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8 Steps to a Minimal, Instagram-Worthy Workspace

April Kennedy April Kennedy
Maharam de México Modern study/office by usoarquitectura Modern
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A home office is the perfect place to indulge in the cool efficiency of Scandinavian design. Great workspaces are clean, efficient and lacking in any clutter that might distract from the task at hand. At the same time, they are calming, beautiful places. So it's no surprise that Nordic design really reigns supreme here. After all—this is a design trend that has turned the simplest, neatest bookshelf and filing system into a piece of art.

So how can we design a Scandi-style minimal workspace or home office? Well, this is not just a minimalist look, but a homely one as well. So if you are a keen DIY aficionado, there's plenty to get you started. This is certainly not a look that needs to be created with IKEA furniture. But whatever your taste, there are a few, common elements that will help create the Scandi look. Keep reading to check out a few lovely Scandinavian style workplaces and learn a few tips!

Paint walls white to make your colours pop

Inspiration Modern study/office by Korbo Modern



Studies have shown that the colour of our workspaces has a huge effect on our energy and mood. White tends to brighten up a space. It makes a workspace feel clean, efficient and uncluttered. It also happens to be the single most defining element in Scandi style interiors.

If you aren't a big fan of white, don't forget that it's really just the base for your more colourful accessories. As seen in this colourful home office, a white background provides the perfect contrast for super high-energy colours and accessories. And as mentioned earlier, these bright bolts of colour have the power to make us feel energised and excited about the work at hand.

Make a large pinboard and pin inspiring cuttings

Today's workday is a whole lot more creative than in the past. With the rise of freelance work and online entrepreneurship, there are huge opportunities for those who love to create. A pinboard provides the perfect focus for brainstorming new ideas, apps, approaches or creative projects. It is a great excuse to get away from a screen, stretch and shift focus to a more lateral way of thinking. It's also, quite luckily a very lovely, visual addition to the home office. Look at this pinboard for inspiration. It's great because it's large and provides a chance to really think big.

Choose a Scandinavian-style desk and chair

Scandinavian style desks and chairs really are quite beautiful. The smooth, minimalist look and striking design is worlds away from the ugly computer desks of times past. These kinds of desks also generally have good storage potential.

If you have the opportunity, consider something with built in storage like this monochromatic desk. Good storage should never be underestimated. It's difficult to overemphasise the power of a de-cluttered workspace. Just remember that visual reminders trigger our brains into random thought processes that drain our energy. So it's really important to consciously control the visual triggers in your home office. Getting a good desk with decent storage will enable you to have documents, stationary and accessories close at hand, without actually seeing any of it.

Frame some colourful graphics

Now you have white walls, a great pinboard and desk, it's time to add a little decoration! Consider framing some beautiful contemporary graphics. As seen here, they really add a light, bright sense of efficiency to a home office. The typical Scandinavian style graphic has strong geometric elements, bright happy colours and a slightly whimsical look. Bold, fine black or wood frames create a unified, organised look to this kind of collection of artworks. There is a lot of room to experiment with unusual designs and this could be a nice project for a creative DIY enthusiast. The only rule is to include lots of white spaces and avoid anything too heavy or dark. Watercolours and gouache paint are generally good materials to use.

Add texture and colour with a blanket or cushion

Maharam de México Modern study/office by usoarquitectura Modern

Maharam de México


If you're really going to knuckle down to work, you'll want the home office to be cosy. This is a really key part of the Nordic look anyway. Indulge in a light and bright blankets or shawl. It should be textured to create a cosy, homely feel. Green is always a good choice. As seen here, it creates a very natural, fresh look.

But whatever colours you like, look at how to add more texture and colour with accessories. Nothing needs to be too closely matched. In fact, your home office will feel even cosier with lots of layers and textures.

Add life to your desk with small plants

A Character Cottage Country style study/office by Heart Home magazine Country
Heart Home magazine

A Character Cottage

Heart Home magazine

Houseplants are a big part of the Nordic look. They add the ultimate fresh look to any home interior and provide an instant jolt of life and energy to the workspace. It's particularly important to harness the power of nature in a workspace where you are likely to spend many hours staring at a screen. The act of observing a plant and monitoring its health is good for our sense of well-being. It calms the minds and encourages us to approach work with a more tranquil, meditative approach. Finally, house plants don't need to be big. Find something low maintenance like a pretty little succulent and pop it in a lovely rustic or white pot.

Consider decorating with typography

Design Letters Scandinavian style study/office by Design Letters Scandinavian
Design Letters

Design Letters

Design Letters

Art is not just confined to watercolours and framed prints, it's also present in the elegant form of classic typography. Decorating with typography can be a little tricky though. It's best to choose a collection of letters with some common design element, and then play around with them on the floor before mounting them. It's a surprisingly absorbing activity and requires just the perfect balance of contrast and colour. Your typography could also be used to impart and inspiring message. Consider looking at wall decals for some classic, inspiring quotes or poems to help you work. Finally, if you love the decorative typography shown here, check them out at Design Letters.

Stack files and books neatly on shelves

For some of us stationery fanatics, nothing quite makes us swoon like a neat bookshelf with neat file holders, containers and colourful books. We like the perfect storage to look neat. So none of the shelves are too tightly filled and there is lots of white space available. But at the same time, it needs to feel relaxed and elegant. For inspiration, look at this lovely bookcase. There is lots of empty space, nothing feels cluttered and the small stacks of books and files are stacked in different configurations. It's just perfect!

Interested in home offices? Then you'll love How to create a study area in a small home.

What do you think of these stunning home offices? Are you inspired? We'd love to hear in the comments below!
Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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