For some people, a home office is a must-have. However, when square footage is limited, productivity can suffer. Thankfully, a few design tips — and a little creativity — can help transform what might feel like a closet into an inviting and invigorating space. By implementing a few of the small office ideas below, you’ll soon forget how small your room was in the first place, and your small office space will be your favorite corner of your home.
When dealing with a cramped workspace, it’s best to think vertically instead of horizontally. If your desk and chair take up the majority of your floor area, get creative with the wall space surrounding your work environment.
For instance, you might consider incorporating a tall bookcase into one corner, or floating shelves and hanging baskets if floor space is at a premium. You can even more effectively maximize the use of your space by using a built-in desk or wall-hugging corner desk, then adding shelving on top or file cabinets underneath.
Yet another trick to help you stay organized: cover one wall or part of a wall near your desk with corkboard or pegboard. This is a space-saving way to display your calendar and keep track of important notes, reminders, and inspirations. You can also make more space in your home office by trading a file cabinet for vertical file holders mounted on the wall above your desk.
Get Stylish with Storage
Even if you’re not a natural interior designer, there are a few simple design ideas that can take your tiny home office from bland to beautiful. Take storage, for example. Every home office will need storage, but why stick to traditional office furniture?
As an example of this out-of-the-box thinking, you could use a bar cart to hold office supplies and other necessities when not in use. It’s a handy, portable storage solution that you can move in, out, and around your home office. Not only does it look chic, but you can easily wheel it around as you need within your space.
Another way to save space is to use a pocket door. These sliding doors disappear into the wall, meaning you won’t have to worry about allowing extra space for opening and closing doors. The result: you don’t have to worry whether you’ll hit your desk or chair every time you enter your office.
On the other hand, if you don’t have the luxury of an entirely separate office area — maybe your small office space is part of the living room or bedroom — then use existing storage options creatively in order to keep any clutter at bay. For example, use a dresser or credenza to store your office printer, file folders, stationery, and miscellaneous office items.
Deciding on Your Desk
The focal point of any small office space is usually the desk. If you intend to use it for meetings with clients, then having a two-sided L-shaped desk is your best bet. Not only will it allow you to have two workspaces — one for your computer and one for conversations — but if your room is large enough, it’s the best use of your space.
Another popular option are Murphy desks, which are sometimes called fold-out desks. They’re the perfect solution when you need to fit a =desk into a tight space. Just like Murphy beds, these desks fold up against the wall when not in use, allowing you to reclaim your office space as living space whenever you need it.
Yet another option is a floating desk. You may be surprised when you realize how much larger a space feels when the desk doesn’t sit directly on the floor. Floating desks are a simple design solution that allow for an open and airy feel, even when space may be tight.
Make It Feel Bigger
To make your small home office feel larger, choose a light color palette for both the paint and the furnishings. And speaking of furnishings, whenever possible, purchase smaller items that serve multiple functions. A common mistake is to buy bigger furniture than the room can hold, as this actually makes the room look and feel even smaller (and more cluttered) than it is.
Another trick to try: mirrors. Shelves add dimension, but mirrors provide the illusion of space that you need. The larger the mirror you hang, the bigger the room appears to be.
And finally, the less you have in your small office space, the better. It’s easy to collect things, but the moment you have too much in your office, the more cramped you feel and the less you want to be there.