Learn how to create your own closet-office combo.
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Remote work has become the new normal for many, and home offices are now in high demand. But for those who don't have an entire room to spare, creating a functional work-from-home setup can be a challenge. One clever solution that's rapidly gaining popularity is the cloffice, which packs the hardworking elements of a home office into an underused closet.

According to the 2021 Pinterest trend report, searches for "cloffice ideas" on the platform have doubled in volume over the past year as people look for ways to maximize their available space. Cloffices are particularly useful in smaller homes and apartments where square footage is tight. And you don't need a spacious walk-in closet to make it work. The basic setup requires a desktop surface, storage, and a chair or stool that can easily fit inside a reach-in bedroom closet or a linen closet in the hallway. At the end of the day, simply close the closet doors to conceal your workstation and keep your home looking clutter-free. These smart and stylish cloffice ideas will show you how to outfit the space with furniture, lighting, storage, and more to create an efficient spot to work from home.

white doors open to navy closet work station
Credit: David A. Land

How to Design a Cloffice

A practical cloffice starts with a desk or tabletop surface where you can place your computer and spread out paperwork. If you have room, push a desk into the closet against the back wall. In a walk-in closet, you can position the desk along a wall, in front of a window, or in the center of the room. If a full desk won't fit in your cloffice, try mounting a piece of plywood, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), or butcher block to the wall with brackets to create a DIY floating desk. Keep in mind that the average desk height is between 28 and 30 inches, and be sure to screw into wall studs for added support.

Next, add comfortable seating. To allow the closet doors to close, choose a seat that fits completely inside the closet when it's not in use. A rolling swivel chair ($84, Wayfair), for example, can easily slide into the closet when the workday is done. If space is really tight, consider a stool that can tuck under the desk in lieu of a chair.

Organized closet with seating and drawers
Credit: Jay Wilde

Once you've equipped your cloffice with the basics, incorporate added function and your personal style with a few extras. Here are some additional cloffice ideas to consider:

Cloffice Storage Solutions

Incorporate different types of storage into your cloffice to organize paperwork, office supplies, and other essentials. Mount a set of floating shelves above the desk area and stash items in boxes or baskets. Use desktop organizers ($10, Target) to corral writing utensils, scissors, staplers, notebooks, and more on top of the workstation, or slide a set of drawers ($37, Bed Bath & Beyond) underneath for easy-access storage. For a more permanent storage option, built-in cabinetry can be custom-fit to the closet's dimensions to create a polished look.

small office area with rolling doors
Credit: Kritsada Panichgul

Cloffice Decorating Ideas

Your cloffice should be a space you enjoy being in, so decorate it with colors, patterns, and accessories you love. Paint the interior of the closet in a favorite color, or cover the walls with a fun wallpaper treatment. Add framed artwork or photos and decorative accents like vases and collectibles to show off your personality.

Cloffice Lighting

Good lighting is essential for a productive workspace, so consider installing new light fixtures to brighten up a dim closet. To add light without rewiring, attach battery-operated puck lights ($30, The Home Depot) on the ceiling or the undersides of shelves above the desk. If the closet includes an electrical outlet, choose a table lamp or wall-mounted sconces you can plug in. For a luxe touch, hang an ornate chandelier or pendant fixture to make a bold statement overhead.


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