You know what they say – tidy desk, tidy mind – which is why home office storage has to work just as hard as the person typing away within it.
Some office storage ideas are simple and easy to achieve, like choosing a desk within a built-in drawer. However, there are others that require very careful decision-making to avoid the scheme teetering into office block atmosphere rather than the beautifully styled home office you set out to achieve.
Image Credit: Selva
1. Use Built-in Draws in Desks
Starting with the most obvious office storage solution – a desk with at least one drawer. There’s a vast array of desks with storage, so if it’s a sleek, razor-sharp, contemporary design you’re hunting down, don’t assume that drawers will make the aesthetic appear too heavy and cumbersome.
Plenty of desks have a single, narrow drawer below the tabletop. Some even have a handleless facade, making the drawer near-to undetectable (see the dark wood Selva image for inspiration). Or they might have several drawers in a linear format that simply become the body of the desk – one slender and shallow cuboid atop of fine-lined legs.
Alternatively, more traditional desk designs make a feature of their drawers. Travel desks and writing desks, or escritoires as they’re also known, feature several layers of drawer space above the tabletop with a long shelf space at the highest point.
Another classic drawer desk look is to have a series of drawers either side of the chair as though they’re forming the legs of the desk. This style is more formal and most traditional of all and will have bold presence in the room. Lighten it somewhat by choosing drawers that don’t fall all the way to the floor.
Image Credit: Capital
2. Make a Statement with Modular Shelving Units
Storage through shelving is an idea that will give you multiple layers of exposed display space. While the degree of storage is generous, freestanding bookcases mean that you need to keep the contents ordered or they’ll take away from the tidiness of the room.
This type of office storage still needs to be a functional storage provider of course. Make the most of its expanse by keeping books, files and paperwork on each rung, but you’ll need to bear in mind how you arrange them if you want the space to still look smart. Mix up the functional aspect with the decorative and include accessories like paperweights, candles, ornaments and any desk accessories like leather-bound trays and files if you want to keep your desktop clutter-free.
If a shelving unit works well for you, think about going modular and positioning more than one side by side which will give rise to a bigger bank of valuable stacking space.
Image Credit: Oliver Burns
3. Invest in Office Storage Cabinets
Office shelving ideas and drawers aren’t where the storage talk ceases. Think to what sort of furniture you find in a professional office environment and then how you can apply them to a softer, more decorative home scenario. Cue the storage cabinet. Dispel thoughts of the hefty steel cuboid units and instead concentrate more on the sorts of cabinet seen elsewhere in the home.
Sideboards from the dining room and even chest of drawers from the bedroom can be incorporated into a home office room plan and are one hundred times more pleasing to view and use. Continue along that thought path and look to general display cabinets that might appear in a hallway or reception room and ask whether they provide the degree of storage needed in your study. Or, channel the Mad Men vibe and carve out space for a traditional drinks cabinet for when you’re burning the midnight oil.
4. Utilise Alcoves in Smaller Home Office Spaces
Home office storage ideas also require you to get creative by assessing your space and releasing any unused areas so that they can fulfil their storage potential. The perfect example of this is a recess or alcove that’s waiting to be filled with a cabinet or bookcase.
Unless you’re very fortunate, it’s unlikely that you’ll find a storage solution that fills the gap to the millimetre. So to really not waste any space, have a carpenter create a bespoke piece, such as these symmetrical bookcases in the sophisticated study by Helen Green Design. In a smaller home office, this technique is highly beneficial because it means that the storage is absorbed by the wall and doesn’t consume any valuable floor space.
Image Credit: Taylor Howes
5. Keep your Desk Tidy with Trays & Accessories
Taking the conversation back to the desk, drawers aren’t the only port of call for keeping an ordered workspace. Desk tidy ideas don’t just act the part but boost the room’s aesthetics.
Shagreen desk trays for paperwork, chrome and walnut storage pots for pens (see pieces by Christofle) and storage boxes in precious porcelain or embossed with luxurious animal print effects are just three examples of how you can bring both form and function to the tabletop.
Having a place for everything is only part of the storage mindset; the desk accessories that you pick need to contribute to the room’s design so that it’s a space in which you’re happy to spend time.
6. Add Shelves to Office Walls
From floor space to wall space, the final study storage idea comes back to shelving, but this time focuses on them being wall-bound.
Opt for floating shelves if you want the result to be streamlined. Should you have chosen a draw-less table, consider a desk with shelves above so you have storage space within arm’s reach of your primary work area. A single shelf that runs around the entire perimeter of the room is one way to make an office storage statement, or keep it to one wall and make a feature wall out of your shelving.
Keeping all of the shelves the same level and with the same distance between them will appear immediately balanced and ordered, but if you prefer a less rigid look, mix up the lengths and stagger the heights and your room will feel much more fluid and encourage your thoughts to be just as free-flowing.