10 top tips to set up and style your home office

Sophisticated, moderns or purely practical - what's your study style?

A stimulating and streamlined workspace at home promises the ultimate in work life balance. Whether you run a home-based business or just a busy household, creating a dedicated work space keeps paperwork pristine and clutter controlled, however, a home office doesn’t need to look utilitarian. Decorate it with as much detail as you would any other space and you’ll make it a place you love to be.

Here are our top 10 tips to make your home office space a success story.

1. position

Can you ‘borrow’ unused space from a landing, hallway or under the stairs? As long as you have a laptop and wireless connection, the fit-out can be as simple as a desk, chair and overhead shelf. For a more fixed solution, look to build in. Companies such as Table And Desk create ergonomic bespoke pieces that can be ordered online for a fraction of the usual custom cost.

Photographer: Nicky Ryan

2. lighting

Plenty of natural light is essential for comfort and mood – position your desk near a window and keep heavy window treatments to a minimum; light sheers or a diaphanous blind are as dense as you want to go.

3. think eco

Simple ways to green up your office include refilling your ink cartridges, setting your printer to double-sided and buying rechargeable batteries for your wireless devices. You can also recycle many of your office products, including computers, mobile phones and printer cartridges. To find out where to recycle, visit

4. tidy up

Cables and wires that run rampant are not visually appealing. Try Officeworks for an off-the-shelf cable tidy, or even a reusable Velcro wrap, which can be strapped up under your desk.

Photographer: Elouise Van Riet-Gray | Styling: Lana Caves

5. decorate

Installing wallpaper or stylish desk accessories instantly prevents a room from looking too ‘office-y’. Select bold statement pieces in on-trend colours. Don’t worry too much about either the workload or commitment, as they can be removed or updated easily.

6. add plants

“I have a lot of plants in my office – on the desk, on the floor, perched on the windowsill and hanging from the ceiling,” says Druce Davey of Greener. “They bring a sense of tranquillity, reduce noise and filter the air. I also really like the daily routine of watering them.”

7. create a retreat

Stretch your budget with second-hand buys and a paint sprayer. If you need an oversized desk, source an affordable pre-owned table and revamp it with high gloss paint, and give your trusty old filing cabinet the same treatment, too.

Photographer: Dave Wheeler | Styling: Lisa Burden

8. get organised

Labelling your filing and storage boxes helps to keep your office organised, and looks pretty to boot. “With so many labels available, it’s an easy DIY if you have a penchant for typography,” says interior decorator Jodie Ghiloni.

9. make a statement

Bold colours and designer pieces will add instant glamour, such as this chair (above), or if ‘industrial chic’ is more your thing, try instantly ageing pieces with Murobond Rust Paint;

10. employ ergonomics

When seated, your feet should rest flat on the floor with your thighs parallel to it. Choose a chair that offers ample back support, supporting the natural curve of your spine. Sort your chair out first, and then adjust your desk to around elbow height, which will allow your forearms to rest parallel to the floor.

Photographer: Sue Stubbs | Styling: Bree Oliver

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