A home office can be a corner of the kitchen used to pay bills and sort recipes or it can be a separate room dedicated to work. Whatever space you have for your home office, decorating it in a country style is sure to make time spent in this room much more pleasant. There are several versions of country style. You may be familiar with French country design with its mix of patterns, primary colors, woven chair seats and over-stuffed furniture. Italian country offers a more rustic style featuring plaster walls, distressed furniture and rooster art. American country style often conjures up visions of rustic furniture, plaid fabrics and hand crafted items. While this is certainly true, American country style decorating can also be very sophisticated. All these styles have one thing in common and that is to create a comfortable and inviting space to relax and enjoy life. As an added bonus, being surrounded by things you love can also make your work hours much more productive.
Decorating for Functionality
First and foremost, a home office must be functional. You will need a place to work, store files and supplies and possibly meet with clients. A desk or work surface can be constructed from many different items. For a simple and rustic look, use an old door as your desktop. It can be supported with old oak file cabinets, stacks of vintage luggage, small step ladders, a stack of books or even an old sawhorse. Regardless of what type of support you use be sure the door is properly secured. A piece of glass or a desk blotter can be added to the top to create a smooth work surface. A weathered old farm table or library table makes a wonderful desk in a country style office, offering plenty of desktop space. The most affordable option is to simply use a piece of plywood supported by two file cabinets. The plywood can be stained or painted and distressed to create a vintage look. For a more feminine look, hang curtains around the edges to hide the file cabinets. Search your local antique stores and the internet for an old desk. The aged patina and scratches from years of use may just inspire you to work harder. A desk chair is an obvious must. To soften the look of a standard office chair, make slipcovers or a pretty chair pad to coordinate with the room.
As with other rooms in your home, a home office needs to be accessorized in order to make it feel homey and comfortable. If you are decorating in a country style you have the opportunity to repurpose items as inventive storage pieces. Use an old toolbox for desktop supplies such as paper clips, tacks, envelopes, staplers etc. The handle makes it easy to transport this piece to other areas of the office as needed. An old silverware divider meant for drawers makes a great catch-all in your office. The long and narrow spaces can hold pens and pencils, rulers, and scissors. These are often pretty enough to sit on top of your desk or file cabinet. Hang baskets or old metal buckets on the wall to collect magazines, outgoing mail, blueprints, etc. They can be labeled very easily and make for interesting wall decor. Vintage doorknobs can be used as pegs to hold the baskets. Search for old wooden file cabinets. These can be used to support a desktop, as an end table next to a chair or sofa or simply placed against the wall as storage units. If you have bookcases or built-ins, consider adding old shutters or screen doors as a unique way to hide the items on the shelves.
Home Office Country Lighting
Lighting is important in any room in your home, especially in the office. A combination of task lighting and ambient lighting will make it more comfortable to work. A swing arm wall sconce makes it possible for you to direct the light where you need it. This can be placed next to your desk or reading chair. An old pharmacy lamp next to your sofa or chair adds to the vintage feel of the room and is small enough to be used in any size space.
Country Wall Decor
These accessories may include coordinating wall decor such as photographs and prints, shelf items such as souvenirs collected from travels, family photos or interesting and unique items such as wall maps of the world or places you have visited. Consider wrapping everyday binders in burlap or muslin for a homespun look, or use fabric that coordinates with the rest of the room.
Your New Comfortably Decorated Home Office
Beware! Decorating your home office in a country style may create a space so comfortable and inviting that you find yourself working overtime hours or spending non-work related time in this room just reading and relaxing. Don't forget to use the rest of the rooms in your house - or better yet, redecorate them to match your new country office.