Creating Your Home Office Series, Part 2: Choosing The Right Color


One of the benefits of working from home is the ability to design a personalized office space that inspires and motivates you. Color is arguably one of the most important design elements to incorporate into your space. Some things to consider when choosing the color of your home office: How much time will you be spending there? What type of work are you doing? What is your working style? Choosing the right color(s) can increase productivity, have positive psychological effects, and spark creativity. Color comes in a variety of moods and shades, but whether you want to go for a muted color scheme or controlled pops of color, striking the right balance is key. This is the second part of our five part series, providing you with helpful design tips for you to create a functional and successful home office.


Blues – Calming, Relaxing, Serene. A fresh blue hue can help you stay focused and productive as it induces tranquillity and security. Too much blue can feel cold or give a sense of sadness, pair it with clean whites or warm wood tones for balance.

Greens – Fresh, Restful to the eye. Due to the association with nature and vegetation, it brings life to a space and represents growth. Green contains the calm quality of blue and the energy of yellow.

Yellows – Bright and Stimulating. Represents positivity, energy, and optimism. Mental invigoration. A good accent color to use against a neutral or calming tone, too much yellow can cause anxiety.

Oranges – Energetic, friendly, and enthusiastic. It has reds in it which can be warm but also straining, so use as an accent or in a pattern that mixes it with white.

Reds – Intense, raises energy levels, passionate. Too much of this color can be distracting and straining to the eye, and is associated with aggression, so use thoughtfully and sparingly.

Purples – Wisdom, serenity. Has a certain richness to it that inspires whimsy, creativity, and magic. The blue tones in purple help balance its own red tones. Careful to use the right amount as it can be moody, especially dark purple.

Photo Left: Red is thoughtfully used pops by using it in the furniture, including this Eames inspired chair and ottoman. Photo Center: Adding crisp whites, including the shelves, add relief over this saturated pop of orange. Photo Right: A muted mauve is offset by varying shades of gray.


Muted Hues – Muted hues are toned down versions of colors. By adding light or dark grays, the original colors are desaturated while the essence of the color still shows. They are perfect for a home office as they introduce color in a sophisticated way that won’t be too energetic or distracting. Use the color guide above to pick your favorite, and then mute it down a little or alot for the ideal muted color. 

Neutrals – White, Gray, Black – Neutrals are staples in any design. Add color to liven things up, subtract color to calm things down. More details below!

Whites – Clarity, Simplicity, Clean and Fresh. White is refreshing, it delivers relief to any color and gives a sense of openness. Make sure to offset whites with a little color to avoid your office from feeling too stark or feel bland.

Grays – Balance, Calm, and Elegant. Grays give a sense of stability and provide a steady backdrop for colors to shine through. Balance the neutrality of grays with color to avoid a lack of energy and boredom.

Blacks  – Sophisticated, Timeless, Dramatic. A classic and unambiguous color. Use it in small pops to accentuate colors and whites. Due to its inherent darkness, avoid large doses of it in a home office space as it can be oppressive and heavy.

Photo Left: The black tones in this office is nicely balanced by bright whites and a soft yellow and white rug. Photo Right: The natural orange tones in the wood shelf and leather pouf give warmth to this otherwise monochromatic, neutral office.