Unfortunately for most of us, our work doesn’t always stay in the office, and we often find ourselves hunched over the dining table trying to get that report completed, or making hard and fast business propositions on the sofa in our PJs.
Whether you work from home or are studying for a qualification, a dedicated workspace is a lifeline. Even if your pad is on the small side, there are ways you can make room for work. So, if you’re not blessed with huge amounts of space, but have desire to create a functional and on trend workspace, read on to learn how to utilise the space you have efficiently.
From the essential items to storage furniture and everything in between, we’ve got home office ideas for even the smallest of spaces. Let’s get to work!
How to choose desks and chairs for small home offices
The most important part of any workplace is to have a desk to work from, and if you only have a small space, you don’t want a huge desk taking up the entire room. You need to make sure you pick items that are suitable for the (limited) space you have.
A small home office desk can come in a variety of styles to suit your décor, whether you’re going for an ultra-modern look or a classic vintage vibe. A corner desk for the home office will be ideal if you’re struggling for space, as it can be neatly tucked away into a corner, leaving the rest of the area free. And if you barely have any room available at all, then a foldaway desk is a handy option. Just pop it up whenever you need it, then fold it back down again when you’re done.
Remember to consider how much workspace you’ll actually need. If you only use a laptop, you’ll be able to work with a teeny desk with very little room. But if you need a computer, two notepads and several documents, a desk with built in shelves and a larger workspace might be a wiser choice.
Unless you want to be part of the up and coming standing desk crew, you will need an office chair to match your new arrangement. You’ll want something comfortable, so you don’t get a numb derriere, but also something small enough to suit your new office. Some of the most suitable small home office chairs come in foldable designs, so you can keep them out of the way when you’re not using them.
Small home office design and layout ideas
Since not all of us have huge homes, trying to find an area to squeeze a desk into can be a challenge. An empty box room is a great room to transform. But if having a spare room is a luxury for you, try finding an empty alcove, a space under the stairs or perhaps a corner in the living room to use.
Wherever you choose to set up, a well-thought out design and layout is key.
First off, paint can create the illusion of space when used correctly. It’s a great way to make a room feel bigger than it actually is, so use a splash of colour to create a feature wall or section off some space. Use light colours on the ceiling and walls to make your mind believe that the space is larger than it is – pale pinks, lilacs and mauves are ideal for illusory room expansion. Make sure you have lots of natural light coming in too – this will give the room an ‘airy’ feel which adds to the impression of space.
Not only can a colour scheme look great in its own right, it can also help with your output. Research has shown that blue shades can have a positive effect on our productivity levels – perfect for setting you up for a day of work. Yellow tones can alter our emotions, red relates to the body and green shades signifies life.
Your choice of colour therefore not only relies on personal preference, but also by what type of work you are doing. So, if you want to quickly type out a first draft, a room with a gentle blue hue may help to get your brain in gear. Yellows are ideal for creative workers such as writers, artists and designers, whereas green is more suitable to those working long hours, as it evokes calming feelings without causing fatigue. Red is perfect for active workers as it increases your heart rate and evokes passion.
To really maximise space in your small home office design, keep all your trinkets and clutter to a minimum. A minimalistic, open space will help you to concentrate and focus better and lead to less distractions. That said, do feel free to add some personal touches where they won’t get in the way – wall art is a good place to start. Plants are also great for offices for several reasons, including improving air quality and adding colour and life to an often-boring area.
When you start thinking about small home office layouts, you need to create a practical space; you don’t want to be clambering over your desk just to get to your seat. Try to stick to the bare essentials, and set up the room in a way that is easy to access without adding bulky and pointless items to the room. The main three items to keep in your office are a chair, a desk and some form of storage unit. Anything after that can be considered as optional.
How to turn a small bedroom into a study room
Turning that spare room upstairs into an office is easier than you might have first thought. First, remove all the clutter already in there, then whip out the measuring tape and make sure you have all the dimensions you need. This will help you find home office furniture that fits perfectly into the space.
Before moving any furniture in, make sure you know where all the plug sockets are. You don’t want to have cables strewn across the room, so your set up needs to be close to the electrical points.
Get your new desk and office chair in, add a few pictures on the wall to make it welcoming. A touch of greenery from plants will help to make the room feel natural. If you know that you’ll be involved in video conferences from this office, make sure that your ‘background’ is looking up to scratch.
And that’s all there is to it! Whether it’s a spare room or a little nook of your home, it’s possible to create a workspace that works for you. Not only do you finally get some me time alone in your office, but can start to take advantage of every last inch of your property.