Tips to create a functional, stylish office

Creating the perfect home office is easier than you may think. I know we can all be overwhelmed the thought of creating a space that is both stylish and extremely functional. I am in the process of redoing my own office and think these simple tips can help anyone get through the process.

Tip One: Define the purpose

Take the time to think through exactly what the room needs to be used for. Is it only an office or does it serve as a dual purpose space? Mine serves the purpose of both office and guest bedroom. Is the space just to house a computer for email and online shopping or do you work from home?

Tip Two: Plan for organization

A functional office must be organized but organization doesn’t just happen organically. Plan the entire office to maximize your ability to get organized. I am sure there is a “standard” out there somewhere but I always say plan for 25% more than you currently have.  When creating the new space, purge anything you have not used in the last 6 months and don’t foresee using in the next 30 days. Then evaluate what you need to store. This includes thinking about the types of storage you need as well as anything you know you need to add.

Tip Three: Shop smart

It is easy to completely blow the budget when redoing your office. Furniture, supplies, and storage containers add up quick so start with a clear plan. Use paper and scissors to map out a floor plan of your furniture and decide before ever leaving the house exactly what furniture pieces you are shopping for and know the measurements they need to be to optimize the space. Shop for versatile storage that meets your current storage needs but also adapts easily as your needs change.

Tip Four: Shop for style

Form and function are not mutually exclusive. If you don’t see stylish office pieces where you are shopping, then you are shopping in the wrong places.  Great office furniture can be found at a variety of places but one of my favorites is IKEA. The variety and selection of office furniture and storage pieces at reasonable prices cannot be beat. Plus, many of their office collections are modular so you can add to them later if necessary. Also, don’t forget to check out antique and vintage stores. I got the most amazing midcentury letter trays, pencil cups, and banker’s organizer at a little antique mall.

Creating a stylish office includes hiding all the cords. There are so many great cable management systems out there so don’t forget to shop for one that is right for your needs. Think about it, you never see great office spaces with cords hanging around.

Tip Five: Don’t forget the Accessories

It is an office not a tomb. Bring the space to life by adding the same personal touches that you would add to any other part of your home. Pick items you love. After all, we all know working at home can be a challenge.  Making the space feel more like home definitely helps with motivation.

Lighting is just as important in the office as it is in any part of the house. Task, ambient, accent, and decorative light is essential to make any space work, much less a space in which you want to work!

Tip Six: Pull it all together

If you plan it out, putting the space together should be really quick and easy but if you have lots to put away, then it may take a while. The key is to keep going. Don’t stop until you are finished. There is nothing worse than putting in the time and effort to plan the space then not follow through with the execution.

6 thoughts on “Tips to create a functional, stylish office

  1. This is a perfect article for me at the perfect time. As a full-time student & free lance graphic designer, my home office is SO not working for me and I’m planning a huge fix up during my break in August. This is really going to help me figure out how to make the best use of the small space I have.

  2. Jeff. I am glad my tips might help you. Make sure you take the time to purge The home office is notoriously stuffed with things we don’t really need!

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