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Get Organized: Home Office

Carve out a gorgeous, functional space for working at home by stealing one of these ideas.

Written by Sally Finder Weepie

Photo: Bruce Buck / Design: Stephen Elrod with Eric Cohler

First off, your desk doesn't actually have to be a plain old utilitarian desk. Make work more beautiful by calling on a bureau or secretary as your work spot. This mahogany gem brings a gracious touch. Paired with a James Dean print and 1930s Deco scones, the result is an air of cool sophistication.

Photo: Michael Partenio / Design: Eric Ross

A sliver of space behind your sofa can become a hardworking home office. Just slip in a svelte desk and a comfy, classic chair. Add a side chair that can hold materials while you're working, serve as a seat for a visitor, or be pulled into the adjacent living room for large gatherings.

Photo: Werner Straube / Design: Skip Sroka

Now you see it, now you don't. In designer Skip Sroka’s library, a built-in desk pops out from the chair-rail molding. File drawers are skillfully concealed behind the wainscoting.

Photo: Werner Straube / Design: Summer Thornton

A bright window bay makes the ideal home for a desk. A pair of étargès with lower drawers serve up closed and open storage space, plus room for decorative objects. Add wall scones for extra lighting on cloudy days.

Photo: John Bessler / Design: Eric Cohler

Transform a spare bedroom into an office—or have it double as work space and a guest room. A built-in desk with bookshelves preserves plenty of floor space for a bed on the opposite side of the room, yet offers a wealth of storage. A swivel chair is both practical and comfortable—and adds a juicy hit of color. Brass lamps light the work area and inject a touch of elegance.

Photo: Werner Straube / Design: Kim Zimmer

Including an office area in a mudroom keeps the work space out of entertaining and living areas while providing tons of function. This built-in desk features a charging station, a pullout shelf for a printer, and cubbies for office essentials. 

Photo: Pieter Estersohn & John Bessler / Design: Celerie Kemble

Transform one end of the kids' bedroom into a homework station with a wall of built-in bookshelves. Paint the interiors a bold color to add youthful energy to the space. But keep it sophisticated—the girls won't outgrow these elegant upholstered chairs.

Photo: Werner Straube / Design: Melissa Warner

Look up for another option for a homework station or home office. A custom-built desk stretches the width of this attic room, offering ample space for two workstations and plenty of storage. Hinge lamps illuminate the matters at hand. White surfaces and neutral carpet keep the space feeling fresh and light, no matter the time of day. Fretwork fabric shades and dramatic attic architecture pump in a little flair.

Photo: Bruce Buck / Design: Barbara Westbrook

Located next to the kitchen, this well-organized office caters to the work-at-home parent's needs. A wall of built-in cabinets provides space to store books, files, and other papers. A stretch of mocha-color quartz surfacing offers ample work space. Corkboards and cubbies line the backsplash area to keep schedules and notes in view. Upper cabinets with glass-front doors display collectibles that add a touch of beauty to a hardworking room.