Chances are, you didn’t put much thought into home offices back in January. Sure, having an alternative office was a nice idea, but it would always play second fiddle to your corporate cubicle or co-working space. But, whether you have an entire room to dedicate to work or a tiny nook wedged in between your living room and kitchen, a home office is now essential. The work from home trend isn’t going away anytime soon, so you might want to make “redecorating your office” part of your 2021 resolutions.
To help, a handful of design experts are sharing their predictions for the home office trends you need to know now. A space that’s productive and aesthetically pleasing? Well, that's poised to become the MVP of any home.
Take a Seat
“You don’t live in a corporate environment, so your home shouldn’t reflect that. Instead, your desk or work table should be paired with a chair you’d sit in at your dining room table. It will help the space feel a little bit more relaxed and provide extra seating when you have people over for dinner.”—Kevin Dumais, founder and principal of Dumais
Color Me Happy
“Being stuck at home comes with a certain monotony. If you’re like me, you’re making it work, but still miss the serendipitous chats with coworkers, pantry full of go-to snacks (oh how I miss the office-provided Cheez Its), and an inspiring office environment. With the recognition that we’re in this WFH phase for a while longer, 2021 is an invitation to bring more joy and cheer into your home office with a more playful and vibrant palette. Much like the rest of home design, we expect to see a rise in colorful home office accents, from bold rugs to statement chairs.”—Heather Goerzen, creative and design at Havenly
Peace and Quiet
“In 2021, as more people work remotely with many family members or roommates also working from home, they’ll be looking to invest in ways that reduce distracting noises. While noise canceling headphones may be the office accessory of the year, some may invest in double or triple pane windows, or other soundproofing techniques, such as carpeting or acoustic panels.”—Alessandra Wood, interior design expert and vice president of style at Modsy
“2021 will see the home office firmly established as a staple in the modern home. This room will overtake the kitchen as a focal point. With an emphasis on work wellness, designers will create spaces that focus on nature and neutral materiality. This will manifest with light walnut in combination with aquas, greens and greys. Or, a combination of this materiality and colors in calming patterned wallpaper to radiate natural and artificial light.”—Osin Oshinowo, Architect, Designer, Creative Entrepreneur, Founder Ile-Ila and Director CM Design Atelier
2021 will see the home office firmly established as a staple in the modern home.
Let There Be Light
“The home office trend for 2021 has to include specific attention to the need for video conferencing...cue the Zoom Room! Who would have thought one year ago that we would be talking about designing spaces dedicated specifically to video conferencing? The two most important features to pay attention to include your lighting and your background. Light your home office to look your best on a Zoom call. That means multidirectional lighting to avoid shadows, so you can always be camera ready.”—Robin Baron, principal of Robin Baron Design
Wow With Your Walls
"As working from home accelerates the merging of the professional with the personal, we can use our home office spaces as a way to foster connection while we are apart. I predict that in 2021, home office areas will be much more intentionally planned and considered. Think dedicated Zoom call backdrops, like a fabulous gallery wall or a super styled bookcase. It’s more important than ever for our homes to reflect our style, values and anything that brings us joy."—Habiba Koroma, principal of Biba K. Design
“Zones that reinforce opportunities to prioritize self-care are more important now than ever in home offices. From plant walls and sun lamps to chaise lounges and rugs with cozy textures, clients are seeking spaces that help them blend work, play, and pray. The home office will continue to evolve, but we see clients continuing to value design elements that maximize self-care while helping them maintain productivity.” —Janelle Hughes and Kim R. Williams, co-owners of KJ Design & Mortar Styling