10 Spectacular Living Room Office Ideas for Working in Style

updated Jan 21, 2022
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If you WFH daily now or just spend a lot of time on projects at home but don’t have a designated home work space, a living room office is the solution you might be looking for. A home office carved out of a family room or common living area can benefit from the comfort—and oftentimes extra space—that comes with this room. But don’t worry, you don’t have to undergo a full, DIY renovation. Very few furnishings and functional updates are all it takes to transform your spare room or space into an inviting at-home office.

To set up the best environment for a living room office, you’ll want to ensure that your shared spaces strike a balance of blending into one another while still retaining their separate functions. When you’re done with work, you don’t want to take the stressors of the day with you onto the living room couch right next door. That’s why it’s important to delineate your work and leisure space. You can do this easily with a few key pieces of furniture and tweaks to your existing layout. Bring in a desk and file cabinet then set up a chic divider to section off this area, or designate an empty corner as your new living room office. You could also set up a console table behind your sofa and pull up a spare chair here when you need to start working. While you probably couldn’t tell your corporate boss that you hated those gray desk chairs and partitions, you have full control over office decor this time around. Whether you prefer a modern, sleek look or a more rustic farmhouse aesthetic, your decorating options are endless and, more enticingly, all up to you.  

With work from home, comes inevitable distractions. It’s a lot easier for your work to be impacted when Netflix and your kitchen are within a few feet. You can combat those attention-stealing details of your home by positioning your desk to face a wall or a window (not the TV) and by ensuring your space is clutter-free and well organized.

Check out these handful of living room offices that are undeniably stylish and successful at blending the biggest parts of our lives—work and play.

Credit: Max Maloney

1. Behind the Couch Office

The best of us have gotten all too comfortable typing away on the couch. If you’re not ready to completely let go of your leisurely work from home routine, use this San Francisco apartment’s space-saving trick and graduate to the back of the couch. This way you can still be in the comfort of your living room, but have a designated work spot. Plus, it’s a helpful hack if wall space is at a premium.

2. Built-In Storage Desk

If you have built-in, stacked shelving in the living room – or right off it – this is the best way to carve out a storage-friendly nook, especially if your office tends to be on the more cluttered side. Instead of cutting out even more floor space with a dedicated bookshelf, place all your notebooks and supplies vertically above your desk.

Credit: Andrew Bui

3. Closet Office

Looking to eliminate all distractions? If you have a spare closet in the living room and if space affords, use this genius home office hack from Kim White’s tiny Brooklyn studio. Instead of getting a freestanding desk, you can even mount a wide floating shelf to the wall to maximize space and more effectively push in a cozy chair. 

4. Corner Office Nook

Above, this minimalist Michigan home’s spacious living room seamlessly blends into the office space. While it’s all one room, the desk’s placement in an empty corner and the positioning of the sofa make a distinction between the two zones, work and play, without using a wall or divider. This makes it easier to drift from a day’s work into a defined relaxing social space. 

(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

5. Book Boundary Office

A pile of books is the unique separation between the office space and rest of the living room in Doris and Jon’s Vintage-Contemporary Victorian. The round table and its office set up are tucked away just enough to make it feel like a separate space.

(Image credit: Brittany Purlee)

6. Accent Wall Living Room Office

The black paint both draws attention to and camouflages this living room office in Sam and Linsey’s thoughtful Chicago home. While the color choice is edgy, it gives the illusion of depth and extra space in the corner.

(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)

7. Game Room Study Combo

Work and play come together nicely in this home office in Duncan and Tanya’s textural Kensington cottage. Because the back of the chair faces the TV, there’s much less chance of distraction if two people share the room at the same time.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

8. Efficient Office Nook

Small spaces are no longer an excuse for not treating yourself to a nice work space. This tiny office in Myka and George’s modern abode makes efficient use of little square footage and managed to create a comfy area to get work done.

(Image credit: Brittany Purlee)

9. Artistic Office Space

While there are no dividers, the gallery wall is what really designates the office area in this warm Chicago studio apartment. The hanging artwork and textile create visual boundaries, making it almost feel like another room.

10. Light-Filled Home Office

A light, bright office space makes the chore of working much more bearable. The choice of a white desk, drawers, and accents in this fresh San Francisco apartment is stylish and helps camouflage the working area, which keeps the living room looking spacious. If you have a window in your living room, this is always a great area to consider putting your desk.

11. Mid-Century Modern Living Room Office

In a small home like this cozy Seattle Studio, it can be tough to find room for all your stuff, much less a work space. But the addition of a desk is a simple, easy way to set up an in-home office that still matches the rest of the room. Having your desk face away from the entertainment center can also prevent distractions, especially if someone else has commandeered the TV area while you’re working. Headphones will help, too. 

12. Eclectic Bohemian Living Room Office

For creative types, a boho office setup similar to this one in a colorful Seattle rental can spark ideas and provide a playfully vibrant space to get work done in. When working two spaces into one, you can never go wrong with sticking to the decor that matches your interior tastes and lifestyle.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

13. Colorful and Plush Home Office

A maximalist mindset when designing your home office can make your WFH days more exciting. This dazzling Toronto apartment keeps style front and center while balancing work and play in its living room office. Although there’s a wide range of colors and patterns mixed here, they work in harmony to still provide an organized, streamlined workspace.