8 Ideas for Decorating a Small Home Office

For the home office of Country Living's 2012 House of the Year, designer Barbara Kurgan, along with experts Shauna Alterio and Stephen Loidolt from the blog Something's Hiding in Here, created an artfully organized, thought-provoking studio for a husband-and wife team who work side by side, all day long. Here are 8 tips to pull of an enviable home-away-from-home office.

1. Elevate a standard desk. Explains Stephen Loidolt: "We prefer counter-height surfaces that encourage us to stand and move around, instead of just sitting and stagnating." Barbara Kurgan fashioned a tall, partners-style setup by pairing two Ballard desks and topping them with a custom box that provides a stealthy spot for stowing files and books.

2. An enlightening path to a clear desk? Ground table-hogging task lights and choose floor lamps, like Ballard models. The Smith + Noble shades open from the top and bottom to offer greater control over natural light, while the floor is painted in Crisp Linen by Benjamin Moore.

Plus: More small-room ideas: Tour our 25-square-foot guest bedroom cottage »

3. Define a room within a room. Kurgan subtly delineated a sitting area with Company Store's cowhide rug. The Ballard Design settee, upholstered in coral velvet from Calico Corners, helps cement the workshop's palette, sparked by a box of Ladurée macaroons.

4. A little quirk never hurts.
This vintage print of bow-tie connoisseur Abe Lincoln, from Liza Sherman Antiques, references Alterio and Loidolt's neckwear line. Kurgan also embroidered Ballard's skirted burlap stool with the name of the couple's farm.

5. Climb the walls.
Hooks and baskets from Ballard designate a home for jackets, bags, and files, without encroaching upon a bit of floor space.

6. How to store material goods in style: "Turn your supplies into decoration," urges Kurgan, who stashed bolts of fabric in an industrial trash can and skewered swatches on giant safety pins from Ballard Designs. The wall is painted Dragon's Breath by Benjamin Moore.

Plus: What's the best color for a small room? »

7. The bulletin board goes big. Kurgan upholstered an entire wall of the side entry's hallway in Sunbrella fabric, giving Alterio and Loidolt ample space to pin photos, notes, and paint chips.

Plus: 6 genius ways to decorate a small space »

8. Don't overlook the loo. Chalkboard paint from Benjamin Moore yields a changeable canvas in the powder room. "Shauna loves wallpaper," Kurgan says, "but rather than settle on a permanent pattern, we had artist Chiara Alberetti Milott draw one." The Kwikset knob on the bathroom door is real; the wainscoting is merely drawn with chalk.

See more from CountryLiving.com:

Our Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Decorating »
40 Amazing Before-and-After Home Makeovers »
70+ Living Room Design Ideas You'll Love »
9 Easy Ways to Refresh Your Country Kitchen »

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.