With a modern home office design, form and function are one in the same
Working from home may sound like a dream, but in reality, organizing a modern home office space can be challenging. Mentally shifting from “home mode” to “work mode” can be hard if you never physically leave your house and your cozy bed is just a few steps away.
While typing on a laptop at your kitchen table or from your bed will get the job done, creating a permanent home office setup to work from is essential to your productivity and state of mind. As a remote worker, taking the time to thoughtfully create a space that embraces form and function is a worthy investment of your time and money.
To help you get your modern home office up to par for maximum efficiency, we’ve put together some information about what modern style is and a list of six essential tips and inspiration that’ll turn any space into a workspace that you’ll look forward to “commuting” to.
What Is Modern Aesthetic?
When it comes to design, modern is one of the most misused words since it’s typically confused with contemporary style. The modern aesthetic was created as a result of the design movement from the turn of the 20th century. The idea behind modern style makes it the best choice for those who prefer simple, neat spaces with crisp lines and a lack of extra decorations.
If you're thinking of decorating your home office in a modern style, here are a few characteristics you should consider.
Leave structural elements like concrete, brick, or beams exposed.
Embrace horizontal and vertical lines in your design.
Incorporate low, horizontal furnishings with simple lines.
Fill the space with natural light using bare windows.
Add in natural materials such as unpainted natural wood, metals, or leather.
Use a neutral or natural color palette.
Complement the space with surfaces such as steel, chrome, or glass.
Pare down extra decorations.
6 Tips for Designing Your Modern Home Office
Bring your home office style into modern times and style with these tips:
1. Make It Tech Savvy
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is setting up a home office with the right tools. Once you've got everything in place, it's easier to get your work done. While you might be excited to buy the thinnest, lightest, or most beautifully-designed items for your home office, all you need for your workspace are reliable, comfortable, and efficient tools (although it doesn’t hurt if they look nice, too!).
The main tech essentials you need are reliable internet and a laptop, but we also recommend getting a monitor and a decent keyboard and mouse. With these gadgets, you'll feel more comfortable working than you would if you had to squint over your small laptop screen all day.
2. Add Dimmers and Replace Your Light Bulbs
It’s no secret that you’re at their best when you’re well rested, alert, and energized, and lighting can greatly impact that. Lighting that’s too low can strain your eyes and make you feel drowsy and tired, but super bright lighting can be harsh on your eyes, impact sleep, and trigger migraines. Switching out basic light switches for dimmable light switches in your home office to give yourself the choice is a simple yet rewarding project.
For a complete lighting overhaul, replace your current incandescent light bulbs with dimmable LED bulbs, providing a cooler, whiter light that’ll help reduce your energy bill. While LED light bulbs can be pricey, you’ll get your money’s worth from the energy savings.
3. Keep It Clutter Free
Home offices are prone to messiness, since organization can easily fall by the wayside when deadlines are around the corner, and you’ve got a million things to do. To help make your home office space a more organized, pleasant, and productive place to work, we’ve identified the top three clutter-fighting categories: cords and wires, papers, and collections.
Cords and wires: Having tech, power cables, and wires exposed can make your office look messy and pose a safety hazard, especially if you have pets or kids. For cords and wires, use a power strip and bundle the wires together with zip ties. For a sleeker look, buy cable covers that’ll hide and cords you have running along the floor or wall.
Papers: Clean up any piles of work papers, receipts, or old mail and take time to consider if you really need to keep each item. Then think about the layout of your space and an organization system that’ll work best for you. Hire a contractor to install built-in shelves and pockets on the interior of a shallow cabinet in the office to store items that would normally clutter desktops. Or install hanging magazine holders to organize papers or shelves to store lidded file boxes to organize by type.
Collections: Our collectables, if not displayed neatly, can easily turn into an eyesore. Reduce the clutter in your home office by thinking about which items are your favorites so you can display them as a tightly-edited group.
4. Embrace a Neutral Paint Palette
When creating a neutral color scheme for your modern home office, one that doesn't include bold colors that pop out, people usually think of beige. While there are many wonderful shades of beige available, there’s so much more to a neutral color scheme than just that color. The key to any cohesive color scheme combination is to make sure they balance each other. For a more dramatic look, paint your home office in dark and light neutral colors. If you’d like a sophisticated look in your home without stressing about matching your colors, then paint your office in a monochromatic neutral color scheme.
5. Invest in Ergonomic Upgrades
Decent ergonomic furniture pieces are essential for a modern home office. Without proper support, the way you sit at your desk, place your hands at your keyboard, and angle your head at your monitor can cause back, shoulder, and wrist pain. When designing or upgrading your home office, invest in a supportive, adjustable office chair, adjustable desk, and ergonomic keyboard. Be mindful that since everybody is different, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to ergonomic furniture-what’s comfortable for one person is going to be miserable for another.
Before you get anything, you can reference the Mayo Clinic's ergonomics guidelines to understand what might be best for you and how to later get everything into position. If you’ve got a tight budget, remember that you don’t have to buy new, try Facebook Marketplace, your local thrift store or Craigslist.
6. Get Rid of Your Carpet
Yes, replacing a carpet can be a big and expensive undertaking, definitely not a project for new DIYers. However, if you’re planning on staying in your place for a long time, and your carpeting isn’t looking very sharp, take the plunge and update the floors to a solid surface like wood, vinyl, or laminate. Not only are they more hygienic, but they’re easier to clean, more modern, and the options are endless. If you’re ambitious and you know the type of surface underneath the carpet, consider removing it yourself. If you’re unsure of what’s underneath the carpet, leave it to the pros.
5 Modern Home Office Ideas for Inspiration
Check out these five modern home offices for layout and design inspiration: