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6 Creatives Break Down Chic and Functional Home Office Design

Erin Hiemstra’s cozy home office is a lesson in functional and stylish small-space design. The creative behind Apartment 34 transformed a snug 10×10 accessory dwelling unit in her backyard into her dream home office when the pandemic hit. “We added the ADU to our yard months before quarantine, and I’m so thankful we did!” she shares. “I couldn’t wait to create an elevated escape, especially as the rest of the house devolved into chaos — it’s not easy to get work done with a Kindergartener.” 

She worked with California Closets to create a custom built-in desk that optimized the limited floor space, and had room leftover for a meditation corner. She went with grey herringbone floors from Cle Tile, a soft Roman Clay treatment on the walls for a texturized, plaster-like finish, and a dark, moody color palette for a modern and minimal look. “I breathe a sigh of gratitude every time I step in here,” she adds. “I love that I can display my favorite treasures, and my husband is happy that my magazine collection is out of the house.” 

To recreate the look at home, Hiemstra swears by three design tips: select a spot with great natural light to improve focus, invest in a comfortable chair, and carve out space for pieces that inspire you. “It can be a gorgeous desk lamp, a plant, artwork, a mood board — just something that makes you smile.” 

Eric Bonnin Ceramic Mug Set

Interior Designer Shea McGee

Courtesy of Shea McGee

Interior designer Shea McGee is all about function when designing a space — especially something as utilitarian as a home office. “I always start by asking myself, ‘How can I make this space as functional as possible?” In her book, a comfortable chair, spacious desk, plenty of storage, and some degree of separation from the rest of your home are the building blocks of a successful home office. 

“Having a designated office or desk is important so that on some level, you can still ‘leave work’ at the end of the day,” she notes. If you’re working with a multi-use space like a kitchen table or closet, she recommends investing in a comfy chair and adding luxe touches like a candle or flowers to make the space feel intentional. 

As for home office design, McGee always aims to create an organized, relaxing atmosphere that’s conducive to productivity. In her husband Syd’s home office, for example, she went with a coat of calming navy paint, plenty of built-in storage, and personal touches like artwork, books, and greenery. 

Jo Malone London Fresh Fig & Cassis Scented Candle

Design Blogger Jessica D’Itri Marés

Courtesy of Jessica Marés



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