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Do More With Less Space — Small Home Office Ideas From Interior Design Pros

Your dream home office doesn't have to take up much space!

A home office has become a priority for many households, and with the right small home office ideas, you can create your ideal work space, even if you don’t have a lot of space. While many of us are no longer working completely remote full-time jobs, many businesses have pivoted to hybrid models that do include one or more days of work from home and plenty of gigs consist of remote work to some extent (just take a look at the highest-paying work-from-home jobs that don’t require a degree!)

Additionally, working from home is not exclusive to an occupation. For some, an office is a place to hone skills, practice hobbies and just have a comfortable and private space dedicated to something — that could be productivity, leisure or a mix of the two. No matter the reason, here are interior design experts’ tips for brainstorming and executing small home office ideas. 

Why create a small office space in your home?

“When space is at a premium, you have no choice but to maintain a tidy, uncluttered and organized work area,” says Marcy Kelman, home decor blogger and interior design writer at Church Hill Classics. “You can keep your work life contained to that small section of your home and ensure it doesn’t encroach on time spent with the family. A tighter space will also mean that family members won’t easily traipse into your work area or want to spend time in your office, thereby maintaining that work/life separation. A smaller space can also feel cozy and manageable, whereas a larger space can feel overwhelming, making it harder to focus.”

Choosing the right home office space

Before you get into more detailed small home office ideas, simply consider where to set up your space. Experts suggest locating a space with little to no foot traffic, a door to block out distracting noises, ample natural light and access to a solid internet connection if you’re doing anything that requires digital bandwidth. 

“First think about exactly how you’ll use the space — just focused individual work, video calls with co-workers, multitasking on various projects, etc.,”says Malak Bellajdel, in-house interior design expert at Pet Portraits. “Measure the area you have available so you know what size furniture will fit properly. Then map out the ideal layout using compact pieces arranged in a way that lets you work efficiently and comfortably.”

Sara McDaniel, designer and home renovation expert with Simply Southern Cottage, says the most important considerations here should be finding a space that lets you maximize space and storage and allows you to perform your work optimally without causing additional stress. You should have adequate storage for your work supplies, and it should be easily reached from your main workspace. 

“Incorporate spots that close up so you can put all of the work completely away and out of sight when it’s not work time,” says Megan Hersch, co-founder, and chief operating officer of roomLift. “This is your home first and foremost. There are closable desks and plenty of cabinetry for small spaces that work great for this!”

A small home office space designed by roomLift

Building your small home office 

Experts recommend small home office ideas that can help you maximize space and function, and being mindful of how you can really take advantage of the room you have without wasting space or sacrificing the important items.  

1. Start with the necessities 

The first items you’ll want to position are the must-have office space pieces. This typically starts with furniture, which should be ergonomic so you can feel comfortable, safe, energized, situated and generally well in your office space.  

Pantea Bionki, owner and lead designer at Bionki Interiors, suggests starting with a desk. Other essential items for a small home office, she says, include a chair, light fixture and adequate storage solutions tailored to the available space. 

A small home office space staged by Bionic Interiors
Bionki Interiors

Bellajdel suggests a desk that lets you sit or stand throughout the day so you can adjust your position as needed. She also recommends smaller sized pieces without big, bulky legs, opting instead for a more clean, modern style. A minimalist look creates an open and spacious feeling, she adds. 

2. Make the most of your space 

You don’t need to use every inch of space in your home office as you don’t want to feel trapped, unorganized or overwhelmed. However, you can get creative and think about how you can achieve more with less square footage. 

Alice Moszczynski, an Interior Designer at Planner 5D, recommends utilizing vertical storage as well as multifunctional furniture. This can include a tall bookshelf, or a desk with built-in storage, for example.

“If you have a small space, consider placing your desk in the center of the room rather than up against a wall,” McDaniel says. “If you are going through a remodel or a new build, have an electrician install a plug in the side of your desk by running the electrical from the floor.”

You’ll also want to declutter and organize, which will probably require being a bit picky when it comes to which items you really need in the office with you. Avoid having reams of paper, empty boxes or other items that you don’t consistently use build up around your space.

“If you can’t easily access all of your equipment and files without bumping into a wall, your space is probably too tight,” Kelman says. “To combat this, consider locating cabinets with folders and files you don’t need on a daily basis in a basement area or other room of your house. You can also save space by placing your wireless printer in another part of your home and as an added benefit, you’ll get some steps in retrieving documents from your printer location.”

Watch TikTok user @corapursley use a tiny corner to create a comfy, quality home office space!


Designing my tiny home office. What else can i add to elevate the space a little more?? #wfh #homeofficedecor #homeofficeideas

♬ original sound – Cora Pursley

3. Make it your own

Once the logistics have been hammered out, the most fun part begins: digging into small home office ideas for designing and personalizing your space. Bionki says you can now consider options for enhancing functionality and personalizing the workspace including customizing accessories, stationary and file folders to suit your style preferences. 

Related: Decorating Tips For Your Office That Will Recharge Your Creative Energy

“My number one top tip for all spaces is to include plants however and wherever you can,” says Hersch. “Not only does the oxygen help us all, the greenery of nature brought into an office space is proven to reduce stress.”

Other additions include with paint or wallpaper that match the vibe you want to create, personal décor like photos or quotes that are meaningful to you, and accents pieces like a lampshade or rug that reflect your personal style with patterns and colors. 

Click through for more tips and tricks that will help you make the most of the space in your home!

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