Whether you’re working remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic or you’d like to give your existing home workspace a much-needed upgrade, making room for a comfortable home office may seem impossible if you live in a small space. With a bit of creative thinking and a few finishing touches, however, you can create the perfect home office that’s both functional and stylish. Read on to learn how!
Plan and Budget for Your New Home Office
Before you resort to working at your kitchen table, living room couch, or breakfast bar, take some time to explore any unused spaces in your home or apartment that could easily be converted into a functional office space. If you can’t devote an entire room to an office, you could convert part of a hallway, living room, or guest bedroom into a “work zone”—complete with a sleek desk, laptop, and chair. In the living room, for instance, you could add a slimline desk behind a floating couch—or you could place a desk in front of a window or unused wall. Other potential workspaces for small living areas could include an alcove, closet, nook, or practically any empty corner in your home.
After finding a location for your workspace, you’ll need to budget for your new home office essentials. While your budget will depend on your situation and the types of tools you use for work, you may need to purchase a new desktop computer or laptop, printer, desk, chair, shelves, and office supplies. If you don’t already pay for an internet connection, you’ll need to budget for this expense as well.
Consider Your Office Furnishings Carefully
Once you set a budget for your new office, you’ll need to carefully select your furniture and fixtures to prevent your space from becoming overly cluttered and cramped. When furnishing a small office space, look for functional yet compact furniture pieces such as:
- Sleek desks from budget-friendly retailers such as IKEA, Wayfair, Overstock, or All Modern. If you’d like the furniture to blend in rather than stand out, opt for a glass desk.
- An ergonomic chair featuring an adjustable height, reclining back, and deep seat.
- Clipboards, wall magazine racks, and multi-desk organizers to keep your workspace tidy.
- Wall-mounted shelves and storage units for holding office supplies, books, and decor.
Add a Few Finishing Touches
In addition to your office furnishings and fixtures, look for a few fun but functional decor pieces to liven up your space. According to experts at MarthaStewart.com, the key to creating an inspiring office space includes painting your walls an energizing color such as coral, soft pink, or blue, covering your walls in floating accent shelves, and personalizing the space with your favorite artwork and photographs. Other finishing touches could include:
- Houseplants. To clean the air, increase productivity, and boost your mood during the work day, some of the best houseplants for offices include the monstera deliciosa, sansevieria trifasciata, and epipremnum aureum.
- A coffee maker. To find a high-quality appliance that brews the perfect cup of coffee, be sure to consider things like programmability, brew capacity and strength, price, and additional features such as the option to brew one cup or an entire pot.
- Layered lighting. Regardless of whether you’re working in an area without windows or access to natural light, having several sources of light is essential to staying comfortable, focused, and productive during the work day. When layering the lighting in your home office, use a combination of ambient lighting, task lamps, and natural daylight (if possible).
Whether you’re building an office nook against a spare wall or you have a small bedroom to convert into a workspace, these tips will help you to create a functional but stylish workspace at home. By creating a fun and functional home office that inspires and motivates you, working in a small space won’t seem so bad at all.