting to some of the best smart light bulbs for the same reason. That way, your home office can become part of your smart home regime.  

5. Introduce some plants 

A home office filled with plants

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Succulents aren’t just for show, they help with purifying the air and remove airborne toxins too. The same can be said for full size plants and even indoor trees. Plants give your home office a more natural feel as well, so don’t be afraid to scatter a few around the room. 

If you’re tight for space, you can use wall hanging planters such as the Abetree Hanging Planters instead ($37.99, Amazon). Just be cautious that these 10 common houseplants are poisonous to cats and dogs

6. Upgrade your chair

Gates Leather Executive Chair with Quincy Desk

(Image credit: Zuri)

Using a good chair can mean all the difference to your work output. If you don’t feel comfortable or supported throughout the day, it acts as a distraction. Plus you can end up taking the residual pain away with you when you finish at the end of the day. 

The best office chairs don’t have to be an eye-sore either — whether you need extra lumbar support or prefer a leather finish, there’s an office chair to suit every home office.  

7. Take advantage of nooks and crannies 

A home office tucked away under the stairs

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If your office layout features any nooks and crannies, make use of these areas. This is especially important if your space is limited. Fill it with what you can — if you can manage to squeeze your desk in there, it will appear much less prominent, making a small room look bigger.  

8. Add mirrors 

A woman working in her home office next to a mirror

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Mirrors are an easy way to make any space look and feel bigger. Plus, if it’s placed near a window, you can reflect more natural light into your home office too. 

They’re also useful to have if you’re about to go into a virtual meeting and need to quickly check your appearance beforehand. Some desks even come with a mirror surface for an elegant finish, such as this Gasaway Desk ($409, Wayfair). 

9. Switch to white and bright 

A home office which is painted white with a cactus and bicycle next to the desk

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If your home office feels dark and cramped, try changing the color scheme to something lighter. White tones in particular make a room feel airy and spacious. 

If you find white too intense, then opt for tones of cream, ivory or pale grey; the key is to brighten up the room, so you feel fresh and rejuvenated when you enter. Don’t worry about how to clean painted walls either — it’s easy to maintain.  

10. Add a pop of color 

A dark grey themed home office with a yellow chair, lamp and lemons to decorate

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If your home office is a blank canvas, you can add a splash of color to give it some vibrancy. Whether you opt for colorful artwork or perhaps a pink office chair, you can easily drop hints of your chosen color theme around your office to make everything match and give it some personality. 

11. Add a sofa  

A home office with a grey sofa in the background

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It sounds like a waste of space, but if you have the room, then a sofa can really soften the intensity of a home office. It makes it feel more relaxed, homey and informal, plus it can give you somewhere else to sit for virtual meetings. 

In my home office, we opted for a sofa which pulls out as a soda bed for maximum practicality. That way, my home office also acts as a guest room when needed.   

12. Try an accent wall 

A home office in the loft with a green sofa and green accent wall

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If your home office is in your loft and the walls feel like they’re encroaching, then an accent wall could help. By painting or adding wallpaper to one wall, it can act as a focal point and give the illusion of more depth. 

13. Show your personality 

A woman drawing a flower pattern on a chalk board behind her desk

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Don’t forget this is your home office and you, above all, need to feel comfortable in it. So make sure the decoration incorporates your personality, whether you prefer a country-feel or a modern industrial effect, it’s all down to taste. If you’re reflected in your office decor, this will ultimately make you feel more at home.  

Katie Mortram
Homes Editor

Katie looks after everything homes-related, from kitchen appliances to gardening tools. She also covers smart home products too, so is the best point of contact for any household advice! She has tested and reviewed appliances for over 6 years, so she knows what to look for when finding the best. Her favorite thing to test has to be air purifiers, as the information provided and the difference between performances is extensive.