Who ever said that working remotely in a smaller space has to look like you balancing your laptop, your office supplies and your cup of coffee on the couch?
Just because you’re working from home without access to a large home office doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to a workspace that makes you both happy and productive. It is, in fact, possible to put together a nice home office no matter how much or how little space you’re working with. And if you’re looking for home office ideas, small space hacks to improve your remote work experience, or home office storage ideas for small spaces, you’ve come to the right place!
Keep scrolling for plenty of functional small home office ideas that will take your WFH lifestyle to the next level.
25 Inspiring Small Home Office Ideas
1. Use a Closet
If your home doesn’t have a designated office space, chances are that you’re looking for ideas on where to put a home office desk in your (small) master bedroom. Often, a master bedroom becomes the best option for a home office—but that doesn’t mean you need to have your desk shoved into a sloppy corner of your room. Consider using a walk-in closet or storage built-ins as an office space. Even a smaller closet can do the trick if you hang a curtain to hide potential office clutter.
2. Set Up Near a Window
According to a 2018 study, office workers who work in sunlit environments experience health and wellness benefits and enhanced work performance. When considering home office ideas for small spaces, look for corners that will give you access to a window for sunlight and fresh air. Plus, the view can double as decoration in your small space!
3. Use Modular Wall Units for Storage
Storage can be tricky in any small space—and a home office is certainly no exception. If you’re ISO home office storage ideas for small spaces, you might consider integrating modular wall units into your office design. Units like this will help you make the most of vertical space (and they can look pretty good too!).
4. Maximize Underused Spaces
Low-traffic areas in your home can finally find a purpose with a home office. If you’re still not sure where you can fit a desk and other office supplies in your smaller space, it might be time to think more critically about your home. Is there an empty alcove somewhere, or a corner beneath a staircase that never gets used? Find some space-efficient office furniture and you’re officially in business.
5. Add Some Color
One of the coolest things about setting up a workspace at home—outside the traditional office environment—is that you can throw all of the rules about “professional” decor out the window. If a pop of color will make your workdays a little happier, make it part of your home office design. Plus, if you’re navigating a small space, some unique color accents in your office area will help differentiate it from other parts of the home.
6. Set Up on a Staircase Landing
Stair landings can make an ideal location for home offices in a smaller home. You can get creative with decorative touches!
7. Choose a Slimline Desk
When it comes to small home office decorating ideas, function often beats form. If you’re dealing with limited space, a slimline desk may be your best bet. You’ll sacrifice some storage options, but you’ll lose a lot of bulk. Remember: a modular wall unit hanging above the desk is always a possibility for storage.
8. Claim Your Space in the Kitchen
Another place you might look for potential home office space? The kitchen! There might just be an awkward patch of countertop that you and your family don’t actually use for food prep. Why not snag it to use as a nice home office? If you have some budget for the project, you might try installing some fun, complementary backsplash tile to set the space apart.
9. Get in the Center of Things
When choosing the perfect location for your home office, you might assume that you need to be totally tucked away from every other part of the home. While this is certainly ideal for privacy purposes, it’s not the only option. It is possible to set up an efficient, attractive home office in the middle of a room or area that functions in a different way. Consider, for example, setting up a desk behind the couch in your living room. If you work best when surrounded by noise and movement, this might even help your productivity levels.
10. Look for Unique Storage Solutions
In a small space, it might not be feasible to store all of your office supplies on or near your desk. Get creative with storage! Multipurpose pieces—like an ottoman or coffee table with storage inside—can give you the space you need without forcing you to surrender to clutter or give up your sense of style.
11. Use Chalkboard Paint
You may have limited space for decor in your home office, but using chalkboard paint gives you the opportunity to change up design elements as often as you’d like. Plus, you can write work-related notes or dates on the chalkboard as well.
12. Experiment With Metallic Paint
Metallic paint is a lot of fun, but it has the added benefit among small home office ideas of helping spaces look larger! Light bounces off metallic paint to create that effect (just like a mirror). A metallic gold or silver can also make for a funky accent wall behind your desk.
13. Go for an Accent Wall
Speaking of accent walls, they don’t have to be metallic to make a serious impact in your small space home office. Accent walls can be especially effective for office spaces that have been tucked into closets or other tiny nooks, since they differentiate one area from the next.
14. Use Seating in Multiple Ways
When shopping for desk chairs for your home office, choose something that can work overtime as extra seating when you have guests visiting. Take the time to choose something that’s comfortable enough for you to spend several hours a day sitting in but is also an attractive addition to your design scheme. After all, in small space designs, it’s all about efficiency.
15. Choose a Nightstand to Double as your Desk
Even with all of these space-saving ideas, it’s possible that the best location for your home office is still a bedroom—and if you don’t have a walk-in closet or extra corner to use, you can still make it work. Pick out a larger nightstand that can function as a desk during working hours. If necessary, you can stash working supplies in storage containers under the bed.
16. Have Fun With an Office Gallery Wall
No matter the size or set-up of your home office, a gallery wall can be a great decor choice. Even a small patch of wall can be used to display personal photos and prints that will keep you feeling inspired throughout the day.
17. Use an Area Rug to Establish Your Office Space
Assuming your home workspace is smack in the middle of your family’s living space, it’s probably a challenge to feel like you can establish any “boundaries” around your office zone. An area rug can help! Even if your home office is in the middle of a larger common area, a small rug can have the effect of splitting that area into zones—one of which might be just for you and your work. Plus, area rugs add a fun design element.
18. Build a Standing Desk
Per Harvard Health, working at a standing desk has many health benefits, since sitting for long periods of time has been linked to cancer, obesity, diabetes and other serious conditions. As you’re setting up your home office space, a standing desk may be worth thinking about! Standing workstations can also be space efficient, since they can be built as narrow countertops that won’t interfere with other items in a room. When you don’t feel like standing anymore, you can always use a stool to rest your legs.
19. Divide With Curtains
When in doubt about how to divide up a larger space into smaller functional areas, give curtains a try! You can choose curtains based on ceiling height and pattern, which means they can actually add to your space. This trick can be especially effective if you have multiple people working remotely from your home. Just add an extra curtain divider!
20. Repurpose Home Decor
Before you start shopping for new pieces to add character to your workspace, take inventory of what you already have around the house. Books, framed pieces and souvenirs can work well in home offices. Using them as decor will brighten up your space and give those items—which can be hard to place—a permanent location.
21. Keep Cords Under Control
Cords can easily become overwhelming in any office, but when you’re dealing with a smaller space, it’s that much more important to keep them organized. Invest in a cable station to help keep things tidy with your devices.
22. Keep it Simple
Even if you struggle with minimalism in most areas of your home and life, your home office might be a place to make an extra effort to pare down. In a smaller space, keeping things simple will be visually appealing and easier for you to manage.
23. Bring in Greenery
Indoor plants have become especially trendy over the last few years, but they’re more than that—they can also be good for your productivity! According to the horticulture department at the University of Vermont, studies have shown that plants in workplaces help reduce stress, boost productivity, enhance employee attitudes, and more. And they don’t have to take up much space! Sounds like you should definitely consider adding some greenery to your home office.
24. Invest in Organizational Tools
Getting organized is never a bad thing, but it has extra benefits in smaller spaces. Your home office will stop being conducive to work as soon as things start getting cluttered! Check out different organizational systems—stackable boxes, bins, baskets, dividers, etc.—and see what will work best for you.
25. Experiment With Wallpaper
People can find the idea of wallpaper overwhelming, particularly if they’ve never used it in their home before. Using it in a smaller space is a great way to dabble in it—especially if it’s a small space used primarily by one person who can choose a pattern they love!