Creating a shared office is no easy task. It requires you to combine different opinions on design, different needs for a workspace, differing privacy preferences, and more into one cohesive room.
If you’re looking for home office ideas for two, whether you’re sharing an office with a roommate, spouse, or other family members, you’ll need to get creative. In this article, we’ll answer the questions you’re probably pondering and give you the design inspiration you need to get started.
How can I share office space at home?
Sharing an office at home is difficult, but not impossible. You’ll need to define who needs to use the space and what kind of workspace they’ll need (sitting, standing, or both?). In general, you’ll want to create ample space for both people to carry out their work, add enough storage to avoid clutter, and design the office in a way that appeals to all parties involved.
How do you design an office?
When designing an office, you need to consider not only how it will look, but how it will function. You may like the look of a particular chair, but is it comfortable enough for 8-hour days? High pile shag rugs may be your style, but will you be able to move your chair across it smoothly? You might love bright colors and mixed patterns, but does your office mate like them? Consider these questions as you’re designing your space.
1. Shoot for symmetrical workspaces
One of the easiest ways to make a cohesive-looking office is to create symmetrical workspaces. Place desks side-by-side or install one long shelf across a wall to serve as a desk with space for two. Complete the look with matching chairs, lamps, and even art to carry on the matching theme.
2. Stay organized with pegboards
Functional offices use smart organization solutions that also look great. To accomplish this, try hanging pegboards on one or more walls to manage everything from office supplies to art. Pegboard can be painted a statement color or left natural.
3. Add standing desks for a healthier workday
Some people may prefer to stay seated for most of the workday, while others do their best work standing. Accommodate both with computer stands that adjust easily to standing height, or use permanent standing desks for an all-day option. Make sure to include a comfortable mat or rug in the room to stave off aches from standing for long periods.
4. Include overhead and task lighting
If you’ve ever tried to work in a dimly lit office or under fluorescent lights, you know how important good lighting is in an office. Design your home office with a mix of multiple types of lighting. Include overhead lighting in the form of recessed lights or a statement light fixture — even a funky chandelier works. Then, add task lighting for individual desks and sitting areas.
5. Install creative shelving with room for two
One of the best home office ideas for couples is to add plenty of shelving, which functions both as a decorative element and as storage. Choose floating shelves or large shelving modules to provide space for each person’s work supplies and documents, as well as personal decor touches.
6. Keep a clean and minimal style
With two people or more sharing an office, the space can easily feel cramped and cluttered. Combat this by not overdoing it on nonessential furniture. Also, use stylish organization in the form of shelving, baskets, filing cabinets, pegboards, and more to keep clutter in check. Lastly, don’t forget to include at least one trash can.
7. Make space for other family members
Sometimes an office may need to have enough room for children and other family members. If this is the case for you, include tables and seating for kids to work on homework, read, or draw while you work. You can also place beds in the room for family pets who are sure to want to be near to you all day.
8. Create shared workspaces for better collaboration
If both you and your office mate are comfortable with the idea, forgo the traditional separate desks for a shared workspace with a large table with space for multiple chairs. This option frees up wall space for built-in shelves, storage, and art.
9. Use the walls for more than shelving
On the walls that aren’t occupied by shelving, come up with creative ideas for wall hangings that both you and your office partner will use. Chalkboards and whiteboards are great for writing ideas, keeping track of numbers, or even keeping motivational notes.
10. Limit distractions through design
If you’re looking for home office ideas for couples that need ample privacy, try placing desks back-to-back. With this layout, you’ll both be able to focus on your work without needing a ton of extra space.
11. Install a wrap-around desk
If you have the room in your home office, build or buy a desk that wraps around two or more walls. This tactic makes the most of a smaller office space and provides plenty of room for two people to work.
12. Make use of awkward corners
An oddly positioned nook can be precisely what you need in a home office. Small corners you otherwise wouldn’t use make great places to put private workspaces and personal storage.
13. Choose décor you both will love
If you’re decorating an office only for yourself, you can pick any design scheme you want, whether it’s boho, traditional, brightly colored, or black-and-white. But none of these options is universally attractive. Both you and your office mate need to love the space. Start a conversation early about what styles you both like and don’t like.
14. Use modern nameplates to mark spaces
Even in an office that values symmetry, there are options to insert each person’s personality. Nameplates are a trendy way to label your zone with your name or a funny saying.
15. Separate workspaces for privacy and productivity
Privacy is essential when you’re coming up with home office ideas for two. If you think you’ll have problems focusing in a shared office, try dividing desks with large potted plants, placing a standing screen between desks, or separating workspaces with a curtain in an eye-catching print.
16. Add multiple seating options
Think outside the desk chair and include various seating options for times you need a break or a change of setting. Armchairs, bean bags, and couches are all great ways to vary the furniture in your office.
17. Bring in touches of nature
Potted and hanging plants are a great way to create a calming atmosphere and stimulate creativity, productivity, and overall well-being. It’s a decor choice that benefits everyone in your shared office.
Designing a shared office is a challenge, but a fun and doable one, especially when you have plenty of home office ideas for two. With inspirational tips like these, that stylish, serene office for two is definitely within reach.