Over the last couple of years, the Covid-19 pandemic and the increase in workers opting for flexible and remote working has made creating a home office an absolute must. According to the ONS, 36% of working adults reported that they had worked from home at least once in the previous seven days Between 19 and 30 January 2022.1 But what do you do if you don’t have a spare room to turn into an office?

Small home office desks are just as effective at balancing work from home life. And when it comes to small home office ideas, gone are the days of trying to work from a kitchen countertop, or balancing a laptop on an odd piece of furniture. With some careful planning and good furniture decisions, a small home office design can work beautifully. Whether that’s creating a workstation beneath a staircase, or creating an office out of a cupboard or outdoor shed. 

Here are some innovative ideas for a small office at home, so you know how to transform your living space and make the most out of a limited room.

How much space do you need for a home office?

The amount of space you need for a small home office will vary depending on what you need for work. Standard home office dimensions are 12ft by 14ft (3.65 x 4.26m).2 This is the typical amount of space you need for a separate office that you can close the door on, and store computer equipment, and furniture like a desk and chair. If you are short on this kind of space, making a room dual-purpose can be the answer to your small home office design. 

There are several variations you can take on a home office. If you have a nook in a corner of a room like a dining room or kitchen, you can place a desk and chair into it to create a workspace, and place lots of shelves on the wall for storage. If you have a space on a landing, or in the corner of a spare bedroom, this can also be turned into a small office at home. 

You just need to be creative with furniture and be prepared to move things around to fit, depending on the size and shape of the room you are working with. An adjustable desk or curved desk is also a good idea to make the most of a space like a corner. If you can, you could even try using a standing desk to add some extra versatility to the space.

How to create a home office in a small space

There are several ways you can work with small home office desks to make the most of your space. Once you have decided where you’d like to work and position your desk, it’s time to think about how to decorate a small office at home, and utilise useful storage solutions that will prevent you from working in a disorganised and cluttered environment.

Lighting ideas

Instead of using floor lamps, which take up space, opt for wall-mounted lighting to save room. These lights can be switched on alongside your usual desk lamps to ensure that your workspace is well-lit and avoids eye strain.3

Storage solutions

Make the most of the wall space near your desk. Use it to position wall planners, shelves and holders or picture rails, where you can get all of your stationery, documents and odds and ends off the floor or your desk, and into an organised space. You can also hang greenery and plant pots from hooks, to create a pleasing focal point. 

If you can, think vertically and look at the area that is high above your head from your desk. For long-term storage (like documents and paper files) that you may hold on to for a number of years for your records, why not make shelves on this part of the wall, close to the ceiling? You may need a ladder to reach them from time to time, but if you don’t need everyday access to them, this is a great way to save space in a small room.

Small home office layout ideas

Whether you’re looking to repurpose a corner of your home, or transform a small box room into a stunning workspace, here’s some small home office ideas you may like to try.

Position your desk facing a room window

Opt for the largest desk you can, and position it facing a window in any room of your choice. This way, you can make the most of the natural light coming in, and can open the window to allow fresh air to flow through when you need it. 

When you need a break from your screen, you have the window to gaze out of. You can also decorate around the window space with a floor lamp, tall plants, and bright patterned wallpaper to turn it into a workspace feature. If you believe in Feng Shui, having objects that represent the five elements of earth, wood, fire, metal and water in your space is said to help increase positive Chi Flow.4

Tuck your work station beneath the stairs

If you live in a small house without extra rooms to turn into an office, find a nook or cranny that you can utilise. The space under the stairs can be an ideal solution. You can hire a furniture designer to design bespoke shelving units to tuck into the corners, and a specially made desk, built-in cabinets and drawers to suit the dimensions of the area you’re working with, so that everything is accessible, durable and looks good.

Hide away your office in a bureau or cupboard

Hidden desk ideas are ideal solutions if you have very little room to play with. Turn a bureau or storage cupboard into a workspace when you open doors – with shelving and storage solutions built in. You can also store away your laptop, stool and stationery neatly at the end of the working day. 

If you’re using a room in your home for a dual purpose space, like a guest room/office, you can decide what you want to feature in the room, and what you’d prefer to conceal with flexibility, using this technique.

So there you have it, even with a small space, you can still turn your home office into a functional and stylish workspace. It just takes some careful planning and efficient storage solutions, and you’ll have a place to separate work from family life when you’re at home.


  1. https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/articles/homeworkingandspendingduringthecoronaviruscovid19pandemicgreatbritain/april2020tojanuary2022
  2. https://tipsthatwork.com/what-is-a-good-size-for-a-home-office-a-perfect-workspace/
  3. https://www.deskadvisor.org/benefits-well-lit-workspace-open-office/
  4. https://www.homesandgardens.com/interior-design/desk-feng-shui

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