The Covid-19 pandemic greatly increased the number of people working from home. Though many people have returned to the office, others are still able to enjoy hybrid or remote working positions. This means that more of us than ever are seeking ways to create a functional workspace at home. Whether you have a dedicated room for your home office, or you’re turning an unused corner into your workspace, we have lots of great ideas for creating a modern home office.
Creating a workable budget is always the first step of any home remodeling project. When you go to design home office layout options, it should become obvious if any type of demolition, structural, plumbing, or electrical work is required. Each of these are quite expensive, so if you’re on a tight budget, you may need a loan to accomplish this level of construction.
Most home offices are about the size of a small bedroom, somewhere between 100 and 200 square feet. According to HomeAdvisor, a home office renovation costs around $100 per square foot, or between $10,000 and $20,000. It’s possible to pay less—or significantly more—depending on the quality of materials you use, how much work is required, and whether you can do any of the work yourself.
Here is a breakdown of the costs that may be included in your renovation (per 100 square feet):
Costs will vary depending on your local market and individual contractor fees, so get estimates for each job from two to four reputable, licensed contractors. If possible, call contractors that come recommended by someone you know. When crafting your home office floor plan and design, be sure to add a 2% to 3% buffer to your budget for unexpected expenses.
It’s possible to create an inviting, functional home office even on a tight budget when you do most of the work yourself. Instead of paying a paint contractor, watch a few YouTube videos on how to paint a room. Then head to Walmart and pick up a gallon of ColorPlace Ready to Use Interior Paint in stylish Blue Grey Sky for just $15.97. Invest another $10.97 on a paint tray set and you can refresh your walls for one-tenth the cost of hiring a painter.
Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and local resale shops are ideal places to find great used office furniture at half the original cost. Sometimes, you can even score items for free when people are in a hurry to move and can’t take items with them. This is a great way to score two desks when designing a home office for two. The furniture in a dual desk home office doesn’t have to match, only coordinate. Once again, paint and YouTube are your friends, as it’s possible to DIY any old pieces to look brand new.
If money is no object, luxury home office ideas abound online. Luxury furniture brand Bernadette Livingston offers exquisitely designed desks, from a simple black and gold French writing desk for $2,348.12 to the majestic King Louis Collection Large Secretary Desk that retails for a whopping $84,262.50.
Consider walnut paneling on a luxury home office accent wall or two. According to the Homewyse Fair Cost Guide, expect to pay around $2,570 for materials to cover 535 square feet in walnut paneling and an equal amount for around 17 hours of labor to install it, for a total just over $5,400.
A luxurious workspace needs a luxury home office rug such as this Richmond Rug in Vintage Red by Ralph Lauren Home. At just over $20,000 it’s definitely a high-end flooring choice, but perfect for a room filled with other costly items.
Many female business owners want their office to project a bit of their feminine side. While this isn’t always possible in a corporate setting, a woman’s home office can be as feminine as she wishes. Pink is perhaps the color most associated with a female vibe but any soft, welcoming color palette works well.
A mixture of texture and patterns is welcome in home office wall decor and accessories. Feel free to incorporate velvet, lace, brushed metals, and even fake fur into your design scheme. Soften the space with this $108 plush Safavieh Polar Shag rug instead of a plain home office rug.
Scatter an assortment of antique lamps around the room if you want home office light fixtures that cast a warmer, more homelike feeling. String lights or fairy lights are a whimsical addition to a woman’s home office and provide another warm source of light.
As designer David Hicks said, “The best rooms have something to say about the people who live in them.” When going for a masculine feel, the best color for home office walls is on the cool, calm end of the color spectrum. Think blues, greens, greys, or browns that will go well with natural wood and metal furnishings.
Replace plain home office lighting with this masculine, modern Sputnik chandelier for home office use. A wall of built-in bookcases makes a strong statement, and incorporating two desks is great if you need a double desk home office. While dark woods tend to convey the strongest masculine vibe, there’s nothing wrong with all white walls and built-ins in an office made for men.
Many people find that they work better in a minimalist, clutter-free office. Modern home office paint colors include white and grey with accents of black. Splashes of one or two bright colors are ideal in a modern office space, or you can pair a single lighter color with your modern neutrals.
Modular home office furniture is great in a modern designed space because of its simple lines and angles. IKEA and Arhaus are both good sources for a modern home office book case, desk, or chair.
A modern home office is often a dual-purpose area, such as an office that doubles as a guest bedroom. If the room is spacious, a home office with daybed could provide the sleeping space you need. Daybeds often look like an oversized sofa, which adds comfortable seating for clients or other office visitors. Many daybeds have a trundle bed that you can pull out to make room for two overnight guests.
If the room is small, a home office with murphy bed is a better solution as the bed completely folds into the wall when not in use. During the day, your workspace will look like a normal home office with bookshelves, giving little indication that a mattress is hidden behind the wall.