Workable: Home office designs combine fashion and function

About half of all U.S. workers have worked remotely over the past two years — and a lot of them like it. A Morning Consult survey released in March shows only 48% of workers want to return to in-person work full time, and that’s a drop from 57% who said they wanted to return full time a year earlier.

They like the shorter commutes, the more efficient workdays, the better work-life balance. But to function professionally at home, such workers need a dedicated office. In fact, some employers require it for work-from-homers.

Couple those results with recent survey data from the National Association of Home Builders showing strong consumer interest in home offices and home gyms, and retailers can be fairly confident in strengthening their assortment of home office furnishings, especially those that don’t read as home office.

We’ve pulled together some pieces that fit the bill, from curvy, comfy chairs to feature-filled desks to stylish storage units that tuck messes away. Home furnishings sources are offering practical pieces that will make work-from-homers eager to open their office door every day.

From curvy, comfy chairs to feature-filled desks to stylish storage units that tuck messes away,  home furnishings sources offer practical pieces that will make work-from-homers eager to open their office door every day.

The top of the Genius Empire desk from Sarreid Ltd. in Wilson, North Carolina, is made from acacia wood and finished in a natural brown. The carved texture details on the drawers emphasize the organic nature of the wood, while the tapered iron base is a nod to the modern, industrial world.

This retro-feeling lamp from Regina Andrew Detroit has a tiny footprint but a lot of style. With a conical metal shade and a kickstand base, it’s perfect for home office but works in a bedroom or den, too. Available in blackened brass or white, it retails for $450. It also comes in a floor lamp version at $875.

As you’d like a home office to be, the Emma chair from Bradington-Young in Hickory, North Carolina, is both comfortable and functional, with a swivel base and tilt function. Part of the company’s Home Office BY Design program, it is available in more than 400 fabric (leather, performance fabrics, etc.) and base combinations. Bases range from a standard black resin to a power-coated metal in three finishes to wood in 10 finishes.

With clean, unadorned lines, the Catalina file from Copeland Furniture in Bradford, Vermont, is suggestive of midcentury modern designs. It’s crafted of solid American black walnut hardwood with a natural finish. The file, with anti-tip locks, can function as a printer stand. The Catalina home office collection also includes similarly styled credenza and narrow file.

Graceful and detailed, the Alamaree storage unit — also from Sarreid — speaks to days gone by while remaining highly functional for today. Each door has garden-gate inspired cutouts at the top. Ideal for storing office supplies and other items in a home office, it also includes a closet rod, making it suitable for bedroom or guest room — or the office that becomes a guest room when needed.

Targeting the next generation of furniture buyers, the Commerce & Market Bookcase was designed with a minimalistic style. The modern bookcase features a dark gray, textured carbon steel frame paired with six stone shelves. From Hooker Furniture in Martinsville, Virginia, it retails for $3,340.

Discreet by design, the Gravity wall desk from Model No. in Oakland, California, folds up against the wall when not in use, displaying a detailed, hand-carved face. It’s great for rooms where space is at a premium or when you want to be able to demarcate clearly between work and play. Upper level cubbies keep the desk space free of clutter while you work. Crafted of premium, sustainably sourced hardwood. Retail prices start at $1,230.

The Elo chair, available in soft gray, black or white, is from Moe’s Home Collection, headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. Sculptural but super comfortable, the modernist chair has a plushly padded seat with softly rounded back and armrests. Suitable as a desk chair, as well as a dining or accent chair, retails for $1,475.

The refined, tailored Nia chair from features a swivel design. It’s shown in a Sorrel finish and is available in more than 500 fabric and leather cover options. From Sam Moore in Bedford, Virginia, it retails for $1,695.

In a soft, casual design, the four-drawer Burnham writing desk, also from Hooker Furniture, is crafted of alder veneers with a gray mink finish and dark bronze knobs. Intended for office use, its left drawer (as pictured) includes a Pendaflex filing system, while the top right drawer is outfitted with a removable pen tray, inserts and removeable writing slide. The bottom right drawer has a false bottom for hidden storage. The center drawer features a drop-front for keyboard use and wire cutout in the back. The Burnham retails for $2,987.

With a white marble top and solid acacia wood frame, the Harbor desk, also from Moe’s, has a simple, versatile design. It’s available in a Yves Klein Blue or natural finish on the frame.

Made in Italy, the Ellen desk is from Bellini Modern Living, headquartered in Richmond Hill, Ontario, near Toronto. It’s available in two colorways: a white, high-gloss lacquer finish with black oak accent or a gray, high-gloss lacquer with brown oak accent. Both feature stainless steel legs.

The approachable, yet elevated Makai desk was designed by Nile Johnson as part of The Voice Collection from Miami-based TOV Furniture. Made of wood with a resin top and gold-finish iron drawer pull, it is available in a charcoal and cream colorway. It retails for $699.

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