Picture this: It's 2020, and you've all but worn a hole in your dining room chair. Every night you have to sweep away a stack of papers to make way for dinner. Maybe your legs are permanently burned from sitting on the couch as your laptop overheats in your lap. Finding a quiet corner to take a conference call? Good luck. Your new "coworkers" are distance learning, taking their own meetings, and barking (Fido is a really hard worker). Your calls are just adding to the fray. Sleeping spaces are occupied all day and all night.

Take your pick from these subpar options—any one of them might hit a little too close to home.

It's probably been a while since you've made your way into the office. And if you're still working through your workflow from home, you're probably past due for an upgrade. Shape your living space into a workspace that's fit to make for a positively productive home office. It's partially intuitive, partially tedious, but 100% worth it for whatever way you work.

The Bare Necessities

Pop quiz! What makes an office an office? We're going beyond "makeshift" and moving toward "ideal.” Whatever defines your workspace, it starts with furniture you can build a room around. There are still some things to consider while you're making the most of any size of space:




Desks come in all shapes and sizes, but you need the right size for your space. Whether that's an L-shaped desk, corner desk, writing desk, or standing desk is up to you and your measuring tape, but a dedicated workspace is necessary for workday productivity. "Making it work" isn't a great solution for the long haul.

We've all heard "sitting is the new smoking" by now, and that's not too far from the truth. Choose an office chair designed to handle the long haul regardless of where your workspace winds up. Ergonomics and comfort are more important than sleek and stylish designs.

Especially at home, you're drawing a tenuous line between work and play. Concealed storage keeps your workday separate from leisure time. If you're not quite paperless, file storage can keep you orderly, while some employees can probably get away with a few simple and stylish supply drawers.

Diving Deeper: Delightful Desks

Make sure to measure before you look for your dream desk:

Table Desks

Storage Desks

Adjustable Desks

Simple and straightforward, a table may be the right depth and right height for working. Best paired with your choice of storage.

With built-in drawers, these eschew (some of) the need for separate storage, offering a place to store supplies and sometimes files.

What goes up can also go down! Height-adjustable desks accommodate a sitting, standing, or somewhere in-between posture.


L-Shaped Desks

Corner Desks

Executive Desks

In offices, they're usually a stately staple, but at home, an L-shaped desk can take advantage of an underutilized corner while providing a lot of space.

The little brother of an L-shaped desk is a corner desk. They’re often slightly more compact and designed to tuck up against 2 walls.

The "extra" option. If executive is in the name, this is fit for a larger, dedicated home office space with a lot of room to roam.

Who doesn't love a well-used corner space? Corner desks are often more compact than their L-shaped desk brethren and often have slopes at the workspace to encourage a diagonal sitting position. This is ideal for maximizing unused spaces or nooks within your house that might look unbalanced with a typical table desk.

Diving Deeper: Spectacular Seating

A superior sit starts with the right features:

Types of Tilt

Fabric Choices


Standard tilt keeps the seat and back at a 45-degree angle, knee tilt alleviates this with a tilt that starts at the front of the chair, and synchro tilt is the king of comfort, providing a 2-to-1 ratio that keeps your feet comfortably on the floor.

Fabric might be fitting for your décor scheme, but durable polyurethane is easier to clean. Leather is luxurious, and mesh provides cool comfort for warmer workspaces. The options are endless.

It's a big word with an even bigger impact. Ergonomic adjustments, such as seat depth, arm adjustments, tilt, adjustable headrests, or back support, establish the comfort of a chair.


Active Seating

Lumbar Support

Big & Tall? Short & Small?

Fidget-friendly seating is an emerging trend that provides wiggling capabilities for those who struggle with sitting still.

Sometimes it's simply the design of the chair; other times it's an adjustment (or even auto-adjustment) that supports your back for great posture.

Suit your stature with a chair designed to fit your measurements, usually noted in the title and description of a chair.

An ergonomically-minded workspace is essential for both WFH and at-work workstations. You may have settled for a kitchen chair or gone for a chic seat that pulls the room together, but if there isn't enough support, you’ll feel the effects down the line.

Diving Deeper: Stylish Storage

There's no reason you can't be filing and styling:




Particularly within small spaces, a pedestal can be a real lifesaver. These oft-mobile, out-of-the-way units feature a few drawers for must-have supplies and maybe a few files.

While executive desks may be frequently paired with grandiose hutches, a lot of residential furniture has more subtle tabletop options that do double-duty as a monitor stand.

Bookcases embody the intersection between home and office. They’re great for décor and more. Add extra organization with chic and stylish storage bins.


Mixed Storage

Built-In Drawers

Wall Shelves

Sometimes you want to put things on display, while other times it's best behind closed doors. Grab a mixed storage option to get the best of both worlds.

Did you choose a desk with drawers? If so, that convenient storage solution can take care of the most basic supply storage.

The at-home atmosphere is more conducive to adding wall-mounted vertical storage. Take advantage of this elevated space to keep clutter at bay.

Aim for ‘Inspired’

When you're browsing catalogs or eyeing blogs, it's easy to envision your space in the perfectly propped, effortlessly chic interior design of a professional photo. When you're balancing your budget and assembling your needs, that perfection may not be within reach.

The choices you make go beyond a photograph. The aesthetic you desire and the items you can't live without might be at odds, so a few careful concessions can maximize your capabilities.

Trade This for That

Mid-Century Marvelous: It's tough to go top-to-bottom within the ever-trending MCM style. Keep a clean, uncluttered, and minimalist background with a few stand-out statement pieces that feature the splayed legs, blond wood, and skillful slopes of both Scandinavian and mid-century modern design.

Super Simple: Taking MCM out of the equation, a truly minimalist space is often deeply focused on the form and function of your furniture. Since other design items aren't of much concern, make the most of your budget by investing in storage solutions that can keep necessary supplies uncluttered and visibly out-of-the-way. Shop collections that have everything you need to furnish your office or mix-and-match well-coordinating finishes.

Maximalist Impact: #inspo often goes wild, combining potentially impractical décor decisions that you know might break the bank. If you're going for this "more is more" appeal, look for secondhand supplies or delightful discounts to add visual noise while keeping a little budget for more important purchases.

Leave It for Later: Rome wasn't built in a day, and your office might be a work-in-progress for a while. Start with the necessities and aim for the pieces that will make you the most productive, such as a chair that's fit for the long-haul and a desk that has everything you need. The rest? Pencil it in for later.

Do Double-Duty

Pro: Double-duty furniture can expand the possibilities of your workspace, giving you a place to work to pursue hobbies outside of the workday. Make sure that these supplies can be stored out of the way during business hours to limit distractions. Your workspace could masquerade as another piece of furniture during the day, though this may make it difficult to set up in the morning.

Con: If you're working from home for the long haul, having a dedicated space for work is important so it doesn't take an emotional toll on your day-to-day. If your space allows it, keep a dedicated working desk that doesn't clash with other activities. At the same time, be mindful of what you might use this space for if you return to the office and any possibilities for future use.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Maybe you can’t hide your at-home workspace completely, but you can strive for out-of-the-way. Folding furniture is a great space-saving solution, giving you the option to truly separate your space from the workday. Secretary desks are an expandable stationary option, while wall-mounted folding solutions are a collapsible treat. Gate leg tables have convenient foldout workspaces with legs that swing into place to create an on-demand desk.

As with any shifting solution, it's important to establish dedicated storage so your workday tools aren't scattered throughout your space after business hours. A mobile pedestal is a great movable solution that can be adjusted as needed—or opt for a decorative cabinet that can always stay nearby.

All About Acoustics

Soundproofing solutions are a must for shared households. There are a lot of ways to mitigate noise to keep everybody working well while working from home:

  • Invest in Headphones: Sometimes, it's just about noise-canceling headphones for all. Especially when there's an integrated microphone for taking meetings, active noise cancellation can keep 2 people in close proximity without conversations bleeding over.

  • Leverage Layout: Intuitive space planning saves the day. Keep desks facing walls with acoustic panels or soft fabrics to muffle conversations. Wear headphones so the other end of the call isn't projected into the middle of the room.

  • Be Wary of Windows: Glass and other shiny surfaces are known for reflecting sound, so direct your dialogue away from panes of glass or mirrored surfaces. The same goes for any art or photographs behind glass frames.

  • Decorative Deflection: Aside from tasteful curtain panels, using fabric or canvas prints instead of acoustic panels can add an aesthetic twist to noise cancellation. Facing a busy bookshelf with a ton of tomes can also absorb extra sounds with ease.

  • Simple Separation: Sometimes, it's best to stay in separate areas. Designate a "conference room" away from your regular workstation that's well-suited for calls and conversations when the time arises. Make sure to communicate any upcoming meetings with others in your shared space, and consider a backup area if a multiperson household has multiple calls going at once.

You're Due for an Upgrade

If you've made it this far, it has probably been a long time since you've seen your corporate office. None of us expected the COVID-19 crisis to last so long, and as days turned to weeks and weeks to months, work conditions—and locations—have shifted.

The scramble to create a workable workstation may have led to a few hasty purchases or tenuously-assembled workarounds, but that can’t cut it forever.

If you haven't already, we truly urge you: Think about the impact your workspace has on your well-being and workplace success. Think about the lasting impact on your physical health due to an ergonomically-unfriendly chair or the impracticality of a not-quite-the-right-size desk. Think about the lasting impact on your mental health that a hard-to-navigate, needlessly cluttered, and deeply disorganized workspace can have.



Leave a Comment

Your comment has been sent.