Home Office Design Tips for Small Homes
As the corporate world is evolving to a new work from home culture, employees everywhere are casting their minds to creating their own functional offices at home. For most, working at the dining room table seems practical, but after a few days of doing so, a sore back and a cluttered table quickly prove otherwise.
More and more employees are therefore starting to designate space in their homes for permanent home offices and creating an area that will be both comfortable and functional for them to work in. Small homes, however, come with a few challenges in the creation of home offices. As space is limited, rooms can quickly become cluttered, impractical or just not big enough for office desks and/or storage space. This means that owners will have to find innovate ways to set up a home office that will work in the space they have available.
To help, we have scouted some of the best design tips for creating a home office in a small home:
Slim, minimalistic desk
A traditional panel leg desk has a heavy and bulky appearance and will make an already small room look even smaller. Rather opt for a modern desk with steel legs, or a floating shelf desk. As there are no solid pieces of wood/melamine below the desk, it will create an illusion of more space and make the area look bigger. It is also practical as it provides more space for your feet movement, and a steel leg desk is lighter and sturdy, and therefore easier to move around as needed.
Shop our steel leg desks here.
Storage space in smaller homes is usually the biggest challenge faced by owners. One of the best ways to overcome this challenge is “going up”. Instead of buying bulky and wide cabinets, storage units and desks with drawers, use the height of your walls and build upwards. This can be done with narrow, high bookcases, or stacking floating shelves to the roof. Baskets, trays, fabric or wooden boxes and other organizing accessories can be used to conceal and organize all of your home office items on these shelves.
Using lighter colours on the walls, and in furniture, is a well-known interior design trick to make a room look bigger. Lighter walls and furniture are more reflective, making the most out of natural light, and therefore makes a space feel larger and open. In contrast, darker colour walls and furniture absorb light, which makes an area look smaller and less open. When buying furniture for your home office, consider purchasing lighter colour desks, chairs and storage items to create the illusion of a larger space. Purchase items in white, light grey or light melamine colours such as Coimbra or Camden.
Sleek and light office chairs
To ensure that you continue working in comfort, make use of a proper office chair in your home office. While dining room chairs look stylish and modern, they are not comfortable enough to support your back and arms and will lead to various health issues.
When choosing an office chair for your small home office, consider chairs that have a narrow, sleek design, are light in colour or have a mesh back that you are able to see through. This will use less space in your home office, or create the illusion of more space by being light in colour, or having a transparent backrest.
Sit or stand
There are various benefits to standing desks such as lowering your risk of heart disease and weight gain, reducing blood sugar levels after meals and improving your overall mood and energy. Some people however do struggle with standing for long periods of time. A great way to incorporate the best of both worlds is using a bar counter height desk, or adjustable desk for your home office. Most ergonomic desks are height adjustable, but could also be pricey.
An alternative is to mount a floating shelf at a bar counter height, and using a bar stool when wanting to sit. This way you are able to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. The higher desk will also create a sense of more space in a smaller room, and you can also save a lot of space by using a narrow floating shelf as your desk.
Another innovative way of optimizing your small space is to add a bookcase underneath your desk. This can be done with minimalistic steel leg desks. Make use of floating shelves to build a bookcase underneath your desk. This is a great way to use unused, and wasted space and will also move the attention away from the clutter as all of your files and books are somewhat hidden. This technique therefore not only saves you space, but also make a room look bigger by hiding some of your stored home office items.
Use wasted space
Every home has small areas that are underused and can be seen as wasted space. Think of areas such as the wall next to your front door or staircase, a wide hallway or even small areas in the kitchen. Walk through your home and identify small areas like these where a stylish, small desk can be added for your home office set up. Since the area might be highly visible, it will be important to keep your desk tidy, and add a few décor accessories to make it flow nicely with the rest of your home. Another great way to separate the area and make it look intentional is to add a small rug below the desk.
Get really creative by finding alternative uses for the furniture in your home. A great example is using an ottoman in your room as your home office storage space. Various items can be stored in neat boxes, trays and baskets. This will hide the clutter, but also create ample storage space in an item already used as décor and seating in your home. Another alternative could be to use one of your cupboards as a bookcase. The idea is to use furniture already in your home, or to incorporate items that will serve multiple purposes.