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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Break Room

Designer Tips for a Productive (and Pinterest-Worthy!) Home Office

If you work from home, chances are you’ve gotten sidetracked at some point and started rearranging your closet or binge-watching videos of cute puppies. In other words, you've probably found that, in order to do your best work, you need a dedicated space that allows you to get inspired, get down to business, and get away from any outside distractions.

Need some ideas on how to freshen up your workspace? Below, three fab Homepolish designers share their latest office redesigns and spill their secrets for creating an effortlessly cool, Pinterest-worthy home office without spending a fortune.

A Pet-Friendly PR Pad

Office Designed by Nicolette Taormina-Brand


NYC-based PR professional Kelly wanted a light, airy office that showcased her extensive collection of books and magazines, while also being a pet-friendly retreat for Charlie, her King Charles Spaniel. This light, airy space accomplishes both.

The Designer's Tips

1. Try White

I love shades of white for home offices—light and bright will never go out of style. To keep the look fresh, not boring, incorporate vintage-inspired pieces among your office essentials for a little extra personality.

2. Invest in a Chair

Your number one investment in your home office should be a comfy chair. You'll be sitting down a lot, so it's important to be comfortable (your back will thank you, too).


3. Consider Open Shelving

When it comes to offices, aim for fresh, clean, and organized. I don't mind having things stored out on open shelves, but they have to be neatly stacked and have room to breathe. It's actually more functional that way so you can see everything instead of having to rifle through boxes to find what you need.


Photos courtesy of Charles Aydlett.

A Brooklyn Artist’s Den

Office Designed by Adam Verboys


For this artist's home office in Brooklyn, Verboys wanted to create an inviting, colorful workspace that could also accommodate clients when they came to visit. The addition of a sofa creates a separate seating area, perfect for meetings away from the desk. It also doubles as a sleeper bed for out-of-town guests.

The Designer's Tips

1. Find the Perfect Place for Your Desk

Desk placement is very important! If possible, position your desk in front of a window so you have something to look at when you’re working. If you don’t have a window, a framed print works, too. Try framing a swatch of your favorite fabric or a sheet of wrapping paper for a low-cost option.

2. Can't Paint? Try Accent Walls and Windows

If you're renting and don't want to paint all the walls, consider an accent wall, ideally across from the entrance. Then, add window treatments to make the room feel cozy and inviting. You don't have to spend a fortune: Wayfair, Home Depot, and Target stock excellent, budget-friendly options. Choose a fabric with a small pattern or texture to add depth and visual interest.

3. Banish Clutter by Adding Shelves

If you have high ceilings, make use of them by adding shelves, which helps draw the eye upward. For example, I added shelves above the desk to show off Kim’s awards, photographs, and pottery. I also love to highlight personal awards in offices: It’s a great reminder to stay focused on your goals, so you can wake up each morning and do what you love.


4. Get Creative With Books and Knick Knacks

A great trick is to arrange books by color, and turn them on their side; this will make an overstuffed bookshelf more visually interesting and more organized (at least to the eye). Add found art and architectural elements to your room, which will give instant character and worldly appeal. Aim for a collection that shows your interests and personality as well as your taste!

Home Office

A Space for Sailthru

Office Designed by Danielle Arps


Startup company Sailthru called on Arps to revamp its Tribeca loft into a slick, vintage-industrial space with a fully customized bar and multiple types of workspaces. While this is a company space, not a home office, anyone can take inspiration from the imaginative yet functional office design.

The Designer's Tips

1. Have Fun With Lighting

Generally speaking, lighting is very important. You always want three points of light in any given space. Fixtures that give off ambient lighting are best, like track fixtures or multiple pendants, but having a statement fixture, like this one I created using 100 Edison bulbs, is a great way to impress clients. Definitely a conversation starter!


2. Incorporate Your Company Color

Add your company color in unexpected ways! I opt for subtlety and like to add company colors as accents in unexpected places, like on electrical covers or by adding one blue chair among neutral ones.


3. Get Creative With Storage

Offices need not be so sterile—you're basically in them as much as (or more than) you are anywhere else! To help a space feel comfortable and welcoming, I like to use rustic and industrial vessels to store necessary items for the office, like metal trays and wood crate boxes. For example, at Sailthru, I used vintage wood crates to hold cleaning supplies underneath the kitchen counter.


Photos courtesy of Chellise Michael Photography.