Luca fully fitted home office in Alder, total W250cm, around £1,800 including design, delivery and installation, Sharps

Go below stairs

Reclaim the spare space under your staircase with a made-to-measure home office.

Not only can shelving be designed to fit right up to the underside, it’s a great opportunity to create a feature by displaying favourite items and photos.

Opt for purpose-built office furniture so you can incorporate useful components, such as slide-out cupboard shelves that are ideal for housing printers and scanners or bulky equipment that you may not want on show.

Fit versatile furniture

This desk has been built as an extension of a banquette-style dining nook, yet remove the chair and computer and it could easily revert to being a dresser. Reduced-depth units work well in the narrow space and what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in clever design. It also features a concealed pop-out power point and wide drawers and cupboards for storing paperwork.

Home office from Roundhouse

Bespoke Classic hand-painted oak furniture in Light Blue by Farrow & Ball with wholestave oak work surface and shelving, from £5,000, Roundhouse

Open up your space

This extension includes a centrally placed clear desk to prevent the floor area being interrupted. Wraparound shelving allows the glazed sides to be a focal point.

Bespoke home office from Barbara Genda Bespoke Furniture

Bespoke fitted bookcase in oak veneer, left wing measures H230xW204xD50cm, right wing measures H230xW160xD50cm; base units, H96xW547x D53cm, from £1,200 per metre, Barbara Genda Bespoke Furniture

Put the garden to work

For properties that may have planning restrictions, having a standalone garden office is an efficient use of outdoor space. Designate it as a work space from the outset and it can be fitted out accordingly with power points, tailored lighting solutions and natural light from large windows. Properly insulated, it will be as comfortable as any room in your home.

Modular Garden Studio from Atelier Garden Studios
Modular Garden Studio with steel frames, timber cladding and aluminium doors and windows, H300xW900x D450cm, from £17,055, Atelier Garden Studios

Take a holistic view

While a desk is a must, there’s no reason why it can’t be planned as part of another piece. Here, a peninsula-style extension of built-in shelving is wide enough to seat two people. Desktop accessories, such as an angled desk lamp, can be housed to one side on the shelves, while a floor-to-ceiling window, unobstructed by furniture, presents a light-filled vista. Bespoke Harewood study with leather desk inlay, H75x W150xD60cm; shelf, D38cm. Recessed LED lighting with Cravache and Barbuda chairs and table lamp by Christian Liaigre.

Home office by Gregory Philips

An equivalent design starts from £30,000, Gregory Phillips

Keep your design clutter-free

A modern home office needs a layout that keeps everything in its place, yet is easily accessible. Frosted glass-fronted file cupboards are an inspired addition — you can see what’s inside at a glance, plus they’re less visually intrusive than having everything on display, enabling your space to stay neat and tidy.

Creator home office from John Lewis
Creator home office in walnut effect, H230xW270xD65cm, from £4,700, John Lewis

Find a clever corner

Use compact, flexible elements to convert your space with a drop-down desk that needs no leg room and minimal wall space. Pair with an adjustable chair and modular, freestanding storage — these stacking cubes can be flipped to form mini tables.

Home office from Calligaris

Congress chair, H81-90xW60xD62.5cm, £191.50; Spacebox desk, H83xW90xD14-60cm, £287; Crossover stools in white and grey, H42xW42xD42cm, £116.50 each, all Calligaris

Continue and co-ordinate

When it comes to a compact home office, its essential components are far more flexible than a bedroom or a bathroom. Not only does this example make the most of the alcove space, it provides a memo board and reduced-depth drawers and worktop for extra functionality.

Milbourne cabinetry from Second Nature

Milbourne cabinetry in Almond, with solid-maple surfaces and built-in lighting, H216xW190xD58cm. A similar design costs from £1,200, Second Nature

Blend features and functions

If an infrequently used home office feels like a waste, incorporate it as part of a larger room. This corner desk is made from the same cabinetry as the surrounding kitchen, with its overhead cupboard housing recipe books and glassware. Bespoke Portobello office in grey-stained solid ash with matching worktops and nickel handles; left wall measures H241x W132.5xD60cm, right wall measures H241xW178xD60cm.

Home office from Mark Wilkinson Furniture
A typical office costs from £17,000, Mark Wilkinson Furniture

Stack it up

Take advantage of high ceilings by building office storage up as far as it’ll go. Modular open shelving keeps the design light and spacious, and splashes of colour will add personality.

Nidi Design home office from Nubie
Reclaimed timber Nidi desk in Bianco with Luce wall unit in Mirtillo Blue, H73xW120x D60.5cm, £395; Luce two-shelf wall units in Limone and Bianco and Mirtillo Blue and Bianco, H75xW31xD33cm, £110 (two doorless), and £135 (three with one door, one shelf); Luce single wall cube in Limone and Bianco, H38xW31xD33cm, £95 each; Tak chair in Bianco, H86xW45xD44cm, £195; Black stool, H48xW24xD24cm, £150, all Nidi Design at Nubie

Include strip detailing

All-white home offices have the appeal of looking professional and sleek but can also feel clinical and less than inspiring. Instead, add colour in accents to lift its appearance – decorative strips, panels and shelving in bright tones, used sparingly, can still bring a little wow without deviating from a fresh, clean scheme. This narrow room was inspired by the primary shades of Google, which blend beautifully with reflective glass surfaces and glossy white units.

Bespoke study furniture from Chamber Furniture
Bespoke study furniture in a lacquered paint finish. Room measures W300xD400cm, from £15,000, Chamber Furniture

Opt for flexibility

If a fully fitted office is beyond your budget, find freestanding solutions that are more mobile. A double-sided desk is useful if you’re sharing the space, and take the chance to introduce colour via cabinets or storage boxes — it can be easily switched around for a fresh new look.

Home office from Ikea

Hissmon/Nipen table for two, H73xW150xD75cm, £115; Helmer steel drawer units on castors in red, H69xW28xD43cm, £25 each, Vågsberg/Sporren swivel chair, H54xW45xD39cm, £40, all Ikea