Decorating For Work: Crafting Your Ideal Home Office

Can the workspace of your dreams exist within the boundaries of your home? Home office décor has acquired an all-new relevance in a world that is recalibrating its equation with work. In the millennial lifestyle, work cohabits with leisure, and the idea of maintaining a dedicated space for each is slowly but steadily dissolving. A new typology of workspace has emerged as a result – one that is quickly finding a place in our understanding of ‘home’.

Crafting the ideal home office requires a fair degree of attention to detail. There are functional requirements to be met – ergonomics, storage, lighting and the like. There are also constraints of space and setting that often force workstations to room up with sofas, beds or dining sets. And then there is the matter of aspirations. Those of us looking for home office décor ideas are in pursuit of spaces that celebrate the work we do, or at the very least, remind us that a lovely setting can make the daily grind easier to get through.

So how do you address these diverse needs and create a contemporary workspace within your home? The following pointers should get you off to a good start.

Keep it minimal

Minimalism is very much in vogue right now, but its applications in workspace décor go beyond design trends. Clean lines, neutral colours and the absence of clutter are the building blocks of a distraction-free zone, which is what a home office needs to be. There is an irresistible charm in simple home office furniture that serves as a quiet backdrop for the work you do. The minimal look is also among the easiest to execute when you are on a budget, or when you need to carve out a working area in a relatively compact room.

A caveat about the minimal look is that it carries the risk of getting too austere or bland. To retain a sense of depth, complement your minimal workspace with natural textures. A woven rug, a potted plant, or a piece of textured artwork will keep things interesting without taking away from the pared-back look of your home office. A smidgen of colour in an otherwise white or neutral setting can also produce a similar effect.

Embrace abundance

If minimalism doesn’t quite gel with your aesthetic preference, the other end of the spectrum offers an interesting alternative. Call it bohemian, free-spirited or eclectic, the home office that rejects rules can be a great incubator for your creative pursuits. The idea is simple – gather up elements that you love best into a heady collage of form, colour, style and texture. This genre of workspace has ‘home’ written all over it. It makes room for memorabilia, photographs, vibrant furniture and quirky lighting fixtures. Do bear in mind, though, that even the most free-spirited workspaces are built on a foundation of order. Organise your storage, lighting and basic ergonomics before embarking on your eclectic explorations.

Stylise your storage

If your home office is a bit heavy on its storage needs, opt for robust storage solutions that double up as design elements. Rows of open shelves are a popular choice in contemporary homes. They take clutter off your desk, and allow you to create interesting visual compositions using stationery, files, houseplants, books, souvenirs, and anything else that can contribute to your mise en scène of work and play. Rearrange these objects all year round, or give your shelves a new colour whenever your home office needs a facelift.

Leave room for inspiration

Be it a dedicated study or just a corner of your bedroom, a good workspace needs a point of interest – something your eyes can linger on as you ideate or plan ahead. A large window with a lush view is perfect for the job, but there are other alternatives if you don’t have that luxury. Bring the outdoors in by setting up a few potted plants in an empty corner. Create a gallery wall using your favourite style of artwork. Or fill up a bookcase or storage unit with accents in a variety of patterns and finishes. Ultimately, it is elements that resonate with your personal sense of style that will inspire you to do your best work.