Building on the blank canvas of a simple white desk, you can turn your home office or study into an expression of your own personal work style
A study or home office doesn’t have to be a bland space filled with traditional grey office furniture – this is an area where you can be as creative as you like and have fun with theme and colour. Think outside the box when it comes to furniture and accessories to create a zone that will put a smile on your face and where you’ll want to spend time. A simple decor update can make sitting down to work something you’ll look forward to. For this feature, we’ve taken an inexpensive white desk and styled it three different ways.
This compact white desk from Warehouse Stationery has a modern, clean look which works well with multiple interior styles. You can’t go wrong with a white foundation piece as it gives you the flexibility to change up your theme as often as you wish. A wide drawer is great for storing stationery so you can keep the desktop free from clutter.
Depending on the size of your space and your needs, you could consider placing two desks side by side. This is a simple way to make an office space work for more than one family member. You could also give each desk its own unique style and accessories to create two distinct spaces that still sit well together.
For other desk options, check out our list of the best desks to help you stay organised and inspired.
Take a seat
Your office chair needn’t be a traditional computer chair on wheels. For our three looks, we’ve found chairs that are comfortable, practical and aesthetically pleasing. Consider adding a cushion or throw for extra texture and comfort.
If you desire a splash of colour in your home but you’re not feeling brave enough to try it on a large wall, an office could be the perfect place to experiment. Just ensure any statement colour you use on the wall is also used in artwork, furniture or soft furnishings to keep the room looking cohesive.
There are so many great storage options available for the home, many of which would work well in your office. In the yekkiw look, the pink metal locker with shelves is a great solution if space is tight. You can also stack storage boxes on top and underneath to keep surfaces tidy.
The large black open bookshelf pictured here mixes stationery and storage with decorative elements, making this office look less corporate. This is a particularly good strategy if your office nook or study is part of another room. The rattan wall shelf is an excellent storage option for a mix of smaller stationery items, decorative elements and photographs, and will give the room a more personal feel.
Keep the clutter at bay with decorative storage boxes for ugly printer cartridges, paper, tape, bulldog clips etc. No matter how small, ensure everything has its place. Storage boxes can be bought separately or as a set and look great when stacked. Kitchen and bathroom organisers also work well for holding smaller office items.
Accessories & Styling
When it comes to styling an office space, aim for things that spark your creativity but don’t offer unnecessary distraction; for example, a beautiful print could be inspiring, but a sheaf of receipts on a bulldog clip looks messy and could make you feel stressed. If you need visual reminders on the wall, try using a pinboard to keep everything together and put it away when it’s not in use.
Always include some form of nature such as a pot plant or vase of flowers to add life and a little reminder of the world outside.
Illumination is key in any room of the home and layered lighting is always the best option. Ceiling lights along with a table or floor lamp make for a simple yet versatile lighting scheme.
There are so many great decorative items that can be used for storing pencils and pens etc, so don’t think you have to stick to a purpose-made pencil pot. A glass, jar, coffee mug, bathroom tumbler or small planter would all work well.
Every office needs a rubbish bin for discarded ideas. Wire bins are good for waste paper before it’s recycled, but not so good for other things, like food scraps. Opt for a rubbish bin with a lid if you’re partial to a bit of snacking while you work.
Shop the looks below
1. Workspace Moda desk, $149, from Warehouse Stationery. A4 ring binders, $25 each, rag paper pad, $22, storage boxes, $22 and $39.95, from Green With Envy. Mercer + Reid mini faux orchid, $18.99, from Adairs. Sully round brass container, $64.90, from Country Road. Glow tumbler (used as pencil pot), $12.90, from Citta. Eddie table lamp, $129.99, Mustard skinny locker in blush, $399, from Shut The Front Door. Blaire velvet dining chair, $249, Rogue faux orchid, $29.95, from Freedom. Wire gold-look bin, $6, from Kmart. Antique Viscose rug in gold, $799, from Nood. Gold bulldog clips, $2 each, from Flux Boutique.
2. Stacks bookshelf, $699, Paton granite tumbler (holding scissors), $11.95, Tanami tumbler (on desk), $9.95, Scoop dining chair, $179, from Freedom. Darling Clementine boxes, $18-$29, Darling Clementine journals, $42 each, from Tea Pea. Meloria ball candle, $59.90, lamp, $329, round Gaussian perspex box, $79.90, from Citta. Female form vase, US$16, and mug, US$12, from Urban Outfitters. Wire magazine file, $6, stapler, $3, tape dispenser, $3, bookends, $3, from Kmart. Get Your Sh*t Together and The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck books, $39.99 each, from Shut The Front Door. Dark Silhouette print, $49, from Simply Creative. Frame, $30, from Spotlight. Other items stylist’s own.
3. Hampton white linen curtain set, from $99, from EziBuy. Downloadable palm print, $10.05, from Etsy/Heartsincolors. Manhattan oak-look picture frame, $12, Kraft visual diary, $4, white shelves, $20 each, file boxes, $4 each, rattan boxes with handles, $16 for 3, from Kmart. Round rattan shelf, $299, coffee cup, $39.99, Seeker espadrilles, $39.99, from Shut The Front Door. Rattan tissue box, $55, rattan bin, $85, coconut tealight holder (in rattan shelf), $30, large patterned shell (on rattan shelf), $32, large white beaded box with shells, $60, seashell (on white shelf), $30, from Annabelle’s. Papaya Paros pot (on desk), $99, from Indie Home Collective. Daintree Carver chair, $299, Niki basket, $99, from Freedom. Appetito long handle string bag, $8, Alberta natural rug, $219.99, from Spotlight. Goji Orange Madison soy candle, $48, from Living Light Candles. Papaya vessels (on rattan shelf), from $30, small beaded box with shells, $67.90, from Indie Home Collective. Coral, $209, brass crab, $99, from Republic Home. Gawi bowl candle, $69.90, from Citta. Wooden pencil cup, $22, wooden scissors, $22, wooden stapler, $25, wooden tape dispenser, $32, from Green With Envy. Jay pot, $44.99, from Adairs. All other items stylist’s own.
Fancy making your own desk instead? Consider this great budget-friendly desk option.
Words and styling by: Vanessa Nouwens. Photography by: Wendy Fenwick.