How to create a home office in a small space

If 2020 has taught us anything about working life, it’s that home offices are not just a makeshift, temporary option. As we are spending more and more time in them, they should be carefully curated, comfortable spaces that are ergonomically designed and optimised for productivity. Flexible working is now the norm, not the exception, and, as many businesses are pivoting away from traditional offices, it’s vital that we create welcoming, creative spaces that form the working hub of our homes.

Setting up your workspace

The first hurdle you may need to overcome is how to make office space at home, especially if you’re short on it. Every home office should have a surface to work at – working on the sofa or in bed with your laptop on your lap is bad for your posture and can lead to long-term issues – so ensure that, wherever you are, you have an office-standard place to work. It’s also important to create distance in between your living and working spaces for the benefit of your work-life balance.

Brooklyn desk (@topologyinteriors)

Choosing your desk

Small spare rooms previously used for storage, empty alcoves or unoccupied corners of bedrooms and living rooms can prove to be full of potential as small home offices. These new layouts should take into consideration desk size as a priority. Slight spaces would benefit from desks that are slim and nimble, such as those from our Ellipse or Detroit ranges. Their slender legs also create the illusion of space, helping your home office feel less cluttered and increase airflow. If you have the luxury of a bit more room to play with, you may want to consider desks with storage, like those from our Romsey, Parquet or Kemble collections – the three of these all have ample depository options.

Brindle desk (@edwardian_home_renovation)

However, every home is different. Our dressing tables are actually shorter in width than our desks as they come with one drawer column instead of two. Many of our customers have been able to repurpose these sturdy yet compact pieces as functional desks for smaller spaces. Click here to see more of our customer’s innovative style and get inspiration for your home office.

Selecting your desk chair

No matter the size of your home office, you will also need a chair that prioritises comfort but doesn’t compromise on style. Whether you have selected a desk from our rustic oak, natural oak, painted or hardwood and mango ranges, you are bound to find a stylish yet comfy chair to match. Scandi-style desks like Ellipse and the Oscar chair are a winning pair, as is the Brooklyn desk and its accompanying chair. If you’d prefer something high-backed for comprehensive lumbar support, our Scroll Back chair – available in a variety of leather and fabric upholsteries – goes with just about every desk we offer.

Ellipse desk / Oscar chair

Home office styling

In small spaces, it’s important to keep a minimalist aesthetic, else it will look and feel crowded, thus increasing your stress levels. Keep paint light and bright to aid that spacious feeling – think clean whites, beachy blues or soft pinks: these calming colours will also create a creative office space that promotes mindfulness. Other small office design ideas include a singular statement accessory like a large clock, houseplants that sit on your windowsill or frame your desk (be it hanging from the ceiling/wall or blossoming beside you on the floor) and a desk light that proves both functional and stylish.

Hove desk / Hove tall bookcase (@viewof22)

Many people feel negative mental effects from the long, cold winter nights and, especially if you’ve built your office space in a dark corner of your home, you may also benefit from a SAD lamp. Designed for those who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), these lamps replicate natural light to help improve your mood. They will also be useful for those who are not able to make any use of the daylight hours while working from home – something you may now miss now you’re not commuting.

Want more tips on building an invigorating office space? Read our Home office checklist or take a look at our top tips on creating an energising and productive home office.