Whether you’re starting a side hustle, work remotely, or just need a place to pay bills and do some online shopping, having a small home office can make all the difference in your sanity and productivity. The tricky part is designing a space that’s practical, motivating and comfortable all at the same time. 

But with some ingenuity and thoughtful planning, you can create an organized, chic nook that will inspire you to make a beeline for your desk every morning. The key is ensuring it complements the rest of your home, minimizes clutter, and conveys a bit of what makes you, well, you.

With that in mind, here are some home office decor ideas that will help you live and work harmoniously. 

1. Get creative.

Most of us don’t have an extra room lying around to turn into an office. Thankfully, you don’t need one — there are plenty of ways to carve out a workspace without giving up your guest bedroom. Awkward area under the stairs? Office. Unused corner in the living room? Office. Coat closet that isn’t ever actually used for coats? Office. You get the idea. Identify that nook or cranny that isn’t being used, then keep things simple with a minimal or wall-mounted desk. 

2. Use stylish containers to keep clutter in check. 

There’s no bigger productivity buzzkill than clutter. Maintaining a clean desk is essential for keeping your mind clear and focused. While you could tame your mess with standard-issue file cabinets and plastic organizers, there’s a better home office decor idea: beautiful baskets and catch-alls that are both functional and nice to look at. Choose a texture — marbled soapstone, wool and leather, raffia — that reflects the style of the rest of your home and use the pretty container to corral cords, paper, pens and other odds-and-ends.

3. Soften it up with texture. 

Home office decor doesn’t have to be austere. Inject some coziness in the form of pillows, throws and rugs. If your desk chair is ho-hum (or just not built for long stretches of sitting), a throw pillow or cushion in a luxe fabric (alpaca, leather, silk, Tibetan fur) will add instant comfort, color and glamour to your tiny space. Textured blankets made of linen or alpaca are also a great way to create a warm, inviting cubby.

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4. Set the right mood. 

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Casual setup #whitecultural

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Scented candles and incense are usually a no-go in an open office, since everyone has different preferences and sensitivities. But when you WFH, you can create the exact vibe that makes you most efficient. Chill out with the woodsy smells of nature or get energized by uplifting orange-blossom. Bonus: A high-glam cylinder or ceramic vessel can also double as home office decor (and a pen holder once the wax is used up).

5. Add personal touches.

In a cubicle, the most “decorating” you usually do is hang up a free calendar you got in the mail or a photo of your dog. But home office decor should reflect your personality and make you want to hang out for a while. By elevating your small space with sophisticated home accents like marble bookends, woven planters, cool coasters and modern desk accessories, you’ll be much less likely to stay in bed all day. 

6. Don’t neglect your walls. 

Even if your small home office is in a closet or squeezed into a corner, installing a gallery wall or hanging a framed print above your desk will help it feel more thoughtful and finished — not to mention give you something inspiring to look at every time your eyes start to wander away from your laptop.

Photo by Elsa Noblet on Unsplash

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