10 ways to…create an attractive home office

A few years ago only the rather grand could lay claim to having a study in their lovely home. Nowadays, I’d bet on it being a scant few who don’t have some sort of home office – whether it’s a console in the living room, or a stolen corner of the bedroom.

Just because you need a work space, though, doesn’t mean you want to abandon all good taste. Here are our favourite ways to make your home office a part of your decor, not an aberration.

1. Keep the desk minimal if you simply need a worktop. Introduce a hulking piece of furniture and it can easily dominate the space. We love this understated office from Cabbages & Roses (above).

2. Create separation – a decorative screen or open shelving will partition off the work area subtly and give you an attractive view.

3. You need to keep paperwork for ages just in case the taxman asks, but there’s nothing to stop you stashing it in something rather lovely against a pretty backdrop such as this Suffolk Rose wallpaper from Cath Kidston

4. Don’t forget the lighting unless you want to end up with a headache. But think stylish floorlamps or retro-style desk lamps that’ll enhance your room.

5. Avoid compromising an existing room layout with a piece too far, and think laterally. The area under the stairs is a great solution, furnished here with the Captain’s desk from Furniture Village

6. There’s nothing to stop you putting patterned cushions on your office chairs when they’re not in use to make it part of a living room with soft furnishings, rather than the corner full of hard lines.

7 Desk accessories from the same palette as the rest of the room mean it’s part of your decorating not a primary plastic nightmare.

8 If you’re used to the buzz of open-plan, it can feel awfully quiet at home. Nestle your iPhone in a curvaceous sound dock for some atmosphere.

9 A burst of colour on a desktop or chair is easy to create with paint and makes plain pieces gorgeous not utilitarian. These exquisite colours are from Crown Paints.

10 Be crafty by making your own fabric-covered noticeboard. Follow the rule, though. Use something that continues the rest of the room’s style and colourways.

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Sarah Warwick, Guest Editor

View all posts by Sarah Warwick, Guest Editor