When I started working from home two decades ago, I did my best to hide the fact that I had a home office instead of a corporate office. It wasn’t cool to work from home and run a company.
As far as my clients knew, I was working in a stuffy office building instead of in a comfy home office. One of the drawbacks of working from home was that my only home office furniture options were cheap, badly designed computer workstations and desks that fell apart after one or two moves.
Now that working from home is more celebrated than criticized, furniture manufacturers — even from the commercial side — have created functional, stylish and even affordable home office furniture.
Some of my favorite places to shop for reasonably-priced home office furniture are Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Z Gallerie and commercial furniture dealers—they sell to individuals too. Sometimes you can find home office furniture by well known and respected manufacturers at Costco and Sam’s Club.
Before you buy anything, check for quality. You may think you’re getting a bargain, but don’t be surprised if you have to replace that same item after a few months. I’m still shocked when I walk into an office supply superstore and see a chipped or dented desk. If it doesn’t hold up in a store, is it really going to last in your home office?
With more decent furniture choices available, your home office doesn’t have to reflect the corporate office you just left (or feared being trapped inside for at least eight hours a day). Instead, your home office can, and should be, a reflection of your interests, taste and design sense.