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A painted arch feature on a home office wall, painted in Porter’s Paints Sundance
Choosing the right colours for your home office can transform your space – and your mood.

The best colours for your work-from-home space

Once a nice-to-have bonus space, a home office has become an essential ingredient for hybrid working, studying or full-time working from home. Whether it’s a separate room or a cosy nook within an open-plan living zone, carving out a dedicated work space is a fantastic opportunity to get creative.

While commercial offices take neutral styling to the extreme, a home office provides an opportunity to style a space that reflects your personality – a space that helps you work at your best. Your choice of colour will set the tone of this space. And choosing a different hue to the rest of your home can help you separate work and leisure, helping you to define the beginning and end of your work day and achieve a balance, even when you’re metres from the rhythms of family life.

The psychology of colour

Interior design is not just an art, it’s a science. The way you put a room together has a huge impact on how you feel when you’re in it, and the greatest tool at your disposal is colour. Colour psychology looks at the way colour works on a subconscious level, influencing the way you feel. Colour can even affect the decisions you make, so it’s worth putting some thought into it before picking up a paintbrush.

Experiment with colour psychology by looking at pictures of colourful rooms and thinking about how they make you feel. There’s an element of subjectivity to colour psychology, but – as a general rule – warm colours like reds, oranges and yellows are stimulating, sparking creativity and conversation, while cooler colours like greens and blues are calming and good for creating a focused space.

A woman hanging paint swatches on a white wall

Choosing a colour for your home office

What colour should you choose for your home office? There’s no right answer to this question, but the right place to start is by thinking about what sort of mood you want to create. If you’re working in a high-pressure job, consider serene, nature-inspired shades like blues and greens, which can counter-balance work-related stress. If you’re looking for something high energy, a sunny and optimistic colour like yellow or even orange can help lift your spirits throughout your workday. These warmer shades are also said to inspire creativity, which is handy if you’re working in a creative field and seeking blasts of brilliance.

If you’ll be meeting clients in your home office, you might want a colour with a bit more gravity. A deep burgundy is associated with tradition and formality, while blue is said to evoke feelings of trust, so a sophisticated navy might help inspire clients’ confidence in your abilities. The colour of your home office is also about personal taste – aside from the science, it should reflect your style. You want the space to give you a little spark of joy and contentment when you walk in, so you can do your best work in there.

A flatlay of a moodboard featuring interior accessories and materials in pale green and neutral colours.

Case study: Zen office

A soft shade of green is the colour equivalent of three deep breaths, forming the perfect backdrop for an office space that will make you feel calm and centred. The simplest way to capture a feeling of serenity is to look to nature, and green is particularly easy on the eyes and gentle on the psyche. Opt for blue-based, rather than yellow-based, greens for the most soothing effect – deep emerald or turquoise will make you feel a lot calmer than zesty lime.

The green used in the office space (below) is Dulux Celery Satin: it's crisp and fresh, but still a little muddy and muted. It’s a colour that recedes into the background rather than shouting from the walls.

When you’re choosing your colour, look at what else will be in the room. A mood-board is a handy tool for making sure all the finishes and key pieces sit together harmoniously before committing to a colour. Plus, it can help you find your wall colour – in this case, the beautiful green used on the walls is echoed in the artwork. The natural theme is continued with blond wood, a jute rug, rattan pendant and potted plants. A touch of brass provides a little glamour.

Pale green feature wall in a calming home office, including potted plants and a cube storage unit.

Case study: inspirational office nook

Not every home will have a whole room to dedicate to an office, but an office nook can be just as effective at reflecting your personality. Plenty of home offices are compact and tucked away in a corner – under the stairs or in a converted cupboard, for example. The great thing about these small spaces is that it’s easier to be bold. (And if it’s not speaking to you, you can paint over it much faster than redecorating an entire room.)

In this space, Porter’s Paints Sundance has been used to create an office nook. This on-trend shade of rich mustard is cosy and welcoming. Also, as a warmer shade, it is invigorating and might just help get those creative juices flowing.

Curved shapes, like arches, are everywhere right now and a painted feature is a fantastic way to capture the trend. Here, a wide arch shape defines the desk area, which is a neat visual tool if your office nook is part of a larger space, like the living room.

A freshly painted, confidently coloured home office makes it so much easier and more satisfying to dive into your work every day. Keep the styling simple and uncluttered and let the colour shine!

A painted arch feature on a home office wall, painted in Porter’s Paints Sundance

Need help narrowing down your colour options?

Browse our colour swatches and our range of interior wall paint to order some sample pots of your favourites.


Photo Credit: Grant Smith

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.