IN PICS | 10 home offices packed with smart design ideas to steal

Whether your home office takes up an entire room or is just a corner in a shared living space, here's all the inspiration you need to make it practical and inviting

16 August 2020 - 00:01 By Vicki Sleet/Bureaux
10 home offices to love.
10 home offices to love.
Image: Greg Cox and Warren Heath via Bureaux

Whether you have plans to set up shop in a styled-up Mad Men-inspired office or need to carve out a corner of a room to call your own, these designer ideas for your desktop, practical ideas to keep things neat and tidy, and slick solutions for even the smallest office spaces will keep you motivated.

1. WORK SMARTS

More and more we're embracing the fact that a high-functioning home office area doesn't need to be huge. All that's needed is an area you can call your own, space to think and sometimes a chance to shut out the world for a while — thank you, noise-cancelling earphones.

The Anglepoise lamp is a striking and timeless focal point for this stylish corner workspace.
The Anglepoise lamp is a striking and timeless focal point for this stylish corner workspace.
Image: Bureaux

DESIGN NOTES:

  • A corner of a bedroom or living room can easily be converted into a discreet spot for work - and one that doesn't have to interfere with your preferred aesthetic. The sleek desk doesn't skimp on storage but together with the chair ensures high design standards are met.
  • Here, the monochrome palette and the addition of plants as living accessories completes the tasteful, utterly liveable picture

2. SPACE MAKER

This tiny corner has been transformed into a hardworking work-from-home zone with enough space for a laptop, stationery, filing and reference essentials.

A wall-mounted unit provides ample storage space while the metallic touches along with the hand-woven chair and sheepskin cover bring in just the right amount of laid-back luxury.

A glass top elevates the little table into an elegant piece - the touch of sophistication means that it could live as comfortably in the corner of a bedroom or a sunny spot of a living room, too.
A glass top elevates the little table into an elegant piece - the touch of sophistication means that it could live as comfortably in the corner of a bedroom or a sunny spot of a living room, too.
Image: Bureaux

DESIGN NOTES:

  • The simple palette of all-white and wood is an uncomplicated choice for a small space.
  • Keep clutter at bay by accessorising with co-ordinating containers.
  • The shelving unit works hard but is anything but corporate.

3. CONTEMPORARY CLASSIC

Charcoal grey walls and a glass-fronted cabinet lined with collectables and memorabilia are a striking focal point in this smart office space that embraces classic and contemporary style perfectly.

By placing the desk on a rug of its own and away from the wall, an immediate sense of drama and gravitas is created.
By placing the desk on a rug of its own and away from the wall, an immediate sense of drama and gravitas is created.
Image: Bureaux

DESIGN NOTES:

  • The glass tabletop and no-nonsense trestle legs help this home office to embrace modernity while the patchwork Persian and hand-carved chair pay homage to the past.
  • Exotic collectables dotted around the room are a fascinating decorative detail and invite conversation.

4. WORK + PLAY

A contemporary shared office space evokes a private gentleman's club atmosphere - with none of the snobbery and all of the style cred. Raw timber floorboards, a graphic Persian rug in unconventional brights and a gallery wall featuring a mix of classical and more modern landscapes tell the tale of its owners who make their own interior rules.

When marrying old decor details with new, do it with bravery. The secret to the success of this room is the tongue-in-cheek old school narrative propped up with details like the worn desk chairs, a vintage globe and a vase full of billiard balls.
When marrying old decor details with new, do it with bravery. The secret to the success of this room is the tongue-in-cheek old school narrative propped up with details like the worn desk chairs, a vintage globe and a vase full of billiard balls.
Image: Bureaux

DESIGN NOTES:

  • Love the look? Use vintage finds like wooden tennis rackets to emulate a tongue-in-cheek sports club atmosphere.
  • Plywood shelves were used to build the no-nonsense shelves in this private library-like space. An antique Cape refectory table was stripped of its traditional glossy varnish and given a matt finish instead - bringing it straight into the 21st century.

5. CORNER OFFICE

How to transform a formerly nondescript corner into something seriously impressive? Paint or paper the background in a dramatic colour or print!

This teeny space oozes urban smarts and designer appeal.

If you're going to be spending hours at your desk, make sure you invest in the best chair you can afford - while good looks are great, you want something that will support your spine while you're burning the midnight oil.
If you're going to be spending hours at your desk, make sure you invest in the best chair you can afford - while good looks are great, you want something that will support your spine while you're burning the midnight oil.
Image: Bureaux

DESIGN NOTES:

  • Simplicity is key to the success of this small yet sorted desktop empire. Simple wooden shelves are suspended on black brackets while the shiny stone top is a sophisticated and elegant touch.
  • Playful tchotchkes and flashes of metallic are the undeniable marks of a creative mind at work.

6. ALL LINED UP

Two tables of the same height are lined up to form an impressive desktop in this eclectic creative studio. The large room is dotted with furniture and decor items that command attention - from the oversized table lamp to mid-century leather chairs.

The dark paint detail of the wall of shelves helps pull this office look together, creating a sense of intimacy and calm.
The dark paint detail of the wall of shelves helps pull this office look together, creating a sense of intimacy and calm.
Image: Bureaux

DESIGN NOTES:

  • Creative resources are made easily available in this contemporary library wall where books and design magazines are stacked in artful piles to form an essential part of the narrative.
  • A sense of order and organisation is made clear thanks to the customised shelving wall and visual cues like the shutters that mirror the multiple linear details in the space.

7. WORK POD

This compact sleep-work-play unit has a place for everything and everything has its place. A bracketing system with units that slide up and down to form seating or act as storage is at the heart of the design.

A good cabinetmaker can easily build a unit with a foldaway or slide-out countertop that can be pulled or folded out when needed.
A good cabinetmaker can easily build a unit with a foldaway or slide-out countertop that can be pulled or folded out when needed.
Image: Bureaux

DESIGN NOTES:

  • The laptop bureau has a folding front that acts as a perfect countertop.
  • Tiny homes are here to stay and their success comes down to careful (and hardworking) design and aesthetic considerations. The same philosophies of less-is-more can be applied to working from home.

8. YOUNG AT HEART

This ultra cool pad could suit the needs of everyone from teen to guitar-toting dad. The utilitarian plywood wall detail is a pragmatic, no-frills choice that ticks the on-trend box while dramatic black details are simple yet strong.

The animal hide rug and Scandi chair are a retro-inspired yet thoroughly modern duo.
The animal hide rug and Scandi chair are a retro-inspired yet thoroughly modern duo.
Image: Bureaux

9. CREATIVELY CURATED

Cape Town stylist Shelley Street combines her love for a monochromatic colour palette and found natural objects in her work-from-home studio. Form and function are perfect partners in this space that can double up as a shoot location at any time.

DESIGN NOTES:

  • This home office embraces practical must-haves and marries them with trendy touches like hexagonal cork tiles for real-life Pinterest moments.
  • The wall-mounted rack is an efficient solution to avoid clutter and the trio of treasured guitars become an eye-catching design feature of their own.
Here, a chunky table with hand turned legs is given a lick of black paint and teamed with an Eames office chair – it’s a playful and charming combination.
Here, a chunky table with hand turned legs is given a lick of black paint and teamed with an Eames office chair – it’s a playful and charming combination.
Image: Bureaux

DESIGN NOTES:

  • Floating shelves are ideal for aesthetes who love to play with their favourite pieces and discoveries - no need for nails! Simply lean prints against the wall and group finds together as you please.
  • The simple palette is the perfect canvas for seasonal changes – a textured rug in the winter or blossoms in the spring are just two easy ways to change the mood in a flash.

10. GALLERY SHOW

A lifelong collection of much loved art exhibition posters is elevated to gallery status in this retro-fabulous home office and studio.

Continuity is key when showcasing a collection. Here, cohesiveness is created by framing each and every poster in the simplest wood surround.
Continuity is key when showcasing a collection. Here, cohesiveness is created by framing each and every poster in the simplest wood surround.
Image: Bureaux

DESIGN NOTES:

  • A pinboard crammed with tourist stand and museum shop postcards becomes an art installation of its own.
  • The steel legged and glass topped desk is a functional choice that embraces this Mid Century modern aesthetic perfectly.

Photos: Greg Cox and Warren Heath via Bureaux.