With more and more people telecommuting each day – especially in fields such as architecture, professional services and the creative sectors – the home office is becoming a vital area in the household. No longer just a dusty corner or the bedroom or living room, the home office is now a vital part of the household.
How you design your office will depend on the requirement of you job, the way you work, the environment you like working in, and the constraints of budget, style and space. To get you thinking about the possibilities for your home office design, here are 25 of the most unique and beautiful home office setups I've seen:
1. Coloured Light Setup
It's a well-documented fact that different shades of light have a different effect on the brain. For example, blue bulbs keep you awake and alert, while red lights stimulate the imagination. So why not enjoy an office where you can control the type and colour of the light? You can change the light to suit your mood.
2. Surrounded by Inspiration
Graphic designer Ben Mautner loves anything kitsch, bright and fun. His home work station looks more like a grown-up toy store than a desk. Many creatives like to surround themselves with inspiration. Personally, I'd find it difficult to work with all the ephemera spread across my desk, but each to their own.
3. Caution! Genius at work!
This home office is definitely out-of-the-ordinary, and clearly designed with the office-user's personality in mind. Bright camo-print wallpaper is framed with a line of "caution" tape and a selection of personal photographs. This space is bright and invigorating, without being too cluttered.
4. Bus to the Office
If you're feeling handy and can somehow get your hands on an old bus, you too could have a cool office pod like this in the corner of a room. The headlights still work, letting others know when you're "in session" and the windscreen lets you keep an eye on children playing or other happenings around the home.
5. You've Been Steampunked!
Security professional Ed Skoudis has created a truly unique home office for himself, inspired by the steampunk aesthetic – a hybrid of retro-futuristic Victoriana and punk rock culture. Ed's office space is located above his garage and the steampunk fit-out took him six months to complete, including DIYing many of the details. See more amazing images from this steampunk office on The Steampunk Home.
6. Making a Splash
Architect Elizabeth Roberts created this unusual bathroom space on the second-floor of a late-nineteenth century brownstone in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. Designed so you can get a little work done while you're relaxing. Personally, I'm not sure I'd want a desk and printer – even as pretty as these are – in my bathroom. What if you splash water around a lot?
7. Fold-Away Office
This pop-up office is perhaps my favourite design so far. The comfy-looking bench seat fits neatly back into the desk at the end of the day, turning a practical working space into a non-cluttered side unit. The simple design in natural wood takes inspiration from Scandinavian furniture and interiors. A clever idea for apartments and smaller homes, where space is at a premium and style often takes a backseat to function.
8. Futuristic Office Pod
Designed by London-based architecture firm Platform 5 Architects, this futuristic pod office was inspired by a curl of shaved wood (of all things!) The concept was to create an organic shape that sat sympathetically within the home's garden. The office features sustainable design features like skylights and glass walls letting in plenty of light (making it very cheap to run), as well as a standard storage area for garden tools and other bric-a-brac.
9. Blackboard Wall
Do you ever need to make notes for yourself but can't find a spare piece of paper? Do you ever struggle to find those notes again amongst mountains of papers on your desk? Well, this office has a unique solution: A blackboard wall for writing phone numbers, reminders, and daily/weekly tasks. The wall creates a modern focal point and also helps to eliminate clutter from the desk.
10. A Backyard Office
Can't find a space for an office inside your home? Why not transform a neglected corner of the backyard into an invigorating outdoor office. This office, designed by HGTV, includes a Zen garden along one wall for creative contemplation, a rustic wooden desk beneath a shade cloth, and an "expansive" deck outlined in river stones. Whiteboards on the fence offer a magnetic surface to pin papers where they won't blow away. Although this idea may not be practical for all climates, it's definitely an intriguing concept.
11. Let the Outside In
Do you crave natural light while you're working? Well, in this stunning office, you can work among the trees without the danger of birds crapping on your reports. This comfortable, functional office space has everything you need – plenty of desk space, oodles of natural light, and funky Earmes aluminium chairs in a wacky green shade.
12. Blast off!
Looking a little like the bridge from the Starship Enterprise, software developer Stefan Didak's home office features no less than 10 giant monitors, all backlit with coloured LEDs, and a host of associated equipment. It is a tech-geek's office dream. Explore Stefan's site for comprehensive details and diagrams of his office configuration.
13. Light and Airy
This stunning office would be a joy to work in. Light pours in through the high windows at the centre, illuminating a small seating area for client meeting or staff get-togethers. Below this are two chairs flanking the small, rounded step. Every detail has been elegantly executed; creating a design that is both timeless and inviting.
14. … And Here's the Head of a Water Buffalo. Just, You Know, Because.
Could this be anyone else's apart from Ernest Hemingway? The author's offices always featured trophies from the animals he'd killed, as well as souvenirs from his travels and adventures. I love the rustic simplicity of this space – this isn't a space styled for a magazine. It is a space for thought and for action.
15. Lofty Heights
As many workers seek out smaller homes in order to minimise possessions, bills and impact on the environment, home office spaces need to cleverly fit around other aspects of everyday life. In this example, a complex computer setup sits beneath of loft with sleeping space. Lights are rigged along the bottom edge of the bed to make the space usable. A great way to eke maximum useability from a room. Read more about this space (including hardware setup) on Lifehacker.
16. The Sands of Time
Have you ever wished for a beachside office? Well, Massachusetts's art assistant Justin Kemp decided that if he couldn't work by the beach, he would bring the beach to work. So he constructed a sandpit underneath his desk. He calls his office "Surfing with Sand Between My Toes". Unconventional? Yes. Messy? Yes. Awesome? Also, yes.
17. Come Over to the Dark Side
I don't know where this image came from, but it is beautiful. This crisp, modern office in dark tones and natural wood is a trendy, urbanite dream. Space has been cleverly used in this corner space to create desk space and wall storage without sacrificing comfort or style. I could easily see this space as a practical addition to a second lounge or games room.
18. Keep it Tidy
One of my biggest problems in my own home office is storage – or rather, the lack of it. Without a place to stash papers you don't need or tax records for past years, your office can quickly become a mess. This office, designed by Closet & Storage Concepts, incorporates closet-style storage racks into the space, creating a wall of storage that looks modern and stylish.
The home office of chef, food writer and TV personality Nigella Larson looks like a paradise for lovers of books. Double-height bookshelves line the walls, holding volumes on subjects ranging from cookery to classical history and travel. Plants and flowers help to bring the outside in.
20. Relax and Unwind
This cute little office (designed by Anna Carin) has many delightful features, from the tastefully-chosen palette to the soft textures of the fabrics and surfaces. But my favourite detail has got to be this cute window seat, where a creative might sit during a break at the computer and daydream. I couldn't have an office like this, as I'd get too much daydreaming and not enough work done!
21. Bold and Beautiful
The clever use of colour and pattern in this office (designed by Cynthia Mason) create an opulent space that would make anyone working from home feel as if they were employed by the poshest firm in the city. Imagine greeting clients in this room? What a way to make an impression! Use elegant, timeless shapes in warm hues to create an inviting space.
22. Store it Away
Need a space to work in but don't have a room you can dedicate to a home office? Why not convert a cupboard or wardrobe into an office space? With a desk and shelves that can be kept out-of-site and a chair that can be stored away when not in use,
23. More Cupboard Glory
Another variation on the office cupboard idea, this one being more at home in a traditionally-styled or country home. I love the dark wood and the detail on the cabinet, and I assume you could open the cupboards for a space to put your feet.
24. Packed to the Rafters
Doesn't this home office look like a haven of creativity and inspiration? Painting the walls and rafters white elevate the space above the ordinary, giving it a light, airy feeling, like a Zen space. Tall windows letting in natural light and plenty of plants scattered about further enhance this ethereal space. A truly picturesque and unique space.
25. Funky Desk
In a home office there often isn't enough space to incorporate larger, eye-catching art pieces or architectural elements. This clever design utilizes the desk as the focal point of the room, creating an almost sculptural design that also has a utilitarian purpose. The natural wood grain contrasts with the more modern chairs and bright walls to create an interesting, thought-provoking space.
What does your home office space look like? Is it as cool as any of these? If so, share a link to a picture in the comments!