Fed up with your makeshift workspace on the dining room table? Or maybe that corner desk isn’t sparking joy or productivity like it used to? Whether you’ve just bought a home in Sarasota, FL, and are designing your first home office from a clean slate, or you’ve been working in the same office since the early days of the pandemic after moving to Katy, TX, and never truly made it your own, now is the perfect time to make a change. If your home office is due for an upgrade, you’re in the right place.
We’ve gathered insider advice from experts to help you create a space that isn’t just about function—it’s about comfort and personal style too. Get ready to take notes on this Redfin article as we delve into color theory, ergonomics, strategic placement, and even the art of decluttering. These expert-approved tips and tricks will guide you in designing a home office that’s not just practical but also a space you’ll love to work in. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and start creating your dream workspace.
1. Revamp your home workspace by reflecting on past experiences
“Think back to workspaces you’ve either worked in or visited in person and use them as a planning tool,” recommends The Order Expert. “What did you find unappealing about the layout, surroundings, environment, lighting, or furniture? Once you’ve identified these characteristics, you can flip things around to your personal tastes and preferences. For instance, if you find cool lighting too harsh, you may want to choose warm lighting in your home office.”
2. Practical tips and accessories that will help you master the art of focus
“A visible sign to let your housemates know you are in the focus zone or doing deep work is crucial. Use a door hanger to indicate that you can’t be interrupted,” recommends Marcey Rader. “Remember, you can’t be in focus mode all day. Take down the sign when you’re doing lighter work.
Standing signifies ‘work,’ while sitting suggests ‘leisure.’ Invest in a standing desk and alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day to prevent glute amnesia and optimize your focus. An essential accessory for standing is an anti-fatigue mat.
Consider getting a whiteboard to list your top priorities for the day. Opt for a double-sided rolling whiteboard that you can easily move around and put away, or use whiteboard decals cut to size without leaving holes in your wall.”
3. Incorporate color to enhance mood and productivity
“When it comes to designing a home office to boost your productivity, use color as a tool to set the atmosphere for your ideal workday,” suggests Simplish. “Colors are coded with unconscious messages and have a proven impact on your mood, indirectly influencing your actions throughout the day.”
“Color theory and the strategic use of color play a crucial role in creating an environment that fosters focus and enhances productivity. For example, cool blues and greens can promote a sense of calmness and concentration, while pops of energizing colors like yellow or red can stimulate creativity and motivation,” says Interior Designer. “By harnessing the power of color, we can customize a home office to provide personalized inspiration.”
4. Avoid built-in desks in your home office setup
“Avoid built-in desks as they are often difficult to modify and can be ergonomically unsound,” urges Dr. Scott Leaderman from Ergonomics Doc. “This is especially important when sharing a desk with someone, as even a slight difference in height can significantly impact ergonomics and comfort. Consulting an ergonomic specialist to help find the perfect desk is an excellent way to ensure your workstation is comfortable and efficient.”
5. Add in some personalized art and photos
“Enhance the ambiance with art and meaningful photos on the walls. Adding splashes of color throughout the room can create an inviting atmosphere. Opt for artwork that incorporates colors other than blue and white, as the goal is to surround yourself with hues that differ from the blue tones emitted by computer screens,” recommends Dr. Leaderman.
6. Make your home office set up in a strategic location
“Location matters. Choose a quiet area of your home with minimal distractions for your home office. Ideally, the space should have ample natural light, good ventilation, and most importantly, avoid placing your desk facing East or West. Direct sunlight while working can intensify eye fatigue,” says Dr. Leaderman.
7. Embrace minimalism in your desk setup
“Our desks often succumb to clutter, which studies reveal increases cortisol (the stress hormone) and hampers focus. Thus, a minimalist desk proves highly effective. A minimalist desk consists of essentials: computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, notepad, writing utensils, and a beverage,” says Alexis Haselberger, a personal coach for time management, productivity and stress-reduction.
“While other desk items may be necessary, keeping them in drawers, cabinets, or boxes promotes better concentration, ultimately saving time in the long run. Moreover, when envisioning an ideal home workspace, incorporating multiple seating areas adds variety and boosts productivity. Assigning different tasks to different areas adds a refreshing change of scenery. While a desk serves well for most work, having a cozy couch or soft chair offers a pleasant alternative. For instance, I find my creativity flourishes on a couch, whereas I revert to my desk when I require multiple monitors.”
8. Strive for a balance between aesthetics appeal and functional efficiency
“In my dream workspace, I would have a clean-lined, spacious desk with impeccable wire management. Wires hanging off my desk would be the last thing I want to see in this serene setting. My office must feature two chairs positioned in the front and back of the desk to accommodate guests. A snappy leather swivel chair on casters becomes a necessity for easy mobility and quick access to my file drawers,” shares Sarasota Chic Interiors.
“In addition to the desk, a complementary credenza equipped with file drawers and storage for photo albums adds to the functionality and aesthetics of the space. To display accessories and showcase my collection of books, a free-floating tall bookcase with LED lighting becomes a focal point. A plush area rug with accent colors would grace the floor, providing a soft surface for my bare feet while ensuring it remains thin enough for effortless movement of my swivel caster chair.
To enhance the ambiance, I envision large-scale wall art on one side and a decent-sized TV on another, serving both as an entertainment source and a multipurpose monitor. Recognizing the importance of lighting, I recommend incorporating an LED desk light for focused illumination and a stylish chandelier that not only adds visual appeal but also provides extra brightness.
In terms of accessories, consider adding a leather pencil holder, a desk blotter, a paperweight, a magnifier with a letter opener, and lastly, Alexa to play your favorite tunes, adding a touch of convenience and personalization to your home office experience.”
9. Incorporate relaxing elements into your home office design
“The foremost consideration in designing your home workspace is to ensure it reflects your unique personality and exudes a sense of relaxation. Since you are the sole occupant of this space, it should be a comforting and inviting extension of yourself,” recommends Zachary Luke Designs.
“Opting for light-colored walls, positioning your desk to face the window, and placing a cozy rug beneath your feet are excellent choices, in my opinion. Complete the ambiance by adorning the walls with art, as gazing at blank walls all day is hardly inspiring. Embrace the opportunity to personalize your space, making it a true reflection of your identity and an environment that encourages productivity and enjoyment.”
10. Eliminate distraction and clutter
“Good design starts with removing all that does not support it. Both productivity and comfort in your home office stem from the elimination of distractions and excess,” says SJ Sallinger Designs. “Begin by discarding unnecessary paperwork and disposing of old electronics. Let go of furniture and items that occupy valuable space without contributing to your success.”