A proper study space—whether a home office, lofted area, or a quiet nook—is more important than ever. Now that working from home is the norm for many people, what may have been an underutilized study is now imperative to everyday life.
Whether your space is airy and sun-filled or dark and serious, there are plenty of ways to transform your study room into an inspiring area where you'll speed through your work to-do list.
Read on for 15 study room ideas—all interior designer-approved—that'll make your 9-5s all the more productive.
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Create a Dark, Moody Moment
Form meets function in this wow-worthy space. "This office was intended to be a place to not only work, but to be inspired," Ginger Curtis, President of Urbanology Designs, says. "Colors, textures, lighting, and accessories were all added to marry these two worlds."
Dark walls pair with a cool gallery wall and modern furniture for a space worthy of working, studying, and simply being inspired.Continue to 2 of 15 below.
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Marry Fashion and Function
When Bria Hammel, CEO and Creative Director of Bria Hammel Interiors, was designing this home office for a lawyer, she prioritized creating a space that felt both productive and comfortable.
“By displaying law school books in the built-ins, opting for a moodier navy paint color, and layering in softer details like the custom bench cushion, pillows, and plush rug, this room is not only functional, but also reflects my client's style," Hammel says.Continue to 3 of 15 below.
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Create an Attractive Backdrop
We’re all-too-familiar with Zoom meetings, and all-too-familiar with blah Zoom backgrounds, too. Avoid boring your meeting mates by purposefully considering what’s behind your desk chair. That’s what Lina Galvão, Principal Designer at Curated Nest, did here.
“It was very important to our client to have an attractive Zoom background for frequent work-from-home days, which is why we went with two tall shelves to house accessories and books, with utilitarian storage in the lower cabinets,” she says. “Personally, I love that the desk has storage on both sides, adding function and visual interest.”
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Wallpaper the Ceiling
A surefire recipe for this studious workspace: beautiful blue paint paired with open shelving for display-worthy pieces and cabinets for less aesthetically pleasing items. The cherry on top is a glamorous wallpaper, which, when used on a ceiling, provides an intimate feel. Together, the ingredients make for a study space worthy of a headmaster's office.Continue to 5 of 15 below.
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Lean into the Light
When designing this family-friendly beach house, interior designer Kathy Kuo had multiple objectives for this sunny study room. “The goal was to make the space feel equal parts productive and functional, as well as comfortable and beautiful,” she says. That meant including a desk, complete with drawers and trays for organization, in the sunniest spot.Continue to 6 of 15 below.
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Opt for Academic Hues
This cozy study corner needed to fulfill a few purposes, including hosting the homeowner’s colleagues for work retreats, as well as family and friends throughout the year. “We utilized every nook of this transitional-style home to create spots that made perfect sense for comfortably settling in with a laptop or with a book or journal,” Kuo shares.
Take this spot, for instance, which includes an academic-looking green velvet lounge chair that feels equally professional and relaxing.Continue to 7 of 15 below.
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Incorporate Leather Elements
There are plenty of fabrics you can consider to cozy up your study room, but leather is always foolproof. “Because of its soft yet structured qualities, leather can be both chic and cozy,” interior designer Shannon Crain says. “I selected leather armchairs and a leather desk to anchor this handsome study.” Mission accomplished.Continue to 8 of 15 below.
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Consider the Room’s Placement
This bright and welcoming reading room, adjacent to the kitchen in this 1920's Spanish Revival home, is the perfect place to relax—especially with a glass of wine and a favorite cookbook, according to the designer, Karen Harautuneian. This room is adaptable and cozy—you could whip up a work presentation in this study room or relax after hours.
Continue to 9 of 15 below.
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Display Books—and Lots of Them
It doesn't get much cozier than this loft. Because the space is small and simplistic, Curtis notes that the built-in book wall was important to add movement and interest to this space. While you may not want to work a 9-5 in a loft space like this, it makes for a spectacular study (and snoozing) spot.Continue to 10 of 15 below.
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Paint the Ceiling
For this space, interior designer Caroline Brackett transformed a light, bright sunroom into a cozier office and den space that the whole family uses. One trick she utilized: adding warmth on both the floors and (extra tall) ceiling.
“Since the ceilings are so tall, we painted the walls and ceiling all the same color to make the room feel more intimate and enveloping,” she says. The sisal floor covering and velvet upholstery add to the heavier, moodier feeling too.Continue to 11 of 15 below.
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Assemble a Small Bar
In your oh-so-grown-up study space, a small bar—whether assembled on a bar cart or simply on a chic tray—gives you the opportunity to pour yourself a little something when inspiration strikes. It's 5:00 somewhere, right?Continue to 12 of 15 below.
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Give Life to Nooks and Crannies
You may not have an entire room to dedicate to a study space, and that's okay. Get creative with underutilized or awkward corners of your home. That's what Curtis did here, using a simple floating slab-turned-desk to create an elated reading nook for kids. With dark paint and minimal furnishings, it's distraction-free in design—perfect for working or studying, no matter your age.Continue to 13 of 15 below.
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Stick To Simple Furnishings
If you're working with a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling window situation in a study room (lucky you), keep the room's focus on the view. "In this chic yet relaxed office we really wanted to embrace the architectural simplicity and beauty of the window," Curtis says.
To do that, she focused on furniture and light fixtures that didn't detract from the view, but instead enhanced it. Think: clean lines, natural materials, neutral tones, and soft textures.Continue to 14 of 15 below.
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Get Creative with Seating
To give your home office a cozy touch, consider seating beyond the standard desk chair. Take it from Caroline Aycock, the principal designer at Koukla Collective.
“Is there a corner you can turn into a nook? A window where you can create a window seat?” she asks. “Whether you’re working, reading, or just catching up on emails on your phone, having a secondary comfortable place to sit—always with pillows and ambient lighting—is key.”Continue to 15 of 15 below.
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Put a Bookshelf to Work
Never underestimate the power of a bookshelf. Their primary purpose is to provide storage for must-haves, as well as family photos, travel memorabilia, and fresh flowers. Invest in the right design, though, and it can create architectural interest in an otherwise simple space. Take this bookcase, for instance.
"We intentionally created an asymmetrical design to bring something unexpected to this space," Curtis says. "The white walls with a mix of organic wood tones feels elevated yet inviting."