THE ESSENTIALS OF A HOME OFFICE OR STUDY

 

THE ESSENTIALS OF A STUDY OR HOME OFFICE- Tips and examples of what to consider when setting up a home office... and making it attractive!

This week I’m starting to wade through all the “stuff” I have collected in my home office. Everything in my office will be cleaned out. Sold, given away, organized or given a new spot in my home. The office will be painted and wallpapered and styled. The goal is to give my very worn out office a whole new and fresh look!  I’ve already collected and bought the office essentials that I need and they are waiting to be introduced to their new home! Do you have a home office or study? Could it use a little refresh like mine? Even if you don’t need a study update you might find lots of inspiration in this post! Today let’s talk about home office/ study essentials! 

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The most obvious and first thing I think about when creating a study or home office is a great desk! It’s important to think about the ways you will use your home office space like reading, writing and studying. You may also need a desk to work on a computer. If you have laptop computer a smaller desk may suite your needs.

I love this beautiful desk below! It’s a nice piece of furniture without looking too boxy and big. It even has drawers! It would also look fabulous as a table in an entryway or even next to a chair in a family room!

I’m always crushing on furniture that can be used in multiple places in my home and have multiple uses! Versatility! YES!

toulouse-vanity-desk-o

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This is another beautiful desk that has that fine furniture quality! I would love this desk not only in my home office but in my bathroom as a dressing table! If you have a small area or room for a study the glass on this table keeps it from looking visually heavy! And the metal is so on trend right now!

Caldwell+Writing+Desk-Birch Lane

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If you have the room and need more drawers and surface space you might want to consider a desk with multiple drawers and one that has matching bookshelves. A large desk usually takes up lots of space but provides a great place to spread out and work. So if you have a big enough room or area designated as a study or office a large desk might be perfect!

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Finding a chair that works with your desk is a must. It must be comfortable, the right size and allow you to sit at the right height at your desk, feet touching the floor. An attractive chair is nice but here the comfort of a chair is much more important. Thankfully, we can get a chair that fits both looks and comfort!

You might also want to think about a chair on rollers or legs. If you have a desk with drawers and bookcases you might want to think about a chair on rollers!

I’m thinking about this chair for my study. Gorgeous, right?

Modway-Push-Mid-Back-Desk-Chair- Wayfair

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If you’re not doing a lot of moving from place to another in your office you might like a stationary chair. The one below would be a handsome choice for an office space.

I love the look of a regular chair. I think it’s a warmer look for the room. But for me, a swivel chair is much more practical.  

A good solid, comfortable office chair is where I would make an investment especially if I am going to be sitting in a study multiple hours a day. Right now I have regular chair that works great, but I need a chair that is easier on my back! Making an investment on a good office chair pays dividends in comfort and health.

Pottery Barn Tuffted

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Lighting is another important element of a study/office. I am not a fan of overhead lighting in general but especially in a study. Overhead lighting is good to illuminate a room for general visibility, but a study has specific lighting needs. 

A desk or table lamp is a must! Choose a desk light that is not too tall. The bottom lampshade should be eye level or just a little below when you are sitting at your desk. A lamp that has the capacity for a three-way lightbulb will work great as a task light. I tend to like form almost as much as function when it comes to a lamp so an attractive desk lamp is a must!

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Another very important element of a study is a place to put books, binders, and all the other office-y things you need to find a home for. A great place to put those things are on a bookshelf. 

I’m opting for open shelves in the study I’m making over. But with open shelves I need pretty ways to hide and organize all my stuff. I solved that problem with coordinating boxes and other organizational things that coordinate in color! We will talk about the other essentials of an office in another post.

If you have enough room think about choosing a bookshelf with cabinets. The office below is drool worthy! Don’t you love those beautiful bookshelves? And you can see a fabulous way the basket or bunch of baskets could hold a lot of office supplies and look so neat and organized! And the rest could be stashed behind closed doors!

parker home office-pottery barn

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The final item we are going to talk about today is a rug! A rug will add warmth and pull the office area together. I find a rug an essential because it creates a room-like atmosphere and keeps an office/study from looking utilitarian or industrial. 

The best choice for an office is a rug with a very low nap. Also, it’s best to pick a rug that will wear well. You might not think of an office as being a high traffic area but think of how many hours might be spent behind a desk with feet sitting on a rug or desk chairs rolling over it.

One of the best rugs to put in a study is an indoor/outdoor rug. If you have not purchased an indoor/outdoor rug for awhile you are in for a big surprise!!!! The are amazing! I have an indoor/outdoor rug in my dining room and I’m complimented on it often! The new brands of indoor/outdoor rugs are durable, stylish and no one would every know they could be used outdoor. And so many like the one below is so reasonably priced!

Geometric patterns are perfect for a study floor!

Birch-Lane-Cedric-Indoor-Outdoor-Rug

These are the essentials of a study or home office! Work on these items first before adding anything to a study. 

Here are some things to think about when buying home office essentials…

  • size of the office or study space
  • size of the furnishings
  • all the specific uses of the room (study space, work space, project area, relaxing, taking phone calls…)
  • other equipment that must be housed in your study (computers, printer, phone, bookbags…)
  • placement of furnishings
  • how many years you want to use the furnishing before replacing them (this will very much affect how much you should spend for each thing)
  • how you want to organize everything that goes into your office
  • what kind of lighting is best for the use of the office

As I begin to clean out my old home office space and start again, I’ll be showing you my progress. It’s always been a nice extra to have a study/home office of my own but now that I have a business the need for a well appointed office is so important!

  get the look with writting

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You might like to follow me on Pinterest and see what I’m pinning every day HERE.

THE ESSENTIALS OF A STUDY OR HOME OFFICE- Tips and examples of what to consider when setting up a home office... and making it attractive!This post contains affilliate links.

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100 Comments

  1. It’s funny I have been working on my home office for the last two weeks. I need to refresh mine too. The cleaning out has been the hardest part but I am almost done. Now I am looking at the open shelving too but I am going with the cubes. The room is taupe with accents of black. I have a beautiful toile trunk that was my inspiration that I purchased at a store in Wisconsin on a trip to my sisters. It holds all my supplies for my Cricket. Funny what inspires us.

    I look forward to your reveal.

  2. We have a conventional office upstairs which my husband uses when he wants to work from home but I found myself more and more wanting to print from my iPad, usually recipes. I bought an air printer and borrowed an idea from one of the HGTV dream homes. I bought a pretty console table with a bottom shelf and use it for a nightstand in our downstairs master bedroom. The top has ample room for the usual lamp, photos, reading material, even a basket, and the bottom shelf holds the air printer and baskets for printer paper, etc. The printer is practically out of sight but accessible and the paper, etc is neatly corralled in the baskets. I love that solution.

  3. Can’t wait to see what upu so with your office. I am beginning to look for ways to improve my home office area which I also use for sewing. I am hoping I see sone great ideas from your posts.

  4. I like that your study is as pretty as it is functional. Maybe I would go into mine and get some much-needed work done if it were a more inviting room. Thanks for your beautiful ideas!

  5. I don’t have a home office or study, but my husband does. I will have to show him how nice yours looks and maybe he will let me get in there an do some magic. Great ideas.

  6. Wish I had an office! Our house does not have that designated space. I make do with our diningroom table, which we really only use when company comes, and use baskets and and trays to corral all my stuff along with my iPad. I just have to move everything when company comes which actually works for me.

    1. A formal dining room is a great place to use as a study. You might want to think of making it a dual purpose space on a more permanent basis. Installing bookshelves in your dining room would be a good way to keep all your office things in the dining room.

      1. I totally agree, Yvonne. If you only use a dining room a few times a year, it can be such a waste. A successful Canadian designer (Brian Gluckstein) creates dual-purpose dining rooms and many Canadian decor magazines such as “Canadian House & Home” and “Style at Home” show very smart examples from time to time.

  7. Great ideas. I am redoing my office place and trying to decide color to choose, it is a small room and very cheerful with a great window for light. Looking forward to your progress.

  8. You’ve made me take a look at our office. It sure could use an update. Thank you for showing us so many great designs.

  9. Your office pictures and ideas are so inviting, but, like Phyl, our office is my husband’s domain. As difficult as it is, I try to let him take the lead. It’s his comfort zone. After all, he lets me have all the rest of the house.

  10. I do not understand how a desk like your first picture can function well . Where are all the cords? Where are all the endless papers , pencils, tapes, envelopes, bills, tax receipts, etc?

  11. My study is also our guest bedroom and I’ve made t work very well. It’s a fairly large room with a queen size bed and antique dresser on the lower floor of our condo. I have a rather large desk, a not very co fortable desk chair and a wonderful club chair I have in my “reading corner”. I love that my desk sits in front of a large window that allows me to view wetlands and our bird feeders. Such peace among the chaos. My newest addition were wooden crates bought at a craft store. I stacked them two and three high and made a corner unit, using 10 crates total. It works as a night stand with a small lamp and cubbies for all my books, notebooks, etc. it is very “magnolia” looking, functional and very inexpensive.

  12. I too, have been working on a small re-d0 of my office. Since I design and make jewelry, I need a good and well lit work surface. These are all great ideas! I use baskets and canvas bins to hide my supplies too. Thanks for some great ideas and finds! Hope you are healing well.

    Can hardly wait to see your reveal of the updated office!

  13. I have just recently found this site. I am really enjoying all the “tips” and the Spiritual aspects too. Thank you for all you do!

  14. I, too, am looking to redo my home office. Mine will also have a twin bed in it which will create mores challenges. Thanks for the eye candy!

  15. Well, you are really hitting on a lot of things I need to do, am looking at changing or is on my got to do list ! We downsized and moved. I no longer have an office but there is a section in the family room that has an inset that is 8feet long. I will be putting my office there.. BUT I have been looking hard to find furniture that has doors and shuts to no one in the family room can see it (except maybe a few shelves that I can decorate on.) Not having any luck yet. I would like a desk in the center and bookcases flanking each side , kinda like one of your photos above. I’ll just keep looking and looking and looking.. in the mean time my office is all over the place ๐Ÿ™ Good luck with yours !

  16. Your timing is perfect as this is an area I want to spruce up soon! I’d love to see your “before” pictures alongside the “after” pics!

  17. Thanks Yvonne. Such a timely post.

    I’m doing allot of remodeling this year; kitchen, office, windows, new fountain for the patio, painting.

    I’m having several parties this year; bridal shower, old friends reunion and Christmas next year, so I’ll be looking to you for advise, inspiration and practical advice.

    These changes have been on my mind but due to my husband’s health issues and caring for my Mother who had Alzheimer’s disease my plans had to be put on hold. He doing great and my dear Mother passed away. So I’m so excited to get started.

  18. Can’t wait to see your new “space.” I am happy with my home office, but hey – – always looking for improvements, ideas, new ways to organize and love seeing things through other’s eyes! thanks!

  19. Love and needed to see these great inspirational ideas. Our formal living room is my office/craft room – but my oh my it is not very attractive with the mixed match pieces, etc. It has no flow and is extremely outdated. But I have started to purge unused, unnecessary items over the past month. This will be a never-ending on going project that will take me several months, no several years, to finish! ๐Ÿ™‚ But I definitely caught some inspiration and motivation from this post. Thank you.

  20. This post seems to have come at the right time! I will be starting a new job working from home in two weeks. I am making my guest room a combination office & have been having fun getting office stuff while still keeping the room pretty. Can’t wait to see your completed office! I agree with you about the chair, I went with a swivel/roller chair & placed an office chair mat underneath for ease of movement.

  21. Very thoughtful suggestions. I don’t see a place for a scanner and a printer. these are cumbersome and unattractive but necessary to me. and mine must be exposed. I will keep thinking! Thanks. Lucy

  22. and add life! a plant is essential….how on earth are you doing all this from a wheelchair!?! Glad to hear you will be FREE today..if not in a boot…heal well!

  23. Great ideas for inspiration … Wish I could talk my husband into taking out the built in desk in my office . I love all the lightness of them . Can’t wait to see what you do.

  24. I am a new follower so you may have addressed these before. I have a beautiful knife sharpener with a mother of pearl handle that is vintage. It isn’t the type that you pull the knife threw so I don’t know how to use it. Any ideas? Also, I would love to see a post on making the inside of you refrigerator pretty. I want it practical but would love some pretty containers and “a feast for the eyes when I open the door. Thanks, Lisa

  25. Beautiful ideas! I work remoted and converted my dining room to my home office. I love getting ideas for organizing since my office is open. I need to keep everything clean and organized.

  26. Hi Yvonne,

    Thanks for all the great tips! I have a home office and it is a wreck right now. Too much furniture in the small room and very disorganized. It is on my list of rooms to overhaul. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. I took on my office space/craft room at the beginning of the year and I’m thrilled with the results. The biggest impact for me was adding a desk. Still looking for a comfy chair and will probably go with a standard one.

  28. Our home office is a room I’ve been working to address in recent weeks, so what a timely post! Thank you for the great tips, and for showing us where to find some of the beautiful pieces you showcased. It definitely complicates, when the room has to be used for multiple purposes.

    I can’t wait to see yours all done..have fun!

    1. Deb, I know! My office is a dumping ground for everything that does not have a home. But I work in there so manny hours a day and it really bothers me that my office is so messy and worn out!

      I need a nice space to create beauty and be creative.

  29. Comment from my friend Pinky at http://designsbypinky.blogspot.com/

    Can’t wait to see your NEW office. I remember when you posted your office YEARS ago! My “office is this tiny front room and ever since we moved in I have wanted Joe to build me a deck, shelf unit combo. I think I will go buy one!!! In fact, I just measured to see what I can fit. Thanks!!! XOXO

  30. Yvonne, your office will just be lovely once you are finished redoing it. Everything you do and share with us is beautiful. Thanks for all your wonderful ideas!

    Praying that your Doctor visit goes well!

    Blessings!

  31. You’ve motivated the removal of the old computer, the rearrangement of pics under the glass, and the centering of my surprise Christmas computer on my office desk. Thank you. Diney from Camano Island

  32. The issue I have with so many of the really great looking office set-ups is that the desks are way too high for ease of computer use. Those old typewriter extensions were wonderful and then the keyboard trays came along and were also a good answer for someone who spent their career typing and keyboarding and still likes to have a keyboard attached to a laptop. Also, very often the chairs look great, but if you spend much time sitting on them in front of a computer your back will be killing you in no time. I like your pieces and will look forward to seeing your completed office.

  33. I need that sleek office chair from Wayfair in my office at work! My wheel keeps falling off! Can’t want to see your final reveal!

  34. Love the pictures and ideas, but some not as functional and practical as others…..I have a small cream/antiqued desk with two drawers for files and a middle drawer for keyboard (folds up)…..I am loving it as it is in my bedroom and I have a cream colored 6 cubby beside it, which holds printer on top and have baskets and linen bins in cubbies…..now I am looking for something to put on the wall to give me space to hang notes, papers that need immediate attention etc…….maybe part whiteboard and cork or something like that……has anyone an idea where I might find something that would work? Thank you!

  35. Unfortunately, my home office has become a multi use room. It has a Murphy bed for extra guests, my exercise bike for those days I can’t get out, a bookcase to hold my library of books, a file cabinet and desk with chair. I don’t work from home, so I really don’t need a room set aside as an “office”.
    I know your office will be lovely and a joy to work in once your finished with your improvements.

  36. Love this post – well actually I love your blog. Always such great ideas and information. You are an inspiration to me. Oh and I don’t want to forget the recipes – love them too! Thanks for your work – it is appreciated!

  37. How wonderful that you posted this now! I use my dining room and I love your suggestion regarding a bookcase with some natural baskets. Then I can pick up quickly! Your email is the first that I open! Thanks, Yvonne!

  38. When buying a desk for my office,I opted for one
    with file storage on either side to eliminate a file
    cabinet.It has curved legs so there is more of an
    open feel.I also went for a chair on rollers that
    makes moving easier with no marks on the wooden
    floors.My office is small,so making the most of the
    space is a must.Can’t wait to see what you did with
    your space.

  39. My husband and I share an office which is really the parlor in our country farmhouse. Now that we’re both retired I don’t need the office space and my husband does most of his work that he does for a fraternal organization on his laptop. We don’t need a whole room for an office anymore and I want to convert it back to a parlor or sitting room where we can enjoy coffee in the morning and watch the birds. We have also started collecting “inventory” for the room; paint colors, curtains, lighting, etc. Right now I’m in the declutter stage, trying to make furniture pieces in the room work there or elsewhere in our home I’d love to get rid of it all but that’s not practical right now. He still needs some office storage. Unfortunately offices can become clutter collectors? I like all your suggestions. I’d love one of those comfy swivel chairs for my craft room!

  40. Thanks for the inspiration! In my Wee Abode, I don’t have room for a separate ‘office’ space. SO, my bedroom AND my living room work together for this! I am repurposing a 6-drawer dresser into a TV console in me wee living room, and two of the drawers will be holding office items. My soon-to-be storage ottoman will be serving as a desk, when needed. Also, my blue/white bedroom is home to two pretty, large white shelves that serve as my headboard decor. These hold my covered IKEA storage boxes. Some have been spray painted blue, others remain white, and some I will be putting coordinating stickers on (sort of a Kate Spade knock-off). ๐Ÿ™‚ These hold other craft items, etc., that would normally go in an office for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thought these ideas might be helpful for those with a tiny home. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for being such a wonderful blessing!

  41. I love your blog. Your pictures are always so clear and bright. Just wondering if you have a lot of natural light or do you use extra lighting for you photos? Can’t wait to see your new office before and after!

  42. When we downsized to a smaller home, I brought along a wool rug for under our dining area table. It was too big for the space so I sold it and bought an indoor-outdoor rug to replace it. Absolutely love the indoor-outdoor rug because it is so practical & easy to maintain. Ours is a natural color with a black swirl design which blended in with the existing color scheme. Highly recommend indoor-outdoor rugs for indoor use.

  43. That chair that you are considering for your office is BE-U-TE-FULL! Go for it, Girl. If anyone deserves it, it is YOU!!!

  44. Your timing is PERFECT!!! I have to redo the office and make it more mine after the passing of my dear hubby —- more feminine, I think — I was so down, but your post today has lifted me up and now I will get inspired to refresh. Cannot wait to see what you do —-

  45. My husband carved out his space when both my daughters married and left a heavy oak rolltop desk. He is happy. But the room must also work for guests so a trundle daybed also sits in there plus a small leather chair. It works for him perfectly. But when removing the dark dark bedding to switch out the twin mattress top, it’s been void of bedding so I could envision lighter bedding. Ahhh!!! It’s ordered. And reasonable. Yet will give what is seen from the hallway a lighter view. The old bedding wasn’t even a daybed set! He has his small narrow bookcase, his chair where he relaxes, his shredder in the closet and a chair for the desk. He picked out his own lighting that hides under the roll top also hiding his lap top and printer. It works. And the desk does not show until one is fully in the room!!

  46. I agree it is so nice to have a space you work in to be so pretty! Love some of the great pieces you hove featured. Can’t wait to see your office reveal!!

  47. Thank you so much for a wonderful blog, great advice and very practical!!! I’m working on my study now. Filing and organizing and simplifying !!! Love the room!! So cozy!!!

  48. In our office with two desks one for my husband and one for me and we have a dresser that we used as file cabinet. We are planning to work on this room sometime in march. We want to change it to wood floor. Thank you for tip about the indoor-outdoor rug. I will look for one when the times come.

  49. I look so forward to reading your blog and always fine at least one idea or a whole lot of ideas to use in my home. Your inspirational posts are an encouragement and spiritual blessing to me. Thank you for so many good thoughts and ideas in one place.

  50. Great ideas. Personally I don’t like open shelves, so I’m curious to see your storage solutions. I may become a convert.

  51. Thank you for these ideas and inspiration! We don’t have an actual study room or office in my home, but we do have two computer desks (and I still love them) but both could use a little sprucing up. I also have a craft desk with matching shelves and accessories, and am in the process of cleaning and organizing all of my supplies and my desk. My office at work is decorating in Tiffany blue, white and accents of gold. I love a pretty office! If you’re going to be working there, make it a pleasant place to be!

  52. I keep dreaming of my perfect office space… it needs to combine with my sewing work room so it’s a challenge when space is limited. But a fresh start sounds like what I need right about now. Thanks for picking this topic.

  53. What a giant task!! And a most refreshing project as our “office” spaces tend to become stuffing places . Mine is in a spare bedroom and there are times when I just close the door and try to ignore !
    Perhaps this will inspire me…thanks!

  54. Unfortunately my office space is in the basement (unfinished icky basement) or on my laptop wherever my son is playing. Maybe one day I will have a home office space…you’ve given me lots of beautiful inspiration!

  55. So timely for me! My desk has been a thorn in my side ever since we moved. Can never keep it tidy any more, it seems. Aside from needing a new computer, I feel that a different style of desk, and lamp are in order. Love the lamp you featured here, and a few of the desks peeked my interest as well.

    I think paperwork is the crux of my problem, and the bookcases would be a great way to free up the surface area, with beautiful binders or baskets, of course!!

    Now off to brainstorm!

  56. Oh how I wish my office/craft room looked like that!!! It gives me inspiration and motivation to get my room organized and decorated!!

    Thanks!

  57. Hi Yvonne, I enjoyed this post. I have Pottery Barn taste and a thrift store budget! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll look forward to seeing what you do with your “new” space.

    1. I JUST said that out loud to myself not more than a half hour ago when I was at PB drooling all over my keyboard over a coffee table I want so badly it’s keeping me up nights.

      And then you say the same thing at the first post I read after dreaming about that table! LOL! : – )

      You are NOT alone, my friend, not alone at ALL, Marilyn!

  58. I would LOVE to redo my office – I am in it all day every day and it needs help.

    I love all your inspiration pics – they’re heavenly! : – )

    I think the iron and glass “desk” would indeed be an awesome make-up table in a large bath or bedroom!

  59. I am reading this post late, but it has inspired me to finish what I started last year. I cleaned out all the unnecessary papers and stuff. Now I just need to decide on functional furniture and storage needs. Thanks for the motivation.
    Love all the pictures.