Picking the right home office furniture just got a little easier, so you can put more time and attention into getting your work done and less into shopping. (Unless you’d rather shop than work, which we totally respect.)

By Lauren Phillips
Updated September 20, 2018
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
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In a home office, this is where all the work happens. You want a desk that’s large enough for your computer, notebook, or whatever other tools are required to get the job done, but a too-large desk invites clutter—and who has room for an enormous L-shaped desk at home, anyway?In the Real Simple Home, this vital piece of home office furniture is the Moroccan Inlay Console Table from Arhaus ($999; arhaus.com). The desk is marketed as a console table, but its 18-inch depth means there’s plenty of space for working. Cost Plus World Market has a slightly more affordable desk with the same global vibe (Embossed Metal Clad Wood Kiran Desk, $500; worldmarket.com).RELATED: 10 Home Office Ideas That Will Make You Want to Work All Day
Christopher Testani

Picking out the right home office furniture takes a lot of effort. It’s ironic, really, that you need to put so much work into creating a space where you hope to get a lot of work done, but here we are. Pulling inspiration from the Real Simple Home, a four-bedroom penthouse in Brooklyn, New York, that we transformed with the help of designers and professional organizers, we’ve broken down the perfect home office into six essential components. We were inspired by the playful colors and clever organizers in the small-space home office in the kid’s room of the home, but the bones of the home office are fit for grown-ups with a few simple swaps.

Christopher Testani

1
A Pretty Desk

In a home office, this is where all the work happens. You want a desk that’s large enough for your computer, notebook, or whatever other tools are required to get the job done, but a too-large desk invites clutter—and who has room for an enormous L-shaped desk at home, anyway?

In the Real Simple Home, this vital piece of home office furniture is the Moroccan Inlay Console Table from Arhaus ($999; arhaus.com). The desk is marketed as a console table, but its 18-inch depth means there’s plenty of space for working. Cost Plus World Market has a slightly more affordable desk with the same global vibe (Embossed Metal Clad Wood Kiran Desk, $500; worldmarket.com).

RELATED: 10 Home Office Ideas That Will Make You Want to Work All Day

urbanoutfitters.com

2
A Comfortable Chair

Unless you’re into standing desks, the next piece of furniture you’ll need for your dreamy home office is a chair. This Urban Outfitters chair is low-profile—which makes it ideal for a smaller home office—with a loosely woven seat and back. (If you tend to get worked up during terse email exchanges, this will help your bottom and back stay nice and cool—no more sweaty leather chair seats.)


To buy: Marte Bistro Chair, $240; urbanoutfitters.com.


RELATED: 5 Mini Decorating Moves for a Boring Home Office

cb2.com

3
A Little Cushioning

We hear you: Sitting in a rattan chair all day isn’t exactly comfortable. It will encourage you to get up and move around more—always a good thing!—but when you really need to buckle down and focus for a few hours, a pretty cushion will make that easier. A pink sheepskin option from CB2 looks great in the kid’s room/office space of the Real Simple Home, but you may be looking for something a little more subtle—fortunately, the pillow comes in six different colors and has two different insert options (down-alternative or feather-down).


To buy: 16” Mongolian Sheepskin Pillow, $90; cb2.com.

etsy.com

4
A Powerful Organizing Tool

Vertical storage is everything, especially in small home offices. Here, a pegboard offers storage and a place to add some personal touches. Best of all, pegboards are easily adjustable, so you can swap the layout around as needed to keep the office supplies you use the most easily within reach.
 

To buy: Display Birch Plywood Pegboard, $195; etsy.com. For a more affordable option, see the IKEA SKÅDIS pegboard combination options ($37; ikea.com).


RELATED: 21 Ideas for Organizing Your Home Office

westelm.com

5
A Lamp

A desk lamp helps illuminate your work and prevents aggravating shadows caused by overhead lighting. This ceramic option has a natural linen shade for a good, clean light, and a whimsical look that can easily transfer to a side table or night stand if you tire of it in your home office.


To buy: Roar + Rabbit Ripple Ceramic Table Lamp in Turquoise, $179; westelm.com.

uncommongoods.com

6
Plenty of Knick-Knacks

Are knick-knacks (or tchotchkes, or odds and ends, or whatever you want to call them) necessary? Absolutely not. But they do bring a space to life. In a home office, they can also be useful, either as productivity tools or organizers. An hourglass can help you focus on a specified task for a certain amount of time; a playful catch-all can corral paper clips, magnets, and other small office supplies; and a notepaper roller is great for brainstorming and list-making.


To buy: Magnetic Sand Hourglass, $18; uncommongoods.com. Crescent Moon Catch-All Dish, $14; urbanoutfitters.com. Notepaper Roller, $31; uncommongoods.com.


RELATED: 17 Surprising Home Office Ideas