Skip to main content

8 home office painting ideas you’ll love

Now that everyone is moving to remote work, the home office is having its renaissance. Whether remote work is new to you or old hat — whether it’s full time or a place for you to get yourself organized — the home office is an integral part of your home.

It’s time to treat your home office the same way you would the kitchen or your bedroom as a space worthy of its own design focus. The right paint colors and techniques could transform your home office decor from an afterthought to a place you love to be. Here’s what you need to know.

Transforming your home office with paint

It’s not just about finding a color you like. What’s your aesthetic? What are you hoping to accomplish with your design? Let’s take a look at a few different things you can do with paint alone.

Calming colors

Woman working at home
kali9/Getty Images

Painting your home office with calm colors is a wonderful example of using color therapy principles to reduce stress. If you find yourself stressing out about doing your bills or talking to your boss on Zoom, a calming color could help diffuse the situation.

Some examples of calming colors are blues or even neutrals. The right shade of white can also help assuage your nerves and calm the situation. A nice green can evoke the same feelings of nature. Whatever you choose, pair it with your favorite painting or calming photograph and enjoy it the time you sit at your desk.

Bold colors

On the opposite end of the spectrum, bold colors can help you wake up. If you have trouble concentrating when you sit down at your desk, a bold color such as a deep jewel green, yellow, or even a bold red could help you to focus.

Bold colors can help designate a nook if you don’t have an entire room to devote to a home office. Use a bright color to build out your office space to differentiate the office from the rest of your living room or bedroom.

Accent wall

Man working at home
Ryan McVay/Getty Images

For those of you who don’t have the space to designate an entire room to an office, painting an accent wall can help you sit down to concentrate. Just block out the space you want around your desk and paint the wall inside that border.

Create your own note board

Paint the wall behind your desk or just a square of your desired size using chalkboard or whiteboard paint. You’ll be able to brainstorm and write notes right on the wall without having to keep up with a thousand little pieces of paper.

Ombre paint effects

If you want a dramatic look behind your desk, you could ombre your walls. Choose colors from the same color family and blend them from darkest to lightest. You can go from bottom to top, top to bottom, or side to side. This makes your space feel bigger because your eyes register more “space” with the faded paint.

Color blocking

Woman at desk looking at paint samples
Westend61/Getty Images

Color blocking is another bold design choice that uses either molding or colors directly on the wall to create bold, graphic patterns. You could paint everything below a piece of molding a dark color with a light color on top, paint overlapping squares, or any other type of pattern. Use the same color family for a harmonious look, or choose colors on the opposite ends of the color wheel for something modern.

Play with sheen

If you want something refined yet visually exciting, use the same shade of paint in two contrasting sheens to create a stripe pattern on the wall. Alternate with a matte and shiny stripe going vertically for more height or horizontally to make the space feel longer. It’s interesting without being distracting, and you can achieve the effect using any color you wish.

This technique also works if you aren’t into a full accent wall, but you still want to delineate a space for your office. Just use the same color as the rest of your walls, but paint a contrasting sheen stripe — set directly behind your desk to create the illusion of a separate space.

Create a mural

If you’re creative, painting a mural of your choosing on your office makes a bold statement. You can also project and trace mural shapes onto your wall behind your desk if you aren’t a painter. Commissioning a mural is a great way to get a customized look that no one else has, and if nothing else, use a wall graphic with one of the paint options we suggested for a mural in a pinch.

Making your home office great with paint

Home office with gray wall
Image used with permission by copyright holder

It’s amazing what a simple coat of paint can do for your office and your productivity. Whether you want to reduce stress, increase focus, revamp an office room, or create a space in a specific spot, paint can help you accomplish your design goals.

Think carefully about what you want to accomplish, then use our techniques and suggestions to create the home office of your dreams. You could find yourself drifting to your desk and getting things done. It’s time to make your office just as lovely as the rest of your home.

Editors' Recommendations

Nate Swanner
Nate is General Manager for all not-Digital-Trends properties at DTMG, including The Manual, Digital Trends en Espanol…
8 spectacular basement laundry room ideas to create a warm, inviting space
Transform your basement laundry room with these remodeling tips
Farmhouse style laundry room with blue cabinets

The basement is a great spot for a designated laundry room due to its open layout and utility hookups. Often, though, the aesthetics leave a lot to be desired.

Your basement laundry room doesn’t have to be dingy or dull; you can make your space more functional and stylish with a few simple changes. Your newly renovated space may even make you enjoy doing your laundry! Here are eight of our favorite basement laundry room ideas and a few considerations to keep in mind while remodeling.

Read more
6 easy ways to update your home for under $500
Update your home with these inexpensive, easy projects
Couple painting white walls

When most homeowners think of renovations, they think of time-consuming projects that always run over budget. And often, they’re right. But updating your home doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Tearing down cabinets and installing brand-new hardwood floors aren’t the only ways to up your home design game.

With a bit of planning and elbow grease, you can refresh your space with inexpensive home remodeling projects that will have a considerable impact. Here are six DIY home projects that you can easily complete for less than $500.

Read more
Do you need to wash walls before painting? The honest truth
What you need to know before you paint your walls
Man's hand painting a wall pink with a paint roller

While there are many mistakes that can be made during a DIY painting project, one question many homeowners ask is whether they really need to wash walls before painting. It's a cumbersome task, so is it really necessary? The answer is yes. Having a clean, dry wall before slapping down that primer and paint can prevent all sorts of cosmetic and even health issues down the road. Of course, there are some rooms in your house that need more thorough cleaning than others. If you're ready to paint, here's how you should wash your walls first.
Really? Do you need to wash walls before painting?
Different paint manufacturers offer different advice on this particular topic. PPG says you should "wipe walls clean of dust and dirt," while Sherwin-Williams, for example, offers more detailed advice:

"Washing your walls and trim will remove grime, cobwebs, dust, and stains that can prevent your paint from adhering. Use a mixture of lukewarm water and mild soap, gently rubbing in a circular motion. Rinse your walls using a slightly damp cellulose sponge."

Read more