Before we go any further this article doesn’t cover the total amount you’ll need to spend to set up a home office – you can find that information in my article on what it costs to set up a home office.
What we’re going to look at in this article is what it costs to furnish a home office i.e. all the non-electronic stuff.
Let’s get to it.
Basic home office furnishing list
You are going to need a desk for your laptop or desktop computer. This desk can be new or used – it doesn’t really matter.
What does matter is that the desk offers you a clear and level surface to work on, with enough space for a laptop/desktop computer, keyboard, mouse, and notepad.
Not sure what exact dimensions your desk should be? Relax, I covered that in another article on desk sizes for home offices.
The TLDR on the above question is a desk that’s at least 3 feet (36 inches wide) and at least 25 inches (just under 2 feet) deep and has enough room underneath it for your legs to fit comfortably.
Here’s a sample desk that’s around 39-inches wide:
It’s big enough for a dual-screen setup if you wanted to do that. I’m not a fan of the built-in storage but that’s more of a personal preference than anything else.
This particular desk will set you back around $90.
While you could technically nail or screw your desk surface to a wall and just stand there, you will eventually need to sit down.
So you’ll need a chair.
Now, the first temptation here is to rush out and buy one of those $20 “office swivel chairs” you’ll find in your big box/discount store of choice.
Don’t do that.
You get zero back support, the height is barely adjustable, and the fittings come loose in days and leave you spending more of your time wobbling around on it instead of sitting still.
And worse again, you won’t be able to sit in this chair for more than an hour without losing the feeling in your legs.
What you should look for instead is a chair that allows you adjustable height, offers decent back and arm support, and is comfortable to sit in for several hours at a time.
An Amazon basics chair like this one will do the trick, and costs around $80.
I’d also add in a pair of armrest pads – they’re worth their weight in gold. I use these ones. They’re packed full of memory foam and stop me from hurting my elbow pretty much every single day at work.
“Deluxe” office furnishings
You can get by with a 3 or 4-foot desk but you’ll probably find it a bit cramped at times. I’m a suck for leatherbound notebooks and have them dotted all over my desk. They take up room.
Then I also keep my printer on my desk…despite the fact that I rarely use it. Note to self: Put the printer on a shelf above the desk.
What I’m getting at here is that having a little bit of extra desk space can go a long way in making your working day a bit more comfortable.
And you also have the opportunity to create a healthier working environment at the same time.
That’s why my suggested “deluxe” desk upgrade is a 5-foot standing desk.
You get an extra square foot of desk space and the ability to take breaks from sitting down all day.
And, let’s be honest here – standing desks are pretty cool.
Now it’s time to look at a major chair upgrade at the same time. The most popular and comfortable office chair I know of is the Herman Miller Aeron.
These chairs are expensive – you can expect to pay $500 for a used one and they cost $2,000 brand new.
That’s a lot of money to spend on a chair, even if they are the most comfortable office chair in the world.
So here are some other options for a large comfy chair that doesn’t cost quite as much.
The Steelcase Series 1 office chair comes in at a much more manageable price of less than $500.
Or use a gaming chair instead – these are literally designed to be sat in for unhealthy amounts of time.
You get full back (lumbar), arm, and even neck support. Some of them even come with a footrest, and they typically only cost around $150 each.
Kids today have a very different gaming experience to when I was a kid, happily sat on a cold kitchen floor playing with my Atar 2600 VCS.
You’re going to need somewhere to put stuff like spare printer paper, USB keys, notebooks, pens, etc.
If your desk comes with drawers/storage built in, then you’re already in good shape.
If not you’ll need some kind of small storage cabinet (https://amzn.to/3ZorAKF) to keep your files and other items handy.
Your storage cabinet should also be lockable, especially if you have kids or inquisitive pets.
How much should you spend?
Between $100 and $150 should get you a metal storage cabinet on wheels that features a lock.
A desk lamp might not seem like a priority, but it will be during those dark winter months, or late nights when you need tons of light but the bulb in the room just isn’t cutting it.
You could choose an old-school desk lamp like this one ( https://amzn.to/44Y4RpT ) as a solution to your problem.
But I do really like the more modern (and less energy-intensive) double-header LED desk lamps that are on the market right now.
The total cost for additional office lighting will be more than an extra $70.
And that brings the total cost for furnishing a deluxe home office to in and around $950.
P.S. I’ve also put together a guide on how you can furnish your home office on a budget, if you really need to save money.
Image of Aeron chair: https://www.flickr.com/photos/crouchingdonkey/