4 Ways to Make Your Home Office More Functional

Home offices are notorious dumping grounds for furniture that doesn’t fit anywhere else (either style-wise or physically). Whenever someone remodels their home, the odd chair or wobbly table usually ends up in their home office. Most of the time the extra furniture is in the way and leaves little room to move around. Sound familiar?

The right furniture, combined with a little creativity (and the right tips), can help you make the most of your home office space.

working from home entrepreneurs

source: Hooker Furniture

1. Use modular furniture. With the exception of one home office, I’ve used modular furniture in all of my home offices. Modular furniture is easy to move around and lets you change your office as your needs change. When you use built-ins, you limit your options. The exception to built-ins is when you’re using a non-traditional space, for example a dining room, for a home office. While the cabinets and drawers in a dining room could be designed for home office use, the same cabinets and drawers could hold dishes and anything else someone may use in a dining room.


elfa system adding storage

source: The Container Store

2. Add more storage. Sturdy shelves or tall bookcases can make a big difference in a home office. One of the biggest problems I see in home offices is not enough storage. If you don’t have a closet or a cabinet to store supplies, books and sales materials, most of that information gets stacked all over the floor. When you move everything off the ground and onto shelves, you have more room to work and you don’t risk tripping over something in your home office.


home office storage baskets

source: Grandin Road

3. Make one piece of furniture serve more than one purpose. The top of a lateral file cabinet can double as an extra surface for an all-in-one machine or an extra stand-alone printer. Look in your garage, attic, basement or storage room for a dresser you could hold use to hold extra supplies in drawers or behind doors. Even a simple bench with storage below can give you extra home office seating along with room to hold files or supplies below.


home office furniture ideas

source: Pottery Barn

4. Be creative.  Need a new desk? Use two file cabinets with a board across them. If you need more workspace, add more cabinets and a board. This trick used to be reserved for starving college students, but I’ve seen expensive home offices furnished this way using high-quality file cabinets and durable surfaces. This is an inexpensive, yet stylish way to create a functional workspace.

When you work from home, it’s important to be flexible with your time and schedule. Why not do the same with your furniture?


  1. Wow! These are all really excellent tips!
    I thought it was just my office that turned into a “dumping ground” for paper. 🙂
    I am definitey going to try these tips in my art studio! Love the idea of shelves and modular furniture!

    Thank you for sharing this valuable information!
    Mary C. Nasser recently posted..Your Rainbow PanoramaMy Profile

  2. These are all great ways to organize our office space! Personalty, I love my home office but I need to somehow find a solution to have more shelving’s and a better filling system. Getting there 😉
    Nathalie Villeneuve recently posted..Two Frogs Story & The Slight EdgeMy Profile

  3. Actually the board over cabinets is an idea I might apply right away. Associate (wife) and I were thinking about it but the mental image did not fit well. You photo with the application really helps. Thanks Lisa.
    Gustavo| Frugal Science recently posted..Spot your addiction and enjoy life.My Profile

  4. And whatever happened to the paperless office. I’m almost there but still have some paper so yes use file drawers but shelves for all the books I read are ESSENTIAL. I love that storage unit and yeah for modular furniture both for moving purposes and for looks
    Roberta Budvietas recently posted..Create a Manifesto to Succeed in a 21st Century BusinessMy Profile

  5. These are great tips and I love the images you share Lisa. The one thing I learned from working at home, you have to have a functional office. Having the storage and setting up an organized space is key to helping you feel good about ‘going to work’!
    Lynn Brown recently posted..Social Media Tools Are Not Magic WandsMy Profile

  6. Thanks for the tips… I’m going to have to go through a few more of your blogs to get even more ideas.. We’re in a situation of busting at the seams at the house (3 part-time hires) and are unfortunately probably going to have to find commercial space… Your “be creative in making a desk” #4 we know well :)…
    mike recently posted..Your Brand is About EmotionMy Profile

  7. A functional work space can make all the difference. One of the greatest things I’ve done is to go paperless as much as possible, which has allowed me to have ready access to all my files from anywhere and minimize the need for extra storage space.
    Lacy @ downMODERNhome.com recently posted..Life in Focus: Using SpaceMy Profile

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