Create the Perfect Contemporary Home Office

home office

A home office is becoming increasingly important. The western world’s economy has been shifting more and more into the service sector for years. Full-time employees are becoming less locked in their offices. These days more and more people can work from pretty much anywhere.

Indeed, recent research has found that the number of people who work from home has been creeping up. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) found the number of UK workers remote-working grew by about 250,000 in the past 10 years.

It is hardly surprising. Pretty much everyone has had to bring work home at some time or another. It may be a pile of paperwork or a memory stick. Even if you’re not an office worker we all enjoy space in our home where we can sort out our bills and correspondence.

Even kids need somewhere to concentrate on homework or do some computer research. What we all need is a home office. It could be a complete room, a nook under the stairs or some sort of shelf when it’s needed.

Here are some modern home office ideas that may help inspire you to design your work area.


home office desk

We all are aware that the key to working from home is having a designated place to concentrate. It could be around a desk or the kitchen table, or on the sofa, or in your bed.

You will, most likely, need some sort of surface on which to work. This could be a desk or a table. If space is tight then try sliding the desk behind a sofa. With decorative shelving installed this could double up as office storage.

A large table could work for two users. It’s a good idea when you have a space that could be both a home office and a dining room. All you need is to add a few more chairs and you can have an ideal family eating space too.

If you only need a small home office, fitted furniture like a made-to-measure desk and units may be the answer. Another good option is Case Furniture’s Celine Desk. It has petite proportions. Plus it comes with a slim hidden drawer, which makes the desk ideal for fitting in tight spaces. Celine’s designer was Nazanin Kamali.

Having the desk or table in a central position makes it more of a focus for the room. Plus, it could be a good idea if you work with clients from home and need seating on both sides of the desk.

No doubt sitting at a desk like Hans Wegner’s CH110 desk would get you into that “work mode”. It not only stands out but, created in 1970, it was part of an exclusive office concept. For something striking look at Carl Hansen’s AJ52 Society Desk. It comes adorned with black leather. Designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1952, it combines functionalism and industrial design. Jacobsen created the piece for the American-Scandinavian Foundation’s New York office.


To go with the desk or table you have chosen you need a good, comfortable chair. It will help with inspiring your work mentality. It’s why you need to ensure your home office chair is the right one.

Chairs also help to make a space more interesting. Think about adding a variety of shapes with different chairs if you have space.

A tried-and-tested chair is one designed in 1963 by Arne Jacobsen for the professors at St Catherine’s College in Oxford. The Oxford Classic High Back Armchair with Swivel Base on Castors is a renowned design. It is also integral to the Fritz Hansen collection. As comfortable today as it was back in the 1960s.

Another popular and very comfortable option is the high-tech Inclass Altea Armchair.  A lightweight alternative is the Fredericia Pato Veneer Office Chair.  It is a striking example. Options include padding and upholstery on the back and seat. This means there is bound to be a version available to suit you.


light home office

A good work area needs plenty of light. At the same time, you don’t want glare on your laptop or computer screen.

This makes black-out blinds a great home office idea. They will stop glare issues, but they do mean sitting in the dark. If this is the case then a good light is a must. Something like our Nemo Lighting AM2C Floor Lamp offers a diffuser in opal white glass. This has an uplight that provides striking flood beam distribution. There is a dimmer on the cable. Other popular floor lights include the Original BTC Task Ceramic or the Chester.

You could also opt for one of our wall lamps like the Aromas Atom. This lamp combines a contemporary but classic style with a pleasing simple functionality.

Adding the correct window treatment is important. It assists practicality and adds to a room’s aesthetics. Situating your workspace where there is plenty of natural light not only helps you feel awake. It also ensures you don’t strain your eyes.

If you want your working space to be lit, there are plenty of options. These include the Jielde Loft D9403 Small Desk Lamp with Three Arms or the Gubi Bestlite BL2. The latter was the choice of Winston Churchill when he was Prime Minister of Great Britain in World War II.


If you need a large amount of storage space for files, papers and reference books, a contemporary run of shelves and cabinets could help.

Look for adaptable home office storage solutions like String Works Mobile Storage Units. These offer a very flexible way of storing and are suitable for both large and small areas. Designed in 1949 by the Swedish architect Nils Strinning, they have won many coveted awards.

For an even more comprehensive approach try the same architect’s String Shelving flexible system. This also lends itself to both large and small home offices. You can even come up with your design and email your desires to Olson + Baker.

It’s important that whatever you choose enables you to grow into your space. It should be adjustable because your needs may change. Open storage can be a good option. It’s much easier to keep organised and accessible. The String storage system is very versatile. You can choose what you need to fit your space. Drawers and cupboards are also available.

The String system gives you some wall shelves. If you like, choose one base shelf that is wide enough to hold your laptop. The shelving also needs to be high enough for you to fit your legs underneath. A desk lamp and an attractive chair would set it off well!

If you have plenty of papers and equipment it’s best to be realistic and plan for it. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can manage in a minimalist workspace. Choose a filing system that will allow you to group like-with-like quickly. Utilise small boxes and baskets for irregular shaped bits and bobs. Invest in more than one set of desk drawers, but in a matching design for a cohesive look. Bright colours work well as they bring light-hearted cheer to organised chaos.

Wooden shelves at various levels add useful storage to an otherwise raw wall.

Décor & Space

desk drawers

You could choose to create an industrial feel with the introduction of some metal shelving. Or, you could opt for a minimalist space with clean white walls. If this is what you like then the String Cabinet with Sliding Doors by Nils Strinning would be a great choice. The whole space may improve with pendant lights. This could then be further enhanced with exposed brick.

When you want to brighten up your working space opt for some contrasting colours. Colours affect our moods in many different ways. While plain white may be tempting, an all-white room can create a very clinical atmosphere. The colour that people say best generates productivity is orange.

When distractions are a problem, then the choice may be a calming, neutral colour scheme. Sometimes a polished, professional-looking home office is what will motivate you.

Mezzanine levels provide great opportunities for creating contemporary home offices. This is especially if you find it hard squeezing a formal working area into any of your living space. You can also reclaim the space under your staircase.

Alcoves are usually a pretty neglected space too so put them to work and use the space to create a small home office. Even if you can’t squeeze in a desk you could install a wall-mounted work surface.

Another thought is the Menu Stick Narrow Shelving System. Designed by Jan Plecháč and Henry Wielgus the aim is to meet the requirements of a more mobile generation. The shelving is adaptable to suit whatever space is available.

Setting up a home office may mean having to clear out loads of old stuff but generating a new and worthwhile space can be invigorating. To create the feel of a separate room without cutting it off completely from the rest of the living area you could install a low partition wall. A taller partition wall could cut off any visual distractions while still allowing the room to flow into another area with open walkways.

Maintain symmetry with matching lamps placed either side of your modern home office design.  You could also set about creating individual spaces. Try a central asymmetrical desk that mirrors a cutaway window. The window could slice through a wall and ceiling as though the building itself is in two parts. Your computer keyboards would look attractive in any setup.

A home office does not need to be all work with no play. You could add some colour and pattern with a gallery wall. Working at home should never be too strict or too relaxed if you want an optimal work-life balance.

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