Work-from-home décor trends & makeover guide

Annabel Thain
Annabel Thain Digital Marketing Assistant
Design

Been working from home since lockdown and eager to update your remote workspace? Perhaps you’ve recently returned to your home office after several months of being back at work are now looking to give your space a seasonal refresh.

Love it or hate it, working from home has once again become the daily norm for employees across the UK, with many set to stay close to home for the foreseeable future.

Despite the ups and downs, many remote workers are making the best of the situation, sharing their enviable home workspaces across social media. Instagram’s #HomeOffice tag, for example, now has almost 5 million posts, featuring light and minimalist workspaces decorated to perfection with unique art prints, soft textures and well curated shelves.

As a result, we’ve seen a variety of breakout trends when it comes to home office décor, spanning both classic office items and mood-boosting greenery. For example:

  • Scandinavian interiors are a big hit with Google searches for ‘scandi décor’ rising by 126% since the beginning of lockdown. Featuring clear-cut lines, neutral tones and leafy plants, remote workers are eager to recreate this trend with specific searches for ‘scandi style desk’ and ‘scandi office chair’ increasing by 556% and 529% since the start of lockdown.

  • Employees are keen to introduce greenery to their workspaces but aren’t looking to spend valuable time keeping fussy houseplants alive with queries for ‘low maintenance plants’ and ‘artificial plants’ increasing by 400% and 173%. When it comes to plant types, searches for monstera have shot up 174%, Devil’s ivy up 124% and snake plants up 82%.

  • Remote workers are focused on style as well as comfort, with Google searches for ‘comfy desk chair’ rising by 190% and specific searches for ‘velvet office chair’ and ‘ergonomic desk chair’ increasing by 247% and 340% since March.

Exotic plants are proving to be a must-have for easy office makeovers with sales of our tropical artificial palm trees and bamboo variations going through the roof during lockdown. Bamboo sales between April and June were up almost 260% on the same period last year, with palm tree sales up 445%.

Keep reading if you’re keen to get the low-down on some of the biggest trends taking over work-from-home spaces right now, as well as finding out the simplest way to get the looks yourself, with the potential to benefit from increased productivity and decreased stress levels as a result.

Home Office Décor Trends

Remote workers are taking to Instagram for office makeover tips, as well as to show off their own work-from-home spaces, with the #OfficeSpace, #OfficeDecor and #OfficeDesign tags now having a combined total of 3.7 million posts. Some of the biggest style trends in home office décor – based on Pinterest, Instagram and other social media platforms, as well as Google search data – include:

  • Scandi-style furnishings with plenty of leafy greenery

  • Luxurious features such as velvet chairs and gold accents, perfect for warming up home offices in tie for winter

  • Dark colour palettes for walls contrasted with lighter furniture and accessories

Instagram (@saskiatabea)

Breakout trending tags regarding home office design include #DeskSetup with nearly 600,000 posts and #DeskOrganisation with 70,000 posts, as well as #OfficePlants and #DeskPlant which have almost 100,000 posts combined.

Getting your home office right is as much about comfort and practicality as it is about style, which might be why Google searches regarding a variety of office chairs and desks have risen dramatically:

  • Practicability is key for those with small office spaces with ‘folding office desk’ and ‘compact office chair’ searches increasing by 450% and 250%.

  • Queries for unique office furniture such as a ‘ladder desk’ and ‘ergonomic kneeling chair’ have risen by 124% and 171% since March.

Instagram - (@home.of.four) tagged Blooming Artificial
Instagram - (@mydailytherapydecorandmore)
Instagram - (@greenlivingnyc8)

The Most Popular Office Plants

In a previous survey we found that roughly 40% of UK adults have purchased more greenery than usual during lockdown, suggesting that remote workers are keen to revamp their spaces, especially as many of us continue to spend more time indoors than ever before.

With sales here at Blooming Artificial reaching dizzy new heights during lockdown, we delved deeper to see which of our office plants, both desktop and standing, have been the most popular among remote workers in the past few months. Here are our best-sellers.

Top 5 desktop office plants

  • Boston fern

  • Monstera

  • Aloe vera

  • Zebra grass

  • Philodendron plant

Top 5 standing office plants

  • Oriental bamboo

  • Areca palm

  • Ficus tree

  • Paradise palm

  • Natural bamboo

At the beginning of 2020, we conducted a survey asking plant lovers about their favourite types of plants, revealing cacti, succulents and orchids to be the most popular plant variations. However, during lockdown, our customers have been opting for striking, exotic details for their remote workspaces, investing in tropical trees and leafy desktop greenery.

How to makeover your own home workspace, effortlessly

While office plants are a great way to refresh your workspace on a budget, see below for some more simple changes you can make to help improve productivity whilst working from home.

Keep your surroundings clear

Pinterest (Feelingnifty)

Do you regularly find yourself surrounded by tangled wires, loose papers and rogue sticky notes? Decluttering your workspace is not only a great way to tackle productivity issues, but it can also help increase feelings of self-efficiency and confidence whilst also boosting energy levels. Simple hacks like cable ties, pen holders or storage baskets are easy ways to keep things tidy if you’re struggling to maintain a well ordered desk space.

If you have a larger space, invest in some storage units or shelving to help keep your immediate workspace as clear as possible. These can also help to make your space feel more comfortable and ‘put together’, especially if you are left with some extra space to add decorations.

Give your walls some TLC

Instagram (@allwork.space)

If you’re looking to completely refresh your space, painting the walls is a quick and easy way to make any room feel brand new and up to date. Choose a colour scheme that makes you feel energised and comfortable, or pick a shade that will trick the eye into thinking your space is bigger and lighter than it actually is. For example, lighter colours will open up a small room with lots of natural light whilst darker hues can add depth to rooms with little to no natural light.

With our recent survey revealing that 22% of 18-24 year olds are concerned about the way their background looks on Zoom calls, adding some trendy framed prints to walls can also give your home workspace a more ‘put together’ feel. Alternatively, a unique wallpaper on a feature wall is a great way to add personality to any room with removable options available for those looking for cheap, no fuss options.

Comfort is key

Instagram - (@homewithandra)

Research has shown that 81% of us spend between four and nine hours at our desk each day, meaning a comfortable chair should be a top priority when it comes to revamping your work from home space. Not only causing painful aches in the neck and back, an uncomfortable or poor quality chair can have serious long term consequences for your health such as nerve problems, scoliosis, fibromyalgia and arthritis.

No longer having to settle for a boring plain black mesh however, there are now an abundance of designs and variations available to suit all interiors, whether your taste is minimalist, retro or professional. There are also options for those who prefer to work at standing desks, or even kneel, if excessive slouching is an issue.

Winter comforts

Instagram (@the.elvine)

With the colder months fast approaching, many remote workers might be grateful for the chance to miss out on those dark winter commutes to and from the office.

If you’re simply looking to give your workspace a seasonal refresh, add some cosy details such as candles and a comfortable blanket for when the days start to feel shorter. If you don’t have sufficient lighting in your workspace, now is the time to address this before the clock goes back. Layering your lighting by adding both desk and floor lamps will allow you to control the level of light in your space whilst also creating a cosy and relaxing atmosphere.

Wondering how to warm up a neutral toned space for the colder months? Try adding a few accessories, such as a cushion or a plant pot, in deeper shades to add some depth to your space. When it comes to textures, bouclé, corduroy and velvet fabrics will also help amp up the cosiness of your workspace during the autumn and winter months. For extra style points, try layering these fabrics for added warmth and depth.

Add some personal touches

Instagram - (@pagesofemma)

Whilst some find minimalist décor to be the best option for their concentration levels, others find that surrounding themselves with personal items can help both motivate and inspire them to work hard. Whether it's a photograph of a loved one or a trinket from your travels, having a few meaningful items in your workspace can also help to encourage tidiness, keeping clutter to a minimum.

Why choose artificial office plants?

If you lack a green thumb, or simply don’t want the added responsibility of keeping a fussy houseplant alive, artificial plants are a great alternative that have just as many positive benefits as the real thing. In fact, in a recent survey, we found that 96% of respondents agreed that having plants in their home improved their mood, regardless of whether they were real or fake.

Whether you’re looking for a small desk plant that won’t get in your way, or a large standing plant to add an interesting focal point, artificial plants are a great option for those looking to update their workspace without the added worry. The trend for a green and leafy home office looks like it’s here to stay, and what better way to brighten up a dull corner without creating a distraction, than by investing in a plant that doesn’t require any upkeep?