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Creative Ways to Carve Out Enough Space to Work From Home

updated Jul 16, 2020
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(Image credit: Katy Cartland)

Whether you’re working from home, getting started on that novel you always told yourself you’d write, or just paying a few bills, having a dedicated workspace is really nice. If your home is a bit on the small side, this may seem like an impossible dream, but the good news is that there are plenty of way to squeeze in a dedicated workspace, even in a really small space. Here are some of the best ideas we’ve seen.

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(Image credit: Katy Cartland)

One of the most efficient ways to fit a workspace into a small footprint is with a wall-mounted desk. A shelf, fixed to the wall at tabletop height, need only be as large as the space occupied by your computer (or your notebook, if you’re old-school). This little desk gets the job done, and only takes up a little bit of space. Since it’s in the bedroom, there’s also the added bonus of peace and quiet away from the rest of the house.

(Image credit: Woonspiratie)

One prime spot for a wall-mounted desk is the area underneath a staircase. If your apartment or home happens to have a spot like this, you can create a generous home office, like this one from Wooninspiratie, that includes shelving and storage configured to perfectly fill all of an otherwise awkward space.

(Image credit: Inside Out)

In this image from Inside Out, a little nook becomes an office with the addition of a built-in desk. The added felt board and shelving on the wall amps up the function and organization of such a tiny little spot.

(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

If your apartment doesn’t already come equipped with a built-in closet office, you can always easily create one with a few well-placed wall-mounted shelves, like Laura and Ray did in their Austin home. This especially works well for renters, as shelving is removable when you move out.

(Image credit: House & Garden)

This lucky little built-in office nook, spotted on House & Garden, has space-saving pocket doors that pull out and then close to cover the work space.

(Image credit: Jillian Harris)

This work spot from Jillian Harris shows that, even if you don’t have a door, a desk can still be beautiful in your main living space. Here the shelving doubles as display for decor and artwork.

Proof that you can fit a home office into even the smallest of spaces: this little study nook, not even two feet wide, nestled into a wall of built-ins in a space, from Bloom Interior Design & Decoration. It takes great advantage of every bit of vertical space by extending the shelving all the way to the ceiling.

(Image credit: Marili Forastieri)

This small living room of Anthony D’Argenzio of Zio & Sons, spotted on West Elm’s blog Front + Main, includes a built-in modern secretary, with both storage and a fold-out workspace.

(Image credit: Style Mutt Home )

Here’s a particularly clever solution from Style Mutt Home. If your home happens to have a windowsill that’s at the right height, you can turn it into a desk by laying a shelf above it. You gain a little extra desktop real estate from the windowsill, and your workspace will always be well-lit.

(Image credit: Design*Sponge)

From Design*Sponge, here’s a slight variation on the theme: this windowsill workspace involves a computer set into the windowsill, with a shelf for a keyboard mounted below. IKEA’s trusty RASKOG cart keeps desk supplies under control.