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Vintage Home Office Ideas

With work and home life combining more and more, we turned to our archives for inspiration on designing home offices that feel integrated with the rest of the house, don't require a lot of space, and will work hard for you.

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Interior designer John Loecke focused on the little things when designing this preppy office space in 2009. "The more visually interesting the room, the less likely you are to focus on its size," says John, who added green crown molding and chunky white window shutters to give the room architectural interest, then infused the room with yellow, green, and orange fabrics that feel citrusy and energetic.

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This pink home office from our September 2007 issue got a bold dose of black and white from interior designer Kathryn Chaplow. To make it feel integrated with the rest of the home, she used a dining table for a desk and an armchair with an ornate back so furniture doesn't read as exclusively "office". Other creative repurposing—like using a planter to store paperwork, and mint julep cups for pencil holders—makes the space personal.

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Cyberspace melds with green space in landscape designer Michael Ritter's home office, featured in our November 1998 issue. Formerly a solarium, the office features his work right behind him, by means of a glass paneled wall. "This office is just like working in a garden—minus the mosquitoes," he says.

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Minimal, modern furniture keeps the bones of this 1965 office clean and the storage streamlined to one wall. One of the most important parts of any home office? Natural light. This one tucks this desk right next to the room's one window to maximize on it.

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This double-duty office and guest suite from our August 2006 issue also includes a double-duty desk. When guests come to stay, the central table rolls back under the desk area by the wall, opening the space up for a leather sleeper sofa to set up like a bed.

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You don't need an entire room to design a home office, we wrote in our April 2011 issue. This corner is right-sized for a wood top counter and bar stool that create a computer nook by the window. A wall of cubbies and undercounter shelves—which also function as the wood counter's leg—give storage a natural order and also provide a place to feature vases and collectibles.

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Moody and lounge-worthy colors and fabrics combine in this handsome office from our January 1982 issue, starring deep blue walls and velvet cushions. A simple glass-topped desk, geometric accent lamp, and a sofa and chair that read as living room furniture keep the space from feeling too utilitarian.

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