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5 Small Spaces to Turn Into Your Next Home Office

posted: 01/07/16
by: Blythe Copeland

Think your small home doesn't have room for a dedicated office space? Think again. It's time to stop pretending that using your laptop while sitting on the couch qualifies as a home office; instead, add a desk to even the tiniest nook with these brilliant, space-saving ideas.

1. A spare closet

In most small apartments, closet space is at a premium -- but if you can store all your clothes and jackets in a dress or an armoire, then you can use your empty closet to create a cozy spot for a workspace or craft area. Take off the doors, add a fresh coat of paint or some eye-catching wallpaper, and add shelves and baskets to take advantage of the height of the space; then pair it with a pretty chair and freestanding storage cabinets or file drawers.

A photo posted by joanamarie (@happy.jo.lucky) on

2. An empty corner

Create a space to write thank you notes, pay the bills, and address envelopes with a tiny table in an open corner. Even a short or shallow desk -- like this one from Wayfair -- gives you enough space for writing or using a laptop, and when decorating is kept to a minimum -- think just a few pretty objects, a colorful print, and some pens and cards -- a small desk won't feel overwhelmed by sterile office supplies.

3. Your nightstand

Instead of a traditional night stand, use a charming desk next to your bed to do double duty as a workspace and bedside table. Many of the items you use on one can overlap on the other: Choose a desk lamp that swings over for reading in bed or a wall-mounted fixture that provides light to both; keep your phone charger and a clock within easy reach; and add a small tray for jewelry, a journal, or pens and notepads for jotting down daily to-do lists and brilliant just-before-you-fall-asleep ideas. Choose an upholstered or painted chair instead of a traditional office swivel chair for comfortable seating that won't make you feel like you're in a cubicle when you're heading off to dreamland.

A photo posted by DesignHub (@designhubae) on

4. A kitchen nook

If you use your desk for cutting coupons, meal planning, sorting mail and correspondence, and filling out the kids' permission slips, then the kitchen is a natural fit for a small workspace. Just make sure to include plenty of hidden storage in upper or lower cabinets so you can keep your important papers neatly organized (and away from the dangers of spills or over-enthusiastic recyclers). Bonus: If you have young kids who use your computer, setting it up in a main area like the kitchen can help you keep an eye on which research sites and social media tools they're using, while making it easier to help them with homework or preschool learning games.

5. A bookshelf

If you already have a wall of bookshelves -- or even a single shelf -- incorporated into a main living space, then using a leaning shelf -- like this space-saving one from Crate & Barrel -- that includes a desk can help you create a small, simple workspace without a major rearranging of your furniture. You will need space for a chair, but otherwise this is a solution that works in a long hallway or small piece of wall, giving you just enough space for a computer and writing area while still giving you plenty of storage for books, magazines, and other essentials.