7 Home Office Design Trends

April 24, 2021

This past year in Covid-19 quarantine, many of us spent some—if not all—of our work days at home. As vaccines ramp up and restrictions are lifted, hopefully our new normal will allow more of us to head back into the away-from-home office (those that want to anyway). For the rest of us, working from home is here to stay. Upwork estimates that 22% of the workforce (36.2 million Americans) will be remote by 2025.

Either way, the home office continues to trend in real estate. Whether you’re staging your property to sell or just looking for some home office design inspiration, here are some of the hottest home office trends to consider.

1. Creative Use of Space

Those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to have a designated office can still benefit from a dedicated work area by putting our creative forces to work. Do you have a sun-filled corner you could clear out? An extra-wide windowsill that could accommodate a laptop? A cozy spot with a view? A closet you could empty? (“Cloffices” are trendy at the moment.) An alcove or open space you could section off with a room divider? If you’re lacking desk space, try a wall-mounted desk that folds up when not in use. As Apartment Therapy reminds us, even in an NYC studio, it’s possible to make a home office.

2. Zoom Appeal

Even a casual browse through recent real estate listings demonstrates the importance of a home workspace. While some listings explicitly call attention to a “Zoom Room” or mention how a beautiful view would make the “perfect Zoom background,” many others imply the same by painting a picture of an idyllic work-from-home experience for a potential buyer. Even properties with less square footage are prioritizing workspaces, office nooks or alfresco workstations. So if you’re staging your home or carving out a new workspace, consider how it might look in a video chat.

3. Good Lighting

Select a space that benefits from natural light. If that’s not possible in your home, consider a mirror to reflect light from somewhere else, or a bright light fixture. Dimming bulbs—especially those that can be controlled through your phone—are popular and can really come in handy to switch things up throughout your work day. If you’re considering adding a wall or partition, try one made of glass or one with shelving that allows light to filter through.

4. Neutral Color Palette

Sherwin-Williams’s 2021 color of the year is Urban Bronze, which is said to “breathe down-to-earth tranquility,” and one of Pantone’s colors of the year is Ultimate Gray. In a survey by furniture giant Living Spaces, 66% of respondents preferred neutral walls. Consider warm neutrals like modern grays and greens, or bone whites, along with natural finishes—wood, stone accents or mixed metals. This will give your space a calm vibe and won’t be too distracting on those Zoom calls.

Wood desk with Mac monitor, houseplant and colorful wall art in background

Photo by Elsa Noblet

5. Pops of Color

Pantone’s second color of the year is Illuminating (yellow). With a neutral color palette as your base, introduce pops of color—a bright carpet, a vibrant chair, a playful painting. Small pops of color will help to brighten up your space—especially if it happens to be a cloffice, since closets don’t always get a lot of natural light.

6. Adjustable Desks

Standing desks are still quite popular. But if you’re not ready to stand all day, an adjustable desk can offer the best of both worlds. From basic, to L-shaped, to high-end, adjustable desks come in a variety of styles.

White desk with Macbook, three succulents and windows with city view in background

Photo by Daan Stevens

7. Add Some Life

House plants are a perennial favorite. Think succulents, colorful foliage, edible plants such as herb gardens, and rare showpieces. Plants can be therapeutic and make your space feel alive. Even if you lack a green thumb, you can do a quick Google search for “beginner plants” and discover many that are pretty hard to kill.

At the end of the day, it is your home office—or cloffice. Decorate it in a way that represents you—even if that means going off trend. But if you’re staging to sell, don’t forget to consider how potential buyers will view the space and what they may find inviting.

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