There are a number of places where a home office can emerge from your existing home. Some people have the luxury of an extra room, but sometimes all you’ve got is a spare corner somewhere. Whether you’ve got lots of space or hardly any space at all, here are some home office decorating ideas that can help you maximize your productivity every day.

#1. Give yourself a view. You might not have much space for a home office, but if you’ve got a window, then it seems like you’ve got all the space in the world. Position a simple desk and chair in front of your window so you’ve got a view to enjoy. Coordinate the room with your desk so the space doesn’t seem jumbled or uncomfortable. A tall bookcase can give you some extra storage if needed. 

#2. Think about multiple functions. In homes where space is really at a premium, then your home office needs to be able to fulfill multiple function. Think about using items that give you storage, a desktop surface, and other specifics that your room requires, yet can still fold up and minimize the space requirements. In a pinch, even a breakfast nook or a dining room table can be used as a home office area. 

#3. Keep your zones separate. Although it isn’t always possible, break the room where your home office is going to be into a separate zone. Consider painting the walls in your home office zone a different color for added separation. As long as everything compliments each other, the visual aesthetics of the room won’t be bothersome and you’ll be creating the foundation of being able to effectively work. 

#4. Know what you need to accomplish. Different people need different atmospheres to find success. Children, for example, need to have colors that are cool, fun, but still energetic. Adults tend to prefer something bold and contemporary. Some people with dominant personalities require blues and greens in their environment in order to stay productive. Know what it is that you’ve got to get done in your home office and then carve out the environment in your existing space to make it happen. 

#5. A corner can be a magical thing. Maybe the only bit of space that you have is a small corner in a small room. That’s fine because you can still work a home office out of this small space. Even something basic like a shelf above a desk can give you the extra storage space you need. A storage bin, a lamp, and a flat working surface that is big enough for your computer and maybe a notepad is really all that is needed. This corner then becomes your space and although it is part of a larger room, it mentally becomes a place where you can retreat. 

#6. Even hallways can become home offices. Any space that you have in your home has the potential of becoming a home office. Even a hallway can become an office if a slim enough desk is used and the seating at the desk can be stored underneath. You can even make it seem like this isn’t an office area when visitors come offer just by putting a bouquet of flowers on the working surface. 

#7. Don’t forget about the office chair. Your office chair can actually become the centerpiece of your home office. In a room that is filled with beige, tan, or white, a splash of color from an office chair can provide some amazing visual appeal. There are numerous ergonomically friendly office chairs for less than $200 that can be found online at sites like Amazon that not only give you multiple color preferences, but also encourage you to sit properly so you don’t feel the aches and pains of prolonged work as much. 

#8. Use color to separate spaces. Sometimes you need more than one office space for your home. This is especially true if you have kids who need to do their homework while you’re paying the bills are finalizing a contract for your own work. You might even need to work side by side because of your space requirements. Yet if you just differentiate the working spaces with changes in color and artwork, an intimate space can be created even if someone is within an arm’s reach right next to you. 

#9. Blend into the background. Sometimes there is a desire to have a home office not be separated from the rest of the home. For those that wish to blend into their background, consider matching the colors and style of your office materials to the surrounding environment. Instead of a traditional desk, for example, a rustic home may find that a thrift shop desk with some partial restoration may be more visually appealing. As long as you can stay productive, it’s just fine to make your home office become a camouflaged work of art. 

#10. Use that bare wall. Instead of extending outward, consider extending upward if you need some extra space. Floating shelves are easy enough to install and are highly affordable. Don’t forget that there is floor space around you as well that can be used. For an added bit of visual appeal, consider painting your new shelves or even using wallpaper to make them look distinctive. 

#11. Look to coordinate with the architecture of your home. Maybe you’ve got a pillar that separates your living room from your family room. A small wall may separate your kitchen from the rest of the home. Just one little bit of separation is all it takes to create a natural area for a home office. You can even choose to keep the colors and flow consistent or neutral to create a seamless look, even if you include file cabinets, shelves, or other items of organization into your decorating designs. 

#12. Contrast isn’t always as good as you think it might be. Sharp bursts of color can make for a stunning home office. They can also create an area where people fear to tread. Sometimes creating contrast is a good thing and can be inviting, but not all colors work well together. Dark office spaces with light furniture or the reverse prove that opposites don’t always attract. It’s also proof that stainless steel doesn’t go with everything. If you like sharp color bursts, then of course include them, but don’t feel like they are 100% necessary. 

#13. Curtains are magical. The problem with many home offices is that they don’t provide real privacy. You can be trying to work and then your spouse comes in to talk about their day. The kids might come home from school, plunk down with their homework and cookie crumbs from snack, and make it impossible to concentrate. A simple curtain can be enough to create a barrier that tells others that now is a time not to disturb you. It can also provide you with the mental barrier tha allows you to step away when necessary from the rest of the world. 

#14. Life changes don’t need to require home office changes. Maybe you just had twins and your home office now needs to be a nursery. There could be toys strewn everywhere. Whether your colors are pink, blue, or both, a little creativity can help you merge the need for a nursery and the need for a home office together. Over time, your home office will become something for your children as they grow up, but for now, there’s nothing wrong with mixing some princess artwork with your own working space to save on space. 

#15. In the bedroom… not always, but maybe. The point of a home office is to separate your space so the you have at least one oasis to which you can retreat. In some homes, however, this just isn’t possible and the office has to be in the bedroom. The goal of decorating this type o office is to make it seem like it is a natural extension of the rest of the room. Make it seem like it belongs there. Then just resist the temptation to work when you’ve got a few spare moments during the evening. 

#16. Make it yours. Ultimately there isn’t a right way or a wrong way to decorate a home office. There is just your way. Maybe you like to have cartoon characters plastered all about. You might enjoy having pictures of family and friends. You might even like a stark, modern environment with clean lines, a glass desk, and metal framing. Being bold is great, but only if you are true to yourself. Make your home office your own and it will evolve into one of the greatest working environments you’ve ever been able to enjoy. 

These home office decorating ideas are designed to help get you started with your own creative and innovative ideas. No two home offices should look alike because no two people are exactly alike. Carve out some space, let it grow with you and your family, and give yourself the chance to be productive. In doing so, whether your space is large or small, you’ll be able to accomplish all of your chores in an effective way.