Home Office Colour Schemes


Office in white & cream

Home Office Colour Schemes are a new phenomenon for most people, a little like deciding where to position your satellite dish or park your second car. Years ago the majority of us didn’t have a dedicated space where we worked from home. Wealthy folks had studies but these days more and more of us have a place for their computer and for their children to do their homework.

As you can see here most of the offices we design, manufacture and install are cream or white with fixtures in natural or painted wood – but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t love to work on more colourful projects.

Your office should be comfortable but put you in the mood to work. Remember that you may also invite clients to your home office. If it’s too personal and cutesy potential customers may not get a business-like impression of your enterprise. However if you go over the top and make it too starkly professional, you may hate the work-space and resent going there.
To strike the right personal/business balance you may also want your office style to reflect the business you’re in. For example, if you work in a creative role, your home office should give a flavour of that. This should make you feel more inspired and create the right impression for anyone who visits your workplace.

A big question – to match or differentiate?


A bespoke small office unit

Match: This is the strategy of matching your office décor with that of the rest of your house. Despite the fact that it’s an office, there’s no need for it to lack style. Far from it – the room is in your house – home office colour schemes should reflect your design choice especially if your spare bedroom doubles as an office but also if you have a dedicated room for your home office. In either event the way it’s decorated can impact your work. Whilst the technology and furniture in your home office are very important, its colour is too because it can have such an impact on your mood and productivity.
Differentiate: In this option you choose different colours from your home décor so that you create a distinction from the work environment and home environment. This can suit some people who want to psychologically mark the distinction between work and home. Clearly in this instance using different colours, flooring and furniture helps establish the boundary. In this article we’ll assume most people want an office that fits in with their home décor but nonetheless much of what we say can apply to a contrasting colour scheme as well.

Plan your approach

You’ll probably be spending a lot of time working, so you don’t want your home office colour scheme to annoy you, especially on days when you have a work problem to solve or you’re feeling uninspired. Either way the simplest, and cheapest, way to refresh a room is to repaint it. Before doing this it’s worth giving it some careful thought as your choice of colour can influence your willingness to work, how much you get done and your overall demeanour. Don’t forget, home office colour schemes change how your feel – fast food outlets use this to great effect; lifting your spirits with bright colours and smiling images. This influences your mood and your mood effects how you behave. Making the right colour choice can seriously improve your performance and the success of your business.
Whether you use your office for your business, domestic finances, admin or hobbies, there will be a number of colour schemes that will look good in the room. The usual rules apply – smaller offices should be light and bright – but patterns, strong colours, pastels and individual choice can all be indulged.

Inspiration for home office colour schemes

For inspiration start with your house, what works well within your existing home décor? Then there are lots of home decoration websites (like Houzz), magazines and TV programmes too which will throw up ideas and remember this includes what you don’t like as well as what you do. If you need more inspiration visit interior design shops and meander around their showrooms and the colours and textures that they’ve used as well as the units and how they lay out the office.
In these showrooms you can also get paint and wallpaper samples as well as brochures to take home and see how they look in your home office.

The psychology of home office colour schemes


White modern built-in storage

As we’ve established colour is a key component of life not just in the office. Pretty much everything we buy involves a colour choice; from clothing and accessories to phones and cars. These decisions, whether we know it or not, change the way that we feel.
Home office colour schemes and colours in general affect the way you work and how visitors see and judge your business, so what do some individual colours have to contribute?


Clean and smart as well as being a versatile backdrop to any other colour – white is a default option. Okay it’s a bit dull and boring as well as being over-used but it does let everything else in the room sing! If your home is a kaleidoscope of other colours then your office will certainly provide a contrast. If you are in a kitchen area then it makes sense but don’t over-use it – you risk your office being mistaken for a medical facility.


Similarly, black makes a statement. It’s classy, luxurious and up-market but carries the obvious risk of making your office gloomy and creepy. You will need some serious lighting to counteract the dark and it works well with white or other strong contrast. It can make your office look chic if handled in the right way and certainly lends a feeling of power and seniority.



A more ornate office

Somewhere between black and white it can help you concentrate on work – blissfully untroubled by distraction. Similarly, grey can be a pretty colour for home décor, but you need to make sure that it won’t make you feel bored, tired and cheesed off when you’re at work.


Talking of natural colours you couldn’t get earthier than green and its wide variety of hues. No clash here with any plants you might introduce, green positively comes to life when used on walls and flooring in an environment with potted ferns and bulbs. It’s also a calming colour – difficult to get stressed when you might as well be outside laying on the lawn.


While the psychologists make a lot about blue’s reputation for inducing peace of mind and contemplative intelligence (?), it’s stoicism and religious significance it’s still blue. We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of client’s asking for blue kitchens; light blue, dark blue and all shades between. It’s obviously fashionable and so if you want a relaxing and thought-provoking backwash to your office – then blue’s your boy.


Fiery and passionate, red boosts the creative juices and pumps up breathing, blood pressure and metabolism generally. As such it’s a bit of a double-edged sword; on the one hand helping put the foot on the accelerator and on the other emptying the tank. In many respects it’s better for foreground items; furniture, cushions, pictures etc rather than providing a strong and, quite frankly, exhausting background.



Making use of a narrow space

As we stated earlier, yellow is a perky colour, much loved by fast food outlets and sports centres where a sense of wholesome, appetite-inducing energy is desirable. Yellow gets the juices flowing, stimulating stamina and wellbeing – just the sort of thing you’d want if you wanted to bring a bit of zing to, say, accountancy or architecture where the product is only evident after a lot of detailed and a lot of hard work in black and white. Maybe it’s another colour where it’s used in a pale tone as background or in vivid highlights. Is Cream pale yellow?


Younger, modern and vigourous – orange is a motivational colour that gives you a friendly kick up the backside. While being very in your face it’s also not overwhelming and so it’s a good contender either walls or as an accent colour highlighting say, furniture. Some say it stands for success, joy and dogged perseverance but whether you buy the hocus pocus it’s certainly noticeable and a talking point.



Pale blue corner office

A rich colour in every sense of the word. Favoured by royalty over the ages and imbued with an aura of magic and sensuality it gets a lot of stick; being accused of being unnatural because it doesn’t exist much in nature (don’t tell Mr Aubergine!) however with a lavender tint it can lend a little flare to an office if use sparingly. If used heavily you can always offer to read fortunes.

Other colours

Perennial favourites include magnolia and gardenia but these days the likes of Mylands and Farrow & Ball produce countless modern colours that are too numerous to name here. Suffice to say that where it’s Calico Charm, Antique Rock Salt or Almond White – they all draw from one of the stronger colours above. With your home office colour scheme you may prefer no distractions in which case it has to be the pastel shade of your choice – and there’s a wide choice.
We all have particular favourites that remind us of particular events or people in our lives so draw inspiration from them. You can easily add splashes of colour and personality to your home office with things such as blinds/curtains, rugs, throws, accessories, pictures, pin boards and photos.


This is a real option, especially in the creative professions. Why shouldn’t a designer choose a modern patterned paper or the work of their inspirations, an advertising executive something from the arts or world of advertising, an architect something that reflects the classics, modern form or art nouveau?

Gloss or Matt?

Cream office with shelves

Cream office with shelves

Gloss paint obviously shines and shimmers with more of a sheen. This can stimulate and invigorate. It pays to plan ahead and think about what sort of finish you want to create and that’ll determine whether gloss or matt is best.
I hope we have shown that when it comes to home office colour schemes, there are a number of issues to think about. You need to be comfortable but also to make sure your space makes you feel in the work mood. It is also worth considering whether you may invite clients to your home office. If it’s too homely and cosy, potential customers may not get a professional impression of you.
At the same time, if you go too professional, you may wonder why you are bothering to work from home in the first place. You need to strike the right balance between professionalism and comfort. You may also want your office decoration to reflect the type of industry that you work in. For example, if you work in a creative role, your home office should give a flavour of that. This should make you feel more inspired and create the right impression for anyone who visits your workplace.
Obviously, your budget will also be important. There is still lots you can do when it comes to decorating a home office, even on a low budget. You just need to be creative!