Don’t think you have enough room in your home for an office? Think again! Even the smallest spaces can be turned into stylish workstations with a little creativity. Whether you work from home or just need a corner to call your own where you can get things done in peace, we have a solution for you. Check out our tips for effectively turning a small space into a home office.
Choose your spot wisely
The first step in creating a home office out of minimal space is to choose your spot (or in this case, nook), wisely. Any room – from the kitchen to the living room – can house your workstation but the trick is to pick the location that’s best for you and your needs. Here are a few initial criteria to consider. Note: You may not achieve all of them, but they should be the first things you take into account.
- A space that gets lots of natural light
- Somewhere quiet or with minimal foot traffic
- Somewhere you feel comfortable and don’t mind spending several hours
- A corner that can easily be cleared out or that isn’t already being used to house something substantial
- A spot unobstructed by opening and closing doors or bulky furniture
Once you decide on a space, now it’s time to define it with a screen or room divider. This step is especially important if you have kids or a particularly high-traffic household – the screen can offer privacy and make it clear to little ones that Mom is busy. A screen is also helpful if the spot you choose is in the bedroom or anywhere else you want to start thinking of as two rooms. Working from the bedroom isn’t ideal, but if you partially close off one area with a decorative screen, all of sudden you have a room within a room. We love this double-sided photo frame room divider from Overstock.com ($180.99), which allows you to show off your favorite pictures. Beach and vacation shots are a soothing choice for your office.
If you really want to get creative, the Nomad System ($56) allows you to build your own room within a room using double-wall cardboard — and the best part is you don’t need any tools or hardware. Just choose your color (we love the forest green) and create your temporary partition.
Look up — way up
Since you won’t be able to sprawl outward, the next-best means of ensuring you have adequate room for all your office essentials is to work upwards. A series of floating shelves ($14.99 from IKEA) placed above your workstation offer stylish storage for anything from books and file folders to decorative items that add charm to your space. Also think about decorative hooks for hanging small baskets (great for pens, pencils and other small items) and either a dry-erase board or even a chalkboard above your desk for jotting phone numbers, reminders and to-dos.
No home office is complete without accessories. If you’re going to actually get work done and enjoy the space you need to make it your own. Choose a color scheme — neutral with bright pops of color is great for an office space; cool tones (blues and greens), which can help minimize stress, are also a good choice. Incorporate accessories to match your chosen theme so you can start to personalize your office. If you really want to lay claim to a spot for your workstation, paint or wallpaper the wall your desk will rest against. This isn’t always possible (if your office is tucked into a corner, for instance), but adding an accent wall can anchor your office and really make your workstation feel like a separate space.