A few years ago, home offices were considered a symbol of luxury—something many homes went without. Now, living in a post-pandemic world is (nearly), with more and more people working from home either part-time or full-time, and home office spaces are the norm. While it’s entirely possible to work from the couch or kitchen counter, there’s something to be said for intended home offices, whether in the form of a full room or a stylized desk in a spare corner. With that in mind, we chatted with five interior designers about the top home office trends for 2023. From home office ideas that will boost your productivity to workspaces that are more relaxing, ahead you’ll find over a dozen different ways to make your space work from Yes you. For fans of minimalist design, a monochromatic home office might be the best. For the purists, a home office full of color is likely to inspire a cheerful and steady workflow. The point is, no matter your design aesthetic, you’re bound to find inspiration in the designer-approved trends below.
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Wallpaper may have died down since its popularity surged in the 70’s and 80’s, but in 2023, it’s expected to pick up again. “Wallpaper can add just the right interest to a simple office space,” says Maggie Griffin, founder of Maggie Griffin Design. “Adding a pattern on the walls, a comfy chair, and some well-designed accessories can make all the difference.”
Whether you live in a small apartment or simply want to make the most of your space, decorating up can greatly expand your home office potential. “Using vertical space above the desk creates a great visual balance between decor and function,” says Jenn Feldman Designs founder Jenn Feldman. “In this den, the desk doubles as a side table as the room’s furniture when not in use as a workspace.”
Once upon a time, stark white desks and those with muted color palettes reigned supreme. Nowadays, though, House Sprucing owner and lead designer Heather Fujikawa says bright hues are on the rise in the home office space. “Bringing color back is something we see as strong for 2023,” she says. “Paint-drenched walls in dark hues are all the rage and we love this Hale Navy paint color from Benjamin Moore that brings the perfect navy blue.”
If you love a particular color, don’t be afraid to outfit your entire office with it. “I’m excited to see some monochromatic offices,” says Susanna Simonpetri, Creative Director of Chango & Co. “We have a few colorful rooms in the works that explore a single color to its fullest potential.”
Small but dedicated spaces
In 2023, designers expect the number of individual home offices to skyrocket. “One of the biggest trends we’ve seen is people now want their own office space,” says Brett Zunino, Director of Studio DB. “Before, people shared their home offices, now that working from home is more permanent, they want their own office instead of sharing space.”
Adjoining kitchen space
You don’t need a lot of space to create your own home office. “Continuing with the wallpaper trend, carving out a pretty spot in the kitchen allows for the ease of proximity to emailing while waiting for dinner to finish,” says Griffin.
Like Griffin’s kitchen-adjacent suggestion, Feldman says repurposing large cabinets can work in home offices, too. “This office space was repurposed from an oversized utility closet that wasn’t used,” she shares. “A simple switch to a barn door and a cool accent fabric create the perfect desk space stashed away like a small jewelry box.”
You might think that a home office is defined by the office it’s in, but according to Simonpetri, that’s not the case. “We’re also starting to see a lot of orders for offices getting rid of the power desk,” she says. “Most executives these days tend to prefer a smaller desk and more space to move around on calls. I personally embrace this and design offices with more lounge space and free floor space, abandoning the idea of a bulky ‘old school principal’ desk.”
If you love the idea of a power desk, though, Feldman says placing it center stage will make quite the statement. “Space planning is the key to a great home office,” she says. Placing a desk in the middle of a room creates a great visual flow – just lay out an electrical diagram to keep unsightly cords out of the way. This custom desk is designed with a channel in the leg to run cords cleanly from a floor outlet for great looks and all functionality. A small hole in the mat allows by connecting the main wire and not seeing it.
As much as you may want to stick to a sleek and chic aesthetic, there’s something to be said about infusing personality into your home office. “Having home offices that speak to the people who live in the space is extremely important and never goes out of style,” says Fujikawa. “We love this office space that tells the story of the person who works in it. The guitar touch, the lounge corner, the minimalist cowboy art, and the modern touches really capture the vibe.”
Sometimes choosing a darker color palette can make a home office feel more comfortable and inviting. “There’s a reason movie theaters are dark: You can see the screen and the light better,” says Feldman. “A desk in a warm dark library creates a beautiful on-screen spectacle of work and beauty.”
Light, bright, and airy
While dark color palettes are calming to some, others prefer bright spaces to encourage alertness. “In 2023, we’re seeing a clean approach to home offices,” says Fujikawa. “People like to let in light for a home office to be a place for bright ideas, calm, and a sanctuary to be at their best to do the tasks at hand. Keeping the design simple, clean, and bright can create a mood that is not only lightening, but can also bring in positivity that can help shine through their work.”
While wallpaper adds instant intrigue to a home office space, Zunino says it also perfectly creates wallpaper if you’re hopping on a video call. “A major trend we’re seeing in home offices is the importance of Zoom backgrounds as everyone is constantly on video calls,” she explains. This is not to say that wallpaper is the only way to have a camera-friendly desk. Instead, it is about maintaining a clean and well-designed space.
For a classic home office look, embrace more color palettes, manly silhouettes and textiles. “A stylish home office is a mutually shared space these days, for work from home to afternoon chats,” says Griffin. “A pair of comfortable chairs and designer shelves make the space feel less like work, and more like play.”
Not all home offices have to be work and play. “Bringing an intersection between great design and functionality is always something to note where the home office is headed,” says Fujikawa. “It’s all about the intentional design and purpose of every element in the office that really helps make it a space where home life and work thrive in that space.” In this desk she designed, Fujikawa made a point to prioritize built-in cabinets that offer ample storage, as well as shelves to give the finish a touch of personality and accentuate it.
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