We spoke to Tatiana Almieri, founder and designer for Tatiana Almieri Designs, about how workers can transition their guest bedroom or extra storage space into a productivity oasis as they adjust to working remotely.

Almieri took us inside her own working space to show us key aspects of a well-designed home office:

Photos by Rachel Coward

  1. Look Up A light gray ceiling bounces light from the window throughout the room, while the exaggerated crown molding adds texture to the space.
  2. Organized Chaos Everything on Almieri’s shelves has a place, yet she makes sure to keep things from looking too symmetrical. Some books lie on their sides, while others stand up. Accent pieces have a seemingly random placement on the shelves, which helps the eye flow through the overall display.
  3. Drop the anchor first Almieri’s mantra is, “Start with storage and organization, and layer pretty things on top.” Build your space around the storage solutions, even before the desk, and let the rest fall into place around it.
  4. Two for one If you’re investing in custom cabinetry, you can have the cabinetmaker dip pre-existing furniture, like this desk, in the same color so that everything matches perfectly.

  1. Pops of color This room was designed with cool hues, yet Almieri brings in color with a bouquet of vibrant pink flowers and the colorful canvas wall art made by her teenage daughter.
  2. Layered Lighting In addition to natural light, Almieri recommends adding task lighting with a weighted counter balance, mood lighting, and perimeter lighting.
  3. Sentimental value counts When you spend hours at your desk, a good ergonomic chair is key — but don’t discard pieces that have personal significance. Almieri explains she sacrificed comfort for sentimental value in her own space. “My father passed away several years ago, and this was his chair. While it is adequate comfort-wise, I would have preferred to have maybe (a piece) that has much more lumbar support.”

Another source of inspiration is this office, which is even further removed from the distractions of day-to-day life. The home owner used Modern-Shed, a local manufacturer of prefabricated structures, to create a physical barrier to maintain work-life balance:

This Modern-Shed structure is detached from the main home, yet close to the amenities of home for breaks. Surrounding trees produce fresh oxygen, which reduces stress and increases productivity.

  1. Wild blue yonder Calming hues and soothing colors like these cool bluish-gray walls are trending in home offices. Or incorporate blue with an accent pillow, chairs, or artwork.
  2. Simple and uncluttered A few simple, hand-picked vintage advertisements picked up in a flea market in the owner’s hometown of Lyon, France, adorn the walls.
  3. Accents with a cause These accent pillows are made of recycled sari material purchased from a charity that sells products made by marginalized women.
  4. Kick back The owner of this space is a fan of power naps and reclined reading, so he opted for a couch that doubles as a bed for overnight guests.

  1. Room with a view Windows in a workspace provide breeze on a warm day and natural light to reduce eye strain.
  2. Outdoor meeting space The homeowner added a small bar table and stools to the attached deck. It’s a great spot to escape the computer and enjoy a cold drink on a warm day, and makes an ideal meeting location.