Small Home Office Setup – How to Create a Stylish and Functional Space

a laptop on a home office desk

As the world gradually emerges from the shadow of the pandemic, many remote workers have now transitioned back to traditional office environments.

However, our work/home life dynamics have shifted, with many people having a flexible working arrangement that combines both in-office and remote work.

Having a small home office setup at home is not just about finding a space to put a desk and a chair. It involves thoughtful consideration of design, functionality, ergonomics, and personalization to ensure the space is conducive to productivity, creativity, and comfort for those times when you work from home.

Having a small house might cause a few issues when trying to create a small home office, but with some creative solutions, you can carve out a functional and beautiful workspace. The key considerations when designing a small home office are utilizing vertical space efficiently, finding multipurpose furniture, and delineating the office zone effectively.

Small Home Office Setup Key Features

  • Ergonomic furniture: Adjustable chairs and desks
  • Desk with built-in storage
  • Space efficient layout
  • Adequate lighting
  • Clutter-free work surface
  • Personal touches like plants and photos
  • Technology and connectivity
  • Acoustic considerations to manage noise
  • Privacy

1. Determine the Main Purpose

home office setup with bookshelf

First, think about how you will primarily use the home office when you work from home. Consider the nature of your work, the equipment you require, and how much time you’ll spend in the office.

This assessment will serve as the foundation for your setup, ensuring that your home office is tailored to your professional requirements.

2. Choose the Location

home office setup in neutral colours in the corner of a bedroom

Next, determine the best spot in your small house for your home office. Often the extra bedroom or a corner of the living room works well. However, not everyone has the luxury of a dedicated room for a home office.

Sometimes, it’s about carving out a niche in a living room, bedroom, or even a hallway. Look for a quiet corner with minimal distractions.

Natural light is a bonus as it boosts mood and productivity. If privacy is a concern, consider room dividers or a strategic arrangement of bookshelves to create a distinct workspace.

3. Incorporate Vertical Storage

a peg board above a desk

In a compact home office, utilize vertical space. Hang wall shelves or pegboards above the desk to store items and use tall bookshelves or shelving units. These can double as room dividers to delineate the office zone.

Label storage containers and baskets so everything has a designated spot and mount a narrow bookshelf above the desk to store frequently used supplies. This will also give you enough space to put a monitor and laptop on the desk.

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4. Invest in Multipurpose Furniture

an ergonomic chair

Save space with a convertible desk that folds up against the wall or transforms into a dining table. Nesting tables also allow you to have a desk area as well as additional surfaces as needed.

An ergonomic chair is non-negotiable for long hours of work. Look for slim profiles or chairs that can be tucked under the desk when not in use. A small stool or bench can function as extra seating for meetings when pulled up to the desk.

Your needs may evolve over time, so it’s wise to create a flexible setup that can adapt to changing requirements. Modular furniture and movable storage units can offer the versatility to reconfigure your space as needed.

5. Delineate the Office Zone

a small home office with green paneling and artwork with a rug on the floor

Use furniture placement, rugs, and lighting to define the office area and absorb sound. Consider painting one wall a bright or different color just behind the desk to define the area and boost creativity.

You could face the desk toward the more open part of the room rather than backing it against a wall to give the illusion of space or place the desk under the window to make use of dead space.

Angle a floor lamp or task lighting to illuminate the workstation. Consider using a room divider screen behind the desk in very open floor plans and use noise-canceling headphones to help you focus during work hours.

6. Make Use of All Available Space

a small home office desk with shelves and storage in a corner of the bedroom

Mount a cable management system under the desk to corral wires out of sight and keep your desk clear. Don’t overlook the potential of digital solutions to reduce paper clutter, such as cloud storage and digital note-taking apps.

Use creative storage options like under-desk baskets and desk organizers to keep essentials within reach but off the work surface.

7. Incorporate Personal Touches

a desk with a bookcase behind it

Add personality to your small home office with meaningful artwork and photographs. I like to keep a bulletin board above my desk to pin up inspiration and important documents.

Decorate with items that reflect your personality and style, be it artwork, plants, or personal mementos. Display favorite books within reach for reference while working on projects.

A cohesive color scheme or theme can also tie the space together and make it feel more cohesive.

8. Technology and Equipment

a small home office setup with computer, printer and scanner and shelves with plants on

Invest in the right technology and equipment to support your work. A reliable computer, high-speed internet, and necessary peripherals like a printer or scanner should be top priorities.

9. Lighting

a desk under a window with a desk lamp

Good lighting is critical in a home office for small spaces. Aim for a combination of natural light, task lighting, and ambient lighting.

Position your desk to take advantage of natural light without causing glare on your screen. Desk lamps with adjustable arms offer flexibility for task lighting, while soft, indirect light sources can enhance the overall ambiance of the room.

With some creativity and multipurpose solutions, you can create a beautiful and functional small home office setup tailored exactly to your needs and style.

The workspace will boost productivity for professional work as well as inspire your creative pursuits.

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will receive a very small commission if you click through and make a purchase. These links help to pay the editorial costs of writing a blog. For more information, please read my full affiliate disclosure here. 

I also use Artificial Intelligence Image generators to create some of my images. These are to show you examples of my ideas and inspiration when I cannot produce the real images myself.

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