7 Essential Items for Setting Up an Outdoor Office Space

garden office

@s.u.s.a.p / Instagram

Working from the home office has its perks—you can spend the entire day in sweatpants, head to the kitchen for fuel as often as needed, and burn one of your favorite candles while tackling your inbox. That said, everyone can use a change of scenery every now and then, and as the weather warms up and the days get longer, we're all about taking things outside. That's right—the garden office is having a moment, and you, too, can arrange your outdoor space to allow for maximum productivity in the warmer months. Simply add the following seven essentials to your garden office and watch your 9-to-5 fly by.

  • 01 of 07

    A Substantial Sized Umbrella

    umbrella

    Kathy Kuo

    We're all about enjoying the sun as we work—but there is such a thing as too much brightness.  "I tend to lean toward Sunbrella fabrics since the material is weather and UV resistant," says designer Kathy Kuo, the founder of Kathy Kuo Home. "This allows for maximum protection throughout the day and durability for many seasons." And the right umbrella can be both fun and functional, Kuo adds. "Umbrella fabrics are also a fun way to incorporate a pop of color or pattern if you’re looking to make a statement in your outdoor space."

  • 02 of 07

    A Chic Background Setup and Comfy Chair

    outdoor dining chair

    Kathy Kuo

    Don't keep the best view of your space all to yourself! "If we’re familiar with anything while working from home, it’s virtual calls," Kuo states. "It’s time to get rid of the photoshopped backgrounds and show off your garden space!" At the same time, think strategically about a placement that will allow for maximum comfort, too. Kuo adds, "You’ll want to angle your chair in a position that captures your vibrant backdrop while facing your body toward the sun to avoid a glare on your screen."

    When it comes to choosing seating for your garden office, Kuo has a few pointers. "An outdoor dining chair with a cushioned seat back is the most ideal so you get proper support and don't have to worry about feeling stiff throughout the day," she notes. "One thing no one enjoys is sitting on a foldable wood slat chair for hours—not to mention, it can kill your posture."

  • 03 of 07

    A Break Room

    egg chair

    Kathy Kuo

    Everyone can benefit from a few screen-free moments during the work day, and carving out an area in which to unplug even for just 15 minutes can work wonders. But if the idea of a break room conjures visions of water coolers and stale pastries, fear not—this garden friendly relaxation area is way more aesthetically pleasing. "Whether it be an outdoor sofa and coffee table set or a hanging egg chair, either can add an element of fun to the space and let you soak in the outdoors for all elements of your work day," Kuo says.

  • 04 of 07

    A Little Bit of Charm

    outdoor table and chair for work in a garden

    @s.u.s.a.p / Instagram

    There's no reason that a home office—particularly one located in the garden—should feel bland. "The enchantment of a garden office is all about experiencing the beauty and calm of nature around you," HomeGoods Style Expert Ursula Carmona of Home Made by Caroma shares. "However you choose to set up your workstation, bring some of those rejuvenating elements into your space." Potted plants and bamboo or rattan lanterns are excellent picks, she adds.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Breezy Elements

    An outdoor room with sheer curtains, hanging pendant lighting and a sectional.

    Kirsten Diane / Instagram

    Even the most stressful work days will feel a little less daunting when you incorporate a few tropical-inspired touches into your garden space. "Take it up a notch and bring vacation vibes to your work," Carmona advises. She suggests stringing rope through curtains and hanging them surrounding one's workspace. "It’s a quick and easy DIY trick that provides a bit of extra shade and that soothing cabana-like vacation feel right in the garden."

  • 06 of 07

    Access to Outlets

    garden setup

    @luckyplot13 / Instagram

    Don't forget about all of the technology that you'll need to keep charged throughout the work day—and beyond! "Outdoor outlets can also be used during non-working hours to plug speakers and lighting for outdoor events, making them a worthwhile inclusion," designer Sarah Barnard notes. "WiFi extenders may also help ensure technology is properly functioning when working outdoors. Ensure that your outdoor office has a predetermined strategy for charging devices, including phones, laptops, and power banks."

  • 07 of 07

    Natural Touches

    garden office

    @ladyandlandscape / Instagram

    Why not fully embrace all that nature has to offer while plugging away at your day job? Barnard has a few suggestions. "In areas where drought is not a concern, water features create soothing background noise and may help minimize the distraction of noises from passing cars or neighbors," she says. "Pollinator-friendly plantings help to attract birds and butterflies to your garden for moments of mindful observation."