Small Home Office Ideas and Inspiration

black and wood home office with plants and guitar on the wall

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. That's awesome! And you'll be glad to know that even if you only have a small area to work with, those dreams can still come true. Just because your space is limited, 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. In fact, 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 diminutive room or attempting to add a workspace to a living room or bedroom (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 home office of any size, it will always require some ingenuity — after all, it's a space where you'll want to feel as efficient as possible while still showing off your style. This is where a thoughtful layout comes into play.

Luckily, when it comes down to it, an office doesn't really require all that much. A good desk. A comfortable chair. A storage cabinet or two. A couple of desk accessories. And a few statement-making pieces of decor.

The desk and chair are the focal point of any home office layout. 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 floating shelves. If you don't have a whole wall to work with, that's OK — a cleverly-styled corner will do just fine. Why not build a window seat next to your desk-and-chair set-up? And if you're really short on space, you could even hang a wall-mounted desk that folds out when needed.

An attic is a small space, but it turns out it can be the perfect place to try out all of those small office ideas you have. This is where you turn to built-ins and minimalist decor to accommodate lack of square footage. Then there are those times when you don't have a dedicated room to serve as your home office. In this case, you'll need to make another room in your home pull double duty. In a living room, you can put your desk in a corner next to the couch. In a bedroom, place your desk opposite your bed, where it can double as your nightstand.

A wall recess could also make an ideal office space. For example, maybe you have 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.

Small Home Office: Style

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 shelving to save space, and integrate small vintage pieces and raw materials and finishes. For small home office ideas with boho flair, opt for warm wood finishes (those can fit anywhere, of course) and a few houseplants. Also, make sure you layer meaningful decor, like the flea market finds you treasure. For a setup that's more rustic and cozy, wrap in neutral colors, hang some wood shelving, and don't forget to throw in a few vintage touches.

Even though we're fans of neutral palettes for small home offices (they won't overpower your space as much), color is a possibility, too. Consider showcasing a painted wall mural or kaleidoscopic artwork in your mini office.

Small Home Office: Furniture and Decor

black and wood home office with plants and guitar on the wall

When it comes to furniture to go with your small home office idea, we like the less is more philosophy. This is where a minimalist desk comes in — unfussy, sleek, and able to fit into a variety of spaces. It'll also work with many different styles. Then, like any home office, you'll need to pick out a great chair. Consider choosing one in a pop of color to add a hint of visual interest without overshadowing the carefully-chosen visuals.

Wall decor can still happen even in the teeniest of offices. Although you may not be able to display the grand, large-scale artwork you've been admiring, you can still 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.

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

A wood desk with a plant and an office chair with a wood framed mirror

Lighting in a small home office will take a bit of extra thinking. Giant chandeliers and oversize pendant lights simply won't look right in most small offices, so you'll need to go with lighting that is proportionate to the area you're working with. Extra-small space? Extra-small lighting, preferably in the form of a functional desk lamp. Recessed lights and flush mounts are also an option if you don't want to take up too much of your ceiling height.

Small Home Office: Storage

Storage is super important in any home office situation (even though the world feels paperless, we guarantee you still have documents that need sorting). But it could be even more essential for a small home office where clutter can feel claustrophobic in a hurry.

When choosing storage for your small workspace ponder open shelving, which is vertical and won't take up any floor space. You can also buy a desk with several drawers to stash stuff away, too.

Where to Shop for Small Home Office Ideas

White open desk with artwork hanging above

West Elm

Crate & Barrel

Design Within Reach



World Market



The Container Store