Feature article

Home office design ideas to create the perfect work space

Make the most of your home office with these quick and easy design ideas.

Last updated: 16 April 2024

One big advantage of working from home is you can create the ideal work environment to support your work habits. Having a space that is conducive to your creativity, productivity and comfort is crucial for you to perform at your best.

It’s important to consider the design of the space, including both the look and feel, particularly when dealing with a small workspace. Here are some of the key aspects of modern home office design to consider.

Cover image: A small home office design by Ben Hudson Architects. Image: John Williams

Small home office design layout

Minimalist home office design is ideal when you’re dealing with a small home office space. Keeping the layout as simple and uncluttered as possible will ensure your mind is clear and focused on work.

This means creating a space for everything so that the desk remains clutter-free. Install shelving for files and books, a desk with ample drawers so that stationery can be stored out of sight, and a whiteboard or pinboard on the wall so that any important ideas or notices can be hung in plain sight.

Carefully curated pieces come together to create a beautiful home office with a view in a home by Ben Hudson Architects. Image: John Williams

Choosing the right office furniture

In small home studio offices, choose the right sized furniture that won’t dominate the space, so that you can move freely in your office chair, and move around without feeling cramped. Oversized furniture can make the room feel small, however, furniture that is too small will mean you may not have enough desk or storage space.

Consider the tasks you will need to perform and how much space they will need. For example, if all you need is a laptop and monitor, you may be able to get away with a small desk. However, if you are undertaking a lot of paperwork, you may want a larger desk to spread files out on.

If guests come to your home office space, ensure there is room for a comfortable chair where they can sit.

Light it right

Much like any other functional space, such as a kitchen, modern home office interior design needs to include multiple lighting options. Task, ambient and accent lighting are all important.

Ambient lighting is the main lighting and will usually come in the form of a ceiling fixture or recessed luminaire; accent lighting offers an aesthetic and is considered the “jewellery” of the space; and task lighting enables you to get enough light to perform a specific task.

Lamps are often the best option for task lighting in an office space and are a great opportunity to elevate the look. Choose from mid-century modern, slick contemporary-style, glamorous and bold, or fun and cheerful lamps to add some style to your modern home office design.

Greenery elevates the monochromatic palette of this simple home office. Image: John Williams

Bring the outside in

Your home office room design is no different to any other interior space in that it needs something living in the room to make the space feel vibrant and alive.

Include a plant or vase of flowers, a fish tank or aquarium, or simply incorporate nature-inspired artwork or biophilic colours such as greens and earthy hues to bring nature into your office space.


HOME Magazine
HOME Magazine


Since 1936, HOME has showcased New Zealand residential architecture; homes that are designed to inspire, challenge and delight, by the country’s best architects.

In every issue we invite our readers into these homes, telling their owners’ stories at the same time as explaining how these remarkable buildings came to be.

Simultaneously, HOME celebrates New Zealand’s best design, interiors and landscapes – every element of the places we call home. It explores the wealth of creative talent that exists in New Zealand and our evolving built environment.

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