5 Simple ways to update your home office

Cassie Pryce

Kick start the new year with an office refresh to clear the clutter and create a welcoming work environment

1.    Practical piece

The desk is the hub of any home office and, depending on your needs and the type of work you do, there are designs to suit any space. 

If your job involves a lot of paperwork and filing, choosing a desk with built-in storage is key as this will help reduce clutter and keep your desktop in order. Simple drawers may suffice for some, or look for built-in filing cabinets if you need a more structured organisational system. 

Kemble rustic solid oak and painted computer desk, £449.22; solid oak natural square stool, £117.25, both Oak Furniture Land

If your home office is on the small side, or even slotted in as part of another room, you may be limited on space so will need a compact desk to fit in neatly. Ladder-style desks are a popular choice for awkward rooms, as they are tall rather than wide meaning storage comes in the form of shelves above the desk instead of bulky furniture beneath.

Little Bruges desk lamp, £95, Loaf

 

2. Bright idea

Choosing the right lighting for your workspace can hugely aid concentration and affect your day-to-day productivity.

Try to position your desk near a window if possible, to make the most of natural daylight coming into the room. Avoid direct overhead lighting which can be harsh over long periods of time—instead, opt for diffused light including lamps or wall lights. Don’t place lighting behind you when working at a computer, as it will almost certainly create an irritating glare on the screen. 

Workshop trestle desk, £550; Farringdon wall file storage, £40; Farringdon memo board, £30; Bermondsey table lamp in carbon, £100, all Garden Trading

Adjustable desk lamps are a good choice for those working on close-up tasks on their desk as the source of light can be easily changed; just remember to place the lamp opposite your working hand if writing or drawing, to avoid shadows being cast.

 

3. Colour combos

Deciding on a colour scheme for your home office is a personal choice and what works for one person may not be right for another. 

You may prefer a light and bright space to help wake you up in the mornings, in which case pale greens, blues and white will help create a fresh working environment. 

Darker colours have more cocooning traits and so are ideal for those who prefer working in a cosy setting. 

Tamsin white desk shelving, £59; marble-effect clock, £15; retro upholstered chair in grey, £65; marble base table lamp, £20, all George Home

Pattern is a great way to inject life and colour into white office spaces if they are feeling bland or clinical—a feature wallpaper can help you feel energized and stimulated, as can artwork that breaks up the plain walls.

 

4. Outdoors in

House plants are a wonderful way to freshen up any space and they’re a budget-friendly solution to reviving your office without the need for redecorating. 

Plants help improve air quality and remove impurities and have been proven to significantly boost productivity and lower stress levels in working environments. 

Monograph brass stationery organiser, £34.95 for a three-piece set, Hurn & Hurn

Some species are better suited to different conditions so choose plants that will thrive and require minimal maintenance in your office setting. Peace lilies, for example, are tolerant of lower light levels and dracaena plants are particularly hardy so require very little attention.

 

5. Finishing touches

Having a clean and clutter-free work surface not only gives you the space you need to work but helps prepare you mentally for the day ahead. Accessorising your desktop can be one of the fun parts of styling your home office and a way to make it feel personal to you. 

Dripping gold concrete effect plant pot, from £16; small grey marble shelf, £45, both Audenza

Start off by choosing the practical pieces—pen holders, inbox trays and notepads—then, depending on how much space you have, consider what else you’d like to be surrounded by. Framed photographs, a clock or a vase for fresh flowers won’t take up much room but will instantly make your work surface feel more personal. 

If you’re running short on space or storage, hang some open shelves on the wall above your desk to display magazines, books and other trinkets, or incorporate a bookcase into your work space as another piece of furniture that will help free up your desk of clutter.