Has a home office ever had more cachet than under quarantine?  With every kind of work now happening under our own roof, a space that enables peak productivity while fostering comfort is literally mission-critical.  We asked three designers their tips on how to make your home office your own, now that it’s more important than ever.

Fiona Leonard of Fiona Leonard Interiors

 “A perfect home office is a pristine one,” says Fiona Leonard, principal, Fiona Leonard Interiors. “Clutter is a visual barrier to productivity and creativity. Clean lines and crisp color are essential.”

Photo by Davidson McCulloh

Leonard’s 5 tips for a home office that’s work-from-home worthy:

KEEP IT SIMPLE – A thoughtfully styled (read: rein in the objets) will draw you in and make work feel like less of a chore.

PUT EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE – A clean desk with thoughtful storage is an absolute must.

STOCK UP – Keep essentials on hand so running out of something doesn’t make you put pause on a project. 

MAKE ROOM FOR FUEL – A snack drawer keeps your fuel close at hand when hunger strikes.

ADD A LUXE TOUCH – An elevated candle provides comfort and ambient fragrance while you work.

ART – A well-framed piece of original art or a custom chalkboard or tackboard provides a focal point for daydreaming and brainstorming, when inspired thinking is in order.

Adrienne D’Agata of Adrienne D’Agata Interiors 

NATURE – Flowers or plants always brings life to a workspace – bringing the outdoors in will also help you feel connected to the world. 

ORGANIZE – Keep your desk clear of clutter.  Store your stapler, pens, paperclips, etc. in a file cabinet below the desk, so you can display pictures of family and the items you love on your desk instead. 

LIGHTING – Make sure your office has plenty of light to cut down on eye strain and headaches. Place the computer monitor so there’s no glare from a window or overhead light, and put a small lamp on the desk for task lighting. Adding a task lamp on your desk helps with productivity. 

 TECHNOLOGY – Hide your technology – Feed the cords through desk grommets and gather your wires and secure them behind the desk so they are not seen. Store your printer in a closet (if you have one) that is convenient to your desk, and connect it wirelessly, so you have less unsightly equipment out.  

COLORS – Use soothing colors that are calming and easy on the eyes. Neutrals like – off-whites, grays, taupes, charcoal, and brown.

FURNISHINGS – Leather task chairs with wheels are best.  They are easier to maintain, help you move around easily, and bring a sophisticated look to a space. If your desk does not have much storage, you can add a small file cabinet underneath for extra storage. 

Photo Above & Right: Danny Pichardo/Danny New York City Photos

Carey Karlan of Last Detail Interiors  

“The wonderful thing about home offices is that they can be “homier” and reflect your personal taste and specific needs,” says Carey Karlan, principal of Last Detail Interiors. “There is no need for a home office to try to mimic one’s business office, it should reflect the aesthetic of the homeowner.” 

Luxe touches such as the reflective wallpaper, silk rug and velvet chair are not what you would typically see in a business office. But, at home, you want it to blend into your house design or be your dream space, she says.

“Comfortable chairs are a must as you will be spending most of your time in it. This is your chance for comfort that suits you (you don’t need a traditional office chair),” she continues. “Try a dining room chair or an accent chair. For reading or writing, no one needs to know you are working in your pj’s from a chaise!”  

Practical conveniences are there, but have a softer edge such as the Serena and Lily bookcase and the chic Room and Board file cabinet that are more home focused. They are practical, yet pretty pieces to contain the clutter. Clutter can be distracting and lead to procrastination because of the need to clean so organization is key. 

“Space is usually a must,” Karlan notes. “I know technology and new devices help eliminate excess papers, but multiple devices, and for those who still like to take notes or print out papers to edit, space really helps.”

Featured Image; Above & Right by Stephane Kossman