When you live in a tiny space or a home where every single room has a designated function, finding a place to use as a home office can be a real challenge. More often than not you’ll find yourself cluttering the dining table or just sitting cross-legged on your sofa with your laptop on your lap, your notepad and various stationery strewn around you, and your cup of coffee on the floor.
None of this is ideal, and because I am too familiar with living in a super small space (there have been times when I sat on the floor to work from my coffee table) I asked interior designers and expert organizers for their advice on solving this issue once and for all.
It turns out they had some great tips on how to create a practical workspace in my home, no matter how small, and they're so innovative. Here are three ways to implement a home office in the tiniest of spaces where you don’t have to sit on the floor, take over the dining table, or kick your coffee mug onto the carpet. None of these ideas will cost you much, and they won’t take much time, either.
1. The ‘portable’ home office
I loved this idea as soon as I heard it, and it came from home organizing expert and minimalist Shira Gill who told me about the home office cart that you can wheel from room to room. 'Typically it’s a three-tier operation so you can have electronics in one tier, office supplies in one, and you can put it in a closet at the end of the day, and wheel it out when you need it,’ she explains. You can also keep any chargers and surplus documents or stationery you need in a basket on the lower level of your cart, too.
If you prefer to work from the wider surface of your dining room table, you can apply the same idea of portable home office supplies to ensure you clear the table completely at the end of your day. This creates a boundary between your work time and downtime, helping you to work from home effectively.
Use beautiful containers that you can store it all in, this way you can also move around wherever you feel like you want to work. ‘I personally have a WFH bin that is portable,' says Shira. 'It’s just a single bin that stores my laptop and my headphones and a pad, and it makes it so easy because it’s portable, I can work outside, I can bring it to a cafe, I can bring it to a client’s home.'
2. Wall-mounted desk
For super-limited spaces, it’s hard to find any better solution than the wall-mounted, foldable desk. Liz Potarazu, CEO and Principal Designer of LP + Co advises us to consider a wall-mounted desk that can also be used for storage or for shelf styling. ‘A wall-mounted folding desk is a great space-saving option that won’t break the bank,’ she says.
Wall-mounted desks also tend to be easy to install yourself. A great design piece, it will look like a small cupboard on your wall but open up to reveal shelving, storage, and a small desk for your home office in one move. Close it all back up at the end of the day and you won’t even know it’s there.
3. The unused closet space
An unused closet is a real favorite of designers when it comes to innovative workspaces because it’s a great opportunity to get creative. ‘If you have an unused closet space, converting it into an office is another great option,' Liz says. 'Add an inexpensive desk and shelving and you have the perfect workstation.'
Kristen Harrison, Principal Designer at Bungalow 10 Interiors, recently employed this idea in a client's home. ‘I turned a walkway that led to a storage closet into an office space, and it looks really cool,' she explains. 'We used textured wallpaper, painted the molding and desk the same blue color, and added some unexpected lighting. Shockingly, it became one of the most loved nooks in the home and a place for a busy dad to be able to work quietly.'
If closet space is an issue too, have a look at any low shelving you can use as a worktop. There are bookcases you can buy with a designated worksurface at the bottom which are perfect for saving space.
A wall mounted floating desk is a great solution for the tiniest of spaces. If you don't like clutter, you'll love that you can just fold it up at the end of the day and hide everything inside.
If your work doesn't require more than a laptop and a pad, you can use a minimalist bookcase like this where the bottom shelf is deeper and can double up as a worktop.
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Raluca is Digital News Writer for Livingetc.com and passionate about all things interior and living beautifully. Coming from a background writing and styling shoots for fashion magazines such as Marie Claire Raluca’s love for design started at a very young age when her family’s favourite weekend activity was moving the furniture around the house ‘for fun’. Always happiest in creative environments in her spare time she loves designing mindful spaces and doing colour consultations. She finds the best inspiration in art, nature, and the way we live, and thinks that a home should serve our mental and emotional wellbeing as well as our lifestyle.
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