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December 4, 2020

13 small home office ideas for limited spaces

These small home office ideas prove that you don’t need lots of room to have an efficient workspace.

These small home office ideas prove that you don’t need lots of room to have an efficient workspace.

If you’re searching for small home office ideas, you’re not alone. More people work from home today than ever before. In 2018, over 70% of people worldwide reported that they work from home at least once per week. As of 2020, an incredible 42% of workers in the United States work from home full time.

Having a dedicated workspace makes it easier to set aside household distractions so you can focus on work. Sure, it would be nice to have a large room with plenty of space, but that’s not an option for many of us.

Fortunately, you can have a functional home office space even if you live in a small studio apartment, cramped condo, or tiny home. All it takes is a bit of ingenuity and planning to make a home workspace you love.

Customize your home office: 13 areas you can transform

Small home office ideas: Minimalist white room with desk and chair

You don’t need to be a fancy interior designer to pull off these small home office ideas. The key is to customize the area for what you want and need for productivity.

For example, adjustable standing desks are great for any office. They’re ergonomic, allowing you to change between sitting and standing.

No matter how little space you have, pick a quality office chair to make those long workdays a little easier. Personal touches like a gallery wall, bookcase, or filing cabinet are the icing on the cake. Don’t forget desk accessories like phone holders and cable organizers to keep your space tidy. A waste bin is also a must.

Below are 13 of our favorite ideas for transforming any small space in your home into a functional and stylish office.

1. Tiny corner office

Even the tiniest corner in your home can become a productive office space. Granted, it probably won’t be the quintessential “corner office” in a high-rise with massive windows, but it can still be a useful workspace. Look for open corners anywhere in your home, from the family room to the mud room to the garage.

Grab a space-efficient desk or even a corner desk and a compact desk chair to dress up the corner. Then check out design ideas for adding shelving, a pegboard, and any other storage solutions that will help you find your groove.

2. Laundry room office combo

If you can free up even a small portion of your laundry room, it can double as a secluded office space. It’ll be out of the way, which is great for avoiding distractions, and it should have some vertical space that you can use for floating shelves.

Try an adjustable standing desk with a simple desk chair on wheels. Add any storage solutions that you have room for, from filing cabinets to bookshelves. And remember to add a bit of your personality with a bit of home decor accents and wall art.

3. Office under the stairs

Using every square inch of your home is essential when you’re running low on space. And the area under your stairs is an excellent place to sneak in a tiny home office. Even if it’s super small, you can still organize functionality into your under-stair zone.

Start with a space-efficient desk and chair, and add plenty of lighting because these spaces tend to be dark. Try a floor lamp with multiple swivel lights to use your floor space efficiently. Built-in shelves, desktop organizers, and a pegboard can help make the most of the vertical space you have.

4. DIY office in the closet

If you have a spare closet, you have a home office. Depending on your closet setup, you might be sitting in the closet or just outside of it. Either way, you’ll need proper lighting.

Use the built-in shelves as your desk or add a desk of your own. You could use anything from a skeleton writing desk to a full writing hutch depending on how much space you have (or don’t have).

We recommend a small rolling chair to make storage easy if it doesn’t fit in the closet with the doors closed. Look for ways to customize the closet to your needs, like hanging a whiteboard or adding a bookshelf to utilize vertical areas.

5. Living room ladder desk

Living room ladder office

The ladder desk is a unique, space-efficient option for small living rooms and open areas. You can set up a single ladder desk for efficiency or add shelves if you have the square footage.

Options like this simple two-shelf ladder desk feature a single sliding drawer and can be less than 30″ wide. But with modular add-ons, they can expand to include shelving on either side for your home library and everything else you need to work.

6. Awkward nook office

Look around your home for an awkward nook that could become an office. We already covered closets, under-stair spaces, and corners. But what about the odd outcropping on the hallway or the area at the bottom of the stairs? The options are limited only by your imagination and the layout of your home.

Grab a minimalist computer deskcomfy chair, and maybe a mobile filing cabinet, and you’re ready for business. Depending on the size of your office nook, you might need to get creative with open shelving options.

7. Dormer or attic office

If your home has a dormer (a windowed space in a loft that extends out of the pitched room) or an attic, you have yourself an office. Dormer offices are typically smaller than those in an attic, so use your best judgment when setting up your work area.

Place a compact desk in front of the attic or dormer window and add storage options as needed. If your home has an attic, you’re one step away from an entire room. In this case, make it feel more spacious with a minimalist design.

8. Guest bedroom office

Setting up your office in a guest bedroom that isn’t regularly used is an easy small home office idea. Rearrange the furniture to free up a wall and some floor space if necessary. This should give you plenty of room to set up a desk, chair, vertical shelving unit, and filing cabinet.

To make it look more like an office, add a sleeper couch. This way, it’s only a bed when you have a guest. And if your guest bedroom does see a lot of traffic, get a classic desk that matches the room’s aesthetic. It’ll add charm while still serving as a workspace when you don’t have a guest over.

9. Dining room or kitchen workspace

Kitchen small office space

The kitchen and dining room are among the most common spots for impromptu desk space. You could set up a chair by the counter, park it at the dining table, or squeeze in a small writing desk in an out-of-the-way nook.

As you set up your office space, look at the location of any windows. Natural light is excellent, but you don’t want to fight with the afternoon sun to see your screen. And if you can use cabinetry to your advantage, do it.

10. Hallway workspace

You can’t afford to ignore hallway floor space if you’re trying to make the most of your square footage. Look for out-of-the-way spots in your halls that don’t receive as much traffic or use. This option isn’t ideal for narrow hallways, so use your best judgment. No matter what your halls look like, measure the width so you have something to compare desk and chair dimensions against before you buy.

An elegant desk and upholstered chair with wheels can transform this area into a productivity zone. A bright lamp will make it more comfortable to work in.

11. Tiny home office

Tiny homes are trending, and with good reason. These prefabricated abodes are eco-friendly, affordable, and easy to maintain. For example, you can add a floating desk or built-in folding desk to save precious inches without sacrificing your productivity.

Tiny homes also work well with petite desks that feature wheels for easy movement. If your space is minimal, a folding table tray at the sofa can offer a space to set your laptop for work.

12. Workspace behind the sofa

Setting up a workspace behind the sofa in the family room works better than you might imagine. If you have a console behind your sofa now, swap it out for a desk. And if you can widen the walkway behind your sofa, do it to make more room for your office.

Place your desk facing the sofa and tuck a compact chair behind it. Add a filing cabinet or shelving unit to the side of your desk if you have the room, or repurpose a nearby bookshelf for professional use.

13. Office under the bed

Small home office ideas: bed workstation

A workstation bed combo can make space appear out of thin air. Of course, you have to be willing and able to replace your bed with a workstation loft bed like the one pictured above.

This option is ideal for studio apartments and homes with only one bedroom. You’ll have a spacious desk, room for a comfortable chair, and a fun new spot to go to bed all in one.

Revamp your space with one of these small home office ideas

It’s time to reconsider every room, nook, and corner of your home, apartment, or condo. Where can you fit a small desk and chair? What spaces aren’t you using as fully as you could?

Get creative, take advantage of vertical space, and opt for office furniture with wheels so you can move it out of the way when it isn’t needed. For more small home office ideas, be sure to browse our wide range of home office furniture. You never know what you’ll find until you look.

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