The Complete Guide to Home Office Design

Sep 6, 2019

Special Occasions

As of 2018, 3.9 million Americans worked from home at least half the week. With so many people working remotely, home office design and functionality is more important than ever. This guide to home office design covers everything from how to choose the right desk to how to decorate your home office to keep yourself happy and productive.

How to Choose the Right Desk for your Home Office

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a desk for your home office, including everything from the size and style of the desk to the storage capabilities.

Desk Size

The size of the desk is one of the most important factors when considering a desk. You’ll need to consider the size and shape of the room, as well as the kinds of tasks you’ll be completing at your desk.

Consider the Size & Shape of Your Home Office

First, consider the size and shape of your home office. If you have small home office, for example, you might want to choose a narrower desk with a hutch that takes advantage of vertical space. If the room is quite large, you might want to choose a larger desk, so the desk isn’t dwarfed by the space. You also need to consider what other furniture you’ll need in your home office. If, for example, you’ll need lots of filing cabinets and bookshelves, you’ll want to make sure the size of the desk accommodates these other needs.

Consider What Type of Work You’ll Be Doing

You’ll also want to consider the type of work you’ll be doing at your desk. You’ll have different desk needs if you’re doing mostly computer work than you will if your job requires reading through lots of printed documents. If your job requires lots of paperwork, you may want to choose a long executive desk with plenty of space to spread out documents. If you’ll be doing mostly computer work on a small laptop, it might make sense to choose a minimalist writing desk.

Desk Type & Style

Your home office should be a reflect you, which means you’ll want to choose a desk that fits your unique design style. Different types of desks have different looks and feels, and some types function better for different styles of work. Here’s some basic desk types to consider during your search.

Executive Desk

(Pictured Above: Weston 66-inch Executive Desk)

Executive desks feature a work surface supported by two pedestals. They tend to be wider and deeper than other types of desks, and they often have ample drawer storage, including file cabinets. Many executive desks come with an optional hutch, which takes advantage of vertical office space with additional storage cabinets and shelves over the desk itself. Executive desks tend to work well for people who need a larger work surface with ample storage space, and in general, many executive desks are designed in the traditional furniture style.

Writing Desk

(Pictured Above: Trisha Yearwood Writing Desk)

Also known as a leg desk, a writing desk contains a work surface and narrow table legs. Writing desks frequently contain one or two shallow pencil drawers underneath the desk surface for limited storage space. If you tend to work within a notebook or on a laptop, writing desks can fill all of your needs without taking up a lot of space, making them perfect for smaller offices. While writing desks come in a variety of interior design styles, their minimalist nature does lend itself well to modern contemporary and casual design styles.

Sit Stand Desk

Magnolia Manor Standing Desk

(Pictured Above: Magnolia Manor Lift Top Writing Desk)

Sit stand desks allow for work at your desk from either a sitting or standing position. These adjustable height desks can convert from a sitting to standing position through a manual crank, automatic motor, or through a lift top mechanism that raises the desk to a higher position. Like writing desks, sit stand desks typically have a shallow pencil drawer or no drawers at all, so you’ll need alternative storage solutions if you end up choosing this type of desk. As we learn more about the dangers of sitting for extended periods of time, sit stand desks are becoming an increasingly popular, versatile, and ergonomic option. They can also be great for people who struggle with chronic back and neck issues.

How to Choose the Right Chair for your Home Office

When choosing an office chair, comfort should be your number one concern, especially if you tend to be in the chair for the majority of the day. While style is important, as you want your home office to reflect your interior design style, the bottom line is that office chairs can affect your health, as well as your ability to focus and be productive for long periods of time.

Office Chair Features

When it comes down to it, an office chair should provide a comfortable place to effectively complete your work, which means you need to consider two important questions when choosing an office chair: does it allow me to complete my work and does it keep me comfortable throughout the work day. These ergonomic office chair features may or may not be right for you.

Swivel Base

Many office chairs have a swivel base, which enables you to move without twisting your back. With a swivel base, you can move freely between storage cabinets and desk drawers, making you more efficient, especially if you have a job where you need to reach for different paperwork throughout the day.

Adjustable Armrests

Office chairs with adjustable armrests provide versatility and customization, which can be incredibly beneficial. In fact, adjustable armrests can take away strain from your upper spine and shoulder, forcing you into good posture. The better your posture throughout the day, the better your back and neck will feel in the long-term.

Adjustable Height

Having an office chair with an adjustable height can be great, especially if multiple people will be using the same chair. Not only can you adjust the height of the chair to accommodate the desk, but you can also adjust the height to better accommodate the length of your legs. In general, the more customizable the chair, the more comfort you’ll find, as you can carefully choose what works best for you, your body, and your work habits.

Office Chair Materials

Office chairs can be made from a variety of materials, and you may find certain materials better suited to your needs. Leather upholstery office chairs, for example, provide comfort, sophistication, and durability, though they do tend to be on the more expensive side. Consider the comfort level of the seat cushion as well as the upholstery when choosing an office chair, as both will contribute to your general comfort throughout the day.

How to Choose the Right Office Storage

From file cabinets and bookcases to credenzas and hutches, choosing the right storage solutions for your home office can keep your space looking stylish and clutter-free while also keeping you and organized and productive.

File Cabinets

(Pictured Above: Tynecastle Lateral File Cabinet)

Many people have jobs where there’s a great deal of paperwork to organize. File cabinets are the best way to organize and store important documents and having them in your home office can keep you from having to make special trips to find what you need.


(Pictured Above: Prossimo Horizontal Bookcase)

Bookcases can be a great addition to a home office, especially if you have to reference different books for your job. They can also be used to decorate your home office, as you can use some shelves to display trinkets, plants, or pictures. If reading is a big part of your job, creating a reading nook in your home office could help the space more comfortable, stylish, and productive. Plus, having books in a home office gives it a studious, professional feel.

Credenzas & Hutches

(Pictured Above: Prossimo Matera Credenza & Hutch)

If you have the space in your home office, adding a credenza and hutch can increase your storage space, help fill the room, and provide visual interest and layering to your home office. Because they come in such a wide variety of shapes and sizes, you can find the one that best works for your needs. Whether you’re looking for extra cabinet space, drawer space, or display space, a credenza and hutch can help take your home office to the next level.

How to Decorate Your Home Office

Once you’ve chosen the home office essentials: your desk, office chair, and storage solutions, it’s time to start decorating your home office. These home office ideas can help you create a space that’s functional, stylish, and professional.

Pay Attention to Lighting

Staring at a screen all day can be hard on your eyes, as can trying to read small print on documents and in books. When decorating your home office, be sure to incorporate different lighting options to make sure your room is bright and inviting. While floor lamps can add light through the room, having a desk lamp can be incredibly helpful, as you can easily turn it on and off to suit your current needs.

Utilize Wall Art

You may not realize it but having bare walls can affect your mood and creativity, especially in a home office. Personalize your walls with bright wall art and prints that fit your particular style. Not only will make it the room feel more like you, but it will give you something beautiful to look at in between tasks. You can also use your own pictures and picture frames to decorate the walls, which is a great way to keep your loved ones close while you’re away from them during work hours.

Create Extra Seating

Sitting in an office chair all day can be hard on your back, so if you have space in your office for alternate seating, make sure to take advantage. Whether it’s a loveseat, sofa, accent chair, or chaise, having a comfortable spot to retreat to during the day can make all the difference. When planning out your day, consider tasks that can be done away from your desk chair and incorporate this extra seating into your daily routine.

Anchor the Room with a Rug

In home office design, area rugs can anchor a room, add warmth and color, and help layer a room's decor. If you have a large office or distinct spaces within the office, such as a reading nook and or bedroom area, a rug can help distinguish the different areas and make them more visually distinct.

Combine Your Spaces

Short on space? An office guest room layout can combine a home office with a guest bedroom so you can meet both needs at the same time. If you’re combining a home office and guest bedroom, be sure to practice space-saving techniques like utilizing a sleeper sofa and taking advantage of vertical space so your room doesn’t feel cramped and overcrowded with furniture.

Looking for home office inspiration? Our interior design experts can help. Visit a Star Furniture store in Houston, Bryan, San Antonio, Cypress, Sugarland, or Austin where we carry a wide range of home office furniture options. The best part? If you visit a Star Furniture & Mattress store, you can take advantage of our complimentary interior design services. Let us help you design the home office of your dreams!