For Your Inspiration: 19 Home Offices We Love, Remote Work Edition
Like millions of quarantining families, for the past few weeks my husband and I have been working from home and our kids “distance-learning.” He and I, in general, don’t work well together (he’s on conference calls all day; I prefer to do my work while half-tuning in to the Brian Lehrer Show), nor do our sons (let’s just say one likes to hum and the other really, really doesn’t), so we’ve all retreated to separate corners of our house.
My husband snagged the study as his remote office. Our 14-year-old son has taken over the den. Our 9-year-old has chosen his bedroom—which means for a large chunk of the day, unfortunately, that’s where I am, too, trying to get actual work done while overseeing his online learning. In fact, I am writing this while sitting on his twin-sized bed, with his Star Wars comforter over my legs and his Batman Ugly Doll staring at me.
I miss my own work space. Which is why I found myself digging through our archives to find inspiring home offices. Below, our non-scientific assessment of what you need to create the perfect work-from-home setup, as illustrated by 19 home offices we love.
Abundant Natural LightAbove: Sliding doors to a deck and multiple French windows add up to ample natural light in Kathleen Whitaker’s Echo Park office studio. Her husband made the desk out of plywood that he cut to size and mounted on folding catering-table legs. Photograph by Laure Joliet, from Shift to Neutral: LA Jewelry Designer Kathleen Whitaker’s Radical Transformation. About: Interior Michaela Scherrer’s home office features oversized windows and a custom warm white on the walls that she mixed herself. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista, from DIY: How to Mix the Perfect White Paint with LA Designer Michaela Scherrer.
A Place for EverythingAbove: A birch wood pegboard from Kreisdesign allows for flexible storage in Julie and Josh’s home office. (See DIY: A Stylish, Modern Wooden Pegboard for an alternative.) Photograph by Matthew Williams, styling by Alexa Hotz, for Remodelista, from Before/After: A Remodelista’s Refreshed Parlor Floor Flat in Brooklyn Heights, NY. Above: Wall-mounted String Shelving provides both open and closed storage options in this office designed by Ellen Hamilton. Photograph by Max Kim Bee, from A Modest Beach Cottage on Martha’s Vineyard Goes from “Bad Seventies” to “Good Seventies”.
Mood BoardsAbove: Design legend Ilse Crawford’s temporary office in Copenhagen featured a mood board, of course, a necessity for creatives everywhere. Photograph by Casper Sejersen for the Apartment, from Mastering Warm Minimalism: Ilse Crawford in Copenhagen. Above: Photographer Pia Ulin also utilizes a mood wall in her home office. Photograph by Pia Ulin, from Light and Shadow: Photographer Pia Ulin at Home in Brooklyn.
Good Task LightingAbove: A flea-market find illuminates the desk in designer Kirill Bergart’s study. See Midcentury Modern Mashup: At Home with a Rising Design Star in LA. Above: Designer Gesa Hansen is a pro at mixing high and low. Here in her office, she paired a cork-topped table and stools from Ikea with the Tolomeo Floor Lamp, a modern classic. Photograph by Nathalie Mohadjer, courtesy of Gesa Hansen, from Gesa Hansen’s Country Style: The Scandinavian-German Designer’s Family Quarters Outside of Paris.
Art that InspiresAbove: In music producer Nick Gilpin’s home office, a wall painted Farrow & Ball’s Claydon Blue provides the perfect backdrop for a black and white portrait. Photograph by Paul Massey, courtesy of Howe, from “Mamma Mia” Music Producer Nick Gilpin’s Stylishly Revived Georgian Manse. Above: Another Farrow & Ball color, a moody Mouse’s Back, was used in this office by Colombe Design. Photograph by Kasia Gatkowska, courtesy of Colombe Design, from Creative Flow: A Novelist’s Elegant Pied-a-Terre by Colombe Studio.
Books, the More the BetterAbove: Call me old-school, but I can’t imagine an office without books and other printed materials. We like the Alvar Aalto 112 Shelves designer C.S. Valentin used in his home office and the way his books spill onto the floor even more. Photograph by Jonathan Hökklo, styling by Alexa Hotz, for Remodelista, from At Home with C. S. Valentin: French Eclecticism in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. Above: The desk is flanked by rows of books in this Notting Hill townhouse study. Photograph by Rory Gardiner, styling by Emma Lynn Archer, from A Notting Hill Townhouse Artfully Transformed by Sadie Snelson.
Something OldAbove: We prefer to get down to business in rooms that have some gravitas—and old things, in our opinion, confer gravitas. Here, a Napoleon III desk pairs beautifully with a Singer chair in designer Marianne Evennou’s chic office. Photograph courtesy of Marianne Evennou, from Home at the Office: Designer Marianne Evennou’s Paris Work Quarters and Pied-à-Terre. Above: An old-fashioned secretary desk and vintage chair contrast nicely with modern pieces. Photograph courtesy of Dinesen, from The Dinesen Family House: A Historic Renovation for Danish Design Royalty.
Natural BeautyAbove: A stand-alone studio in the backyard may just be the holy grail of home offices. This one is particularly nice because of its views of and access to the garden. Photograph by French + Tye, courtesy of MW Architects, from A Light-Filled Writing Studio (plus Outdoor Shower) for a London Author. Above: Flowers and greenery animate the study, featuring a Josef Frank Secretaire, of John and Juli Baker’s weekend cottage. Photograph by Juli Baker, from An Antique Stone House Revived, from John and Juli Baker of Mjolk in Toronto.
Lounging FurnitureAbove: A sofa or day bed isn’t essential to a home office, but it sure does come in handy when you need an afternoon recharge. Photograph courtesy of The Modern House, from English Translation: A Compact Victorian Gets an Eclectic but Cohesive Makeover. Above: One of our favorite home offices for reflection and repose. Photograph by Jonathan Hökklo, styling by Alexa Hotz, from Steal This Look: A Clean, Well-Lighted Study by Designer C.S. Valentin.
A Supportive CoworkerAbove: It doesn’t hurt to have an office mate who always has your back. Photograph by Photograph by and courtesy of Kate Sears, styling by Kate S. Jordan, from The Sentimental Minimalist: A Young Architect’s Bed-Stuy Townhouse Makeover.
For more on home offices, see: