Over the last few years the increase in flexi-working has made having a space to work from home essential. While the days of balancing a laptop on an ironing board might be behind us, carving our space for a full sized study can be tricky. You simply need to plan more carefully, with some smart investments and clever furniture choices you can create a stylish desk area to boost productivity.
No matter how petite a space you have, or where it's located, here are our favourite ways to make small home office ideas work for you.
Home office lighting ideas are an important consideration even in a small space. However, if you want to utilise the existing desk lamp you already have Lauren Davenport, associate buyer at Furniture Village (opens in new tab) suggests being clever with positioning.
‘Table and desk lamps are key for creating a comforting ambiance, and can be cleverly positioned behind monitors to reduce surface clutter and or placed upon a nearby shelving unit to cast a glow across the room.’ Instead consider attaching storage solutions such as pots for stationary and a picture rail for books straight to the wall.
'Be sure to style in a selection of houseplants - whether they’re faux or the real deal, you’ll ream the benefits of having pops of greenery dotted around the space, helping to alleviate work-related anxiety and promote clarity,' explains Lauren at Furniture Village. While real houseplants will always look best, if you'll struggle to lift a hanging planter down to water it consider opting for faux plants.
They have been proven to deliver similar stress-busting benefits and you don't have to worry about water flooding your desk from above. Capitalise on this overlooked vertical space by turning it into a storage shelf with clearly labelled boxes.
This won't be the easiest spot to reach without a step ladder, so consider that when organising what you will store on the shelf. It is the perfect spot for tidying away family records and memory boxes, anything you don't need every day but need to be able to lay your hands on easily.
If you're working a home study space into a bedroom, consider sacrificing some wardrobe storage to carve out a nook. When creating a workstation in a living room, consider additions you can make so it is comfy to work at during the day but can be seamlessly packed away in the evening. Instead of allowing it to become a dumping ground for tote bags and trainers, turn it into a stylish home office. Not all needs to be for office supplies, you can keep a cupboard for coats, and maybe a pull-out drawer for all the miscellaneous hallway paraphernalia.
A corner desk is an excellent solution for fitting in a workspace and storage without overly encroaching on the rest of the room. Keep ergonomics in mind and find an option with a pull out keyboard so you can comfortably type while staying at a good distance from your screen. 'When it comes to creating a home office, you ideally want to carve out a space that you can dedicate to it,' advises Emma Deterding, Founder and Creative Director, Kelling Designs (opens in new tab).
'However, space is often at a premium in modern homes and apartments, so dedicating a whole room isn't always possible. Find space in an alcove in your living or dining room to act as a smart home office area. 'Opting for built-in storage will help to make the most of every 'nook & cranny',' says Jamie Godfrey, Senior Design Consultant, Neville Johnson (opens in new tab).
If you have width but not depth, take your cabinetry across the room, keeping it long in length but slim to the wall. To really delineate your home office in an open plan space, consider revamping that section of wall.
Enhance the look even further by painting this section in a contrasting colour to the rest of the wall space. This also makes it multi-purpose, as once you remove your work essentials it could double up as a cool home bar or display area.
A simple wooden shelf placed under a window creates the perfect perch for work. For a small home office desk or craft room ideas the solution the key is in making the walls worker harder.
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.
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.
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. Make the most of every inch of valuable wall space with a wall-mounted unit that doubles as a desk.
With drawers and storage compartments it doubles up a standard bedside unit to place a lamp, book and some fresh flowers. It's often tricky to make use of the half height ceiling, due to the awkward measurements, but a desk will slot happily in. Remember that it's a good idea to position yourself near a window, so you don't feel completely shut off from the world. Ensure your home office doesn't encroach on your living space by keeping it well hidden.
Give office essentials a dedicated storage cupboard, that you can shut the doors on after a long day. Complete the vibe with a trolley you can wheel desk-side and lot of boxes, files and jars to keep it all under control.
Don't compromise on interior style, make the small space work harder within your home. Soften the edges of a functional workspace by incorporating decorative home accessories and plenty of plants.
A cluster of houseplants, in varying heights, leaf shapes and pot textures can help to instantly add an informal feel to a home office. Traditionally, an office keeps you shut away from the rest of the house, but these days, social and work lives are more closely entwined.
Hang family photos to ensure the space still feels like part of the original room. Garden office ideas are the perfect way to keep work and living areas separate.
Using one side for correspondence and filing and the other for more creative work helps create a sense of serenity. 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 Even a bedside table can double up as a mini desk if space is tight elsewhere in the house. Keep walls white in your home office so you can display photographs and pictures to inspire you.
Continue the theme with co-ordinating stand-alone furniture and accessories, such as the desk lamp and shelf unit, for a cohesive feel. Decorating with soothing white shades not only evokes a calm feel, the blank canvas creates the illusion of greater space.
At the end of a long days work simply restore the space to a dressing table if need be. 'Finding the right spot for your home office is key to productivity,' advises Joanna Baumard, Co-Founder, Purlfrost (opens in new tab). Choose a compact desk, console or dressing table that looks great but can be flexible and will allow you to hide work away when guests come to stay.
If you opt to set up your home office in an open plan space, make sure to delineate the area.
'Simply working on the dining table or kitchen island won’t help to focus the mind,' says Poppy Peace, Creative Director, Milc Interiors (opens in new tab). Just because your home office is short on square footage does't mean it has to be lacking in storage.
'Floating shelves or a tall bookshelf that extends to the ceiling will provide ample amounts of storage and a place to showcase decorative items,' says Mariana Ugarte, Co-Founder, Interior Fox (opens in new tab). 'Why not create a dedicated home office within built-in joinery in the kitchen or living room, that can be shut away when you've finished working,' suggests Emma Deterding, Founder and Creative Director, Kelling Designs.