Small Home Office Ideas and Inspiration

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When you need to carve out space to work from home, we know how easily your mind can become flooded with big ideas and lofty goals. Well, you'll be glad to know that even if you have limited square footage to work with, those dreams can still come true. Just because you're dealing with tight quarters, that doesn't mean that your office design needs to be. It can still be a spot where your personality and creativity shine their brightest.

However, it's going to take some maneuvering and imagination to incorporate all of the small home office ideas you have, with perhaps some room to spare. Whether you're dealing with a petite closet office or attempting to make a living room or bedroom pull double-duty (actually, two-thirds of people don't have a separate office), you can do it artfully and stylishly with these helpful small home office ideas.

Small Home Office Layout

When setting up a workspace of any size, a little ingenuity is always required — after all, you want a home office design that allows you to be as efficient as possible while still showing off your unique style. This is where a thoughtful layout comes into play.

Luckily, when you break it down, a WFH setup doesn't really require all that much. A good desk space. A comfy desk chair. A space-saving storage cabinet or two. A couple of desk accessories. And a few statement-making pieces of home decor. But first things first — let's determine where your new office will be located.

As it turns out, attics and garages are ideal places to try out all of those small office ideas you have. But if you don't have a separate room to dedicate to work, then you'll need to carve out space somewhere else. For instance, in a living room, you can tuck your desk in a corner or even behind the couch. In a bedroom, locate your desk opposite your bed, where it can double as your nightstand. Perhaps you have a random wall recess or a nook between your kitchen cabinets? If so, build your desk right into the recess and top it off with an accent wall to punch up the visuals.

Now that you know where your workstation will be, how should you arrange it for optimum functionality? If you're placing your desk against a wall, this is an opportunity to go vertical with your decor and storage. You can accomplish this with chic and convenient bookshelves. If you don't have a whole wall to work with, that's okay — a cleverly-styled corner desk will do just fine. And if you're really short on space, you could even hang a floating desk — perhaps one that folds out when needed.

Small Home Office Style Ideas

We have no doubt that your small home office ideas are brimming with style. Our top pick for a tiny workspace is minimalism, since the aesthetics naturally won't overwhelm the area. Think neutral hues, streamlined furniture, and simple open shelving while emphasizing function and good looks. Industrial style tends to weave in large-scale pieces and big visuals, but it can be done in small home offices, too. Go vertical with the desk, hang pipe shelving to save space, and integrate small vintage pieces and raw materials.

If you're dreaming of an office nook with boho flair, opt for warm wood finishes (those can fit anywhere, of course), a few houseplants, and perhaps a woven wall hanging. Also, make sure you layer meaningful decor, like the flea market finds you treasure. For a setup that's more rustic and cozy, or farmhouse, wrap in a neutral color scheme, hang some wood shelving, consider shiplap wall paneling, and don't forget to throw in a few vintage touches. Keep in mind, however, that you can never go wrong with a modern or contemporary setup showcasing sleek lines, on on-trend pop of color, and kaleidoscopic artwork.

Small Home Office Furniture and Decor

When it comes to the furniture, think: less is more. Maybe consider a minimalist desk that's unfussy, sleek, and can blend in seamlessly with a variety of different styles. And whatever you do, don't forget to look at the overall dimensions. You want a small desk that will actually be able to fit into your space. Then, you'll need to pick out a office chair. Instead of a big option with all of the bells, whistles, and levers, look for something a wee bit smaller. Consider selecting a colorful swivel option with a small frame to add a hint of visual interest without overshadowing your carefully chosen visuals.

Wall decor can still work even in a tiny home office setup. Although you may not be able to display the grand, large-scale artwork you've been admiring, you can still make use of vertical space. Hang floating shelves to display knickknacks, create a gallery wall with smaller pieces, focus on a single wall tapestry, or use a memo board as a place to display reminders along with inspiring photos.

And the good news is that plants can reside in any space, no matter the size. If your tiny office is tucked away in a corner or doesn't have a window nearby, you may want to consider something that does well in low-light, like a ZZ plant or philodendron.

Small Home Office Lighting

Lighting in a small home office space will take a bit of extra thinking. While natural light is always best, some workspaces aren't located near a window. Either way, you will need to include a few light fixtures into your design. Giant chandeliers and oversize pendant lights simply won't look right, so you'll need to go with lighting that is proportionate to the area you're working with. Extra-small space? Look for extra-small lighting, preferably in the form of a functional desk lamp, pair of wall sconces, or a simple floor lamp. Recessed lights and flush mounts are also an option if you don't want to take up too much ceiling height.

Small Home Office Storage

Even though the world feels paperless, we guarantee that you still have documents that need sorting — needless to say, storage ideas are super important in any home office situation. But it could be even more essential for a small office where clutter can feel claustrophobic in a hurry.

When choosing storage for your tiny workspace, instead of bulky bookcases, cabinetry, and built-ins, ponder open shelving (which is vertical and won't take up any floor space), wall-mounted bins, and pegboards. You can also buy a desk with several drawers to stash office supplies or a petite filing cabinet can work wonders, too.

Where to Shop for a Small Office Space

Now that you have thought of everything and planned out the perfect home office area, it's time for the fun part: shopping. The following are a few of our fave retailers for small space essentials.

Target

World Market

IKEA

Amazon

The Container Store

CB2

Wayfair

Overstock