The Smartest Ways to Carve Out a Home Office in a Small Space

updated May 3, 2020
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(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

Sure, it’d be great to have a dedicated home office with ample storage, space for supplies and a proper desk setup—especially if you’re all about that work from home life. Oh, and room for one of those funny engraved desk plates too. But few of us have the square footage for that. And yet, we still need to put in that work. So in order to make it happen, you just have to get creative and try carving out a home office area in one of these clever ways.

(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

The easiest way to steal space for an office is by taking over a spare closet. Think about it: A reach-in closet is roughly the same size and depth as a small desk. So you can just push yours in there. Or even better, mount a slab-style shelf that’ll function like a desktop, add a chair or stool and call it a day. You can include more wall-mount shelves for supplies and remove the doors if you want easy access. Or use the door(s) to keep the space hidden—and as another surface for hanging maybe a file folder holder or something to that effect.

Have an empty corner? Turn it into an office. Seriously. To take up as little space as possible, you can use an L-shaped desk or even something triangular if you can find it. I usually tell people to put a floor lamp or plant in an empty corner, but if you need the workspace, by all means, take it.

(Image credit: Sandra Regalado)

Quirky architecture is actually a win for squeezing in a work area. If you have a little window seat area, a bump-out, or a nook, put a chair and a little desk or a table right there, and use this space to work. Spots near windows are especially good because you don’t have to worry about extra sources of lighting, at least not during the day.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

If you’re smart about your coffee table selection, you can actually turn your sofa into an office zone. What I’m referring to are those lift-top coffee tables, like the one above. So when you’re sitting on your couch and typing on your laptop, it’s almost like you’re at a desk.

(Image credit: Justice Darragh)

If you’re lucky enough to have an open staircase, you can tuck a little office area under there too. You can also grab space from a closed staircase, but that would involve construction if you don’t already have a little room or closet under the stairs already.

Oh, and if you really have no space and need a little place for yourself, try a wall mount desk. Hidden drop-down styles literally look like cabinets when not in use. Brilliant.

The thought of using a wooden bath caddy and your tub as an “office” crossed my mind, but electronics. So that’s probably not the best idea. But let us know in the comments if you think of any others!