Working from home might mean no commute, better coffee, and a more relaxed dress code (pajamas from the waist down may well be the unofficial WFH uniform, after all). With the right apartment office idea for your space, a desk can stay out of sight and out of mind come the end of the working day. Take a look at these spaces that serve up both pragmatic ways to include a desk in a small apartment and innovative design solutions that'll up your WFH game.
Before you get carried away with creative home office ideas, it's worth asking yourself whether you think this change of working habits is something that will continue long-term. These ideas range in scale to suit a variety of different WFH lifestyles, from the occasional to the seasoned from-home worker. Turning a small niche, such as a closet, into a home office is a great idea if you don't need sprawling desk space for your work.
These closet office ideas are self-contained and you can close the doors on them so that your desk doesn't intrude on your personal space, especially helpful when entertaining in your apartment's main living area. Minimalist in design, when open, they match the walls, creating the idea that this desk isn't just a temporary feature. Creating privacy and blocking out the rest of your apartment for a more professional Zoom background is something you can achieve in your positioning of the layout of the space, but also simply by using a freestanding screen.
Of course, windows are a huge commodity in an apartment, so you have to decide whether, for you, it's worth the trade-off against another area of your home that could benefit from this natural light. With a slimline desk, you can retain the sense of the large window, while giving yourself extra wall space to play with. 'Sometimes, using furnishings just along the sides of the room would only reinforce a tunnel-like effect,' says Lea Korzeczek, co-founder of Studio Oink (opens in new tab) and designer of this small home office space.
'When you need a short break, your gaze can rest on the greenness outside or the delicate pink blossoms of the cherry trees in the garden.' This natural outlook plays into biophilic design principles that can help you focus when you are working, as well as increase your general wellbeing. The length of the desk, coupled with the lack of legs, means it's easy to use any portion of this working space at any time. 'Built-ins typically come at an added cost,' says Studio Nato's Nathan Cuttle, 'but due to their custom nature, they ensure that all available storage space is maximized.'
The burgundy millwork mirrors storage created across the living area of this open-plan apartment, helping the desk to feel like a cohesive part of the overall space. Positioning a desk in a living area might make the most sense, but when you're not at work, its presence can be a constant reminder of a looming deadline that distracts you when you're meant to be unwinding.
A beautiful black marble has been used to create a focal point fireplace for the zoned living space, something that's continued to make a floating desk in the corner of the room. Adapting the space into the gallery wall also helps to pull focus away from the desk, making it background noise to the symphony of this design. It's not unusual for a room to have an awkward corner, alcove, or niche in a space that doesn't contribute much to how you use an apartment, but that might be adaptable for a small desk.
In this loft apartment designed by Studio Nato, an exposed beam might have added character to the room, but it also made this niche difficult to use. A simple, custom desk, built around the steel, makes the most of the space, and teamed with an office chair and a stylish pegboard, it's become the perfect mini workspace for this apartment. If you only have room for one, prioritizing a dining table over a home office is the better choice as it will function as both a desk and a social space, depending on the situation.
In this Brooklyn apartment created by MKCA (opens in new tab), a console table in the corner of the room can double up as a desk when needed. Using a Phillipe Starck Ghost chair ensures that seating is available if you have to take an impromptu meeting, but has a low impact visually, keeping the furniture looking like a decorative console rather than a desk. In the re-design of this London apartment, architect Ben Allen (opens in new tab) created an innovative design to incorporate a small home office. Made from painted plywood, this brilliant small apartment idea not only enlarges the area of the desk, but also hides the home office from sight when not in use.
To strike the work-life balance in a small space, choosing adaptable, multi-functional studio apartment ideas is a good plan. Elevating your bed onto a platform will create extra useable floor space underneath, which would be perfect to dedicate to a home office.
Consider studio apartment layout ideas where a desk might be in the center of the space – behind a sofa can work well with disrupting the flow of the room.