Home & Office

Try these 11 tips for a modern home office look that's sure to impress

Are you ready to transform your home office into a modern space you will actually enjoy working in? ZDNet is making it simple with 11 easy tips.
Written by Gabby Rosas, Contributor

With most of the country still working from home, many are seeking out ways to revamp their home office spaces. Many are sharing living rooms or dining rooms with spouses or kids who are all in and out of zoom calls, and meetings and noise-canceling headphones only work so well. 

Also: ZDNet Recommends: The best products for every office

Modern home office design ideas

Luckily, you do not need a lot of extra space or need to spend tons of money (some home office items are tax-deductible -- find out which ones) to give yourself an organized, functional space you and possibly your family can benefit from. Here are 11 easy interior design tips for converting your home office into a modern space your whole family will love. 

Before you start

Before you get started, you will need a plan. Perhaps you are making a home office from scratch or just revamping a small space that has become unorganized and an eyesore. Grab a piece of paper and follow these five steps to help give you the perfect plan:  


Who will be using the home office? Is the space going to be used as primarily a professional workspace, or would you like it to also be a built-in place for creativity as well? Will you need to have meetings in your home office? 


How much shelving do you need to store in your office? Do you have lots of office furniture or office equipment such as a computer, shredders, printers, etc., you will need a space for? Do you have lots of things to file away so that you will need drawers or a filing cabinet? If using the space for crafts, do you need space to store these things as well? Perhaps using floating shelves versus a bookcase would save you some room? 


If the office is for multiple people, do you need a large community table or several small writing desks? Would you like comfortable, ergonomic chairs or a sofa? Perhaps you would like a table beside your chair to hold books or a coffee cup? 

Also: Best standing desks

Get a Visual

Try drawing out a few layout designs or color palettes, or even check out a few different online design tools for your home decor. 
We hope this breakdown helps you plan things out a little better as we move on to the next ten steps of creating a modern office space. 


If you already have a designated office space, perhaps now is a chance to decide if it is serving you or if it could be better. Your office space should meet your needs, whether that is a quiet, distraction-free space or maybe you like some activity and to be around others in your home. 

If you do not have an already designated space but desperately need a quiet place to call your own, perhaps now is a great time to repurpose that guest room that rarely gets used. Other unique spaces where you can add an office is to an unfinished attic or basement, or if you have room, a refurbished shipping container. 

Many people need this space to have a door so that they can shut out others in their family, roommates, or pets. If your space is not suited for a door, try purchasing a divider that can be put up to provide some sort of barrier. 

Don't sacrifice form for function

Your office space should reflect your style and be comfortable while also maintaining function. Put up modern floating bookshelves instead of that hand-me-down bookcase that does not match anything and is falling apart. 

Pick out furniture or cabinets that you are excited about using and that flows well together. Whether you need a desk for one or are creating space for the whole family, perhaps a gorgeous community table with chairs would be great or some comfortable couches. Just because it is a workspace does not mean it cannot be a comfortable and enjoyable space to be in. 

Having it decorated to match your style and the rest of your home will add to the way your home looks, and you will enjoy this space so much more. 

Invest in great office chairs

Since you will spend many hours in your desk chair, it should be comfortable and nice to look at. Taking care of your body is a priority when sitting in one place for hours, and your posture will often suffer if you do not get a chair that has good support. 

Also: Best office chairs 

Paint the walls a color you love

Do you work best in a room with a mid-century modern flair, cool tones, a bright color, or perhaps a fun wallpaper? Studies have been done on how our brains respond to different colors and make us more productive and create versus making one feel down or distracted (Check out this study from the University of Texas).

Luckily everyone is different, so while one person might like neutrals, another may love bright, happy colors. Find what you love and what motivates you to be the most productive. 

Give yourself a view

If you are in a room with a window, try facing your home office desk so you can view outside. The natural light will do wonders for you, and having something to look outside for will make the workday seem less mundane. If your office nook does not have a window, try hanging a gorgeous painting, inspirational quote, or simply facing the door can help. 

Choose homey office decor

A few options would be fun desk organization tools like a paper calendar you love or a utensil holder with your favorite pens. Find some notepads or notebooks you love that will also help keep you organized. A bulletin board to hang notes, reminders, or pictures on can be a way to bring functionality and fun into your space. If you like a cozier space, try adding some decorative pillows or a throw blanket. 

Also: Work from home: Build a super-functional home office for $1,200

Organize vertically and horizontally 

This may sound confusing, but essentially this means to use your small home office space as efficiently as possible. Using floating shelves to keep things off desktops, or even a floating desk to keep things off the floor. Try cute baskets to store papers; using cube storage is a modern, fun way to store books, knickknacks, or baskets for your organization. 

Keeping your space clutter-free and minimal is going to keep your mind free from stress and distraction as you work. 

Master your technology 

Although chords are necessary, offices typically have quite a few chords, and if they are unorganized, they can be quite the eyesore. A few great modern style options are a cable box, cable clips, fabric cord covers, tubing, or running cords through your desk for a minimalist look. 

Other things to consider are your network capabilities. If you are doing more from home or more people are on the internet all day, you may need to purchase more. There is nothing more frustrating than when you are trying to get things done, and your internet is slow or goes out. 

Preparing for the new load will help alleviate stress down the road instead of dealing with this after it is already a problem. 


Natural light is always preferred, so make sure you can open the window without creating glares on your computer screen. This will give your office a bright, energizing energy that will encourage productivity. 

A stainless steel table lamp,  desk lamp, or floor lamp is also a great idea for a light fixture that's closer to your workspace to reduce eye strain or when you are working at night. Wall sconces are always a great idea if you prefer low lighting.

A cozy chair near a nice pendant light is always a great spot to settle down with a good book after work hours. 

Also: Best home office lighting

Let your home office ideas inspire you 

Having things you love around you will inspire you, so add some family pictures, inspirational quotes, or your favorite, eye-catching artwork on a gallery wall. These things should keep you motivated and remind you of your goals. 

Often pictures of your family will remind you of why you work so hard, and that quote will keep you going when the days seem to drag on. 

Have fun creating your space 

These DIY tips will help you on your way to creating a great living space for you or others in your family to enjoy. This year has been hard for many, and there have been many new adjustments, but hopefully, loving your new office space will make this time easier for everyone. 

Be sure to set boundaries and rules around you and your family's needs as you may be working from home together. It may also be tempting to lock yourself in your office and bury yourself in your work, but remember to get up, move around, and cut yourself off after many hours to do something fun and spend time with family and friends. 

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