Posted on October 12 2017
A home office or workspace is an area of the house that’s dedicated to getting work done. Whether it’s an area for kids to finish their homework, a creative studio for artists, or a traditional computer-on-a-desk type of workspace, wallpaper can help transform the environment to suit your needs. Gone are the days of blank, white walls or boring, uninteresting wallpaper styles! The home office of today is stylish and eye-catching.
However, before you rush out and pick just any wallpaper that catches your eye, be sure to learn more about the actual space you’re using. Choosing the wrong wallpaper can distract you from getting your work done, but choosing the right wallpaper color and pattern can help you focus on your tasks. Read on to learn more about wallpaper in a home office!
Table of Contents
- Open space vs. Separate room
- Questions to ask yourself before wallpapering the office
- What type of work will you be doing?
- How important is color in a home office?
- How important is wallpaper pattern in a home office?
- Inspiration for your own workspace
- Summary and citations
What type of home office will you be creating? This one is in a more open space, with the wallpaper on a partial wall.
Open space vs. Separate room
The first thing to consider when putting up wallpaper in your home office is whether or not the space is in the open or if the office is in a separate room.
If it’s in the open (for example, the office is in the den that shares the space with a living room or hallway), then you’ll need to consider the entire space. If, for instance, your den is connected to a living room with an established color scheme, you will want to choose wallpaper that compliments the existing design. A home office in an open space requires more thinking in terms of wallpaper choices.
On the other hand, a home office in a completely separate room allows for more freedom in terms of design. Because the presence of a door essentially closes off the space from the rest of the house, you can design your office from the ground up.
A burst of color can help inspire you during your work.
Questions To Ask Yourself Before wallpapering the office
Now that you’ve identified what environment your home office is in, let’s take a look at some other aspects you’ll need to consider.
As I said at the beginning of the article, it’s not enough just to choose your favourite color or pattern. Be sure to understand what your office will be used for and the type of work that you’ll be doing in the workspace. This will help guide your wallpaper color and pattern choices.
What type of work will you be doing?
Creative work – inspiration, creativity, imagination: With more creative work, you might want your environment to reflect your imagination and creativity. If that’s the case, bolder colors and funky patterns would be an excellent choice – something that reflects your personality and innovative mind!
A workspace for children – fun, engaging, durable: If the workspace is primarily for children, you’ll want wallpaper that is durable and can physically stand the test of time (or, at least, sticky fingers). That means wallpaper features should be just as important as color and pattern. Look for wallpaper that is fully washable and scrubbable. You’ll also want to stay away from more fragile wallpaper materials, such as grasscloth.
Traditional home offices – efficient, productive, focus: The “cubicle” office style is what we’ll refer to as “traditional.” But unlike cubicles, which are often super plain and uninspiring, your traditional office should be a reflection of your style and work ethics. With this type of work, one of the primary goals is to create an environment that is comfortable for you to work in.
A classic, rustic work environment is accentuated with the aged furniture and trellis wallpaper pattern (Green Billows R2230).
How important is color in a home office?
Simply put: it’s very important. As visual creatures, color affects our mood, whether we’re aware of it or not. However, some quick tips can help you plan for the type of office you want:
White and grey: It’s safe to say that if you’re reading this article, your walls might already be white, white, and white. Our advice? Stay away from too much white. White doesn’t stimulate the senses, it’s quite bland, and creates a sterile environment that makes the workplace dull. Similarly, overusing grey in a home office can create negative emotions. If you are interested in using more neutral colors, our advice is to add a burst of color somewhere so that the color palette isn’t too monotonous or dull.
White, black, and grey colors should be used carefully. You don't want to make a dark home office. However, adding areas of color can help turn a dreary color scheme into a contemporary one (Crude Slate Grey R1378)
Red and purple: In a study about children’s color preferences, researchers found that red and purple were the preferred colors for interior environments, with girls preferring purple slightly more than red (see citations at the end of the article). On the other hand, yellow and orange were ranked as the two least favored colors. Here is what the researchers had to say:
“Designers may wish to incorporate more cool colors as environmental color on the walls in child development centers. A wall with a subtle purple hue may support children’s interest in the space” (Read and Upington, 2009, p. 495).
Green: The human eye processes green the easiest, so this would be a great choice all around. If you’re working long hours in your office space, then you’ll want to use a color that won’t “tire” you out quickly. Green keeps you fresh!
Blue: Blue is a color known for its calming qualities. It can also help boost productivity, making it perfect for when you’re engaging in work that has a deadline!
Yellow and orange: While children may not like yellow and orange all that much, these two colors can be perfect for adult workspaces. The colors invoke a sense of enthusiasm and optimism, and are good choices for creative work settings.
Red: For work that is more hands-on, red is a great color since it stimulates your senses and creates a high-energy environment. That being said, this isn’t a great choice if the majority of your work requires a quiet atmosphere or if you’re in the office for an extended period of time.
While color psychology can affect our mood and make us more or less productive, this is less true for pattern. This wallpaper might be too "busy" for some, while others might enjoy it (Turquoise Angles M8834).
How important is wallpaper pattern in a home office?
Like color, pattern can help distinguish the character of a room but it affects our actual mood to a lesser extent. This means there are fewer “restrictions” with wallpaper pattern compared to how color affects our perception and mood.
What wallpaper pattern does is help establish the character of a room. For example, wallpaper featuring trees, leaves, or flowers will give the room a nature-inspired look. A concrete pattern will make the room appear more contemporary and industrial. A floral pattern may make the room look more elegant and feminine.
Inspiration for your own workspace
Now that we’ve gotten all of the details out of the way, here are some great wallpaper choices for your own home office! For each selection, we’ve added some pointers on how to use the wallpaper:
Great for: What type of workspace is this wallpaper best suited for? Mood: What kind of mood or character does this wallpaper convey? Usage: Would this wallpaper be a suitable choice for a feature wall or used for all walls in a room?
Without further adieu, let’s take a look at some great wallpaper for your home office!
Great for: Creative
Mood: Innovative, interesting, tactile
Usage: Entire room
This grasscloth wallpaper is made with natural cork material, and features metallic accents that catch the light. Grasscloth wallpaper has a visible and tactile texture that is unlike any regular wallpaper, making it stand out from the crowd. Made with natural, environmentally friendly materials, this wallpaper can inspire you in your own creative work!
Great for: Traditional
Mood: Calm, relaxed, classic
Usage: Feature wall or entire room
For designers that still want to incorporate white into the room design, why not “dress” it up with some color? Since blue colors are known to have calming qualities, this wallpaper is the perfect choice for more traditional home offices.
Great for: Children, Creative
Mood: Engaging, fun, interesting
Usage: Feature wall
Energize your working hours with this wallpaper featuring fields of red flowers. It’s sure to engage anyone in the room. While bold red colors can be too energizing for a workspace, this wallpaper features a slightly muted tone that is offset with green tones.
Great for: Creative
Mood: Fun, interesting, creative, minimalist
Usage: Feature wall or entire room
This multi-colored wallpaper is funky, perfect for work environments that focus on more creative endeavours. The simplistic background makes the colorful trees stand out even more, making this pattern suitable for those who want their workspace to reflect their individuality and innovative style.
Great for: Traditional, Creative
Mood: Stylish, contemporary, relaxed
Usage: Entire room
Faux finish wallpaper murals are always a trendy choice, and this one will help make your office super chic. Again, blue colors make yet another appearance to help make the environment more relaxing. This time around, the brown tones add more sophistication for a more traditional look. The interplay between these two colors makes for a super stylish wallpaper mural!
Great for: Children
Mood: Engaging, vibrant, eye-catching
Usage: Feature wall
With both red and purple colors, this makes it a great choice for engaging children in their work environment. In their study, Deborah Upington and Marilyn Read suggest using these colors on the central wall in order to maximize its visual effect. Thus, this wallpaper pattern would be perfect for a feature wall in front of the desk or work area.
Color, pattern, space usage, type of work - it might seem like a lot to consider, but just be sure to take it one step at a time! The two main features to keep in mind when choosing wallpaper in a home office is color and pattern.
Wallpapers that have a busy, complex pattern may be too distracting for some people, while others might enjoy having it in their office. In other words, wallpaper pattern is much more of a personal choice.
On the other hand, color has a deeper psychological effect because of its emotional qualities. It’s not enough to just choose wallpaper with your favourite color. Understanding how color plays a part in productivity levels is crucial when designing a home office or workspace. The type of work can often influence what color choices are best suited for a working environment, while the wrong color choices can make us unproductive and uninspired.
Both the color and pattern of your wallpaper choice should make sense when combined with the goal or type of home office you’re creating. Hopefully with this article, you’ve gained some ideas on how to design your home office in order to maximize your productivity!
Read, M. A., & Upington, D. (2009). Young Children's Color Preferences In The Interior Environment. Early Childhood Education Journal, 36(6), 491-496.