Designer FAQs: Office Furniture for Home

How do I decorate my home office—in other words, how do I make it look great on video calls?

Start by framing your shot. Here’s how to position your camera for the best video angle:

  • Position your webcam at or slightly above eye level, and watch the tilt: You want it to be as straight as possible.
  • Sit close to the camera, but not too close. Viewers want to see your entire face and the top of your torso—not a zoomed-in view or your entire body.

Next, make sure your lighting looks natural:

  • Work facing a window if you can. If you can’t, add some ambient light, like a chandelier or pendant, to balance out your room’s dark spots.
  • If the afternoon sun is so bright that you have glare on your monitor, or if you have to sit with your back to a window, invest in drapery you can pull closed as needed.

Then, complete your frame with home office furniture and décor that reflect your personality:

  • Hang artwork or favorite photos on the wall behind you to give life and a personal feel to your background.
  • Display small décor like vases, sculptures, or your book collection on a tall bookshelf—but don’t overcrowd the shelves.
  • Tall plants can help frame your shot, so all eyes are on you. If you’re short on time to care for a plant, try lifelike faux florals or trees. Pro tip: plants do a great job of hiding unsightly wires and cords.
  • Accent chairs double as another way to hide cords while also serving as a spot for reading breaks and hosting visitors. Add a pillow and a throw for an extra cozy vibe.
  • Is there a fireplace in your background? Go ahead and light it in colder months to warm up your space physically and visually.

If you need an office makeover that’s less DIY, more room rescue, let one of our interior design pros handle your home office design project.

All right, now for the hours that I’m not in meetings. How can I improve my work-from-home setup so it works for me? What’s the best room for a home office? How do I measure my space?

Think about how you work. Do you need a petite space to rest your laptop and a notebook during office hours? Or is a dedicated home office space with room for multiple computer monitors and storage for important files more your style?

Choosing a room begins with finding the perfect spot for your desk. Pick a place where you’ll feel settled and focused, like a room with a calming view of nature, or a quiet corner of the house. If you can, prioritize plentiful natural light.

Measure your room’s overall length and width, and then input the measurements into our at-home 3D Room Planner so you can make the most of every inch. To preview how office furniture will look in your home before you buy, download our EA inHome® app.

Once you know your space’s dimensions, you can choose a desk sized to meet your needs, then select a chair, lighting, and more.

What kinds of home office furniture do I need?

  • Home office desk: A desk is the focal point and functional hub of your home office. You’ll need enough room to comfortably complete daily tasks, such as working on your computer and taking notes. Want a desk that’s completely customized to you? Click here to design a desk and have it made to order.
  • Desk chair: Prioritize you comfort—but also choose a chair that matches the overall aesthetic of your space.
  • Desk accessories for organization: Keeping clutter out of sight and out of mind helps maintain focus while at work. Home office organization can range from shelves and drawers built into your desk to trays, cubes, and boxes.
  • Home office storage: If you need more room for files, books, and supplies, invest in chests or cabinets. Want to display décor, mementos, and awards? Look for open bookcases.
  • Desk lamp: Don’t work in the dark! Give yourself enough light from chandeliers, task lighting, floor lamps, and even wall sconces to work comfortably at any time of day.

You’ll be spending about 40 hours a week in your home office—decorate accordingly! Décor like artwork, sculptures, and tabletop accents, in addition to helping you look good on calls, can help you stay inspired and focused during your workday.

Want even more detailed tips on how to choose furniture for your home office? Check out our home office buying guide.

How do I know home office furniture is good quality?

Take a look at what the furniture you’re eyeing is made of. Real wood, like oak, maple, or birch, offers superior durability and looks compared to assemble-it-yourself particle board or fiberboard.

At Ethan Allen, every piece of furniture is tested against rigorous quality standards. Much of our furniture is made by master craftspeople in North America, using techniques selected to stand the test of time. Click here to read more about our commitment to custom-quality craftsmanship.

What kind of lighting do I need for my home office?

Lighting isn’t just for video calls; it’s for illuminating the work at hand, too. Think about two types of home office lighting: ambient and task lighting.

Ambient lighting, like a chandelier or pendant, casts a glow over the whole room, while task lighting, like a desk lamp, spotlights whatever you’re working on. To learn more about selecting the best lighting for your needs, read our lighting buying guide.

How do I choose furniture for a small home office?

When “work from home” means turning a corner of your living room, dining room, or bedroom into an office space, or rearranging your apartment, condo, or townhome to make more room, creativity is a must.

Think vertically for creative small home office storage solutions. Choose tall office bookcases, or select a desk with built-in storage such as drawers or a hutch. For all-in-one desk and storage solutions, check out our modular office furniture collections.

Do you have more questions? Click the Designer Chat icon, or contact your local Design Center—we’re happy to help!