Whether working from home, tackling admin or encouraging the kids to knuckle down with their homework, more and more of us are looking to incorporate a more permanent study area within our homes. However, very rarely do small homes have the luxury of a spare room that’s free to turn into a study, so a clever use of space is key.
With thoughtful planning and creativity, almost any space in the home can be turned into a useful small home office ideas.
Small home office ideas
If you’ve only got a nook or small office zone to play with, make the best use of any vertical space available by building shelving units right up the ceiling and buy a pair of steps to access them if necessary. Also ensure that cable management and integrated task lighting is included if you’re starting from scratch with a bespoke built-in solution.
Be inspired by more of our small home office ideas below…
1. Put up a single shelf to use as a desk
This has to be one of the smartest ways to make a small space work for a home office, a simple wooden shelf placed under a window creates the perfect perch for work. This cosy nook by the window has been transformed into a dedicated work station with a streamlined, curved handmade desk to maximise the space – simple but brilliant.
2. Use all available walls wisely
When space is limited it’s key to utilise every inch of space to the max. For a small home office desk solution the key is in making the walls worker harder. A wall-mounted storage unit with fold-down compartments provides ample space for a desk and storage without taking up space. You can choose to fold each section flat against the wall when not in use.
3. Work in a corner of the kitchen
Small homes don’t often have the luxury of a whole room dedicated for a home office, but fear not – just a corner will do the job! Create a small work station by pulling up a comfortable chair and small table in the corner of the kitchen. When not in use the chair can be used elsewhere within the room and the table pushed against the wall to avoid it taking up valuable floorspace.
4. Transform a dividing wall into a smart desk area
If you have an open-plan kitchen design try transforming a dividing wall into a computer station. Invest in a narrow tall desk with enough space to balance a laptop and plenty of shelves for storing office supplies.
Instead of buying a single purpose desk chair, double up a breakfast bar stool from the kitchen. A pegboard hung above the desk will help free up desk space further.
5. Utilise space under a staircase
If you don’t have an entire room to use as a home office, a well-defined work area is the next best thing. Add a small desk or make one from a simple shelf, or choose bespoke furniture that can be designed to work in awkward spaces.
‘Open-plan offices should complement the rest of the room, so a mix of neutral wood and painted finishes works well,’ says John Walsh, senior designer at Neville Johnson. ‘Open shelving allows you to personalise the space with objects that can be highlighted using internal lights.’
6. Conceal your desk inside a cupboard
It’s important to keep a healthy home/work life balance, so having a home office you can shut away is key for properly switching off. This solution is also an ideal small home office idea to avoid the presence of a screen or computer from encroaching on a compact living space.
Transform an old cupboard into a home office that can be opened up whenever you need it. Include a shelf for storage and a board on runners for a keyboard.Attach pin boards to the inside of the cupboard doors as a place to keep track of to do lists, tickets and postcards.
7. Float a desk to take up minimal floorspace
If you’re limited on space, using a bedroom as a home office may be the only solution. Making a desk double up as a dressing table makes it a useable furniture piece with a bedroom purpose too.
A narrow, floating desk won’t protrude too much into the room. Pop a mirror on it to transform it into a dressing table. Keep your home office essentials minimal, so you have less to hide away.
8. Welcome wallpaper
Don’t be afraid of introducing pattern into a small space behind a desk, as an interesting wallpaper or mural will cleverly distract from a messy desk and can play with the perception of space. If wallpaper isn’t your thing, you could use a pin board or wall-mounted clipboards to make an interesting backdrop to your study area.
9. Utilise the wall space beside the bed
Make the most of every inch of valuable wall space with a wall-mounted unit that doubles as a desk. Simply fasten the bottom half away, to hid all trace of a desk element. With drawers and storage compartments it doubles up a standard bedside unit to place a lamp, book and some fresh flowers. Add a charming small stool for when you’re using it as desk.
10. Make the most of attic eaves
If your loft space is already boarded out it will be simple enough to convert the space into a small home office idea. a lick of paint and a roll of carpet goes a long way to transform an attic for storage into an attic where you wish to spend time. Take your desk up to the newly refreshed loft and dedicated the space away form the main hub of the house as a work-only zone.
It’s a good idea to position yourself near a window, so you don’t feel completely shut off from the world.