10 Studies in Style: Working from Home Never Looked So Good

There’s no denying the benefits of working from home. No time wasted sitting in traffic, fewer distractions and a more flexible work-life balance has led 8 million Americans to fully embrace this lifestyle (based on the 2017 US Census). Globally, 70% of people work remotely at least once a week.

So now workers are home—but how can designers create integrated office spaces within the home to feel productive and inspired?

Expert interior design and merchandising firm Possibilities for Design rounded up their Top 10 “Studies in Style” to help rid the clutter and focus on optimizing the work environment at home. Because when surrounded by great design, productivity and a can-do attitude are sure to follow.

1. Contemporary Country

Heritage Collection in Baton Rouge, La., Possibilities for Design for Schumacher Homes. Photo courtesy of Possibilities for Design.

This study embraces a “Contemporary Country” aesthetic. Sacked brick detail gets a modern makeover with a cool-toned grey application.

Here, connectivity is key. Borrowed light from the adjoining great room, recessed lighting above the bookcase millwork and a bright white ceiling all contribute to the open and airy ambiance.

The desk and formal wing back chair introduce drama by way of contrast, while contemporary barrel chairs and light washed wood flooring create a unique work environment.

2. Mountain Modern

Flatiron Meadows in Erie, Colo., Possibilities for Design for Toll Brothers. Photo courtesy of Possibilities for Design.

This Colorado study takes on a “Mountain Modern” spirit. The variety of textures combine harmoniously to create the ultimate rustic comfort vis-à-vis leather chairs, a plush, “pebble” rug, hardwood on the floor and accent wall, and a memorable desk chair.

Not to mention, natural light beats fluorescent office lighting any day.

3. The “Not Your Average” Work Station

Great Valley Crossing in Malvern, Pa., Possibilities for Design for Toll Brothers. Photo courtesy of Possibilities for Design.

Not all home offices require a computer—and not all workshops need to be located in a garage. Here designers at Possibilities for Design used two adjoining wood tables, with built-in shelving for storage, and an abundance of space for creating, designing, and collaborating.

The bay window and industrial-inspired pendant provide the perfect amount of light, eliminating the need to dedicate valuable space to floor lamps. The wall mural is a simple yet impactful addition, creating interest from all angles.

4. Limited Space, Maximized Storage

Kimberton Glen in Phoenixville, Pa., Possibilities for Design for Toll Brothers. Photo courtesy of Possibilities for Design.

Narrow rooms require careful, expert detailing. Here, black trim outlines the space, while ambient light and the angled position of the desk all help to manipulate size.

PRO TIP: The floating shelves and built-in cabinets utilize the wall to provide optimum storage—maximizing floor space—all the while visually elongating the room.

5. Sophisticated Elegance

Regency at Stow in Stow, Mass., Possibilities for Design for Toll Brothers. Photo courtesy of Possibilities for Design.

This study is a lesson in elegance—an ideal ambiance to aid productivity. The cross-beamed ceiling detail lends an air of classic sophistication and creates immediate interest, while also emphasizing architectural interest.

Natural light pours into the space, while the full wall built-in shelving commands attention.

6. Contemporary

Summit Estates at Westchester in Valhalla, N.Y., Possibilities for Design for Toll Brothers. Photo courtesy of Possibilities for Design.

This contemporary study’s bay window is used as a visual backdrop for the desk, using the natural environment of the outdoors as artwork.

The use of not one, but two light fixtures really helps to amplify the design, while shelving above the TV finishes the look with a custom millwork detail.

PRO TIP: When in doubt, keep accent pieces minimal, as well as the use of color. Subtlety and a neutral color palette often make way for sophistication and tact.

7. The Transitional Vibe

Regency at South Whitehall in Allentown, Pa., Possibilities for Design for Toll Brothers. Photo courtesy of Possibilities for Design.

Here, neutrals are accented with black and white art and drapery, complimenting a transitional aesthetic. Industrial accents of exposed metal lighting are paired with painted millwork to create finesse and the ultimate two-toned balance.

PRO TIP: Space planning is key to the success of this room. Whether working at the desk or plopping down to read the latest best seller, the size and proportion of every furniture piece allows for dual function in this home office.

8. The Accent Wall

Bridger Pines in Fortville, Ind., Possibilities for Design for Lennar. Photo courtesy of Possibilities for Design.

One way to make a room sizzle is to add a unique accent wall. Smooth, muted brick adds not only texture, but the perfect modern-industrial backdrop. Stacked art, whimsy accessories, and fuzzy ottomans play together in this space to rival any cubical setting.

The chandelier crowns the room for the ultimate study in style.

9. The Old (Versatile) Favorite: Shiplap

Regency at Emerald Pines in Methuen, Mass., Possibilities for Design for Toll Brothers. Photo courtesy of Possibilities for Design.

A white shiplap surround always provides an uplifting atmosphere, and is an excellent canvas for floating shelves and favored décor. The wall-mounted TV offers convenient viewing for the latest “how-do” video, or keeping up with the stock exchange. Whatever your needs may be, this hybrid work station can serve them all.  

10. The Pocket Office

Barley Woods in Fredericksburg, Va., Possibilities for Design for Cornerstone Homes. Photo courtesy of Possibilities for Design.

Located near the entry, this cleverly designed pocket office utilizes minimal square footage, allowing other livable space within the home to be fully taken advantage of.

Each side of the desk is designed for maximum efficiency. A set of lower cabinets and drawers houses messy office supplies and filing, while cubbies above the desk add to the pleasing symmetry of the design.

PRO TIP: Be wary of colors that could evoke certain emotions or cause mental distractions. White always helps to de-clutter the chaos.

Post courtesy of Kristen Tally, marketing manager at Possibilities for Design, an award-winning interior design firm based in Denver, Colo.

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