Need to switch up your home office? A design expert shares her 7 favorite setups on Instagram

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Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, many occasionally-used home offices have been officially converted into full-time workspaces.

As a home office expert, I've found that the right amount of shelving, storage space, desktop space and furniture can mean the difference between a functional workspace and an inefficient afterthought.

Whether you're modifying an existing space or creating a new home office for 2021, consider these seven Instagram setups for inspiration and motivation to design something that works for you:

1. The cozy office

This perfect little nook office offers three key elements: Storage, lighting and comfortable seating.

Why I love this setup:

  • The shelves above the desk and the drawers below offer enough storage for supplies, books and family photos.
  • The lighting is evenly distributed across the desk.
  • A frequently-forgotten element of a home office is a padded, adjustable chair. (After a few hours of sitting in a rigid chair, your back may convince you to make a change.)

2. The corner office

Along with creating a functional workspace, why not make it a design feature in your home?

Why I love this setup:

  • The floating desk leaves space inside for storing supplies in boxes or divided trays.
  • There's plenty of room below the desk to add decorative baskets, an ideal way to organize and hide supplies.
  • The shelves above, painted to match the wall, blend in and keep books and additional supplies within reach. 

3. The attic office

This creative home office, with a Tetris-like feel, makes use of every inch of the back wall.

Why I love this setup:

  • A combination of open shelving and cabinets keeps the items used often in view, while the rarely-used supplies are within reach, but tucked away.
  • The natural light combined with task lighting gives the office a welcoming feel. '
  • Not only does the rug soften the room, but it also provides the acoustical benefit of keeping calls from having a cave-like sound.

4. The U-shape office

A U-shape workspace with shelving above and storage below is more than ideal.

Why I love this setup:

  • One of the best parts of this arrangement is the spacious work surfaces.
  • The open shelving keeps frequently-used supplies easily accessible and keeps the space from feeling closed-in. The basket below is ideal for incoming mail or magazines. 
  • Toss in an adjustable desk chair with armrests — they keep your shoulders from becoming stiff — and there's no excuse for not being productive.

5. The office under the stairs

An often-overlooked space for a home office is under the stairs.

Why I love this setup:

  • The assortment of cabinets and file drawers below makes it easy to store everything office-related in one place.
  • The floating shelves above, cut at different lengths, allow room for storing taller items.
  • The long work surface with a lighted, glass cabinet provides a generous workspace.

6. The hardworking home office 

This white, modular home office offers a variety of flexibility and storage options.

Why I love this setup:

  • The two-drawer file cabinet on the left is perfect for current files, while the storage drawers on the right hold supplies and a printer and scanner.
  • The bookcase, with magazine holders and containers, lends additional storage and the wallpaper lining the back is a nice, decorative touch. 

7. The bedroom office

Sharing a home office with a bedroom can be challenging when one area is dedicated to working, and the other to relaxing. This simple setup makes it easy to delineate the two.

Why I love this setup:

  • The light wood shelves and neutral desk mirror the room's neutral pallet.
  • The first row of shelves, set high above the desk, make the space feel open but are still within reach.
  • The white containers keep supplies hidden and the drawers and cabinets provide ample storage. 

Lisa Kanarek is the author of five books about working from home, including "Home Office Life: Making a Space to Work at Home," "101 Home Office Success Secrets" and "Home Office Solutions: Creating a Space That Works for You." Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and Reader's Digest.

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