Our team is dedicated to finding and telling you more about the web’s best products. If you purchase through our links, we may receive a commission. Our editorial team is independent and only endorses products we believe in.
Mattress companies like to point out that sleep is one-third of your life, making a mattress an essential investment. The logic holds up. If one purchase transforms eight hours of your day, every day, isn’t it worth every penny?
I’ve found investing in my home workspace is just as rewarding. So when my husband and I moved into our current home, I took a spare bedroom, bought an L-shaped desk, and started assembling a home office I could love.
That love didn’t happen by accident. I learned it could take a lot of product searching before settling on the right pieces for a relaxing home office. If you want to love your workspace, here’s what I recommend.
A Good Desk Chair
A good work chair has to be a little bit of everything. Comfortable, sure—but not so slack you can’t sit up and concentrate on the task at hand. The Aeron Chair from Herman Miller ($1,122) threads that needle, which is why I went for it.
Yes, it costs a small fortune, but when you sit in it for six or seven hours a day, that investment pays off quickly. I keep a fuzzy throw on the back of mine so it fits in better with the rest of my home office decor.
If it’s your home office, it’s also your conferencing center. As the world settled in for social distancing at the height of the pandemic, I knew I’d need better lighting for the flurry of Zoom calls and webinars I was in for. (Plus, my desk faces a corner, so it’s a shadowy space!)
El Gato’s Key Light Air ($99) is great because it’s designed for short-range lighting (like sitting in front of your desk), and the app lets you control brightness and color. Paired with Zoom’s ‘Fix My Appearance’ feature, this combo makes me look great even when I’ve just rolled out of bed.
A Desk Pad
Do enough living at your desk, and you’re going to discover it needs protection from you, too. I like this Leather Desk Pad from ergonofis ($239) because it’s made with full-grain leather that’s durable and easy to clean. It can even double as your mouse pad.
A Cozy Spot to Read, Check Emails, and Decompress
At the end of the day, I like to get out of my desk chair and move somewhere cozy to wind down. I find this Ceni Walnut Love Seat from Article ($949) perfect for the task. Oh, and if you’re like me and need a little extra hygge during cold winters, toss on Article’s Round Ivory White Sheepskin pillow ($69) and UnHide’s Lil’ Marsh throw blanket ($45). The varied textures do a lot for office aesthetics, too.
I’m a big believer that lighting has a major impact on my mood and productivity. The Wise Home Products Color Changing Lamp ($69.99) is so lovely, in fact, that I got myself two.
But even better than the minimalist design is the fact that I can change the color and mood of my office lighting with a button. This is also ideal for when the sun goes down early in winter months and my office needs a little extra light.
Flowers (by Mail)
Mood-boosters will be different for everyone. You might like scented candles or a Bluetooth speaker set to your favorite Spotify playlist. Personally, I like fresh flowers. The problem is that fresh flowers are a lot of work—unless you order them by mail from Farmgirl Flowers or Bouqs, my two go-tos.
Essential Oils in a Diffuser
Nothing creates a calming atmosphere quite like essential oils. Dispersed in a diffuser, they give your office space an atmosphere you can literally breathe in. I’m a big fan of Saje in my Vitruvi diffuser, so I know what I like, but if it’s your first time with essential oils, you might want to try the brand’s all-in-one Best of Saje collection ($65).
A Spot For Your Furry Co-Worker
My dog Brooks hangs with me all day in my home office, so I figured he could use a spot to cozy up, too. This PupRug™ Faux Fur Orthopedic Dog Bed ($149) is less about what I like and more about what he likes—though I don’t mind that it’s waterproof and has a non-skid, rubberized bottom. That means it stays exactly where I put it. (Unlike my doggo.)
To me, a home office doesn’t feel like it’s quite arrived until there’s something natural and organic to look at. Plants are my favorite choice here. The Sill has everything you need, from small potted desk plants (Philodendrink Birkin, $70) to big, corner-hugging decor (Majesty Palms, $215).
Make Your Home Office a Place You Love to Be
If you ask me, all of the products above make for a nice home office. But it’s not only about decoration. If one product in there gives me even the smallest lift, every hour of every day, it’s more than worth the investment in the quality of my work. Hopefully you’ve found some ideas for your space, too.