How To Style A Rustic Home Office

15 Minute Read

With so many more people taking advantage of technology allowing us to work from anywhere, many of us are looking to create stylish home office spaces that look and feel like part of our homes and fuel our creativity, rather than a dull, corporate workspace.

If you’re working from home on a full time basis, then the most important thing is to buy quality items that you love, and that will last. If you’re planning an overhaul of your working arrangements, maybe to get rid of an uncomfortable chair that gives you backache, or a cheap desk that you never liked, these are our best tips to create a beautiful rustic home office you’ll love working in.

A simple colour scheme & simple furniture can create a very clean efficient workspace

Plan The Best Use Of Your Space

When you’re planning to redecorate any type of room in the home, the first thing to consider is the size of the space you have available to work with. As always, be sure to measure carefully so that when you’re selecting furniture, you can be certain that whatever you choose is going to fit properly.

If you’re not sure about how furniture will fit, there are some great interior design planner tools that can help you to visualise the space before you buy. These are similar to the types of systems that you might see professionals using when planning a bathroom or kitchen remodel, but many are available to use free of charge in your web browser. They’re great to get an idea of what a room will look like with the size of furniture you have chosen, and can help you decide which layout will work best for you.

Check out Room Sketcher

Use Colour Wisely
We’ve spoken about choosing colours to create a rustic effect before, in this post – Rustic Paint Colours | Your Ultimate Guide and the colours we mentioned in that post are perfect for rustic home offices. However, if the colours we talked about in that post don’t quite fit the bill, then reach for shades that are inspired by nature, and those that will suit the colour of the furniture that you’ve chosen. 

Creamy shades of off-white are perfect for keeping things feeling minimalist, and are the perfect backdrop to really allow your furniture to take centre stage. Although they’re plain, off-white shades don’t have to be boring. A neutral background means that you can bring in pops of colour with art, house plants, and other accessories, and you can switch those accessories out easily for a completely different look – which is perfect for multipurpose home office spaces.

Lighter shades such as champagne and sheer, washed out shades of pastels that are perfect for smaller spaces, as they reflect the light and help the space to feel bigger. Pair these shades with wooden furniture finished with lighter waxes – pine is perfect – and with industrial metal elements, to help reflect, and allow the light to pass through for a more open effect.

In larger rooms, moodier, more masculine effects can be achieved with darker shades, of oceanic blues, teals, and deep greens. Adding more traditional elements such as a leather armchair in brown or black, and wooden furniture in darker shades can help to keep the theme going.

Large Home Office Design
If your home office has plenty of room to work with – maybe you’re making use of a spare bedroom, or a summer house – then the sky is the limit in terms of styling your rustic home office.

To create a more sophisticated rustic look, find furniture that uses mixed materials such as woods in different finishes, incorporating metals such as raw steel, and exposed fixtures. Sophisticated means simple, so reach for darker, solid shades on walls, slim furniture, and shelving that shows off the brackets, such as our Rustic Thin Lipped Metal Bracket Shelf. To counterbalance the dark walls and create a lighter, airy feel, add a large mirror with a natural frame to bounce natural daylight around the room – this is perfect if your home office needs to act as a spare bedroom occasionally.

For rooms that feel too big for a home office, you can make the space feel cosier by selecting an imposing desk, a large comfortable desk chair, and plenty of shelving for your books and reference materials. If there’s room, then adding an armchair and side table means that you can relax while doing tasks that don’t require your PC.

Tiny Rustic Office Design
If the space you have available for your home office is more of a cupboard, nook, or space under the stairs than an actual room, you can still create a beautiful rustic home office – you just need to get creative. The smaller the space, the more creative you need to be.

Luckily desks, home office accessories, and storage solutions have all come a long way, particularly since the pandemic when people forced to work from home for the first time needed to make the most of whatever space they could. Floating Shelves are ideal for storage in small rustic home offices, and are much sleeker because they don’t have a bracket on show. All you need to do is add baskets, or wooden boxes for storage to keep things tidy – which is important if your home office is always on display, such as if you’re utilising an under stairs space. 

For a brighter rustic home office look, choose a neutral colour palette, with warmer, lighter finishes on wooden furniture and solid shades of cream and taupe for chair fabrics. If you’re concerned about keeping them looking clean, look for removable covers, or consider leather upholstery that is much easier to maintain.

Multipurpose Home Office Spaces
We’re not all lucky enough to have homes with enough space to have a separate office. If your home office space has to be used for multiple purposes, the first thing is to think about what activities you need the space to be able to accommodate. Even if you have a large room, but it needs to act as an office, a home workout space, a musical instrument practice room, as well as an occasional guest bedroom, then you need to plan carefully – you can’t take over the space with a huge desk and office chair.

Since there are many variables for these types of rooms – from the activities to take place in the space, to the shape of the room and the space available, then the best advice we can give is to look for solutions that offer the most flexibility. A sofa bed with wood features and either leather or cotton upholstery will look great alongside desks.

Smaller furniture may be more suited for these types of rooms, so look for slimmer, lighter desks that can be easily moved to the wall. If you’re going to need to move a desk with wooden legs regularly, then adding casters is easy to do. There are plenty of antique, and rustic designed casters that are simple to fit and have brakes, to stop your desk from moving when you’re working – and because they’re designed to look aged, they won’t ruin the aesthetic.

Storage is likely to be the most essential element in multipurpose home offices, since being able to rearrange the room quickly is key. Great shelving, with baskets and boxes that allow for tech and paperwork to be stored away mean that your office can quickly turn into a bedroom, while a lovely rustic blanket box can store pillows and duvets and allows sofa beds to be put up in no time for unexpected overnight guests. Just add lavender bags or cedarwood rings to keep bedding smelling fresh, and to deter insects and moths from getting in and making themselves at home. 

Choose Materials Responsibly 

When you’re choosing materials to work with for your rustic home office, the more natural that you can find, the better. That means woods (sustainably sourced or repurposed, of course), wicker, rattan and so on, as well as metals that are long-lasting and can be reused. Buying second hand, vintage or antique are great for rustic home offices, since older products were built to last, and mixing new products with old can help to create a lived-in, rustic office design.

Rugs and carpets have been made from natural fibres for millennia, and while wool, silk and cotton are options, they may not have the rustic look, or the durability that you need. Harder-wearing fibres such as sisal, jute and seagrass are ideal for a more rustic effect, and are usually free of the chemicals that other floorings can contain, so can be better for allergy sufferers too.

For soft furnishings like curtains, chairs and cushions, choose natural fabrics – cotton, linen, silk, leather, and wool are commonly used. However, not all of these fabrics are suitable for people following a vegan lifestyle. Synthetic versions are an option, but be sure to buy items that you really love, since many synthetic fabrics are made from plastic, and aren’t able to be recycled or broken down easily when they are discarded.

Our exception to the rule of buying natural products is when you’re considering products that include animal skins, in particular fur. In this case, man-made, faux products are always a better option. Faux fur options can be just as soft, and durable as those from animals, so you can get the look and feel without unnecessarily harming animals. 

Learn More about our sustainability Promise

Find A Great Desk

A rustic home office wouldn’t be complete without a desk, and preferably one that is made from high quality, sustainably sourced wood. Choose a great desk in a classic design, and it will serve you perfectly for your whole career – unlike mass manufactured, inexpensive MDF furniture.

We have sold thousands of our Rustic Hairpin Tables for home offices, since it is available in a range of lengths and widths, and in a range of wax finishes. Being able to customise the table allowing you to find the perfect sized desk, however much room you have to work with in your office, as well as being able to choose the finish that works best with other furniture in the room.

If space is really at a premium, or there is a need to have more than one of you in your home office, you might add a single shelf that acts as an occasional desk for a laptop. For home office spaces that require ultimate flexibility, fold-away desk and chair sets are becoming much more versatile, and aesthetically pleasing.

Suitable Chairs

It is essential to get a great desk chair for your rustic home office. When you’re sitting for any length of time, you need to be comfortable, and for your posture to be supported. There are a number of different types that are ideal for use in the home office – and there’s a really comprehensive guide to the best types of office chairs and how to buy them here.

In addition to your desk chair, if you host clients in your home office, then you’ll need suitable seating. How long your clients are with you, and what you need to work on together will impact on the types of chairs you choose. You might have stylish desk chairs that mean you can work together on your PC, or if meetings tend to be more verbal, then a couple of small comfortable armchairs, with a coffee table between may suit the space better.

If you have a waiting area for your home office, or you don’t need a designated seat, then consider one of our Rustic Hairpin Benches – they’re ideal for occasional use, and for additional space if you’re sorting paperwork. 

Plan Sufficient Storage

Often when people are designing their home office, the priority is their desk, a chair, and how they’re going to get power to their desk – and realistically, once you have those, you can start work. But while some interior designers recommend that you use your home as living space, not storage space, unfortunately when it comes to your work, sometimes storing papers, files and so on is essential. Keeping your rustic home office from becoming cluttered can be as simple as great shelving, a set of drawers or a cupboard.

Shelves
If you’re looking to keep your home office as free of furniture as possible – such as where there isn’t much floor space, or where the room is used for multiple purposes – then shelving is the answer. Depending on the rustic look that you want to create, and the other types of furniture that you’re bringing in, then you might look at bracket shelves, where the fixtures are exposed for effect.

Our range of brackets are hand crafted with raw steel, with three styles – lipped, inverted, and non-lipped – in a range of depths. They’re ideal for a more industrial look, and pair beautifully with our shelves, which are available in a range of sizes. Whichever style of bracket you decide is right for you, because we make each of our products to order, you can choose the colour of the wax finish of your shelf from eight colour options, to get the perfect look for your home office.

To hide fixtures and fittings from view, floating shelves are the answer, and our range has six styles in a range of sizes. Each shelf can hold to a maximum weight of 35kg, (assuming it is fixed to a solid wall) which is quite a lot of books and paperwork.

In order to keep your shelves tidy – perhaps you’re going to take a ‘shelfie’ to share with us! – you’ll need storage solutions like baskets, paper trays and pots for supplies like pens, pencils and so on to keep things looking great.

Drawers & Cupboards
Whether your desk has inbuilt drawers and cupboards or not, having them available means that – just as with great shelving – you can keep your files out of the way and the surface of your desk clear – essential for working effectively.

Traditional, lockable metal office filing cabinets – while not exactly glamorous in their original form – can suit rustic home offices, particularly when they are incorporated alongside other furniture with metal features. Give your filing cabinet a new lease of life by upcycling it – there are hundreds of projects online that can inspire you. With some paint, sticky-back plastic, spray paint, you can change your boring old metal filing cabinet to something worthy of posting on Instagram and Pinterest. 

Light Up Your Space

Interior designers and lighting experts suggest that there are three types of lighting that should be used in a room – ambient lighting, that provides near-daylight lighting, task lighting so you can see what you’re working on better, and feature lighting, to help highlight architecturally interesting features, and to create atmosphere. Each of these types of lighting will naturally contribute to the ambient lighting in a room, so think about how the lighting will layer.

Whatever type of lighting fixture you choose, overhead lighting should incorporate bright white bulbs, to mimic natural daylight. Once you’ve chosen your main lighting fixture, a great desk lamp is an essential for home offices. With tens of thousands of lighting fixtures available at every price point, stylish rustic lighting for your home office has never been easier, so don’t make it an afterthought.

A point to note about lighting – when you’re spending the majority of your day in the office, the right lighting is essential for both your mental, and your physical health. Having a range of lighting will help you to work more effectively – and you should always take natural daylight into account. Situating your desk near the window won’t just reduce your electricity bills, it will also help regulate your body clock, and help you to avoid Seasonal Affective Disorder through the winter months. 

Add Your Accessories

The final touches on any room are the accessories – and in rustic home offices, there really aren’t any limits to the types of accessories that you can bring in! We’ve made a few suggestions here:

Plants, plants & more plants
Plants are great to bring natural colour to your rustic home office, but having plants aren’t just beneficial for their visual appeal. Plants are known to have psychological and physical benefits too, including elevated mood, lower stress levels and increased productivity – which are ideal for your home office. Not only that, The Royal Horticultural Society recommend a number of plants to help remove excess moisture and toxins such as mould from the air. If you don’t have green fingers, look for hardy plants such as spider plants, rubber plants, and bamboo – these are easy to look after, and look great – certainly on your shelves! 

Wall Accessories
When it comes to choosing wall accessories, it really does depend on how much space there is available, and how you like to work. Cork noticeboards, glass whiteboards and wire noticeboards all work well if you need to keep notes at eye level, but if you’re paperless, then add a beautiful piece of artwork, an inspirational print, or a photo that you really love printed onto canvas.

Electricity
In a modern home office, you can’t work without access to power! If you have loads of exposed cables, tidy them away in a cable management box, and if you need extend power lines, look for an attractive option rather than a white plastic four-gang extension – this one is expensive, but would look beautiful on a desk! Consider switching out plastic sockets and light switch covers for more rustic options too, to round off the look.

Final Thoughts

When you’re decorating your home office, you need it to be a place that you’re going to be comfortable, yet inspired and productive. With the rustic home office look, there isn’t a single, perfect way to get it right, so if there’s an element not mentioned here, give it a go – after all, it is your space, so as long as you love it, that is all that matters.

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