When it comes to the ideal home office, style and function are both important.
You don’t need to drain your bank account to create a great work-from-home space, but some things are worth a bit of extra cash.
Insider spoke with professional interior designers to learn which home-office items they’d suggest spending extra money on.
Here’s what they said:
You should splurge on quality task lighting.
Bre Hance, founder and principal designer of InHance Interiors, told Insider that swapping harsh ceiling lights for quality task lighting can improve the function and feel of a home office.
“Overhead lighting can give some people a headache,” she said. “I always recommend buying task lighting with dimming options so you can adjust your lighting as needed.”
Wall sconces, floor lamps, or desk lights are great options for adding soft light to your workspace.
It’s worth adding a water supply to your office space.
Leaving your office space to refill a water bottle or grab a beverage can break your concentration.
“Consider investing in a water tank or dispenser that you keep in the office to fuel your productivity,” Hance told Insider.
You could opt for a small refrigerator with a pitcher of filtered water (and a few snacks), or install a full water cooler.
Live plants can add life to your office.
Arlene Lord, principal designer and owner of Lord Design, told Insider that a few plants can make your work space feel alive and fresh.
“Bringing live plants into your space will help with your mood and your air quality,” she said. “Just make sure the plants you choose work with the lighting in your office.”
Rubber trees, ZZ plants, and snake plants are hardy and striking choices that require minimal upkeep.
A high-quality chair is essential for comfort and productivity.
If you’re still working from an extra dining-room chair, it’s time to upgrade.
“Your office chair is so important,” Lord told Insider. “It should not only be attractive, but should adjust in height and be really supportive.”
Make sure that the height of your chair allows you to rest your arms comfortably on your desk and that the frame supports your lower back.
It’s totally worth spending more on a great desk.
A desk is the heart of an office, so it makes sense to spend a little more on the perfect one.
“I’d recommend getting a great desk,” Lord said. “If possible, get an adjustable desk so you can easily switch from sitting to standing.”
If your home office is a shared or temporary space, consider opting for a quality desk with locking or detachable wheels that will allow you to easily move it around.
Great art can lift your mood while you work.
There’s no need for your office to be grey and boring. Adding art can inject color and fun into a workspace.
“Splurge on art that will make you happy whenever you enter your office,” Lord told Insider. “A great frame, nonglare glass, and an image that you love is always worth it.”
Making your own wall art can help personalize your space, but you can also pick up high-end pieces online or from local galleries.
A love seat or armchair can add comfort to your office.
If there’s extra space in your office, Hance recommended adding another seating option.
“When you spend eight hours a day on the computer, you might want to switch up your chair occasionally,” she said. “A love seat or armchair adds extra comfort and style to your office.”
Extra seating in a luxe, bright fabric can also soften the look of a home office.
Invest in WiFi signal boosters to speed up your internet.
Internet boosters aren’t the most aesthetic addition to a work space, but interior designer Alan Weiner of Elegant Strand told Insider that it’s worth investing in a faster and more reliable internet connection.
“Dropped video calls and slow internet are a hassle,” he said. “Add signal boosters and pay for good bandwidth to make sure you can take care of business at home.”
Rolling carts are a versatile storage option for makeshift home offices.
If your home office also needs to be a living room, bedroom, or other shared space, invest in a stylish rolling cart to store your supplies.
“Rolling carts can be functional and beautiful, and can keep frequently used office items within reach,” Weiner told Insider.
When not in use, the rolling cart can simply be tucked away.
Extra power outlets can simplify an office space.
If your home office is overrun by tangled extension cords and power cables, adding a few extra wall outlets could keep things looking neat and improve your working experience.
“It’s worth splurging on a work space that has access to enough power outlets,” Weiner said.
If electrical renovations aren’t in your budget, consider running extension cords under a thick rug to disguise them. Just be sure to secure the cord to the floor and use an anti-slip mat beneath the rug.
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