Whether you work from home or just need a designated space to check email or pay bills, a home office offers a quiet place where you can get things done.
Your home office may be a full room or a setup in the corner of your bedroom or living room. Either way, a desk stocked with a few essentials and a comfy chair will amp up your productivity and keep you organized.
Not sure what things you need in order to create a dynamic home office space? We rounded up some of our favorite items.
1. A large desk
A good desk is a necessity for any home office, says Sherri Monte, a Seattle-based interior designer, home organizer, and co-owner of Elegant Simplicity. This Parsons-style desk ($154.99, Wayfair.com) has a simple, minimalist design that will match any decor, and Monte says it offers “a ton of versatility for desk accessories.”
The simple style would also work well as both a computer or writing desk, and would be a good fit for all of your at-home projects, says Rebecca Hazzard, managing broker and owner of Re/Max of Rock Valley in Northern Illinois.
2. A comfortable, colorful chair
An armless version will fit under most desks, she says, and the many color options available adds a pop to any home office decor.
An upholstered chair creates comfort while you tackle your tasks, Monte says, and the tufted back “dresses up your home office but also keeps it casual.”
3. Desk accessories
“We love to dress up a home office with stylish desk accessories, and these have the perfect touch of sophistication,” Monte says.
The Codify pencil holder ($48, Anthropologie.com) has many different slots for a “place to corral all your desk accessories,” says Janet Lorusso, owner and principal designer at Boston-based JRL Interiors. Plus, it has a sleek style.
4. A bright desk lamp
Good lighting is an important aspect of any home office, and Monte suggests carefully considering how much space a lamp will take up on your desk. This midcentury modern model ($34.92, Walmart.com) is compact enough to leave plenty of space to work.
The brushed-bronze, natural stone, and seeded-glass design of this desk lamp offers a contemporary take on a classic style, adding personality to your workspace, says Sarah Barnard, a WELL- and LEED-accredited professional and interior designer.
5. A file organizer
To keep your home office from getting cluttered, a letter or file sorter is truly an essential.
“It’s great for keeping your current projects organized and at your fingertips when you need to get to them quickly,” says Shandra Ward, a Houston-based interior designer and party planner.
The gold finish of the Savoy letter sorter ($18, Anthropologie.com) is a classic with vintage style, Purcell says: “It’s like something reminiscent to what my grandfather would have had on his desk.”
6. A charging station
Electronic devices are a necessity of life, but it can be a battle to keep everything charged (and organized). A desktop charging station ($36, Anthropologie.com) holds everything in one place, with cords out of the way, and ensures that it’s always ready to use, Hazzard says.
But, you don’t have to sacrifice design for function.
“The gorgeous wood gives this techie accessory a natural, down-to-earth feel,” Purcell says.
7. A rolling file cabinet
More storage is something every home office can use, and even in the digital age, we still end up with plenty of paper. This portable file cabinet ($59.99, Walmart.com) features three drawers to hold all of your extra stuff. Lorusso suggests lining up several of these to create an inexpensive credenza or printer stand.
Since it’s on wheels, you can easily move the file cabinet around.
“If you need to work on a larger surface, like the kitchen table when doing taxes, you can roll it where you need it with your files at your fingertips,” Ward says.
8. A wall calendar
Productivity apps and online calendars keep most of us organized these days. But, there’s still plenty of room for analog processes.
A dry-erase wall calendar with a cork board ($29.53, Walmart.com) creates a handy display for your to-do lists, appointments, and deadlines, Ward says.
Trash cans are a home office essential. This molded wood model ($22, Walmart.com) is discreet, and the two-tone gray and blond design adds “interest without being overstated,” Barnard says.
“Let us not overlook the importance of a trash can by your desk, and this one is so sleek and modern you wouldn’t mind having it out in the corner to be seen, instead of hidden under your desk,” Purcell says.
10. Wireless speaker
Listening to music or your favorite podcast while you work will help keep you focused, so every office needs a wireless speaker ($79.95 to $89.95, Walmart.com), Lorusso says.
The wireless feature will keep your desk clutter-free, Ward says. And this model is waterproof so you can use it in different rooms of your home. Plus, the simple design will blend with your existing decor.
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