Small-Space Desks

Having a dedicated office is an unrealistic luxury for many homeowners. You can still work from home, however, with these four creative tricks for even the smallest spaces.


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When space is limited, finding room for a proper work space can feel impossible. But no matter your style, space, or budget, you can devise a strategy for success just by simplifying your requirements for a desk. We've uncovered four smart work space solutions that will keep you from self-destructing.

1. Operation Downsize: There are many scaled-down versions of traditional desks designed to eat up as little as 3-5 feet of wall space. A slim-line parsons table or a compact secretary desk is a smart choice for a narrow stretch of wall. The former is short and narrow (perfect for a trafficway) and includes open space below for a chair or ottoman, but rarely has more than one tiny drawer. The latter is taller and deeper and includes plenty of storage space, but seating must be placed next to it, adding to its footprint. There are also many pint-size corner desks that can make the most of an often-unused area.

2. Double Duty: Can't dedicate 5-10 square feet to a desk? Your best bet might be investing in another piece of furniture that can perform as a desk only when needed. For example, your bedroom can function as an on-demand home office when you replace the traditional nightstand with a small table that can accommodate a laptop on top and an ottoman beneath. Or invest in a storage-savvy dresser or armoire that includes a drop-down front for a computer.

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3. Reinvent Space: Rather than investing in a new piece of furniture, turn something you already own into a temporary workstation. Many kitchens have small stretches of counter with nothing below, typically designed to house a trash can or recycling bins. Tuck a stool in the open space and voila: makeshift office. If you are lucky enough to be remodeling your kitchen, consider adding a cabinet that includes a pullout drawer designed for a laptop or keyboard. In the living room, turn a lower shelf of an entertainment center or bookshelf into a small desk. Bonus: You can easily stash office supplies on the other shelves.

4. Get Creative: When all else fails, you can get crafty and make a desk designed to fit your exact needs. The simplest way to construct a desk is using shelving cut to fit the available space. Use the trick to convert an awkward alcove or small closet into a small, dedicated desk. Or make more of the space below a window by setting a shelf atop flush-mount brackets to create a "floating" desk.

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