7 Inspirational Home Offices You Can Copy

Carve out a work area where you won't mind spending some time. Steal a few design ideas via thisoldhouse.com

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Quirky Cottage-Style Home Office

Quirky Cottage Home OfficeQuirky Cottage Home Office

A home office should be functional, but not at the expense of character-or even a little risk-taking. The design of this workspace, for example, is traditional English cottage style with a twist. It's where nature-inspired wallpaper and 19th-century antiques, such as a spindle-back armchair and a rustic pine chest, take supporting roles to a scene-stealing mid-century brushed-steel desk with an industrial edge.

"There's a quirky juxtaposition of styles and periods, but the harmonious colors and weathered finishes make it work," says Ros Byam Shaw, author of Perfect English Farmhouse (Ryland Peters & Small), which features this room. The contrasts continue with accessories such as a graphic flat-weave rug, which enlivens and warms up the limestone-paver floor. Get the look with help from How to Create Your Own Quirky Cottage-Style Home Office

Nautical Home Office
Nautical Home OfficeNautical Home Office

Bold colors and adventurous finishes don't have to undermine the tranquility of a hard-at-work space. This home office, put together by interior designer Steven Gambrel, gets its colorful character and relaxed feel from a bounty of nautical-themed accents inspired by the home's near-the-shore location. To give the room personality, Gambrel devised a display spot for a collection of floats by assembling a bracket-supported shelf from stock lumber parts. Two cool-blue paint colors turn the moldings and window sashes into focal points, and a single vintage signal flag from a sailing vessel adds some energizing brights. Using marine navigation charts to cover a drafting table creates a unique custom desk, while the folding campaign armchair adds a hint of well-traveled British Colonial style.

→ SEARCH "Nautical Home Office" at thisoldhouse.com to find what you need to get the look.


Easy Closet-Turned-Office

Easy Closet-Turned-OfficeEasy Closet-Turned-Office

When you're tight on space, a home office may seem like a luxury, but carving one out from a seldom-used closet is easier than you think.Here's how to create a home office out of an unused closet

Home Office Full of Smart Storage

Home Office Full of Smart StorageHome Office Full of Smart Storage

Sometimes one little request leads to a major transformation. Married neuroscientists Vivek Unni and Tamily Weissman-Unni, owners of an 1870s house in Cambridge, Massachusetts, started out with a new baby and a simple goal. "We needed a first-floor bathroom with a changing table," says Tamily. But they were also saddled with a dark front entry next to a front room that served as an ad hoc mudroom, and a "treacherous" narrow staircase.

→ SEARCH "Unused Space to Home Office" at thisoldhouse.com to see more of this remodel.

Compact Kitchen Office

Seamless kitchen officeSeamless kitchen office
Situate a desk extension at the end of a long countertop-close to the action but not too close. "Clients can do homework or pay bills here," says Connie Edwards, design director for Shenandoah Cabinetry, "but they can also use it as a staging area for a buffet or to roll out a pie crust." When the cooking threatens to spill over, office supplies can be stowed in the drawer. Learn more about retrofitting a desk & more in Small and Efficient Kitchen Offices

Chalkboard Paint Pretty
Wall calendarWall calendar
Chalkboard paint isn't new, but creative minds keep coming up with new ways to use it. Consider the dramatic wall calendar shown here. It began with a floor-to-ceiling coat of standard gray chalkboard paint. With the help of a yardstick, squares were drawn in pencil, then taped off. Three-fourths were filled in with different shades of light and medium gray, leaving the remaining squares the same color as the wall. Learn how to do this and other chalkboard paint hacks here.

Not Quite in the Kitchen

Bright and cheeryBright and cheery
The cabinets used here were ordered in a factory-applied yellow that echoes the hutch across the room. There's no reason you can't get this look with some vibrant paint and a weekend of DIY. Putting a desk in a space just outside the kitchen provides a bit of privacy for kids doing homework, while keeping them in your line of sight. See 27 Smart Homework and Study Stations.