When putting together a home office it is important to remember two things: it is an office, but it is also in your home. Too often, we will end up with an office that has too little "homeyness", or an office that has too little office. In this article, I will discuss how to balance the varying goals of building a home office, including how to keep it function while at the same time keeping it warm.
First, make sure your space is actually functional. This isn't a compromise on what I just said above; every home space should be functional first and decorated second. Make sure you have a wide enough desk for any projects you will be engaging in, room for your computer and room to store any files and books you use regularly. If you don't like moving your computer on and off your desk, try to have two desk surfaces as a part of an "L"-shaped design. Make sure you have a strong lamp or lamps to illuminate the surface.
Now comes the tricky part. You'll want to decorate your office now more like a part of a home than like a part of an office. Office decor is not designed to be functional; it is designed to be cheap. You don't need to be cheap in your own home. Bookshelves look very nice in an office, as they match the functional shelves near your office while also evoking the style of a library.
Now, you'll want to work against the harsh "officeyness" of your home office by introducing some homey touches. Be subtle, but be firm. Using plants is one of the best ways to offset the functional feel of a lot of office furniture. In addition, use some paintings, artwork or other touches that match the overall style of your home. Finally, include a sofa, since it allows your family to visit you in your office without feeling like a client.