13 small home office ideas for a tight space – Deskmate

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13 small home office ideas for a tight space

March 31, 2021 6 min read

Looking for inspiration for a small home office? Look no further.

Working from home has become a big part of many of our lives. However, when space isn’t at your disposal, it can be hard to design an office that inspires creativity and productivity. We’ve spoken to a selection of interior design experts for some top tips on making the best use of a tight space when setting up a home office. From calming colour palettes to bespoke desks, here are 13 tips for small home offices.

Inject personality

Gemma Medden, Interior Designer, Luxeology
With more people than ever working from home, it’s so important to create a dedicated place within your home that is both comfortable and inspirational. While most homes are not built with this multi-functional use of space in mind, you can easily get creative with the limited space available to you. Here’s some of our top tips on how to utilise every bit of space you have effectively whilst still creating somewhere fabulous and enjoyable to work from.

  1. Functional doesn’t have to be boring! Add quirky storage to walls and beautiful decor to lift the space
  2. Create comfort with soft furnishings and rugs
  3. Inject personality with cool vases and decor

Create a standing workstation

Opting for a standing desk in a small home office is a great way to save some space. Standing desks like the portable Deskmate can turn any surface into a desk, which is ideal if you’re the kind of person who likes to work from different areas throughout the day or who doesn’t have a set office space at home.

Opt for furniture with integrated storage

Juliette Thomas, Founder and Director, Juliettes Interiors
A tight space, such as under the stairs or perhaps on a landing, is often the perfect size for a desk and some compact storage. We suggest investing in a beautiful console table with integrated storage. You’ll be able to use the desk during the day and can easily transform the space back into a usable hallway at the end of the day. Simply pop away laptops and paperwork and add a few decorative accessories, such as some fresh foliage, to add a homely touch to your interior.

Create a closet office

If you’re struggling to create a home office in a small space, why not opt for a closet office? This space-saving hack can create a cosy office area for any room in the home, from the bedroom to the kitchen, and doesn’t take up too much of your living space. 

Juliette Thomas, Founder and Director, Juliettes Interiors
If you have a large, open-plan kitchen, you can opt to transform a cupboard into a well-planned workspace. A fitted worktop with shelves and drawers can fit into a tiny space, and you can close the doors to hide it all away when not in use. Use colour inside your ‘cupboard’ to make it your own.

Try a multi-functional desk/dressing table

Opting for a multi-functional office desk that doubles up as a dressing table is a great way to utilise space in a small area, like a bedroom. Add a mirror for when using the area as a dressing table, and ensure the desk has lots of storage to keep vanity items out of sight and give you a clear workspace.

Plan the space thoughtfully

Rachel Usher, Interior Designer, Rachel Usher Interior Design
Small office spaces require particularly thoughtful planning in relation to storage arrangements, ensuring that the working zone remains organised and uncluttered and harnessing a place which is designed to encourage focus and calm. 

With the careful arrangement of fewer pieces, a well-chosen palette of calming colours, and the addition of indoor plants (which are proven to encourage concentration and creativity), a small space doesn’t have to be a compromise; if carefully considered, it can induce a sense of cocooning tranquillity. 

 

Create a functional nook with a bespoke desk

Beth Miller, Interior Designer, Fresh Start Living
Creating a home office doesn’t mean you need a separate room or a large space.  You can create a home office zone in the corner of a spare bedroom or under the stairs. If you’re working with a confined space, it’s better to avoid buying an actual desk and just asking a joiner to create a bespoke piece that fits your specific space.  It means you can make best use of any corners or awkward ceiling heights. To finish the space, add some bespoke shelving in the same material above and dress it with pictures and plants to make it feel like a little sanctuary.

Create an office zone in your living room

If you don’t have the luxury of a spare room to create an office space within, consider incorporating an office zone into your living room. Whether you put your desk behind your sofa or beside it, try to choose office furniture that matches your current living room decor style, so it blends well with the rest of the room. However, don’t be afraid to add some artwork or shelving to the walls to make the zone its own. That way, when your working day ends, it’ll feel less like you’re stepping from one side of your living room to the other to relax.

Utilise the vertical space

Gina Everett, Interior Designer, Create Perfect
When we have a tight space we are using as an office, we like to use the vertical space where possible, using bookcases or shelving that go to the ceiling for storage. For design lighting, you can use lamps that attach to the walls or hook onto shelving but plug into a socket. These create desk lighting without taking up the space of your worktop.

Bring the outdoors in

Raluca Vaduva, Interior Designer, Detail Movement
If you can, add some plants. As humans, we’ve always had a connection to nature, and by bringing the outside in, you also invite a sense of calm and happiness into your space.

Gina Everett, Interior Designer, Create Perfect
Plants are a big part of our designs, and in an office space, they are essential for giving a relaxed and breathable feeling space. Using hanging or tall plants work really well in these tighter spaces.

Focus on your needs

Raluca Vaduva, Interior Designer, Detail Movement
When creating a small workspace, ask yourself, “what do I need to feel productive?” Is it just a table with enough space for your laptop, a table light, your favourite mug? Or does it also involve art, perhaps some plants as well? Consider the light – especially natural light. This will not only increase your good mood but also your creativity. If you are not able to have natural daylight, then opt for light fixtures with warm light, as these are gentler on the eyes. Always keep it tidy, especially if it’s a small space. The lack of visual space will create a feeling of stress, even if just subconsciously. You’ll always find yourself drawn to a cleaner space rather than a messier one. Choose a colour palette that brings joy to you. Don’t follow trends or rules; just go with your gut feeling. It’s more important to create a space that helps you be productive and happy than ticking a design trend box. 

Brighten the space with wallpaper

Rebecca Drury, Co-Founder of MissPrint
If you’re working with a small space for your home office, it’s the perfect space to be bold with some eye-catching wallpaper. Repeat patterns and vibrant colours are perfect for bringing a small area to life. For home office areas, make sure you opt for colours that encourage concentration and happiness to make your working day that little bit more enjoyable!

Keep it simple

Alex & Kris Tolofson, Nöa & Nani
To curate a comfortable and positive working space at home when working in a compact space, we suggest keeping furniture neutral, in colours such as pine, white and grey as this allows desks and workstations to be styled with calming plants, minimalistic art and floating shelves for a tranquil working area that feels spacious.

So there you have it! 13 tips for creating the perfect small home office. Now that you’re full of inspiration, it’s time to transform your space.



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