Hold the Phone: These 8 Small Home Office Ideas Mean Business

small home office with wall-mounted shelving and green desk chair
credit: Dabito

While we'd all love to have a sophisticated home office complete with an executive desk and floor-to-ceiling, built-in bookshelves, the reality is that we don't all have the square footage to accommodate such a luxurious workspace. But no matter how short you are on space, rest assured that it is possible to transform even just a few feet into an efficient home office. The key lies in choosing a layout that maximizes your limited square footage and fits your 9-5 needs.

To prove it, we turned to Decorist designer Caitlin McBride for some intel. "When I first walk into a small but stylish home office, the first thing I notice is the layout," McBride tells Hunker. "When you don't have a lot of room to work with, a good layout is key to making the most of your space. A great way to utilize a small amount of real estate while maximizing style and functionality is by going vertical and adding a bookcase or floating shelves to your space."

In search of small home offices that do a masterful job of demonstrating how to make the most of limited square footage, naturally, we turned to some of our favorite interior designers. Keep scrolling for eight small home office ideas that mean business.

1. Put Your To-Do List on Display

Gain inspiration from this small home office designed by Sarah Sherman Samuel and make your to-do list part of your decor by hanging a roll of butcher paper on the wall beside your desk (aka within arm's reach).

2. Let Sources of Inspiration Double as Wall Art

Take a cue from this space, also designed by the incomparable Sarah Sherman Samuel, and allow your current sources of inspiration and projects to double as wall art on the space behind your desk.

3. Strategically Use Paint to Minimize Visual Clutter

Another brilliant small home office idea from Sarah Sherman Samuel, this workspace showcases the power of paint to transform a room. Here, a black desk blends into an accent wall in the dramatic hue, effectively minimizing visual clutter. Genius.

4. Incorporate a Desk Into a Wall-Mounted Shelving System

small home office with wall-mounted shelving and green desk chair
credit: Dabito

If square footage is at a premium, follow Dabito of Old Brand New's lead and go vertical by incorporating a small yet efficient workspace into a wall-mounted shelving system. All that's left to do is pull up a chair and start culling through your inbox.

5. Skip the Floor Lamp and Opt for a Wall Sconce

Take a page from Megan Schlachtenhaufen of Undecorated Home. Free up valuable floor space by installing an adjustable wall sconce to shed light on your workspace, instead of styling the room with a traditional floor lamp.

6. Forgo a Traditional Desk for a Space-Saving Shelf

small home office with floating shelf desk and seating area
credit: Julia Robbs

Transform a tiny nook into a functional small office space by simply installing a shelf. Forgoing a traditional desk will allow you to salvage valuable square footage, as demonstrated by this space captured by photographer Julia Robbs.

7. Go Vertical With Creative Storage Solutions

Follow Brittni Mehlhoff of Paper & Stitch's lead and utilize creative storage solutions to make the most of a small home office. Here, a peg rail wall shelf ensures limited desk space doesn't get encroached upon by decorative objects in this guest bedroom work space.

8. Reconsider Your Nightstand's Role

When you don't have the luxury of space, make like interior designer Kate Lester of Kate Lester Interiors and opt for a small desk that can double as a nightstand to seamlessly incorporate a workspace into a small bedroom.


Megan Beauchamp

Megan Beauchamp

Megan Beauchamp is a writer and editor in Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared in MyDomaine, House Beautiful, Bustle, and Brit + Co., among others.