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9 Creative Ideas to Turn Your Small Home Office Into an Organized and Stylish Haven

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Jessica EstradaMay 3, 2020

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As someone who’s worked from home for seven-ish years, I’ve gotten pretty good at making the most out of tiny spaces. I’ve transformed a corner of my bedroom into a small home office; if you cropped the rest of the room out, you’d have no idea that my bed was three feet away. In the past, my mini workspace has also been nestled in my living room right next to my dining table. And other times, I just cozy up on the couch with my laptop and blaze through my to-do list.

My point is there is a lot you can do with small spaces when it comes to creating a productive and inspiring small home office. You don’t have to sacrifice your workflow or desire for things to be aesthetically pleasing. Trust me.

Below, design pros share decor and organizational small home office ideas that will help you transform a teensy space in your home into a dreamy place to work.

1. Light it up

One of the many joys of working from your small home office is that you don’t have to deal with the fluorescent lights found in most office buildings. Even still, the lighting inside your home may not be ideal for working either. That’s why Michael Barlow, co-founder, and CEO of furniture rental service Fernish, recommends turning off the harsh overhead lighting and instead using a mix of floor and table lamps or even candles to give off a magic hour type of vibe. “Not only is this lighting more soothing and better for concentrating, it’s also more flattering,” Barlow says.

2. Get a desk with built-in storage

When you have a small home office, storage tends to be an issue. Where on Earth will you store your stacks of sticky notes and cool pens? Before you know it, you’re elbow-deep in loose papers, wires, and other miscellaneous knick-knacks that put a damper on your clarity, productivity, and ability to stay in the zone.

And while what’s happening on the outside world is beyond our control, our mess is something we can control. So to help you keep things nice and tidy, Barlow recommends getting a desk with drawers and secret compartments for your wires and electronics. Bonus points if it also has a built-in USB outlet. For additional storage, interior designer Karen B. Wolf recommends investing in file cabinets, desk trays, and wall organizers.

3. Add a rug

“Rugs make a room feel cozier and more cohesive,” Barlow says. The key to really tying the room (or, corner of the room) together is the size of the rug and its placement. For example, if your mini WFH station is in your small living room, Barlow suggests using a bigger rug to create the feeling of more space.

4.Create visual interest with texture

Barlow says an excellent way to make your small home office feel more welcoming and inspiring is to mix up different textures. For example, you can mix the smooth texture of a leather desk chair with a sleek marble table-top desk. Or, if you want to give your workspace a more grounded feel, you can bring in a rougher texture with a wooden desk.

5. Bring in some plants

Given that you’ll be spending a good chunk of your day at your desk, you may as well dress it up so that it’s visually stimulating and gives you a burst of energy when you start losing steam. One way to do this is with small plants. Barlow recommends putting a succulent, orchid, or other easy-to-care-for plant in a small vase on your desk.

6. Hide your small home office

The formerly outdated secretary desk has gotten a modern makeover and is making a comeback in a major way, which is perfect for those that don’t want a messy desk cramping their style. “The secretary desk is a great way to hide clutter and provide an additional work surface in surprising spaces,” Wolf says. “Also emerging are convertible wall desks that fold up like an ironing board to hide away your chaos and also save space.”

7. Create a mobile workspace

What’s cooler than a desk that tucks away? A desk with wheels! If you’re afraid of committing to one space for your small home office or you just want to be able to take your work from one room to another to get away from your family, this is a great way to go. “You can use a bar cart to store supplies or serve as a surface and storage,” Wolf says. “Or, try a printer valet, desk on wheels, or storage cart to take you from place to place.”

 

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8. Create a vibe

The vibe of a space is everything. How it makes you feel while you’re in it makes all the difference in terms of pumping you up to power through your tasks for the day. So create an ambiance and set yourself up for success. In addition to adding greenery, Wolf recommends opening up the windows to let fresh air and natural light in, firing up your favorite candle so there’s a soothing scent wafting through the air, and queuing up Spotify to play some calming tunes.

9. Make it pop

Your workspace should be fun to look at and be in. That’s why Wolf recommends permitting yourself to get a little wild with how you adorn the space. “We can think of our small home office like a powder room, a small gem where decorating rules can be broken, and anything goes,” she says. “This is your chance to showcase your personal style and surround yourself with what you love.” Think peel-and-stick wallpaper in a cool print, interesting artwork, or quirky desk toppers.

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