A home office once consisted of a pile of folders and a laptop on the dining room table. However, working from home has gained popularity and more people find the idea of escaping the commute, fluorescent lights, and sensible shoes appealing.
Home offices have broadened in their scope and design, becoming an extension of the home. From cool cubbies under the stairs to chilled out lounges or traditional executive wings in the McMansion, we explore five unique home office styles and the desks to match.
Traditional offices consist of heavy executive desks, bookshelves, and cabinetry usually all in dark woods (think oak, cherry, and walnut). These days the flooring is usually hardwood too, with a rug or two to soften things up. Diplomas, artwork and classic metallic task lighting complete the look. It’s the closest home offices tend to get to actual executives offices. It’s not the kind of thing that suits a smaller home or condo but rather a serious spread capable of accommodating large and heavy furniture without feeling claustrophobic.
The Jr. Executive desk (487HOJJED) from Liberty Furniture’s Amelia Collection definitely fits into this mold. It’s elegant and mostly constructed from solid birch using sturdy English dovetail joints. It has a slew of distinctive features which elevate it above a standard wood office desk. It has chamfered (angled) corners, a flip-down keyboard tray, making it ergonomically convenient for both desktop computers and laptops with holes for unsightly wires to drop into.
There are four drawers, all with full extension metal glides, two of which lock. Elegantly bracketed feet lend an air of regalness. Other distinctive touches include the antique brass knob and bail pull hardware, bead molding, framed door fronts with overlays and an antique toffee finish which gives it a rich texture. All these baroque flourishes make this desk suitable for someone who wants to feel like a 19th Century railroad or oil magnate.
The opposite of a traditional office, a modern space is minimalistic with clean lines. Think lacquer finishes, monochrome colors and simple wall art. Lights, too are either likely to be recessed or sleek and metallic. Clutter is definitely not a friend. The adage “clean desk, clean mind” applies here. Going wireless definitely complements this look. Large, ornate rugs are definitely out. Instead, herringbone wood floors and smaller rugs and low, unobtrusive cabinets and bookshelves are in.
A perfect match for this kind of office is Unique Furniture’s 71-inch white lacquer executive desk (586WH). Versatility and functionality are its calling cards. The desk offers plug-n-play options with integrated jacks for a standard grounded plug and USB. These are hidden beneath a retractable writing pad that doubles as a compartment for keyboard and laptop storage. The desk itself is a sleek, eye-catching artistic statement. The aluminum framing and white laminate desktop is the perfect complement to the coolest office spaces. If it’s more your taste, there’s a model available in an espresso finish.
Sometimes having a home office that actually resembles a corporate office isn’t always a bad idea. It’s a safeguard against surfing YouTube for hours on end. By the same token, having something too buttoned up and austere won’t work in a home, so choosing a desk which that has elements of both could fit the bill. Hardwood floors or Berber carpeting, upright leather seating and a fine art print or two keep the vibe businesses-like with soft edges.
This Modrest Highland modern brown oak office desk (VGWCS518) from VIG Furniture certainly has a contemporary corporate look. Conversely, the unique curvature along with the brown bonded leather top adds an informality which wouldn’t be out of place at home. You’ll find it’s a utilitarian piece as well with a convenient electrical outlet on the desktop, three storage drawers, and a recessed space for books, a laptop, or a tablet.
Everyone wants cool things in their home that are unique. One of the best compliments a homeowner can get is when someone exclaims, “I love that! I’ve never seen anything like it.” When choosing eclectic furniture for a home office, though, a fine line needs to be walked. Go too far and you risk giving the wrong impression to people who’ll need to see you as a consummate professional. Remember that you want to be the person who’s fun to work with without seeming like a haphazard eccentric. In a home office, a good idea is to have a few unorthodox pieces that represent your style tempered by some more staid furniture and color schemes.
This mid-century modern desk (DESK1340WAL) from Kardiel combines the warmth of walnut with the contemporary design of stainless steel for a distinctive look. It also has four symmetrical storage drawers with low profile drawer handles. It’s ideal for both a loft or apartment/condo adding a cool sophistication without sacrificing functionality.
A cute country cottage home office typically has smaller, furniture with an antique look that evokes the feeling that one is looking out of a window at a pastoral scene. The color scheme tends to be softer or features delightful floral patterns than a more standard office. It exudes a casual nature that’s a perfect retreat for artists and creatives. A shabby chic, lightly distressed style would also work here. The key is to not over coordinate. There should be a central aesthetic scheme but individual, slightly whimsical accessories wouldn’t be out of place.
Signature Design by Ashley offers a home office storage leg desk (H31926) from their Cross Island Series. This piece perfectly fits the bill for a country cottage home office. It has six convenient drawers with lightly distressed detailing. Moldings and sculpted legs to give it character and warmth. The decorative dark bronze drawer pulls lend a timeless feel. The keyboard tray, however, is a contemporary touch allowing for posture friendly work.