Work from home? Do it in Style! Decorating Your MCM Home Office

Working remotely—the fancy way to say working from home—is becoming more common, but even if you simply use your home office for updating your Facebook page and paying a few bills, you can still have a “Mad Men” worthy MCM home office.

The home office space is the room that gives homeowners the opportunity to play with the industrial influences of Mid-Century Modern design. Tanker desks, modular furniture, and ergonomic leather executive chairs are just a few of the pieces that can be used in the office space. For homeowners who prefer wood, teak desks and walnut veneer chairs are a great solution.

Teak Desk

Start building your workspace by selecting a desk. This is where you’re going to be drafting all of those emails, after all. A number of companies specialize in refinishing authentic Mid-Century Modern furniture. Their ever-revolving stock of furniture pieces means that there’s always something new. Check out this gorgeous piece from midcenturyLA:

The company imports Mid-Century Modern furniture directly from Europe. Each piece is then refinished by hand to restore it to its original splendor.

Tanker Desk

Another option for your Mid-Century Modern home office is the Tanker desk. Originally designed in the mid-1940s, the tanker desk emulates the industrial influences in mid-twentieth century design. Retro Office ships vintage-inspired office furniture across the United States. They specialize in custom-built steel Tanker desks, like this McDowell & Craig 69-inch oversized desk.

Virtually every color imaginable can be used in creating your custom desk, and it’s a piece that will withstand everyday use in a busy home office.

Celine Desk - Design Within ReachNeed to set up a workspace in a smaller area, such as the corner of a bedroom? Grab a Mid-Century Modern inspired desk, like this Celine Desk:

Its small size is perfect for corner bill paying and letter writing, without overwhelming the space.

Selecting the perfect desk chair is just as important as picking out your desk. Consider how many hours a day you will be sitting at the desk, and let that guide your decision. If you will be sitting for short periods of time, try a visually interesting seating solution like a Cherner Task Chair to pair with your desk of choice. Made from solid walnut, walnut veneer, stainless steel, and leather, the Cherner chair is a great example of Mid-Century Modern design.

Cherner Task ChairOriginally designed by Norman Cherner for Plycraft, the chair appeared in Norman Rockwell’s 1961 painting, “The Artist at Work,” featured on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. Although the line was no longer in production by the early 1970s, the designer’s sons brought the pieces back to life in the 1990s using their father’s original sketches.

For full-time remote workers, a more substantial chair is appropriate. The Time-Life Chair designed by Eames is a must-have. Designed for the executives working from the Time-Life Building in New York, the chair has been around since 1960.

Eames Time Life ChairThe die-cast aluminum base and tubular steel frame offer a bit of high shine to any office space, while the ultra-thick cushion means comfortable seating for hours on end.

Pick out some accessories that are as functional as they are beautiful. Although a contemporary home office has at least one digital clock in the corner of the computer screen, Mid-Century Modern offices were without this modern convenience. Hang a wall clock that reinforces the room’s theme, such as the Nelson Polygon Clock, made from walnut and metal.


Globe BookendsScour the pages of Etsy or eBay and you’ll find hundreds of Mid-Century globes for sale. For a variation on the theme, grab a set of these globe bookends from ModCloth:

When paired with a set of vintage Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, the bookends pay homage to the new global perspective of post-World War II America. Add a stainless steel wastebasket and a chrome desk lamp to finish off the workspace.

Working out of the house means that you will have visitors, be it your partner or your kids coming in with a homework question. Give them a place to sit in a lounge area. Pair a blocky tweed couch, like this one from LexMod, with a couple of chairs.

 LexMod Sofa

We love this Twill & Ash Lounge Chair from Dot and Bo:

Twill and Ash Lounge Chair

Made from American Ash in a walnut stain, the chair is durable and comfortable. Pair a couple of these with an oval-shaped coffee table for a quiet and cozy place to read.

To finish the space, add a couple of professionally framed posters from the 1960s. has a wide variety of posters to choose from, and the medium was very popular in the middle of the twentieth century.

Look for Pop Art works by Andy Warhol, or this graphic poster by Claes Oldenburg, entitled “Pacifier.”

Oldenburg poster

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