Small Office Design Ideas for Every Kind of Work-from-Home Setup

Maximize your workspace with these interior design solutions.

Creating a space you love to be in can take the chore out of even the most mundane tasks. Even if your workstation is more nook than corner office, maximizing its potential with efficiency and storage that suits your needs will set you up for success, day after day. We've gathered the most inspiring small office design ideas to help you create the multifunctioning space of your work dreams. Now the only question is, whose turn is it to get the coffee?

rustic home office inside gray modern shed wood detail steps
John Merkl

1. Take the Office Outside

If creating a workspace in your home's current layout isn't an option, consider taking your office outside. A converted shed, small guest house, or even the garage (if you live in a more temperate climate) can become an office while having the benefit of being removed from the hustle and bustle of the house. Peace and quiet? It's not to be underestimated. This outdoor office features French doors that create an indoor-outdoor feel when opened wide, plus let in plenty of natural light even when they're closed.

Inside, the decor and storage stay in step with the surroundings, calling on natural wood finishes and rustic open shelves to provide the space with the functionality it needs without sacrificing style. It also keeps the office from feeling cramped while acting as an extension of the great outdoors.

small-space hideaway desk bench mood board shelves cabinets
Nicole LaMotte

2. Keep It Hidden

Tuck a tiny office space away into a built-in pantry wall. Here, doors open and slide back into their pockets so that even when the desk is in use, it doesn't obstruct access to the storage flanking either side of the office nook. Everything you need fits into the hidden area, including a built-in desk, open upper storage, and even a stool that neatly fits under the desk. A narrow, under-cabinet light below the lowest shelf illuminates the desk when needed but expertly hides away when not in use.

modern midcentury rustic office two desks room divider snake plant
Paul Costello

3. Divide a Small Office

For a small home office that needs to work for two, consider creating separate spaces by utilizing two desks divided by a bookshelf turned makeshift wall. The result is more storage, more privacy, and fewer distractions from your fellow worker bee. Using the same style of desks and chairs keeps the space cohesive but allows the owner of each area to make it their own with small accessories.

office long two-person desk blue walls gallery wall art prints
Jay Wilde

4. Make Space for Coworkers

In this small office design, the desk is thin (which means it doesn't monopolize too much square footage) and runs the length of the room, allowing for plenty of space for two to work comfortably. But the real draw is what's hidden underneath. A filing cabinet at one end provides ample storage for paperwork, while Fido's crate is neatly tucked away in the middle.

Finding a place to store pet supplies can be tricky, but thinking creatively about how you live, work, and play will ensure everything has its place. If your pet is always underfoot in the office but you don't want to be tripping over a dog bed every time you get up, consider working it into your design.

small office nook flanking red brick fireplace blue velvet chair
Brian McWeeney

5. Carve Out an Unexpected Nook

If you're in need of office space and aren't lucky enough to have a bonus room ready to convert into the study of your dreams, there's hope yet. Even the smallest nook can turn into a functioning workstation—without being an eye sore. Wallpapering the back wall provides a bit of interest, which is especially important when creating an office area in the main living space. This desk and storage shelves have a polished wood finish that elevates the space to more easily fit in with the surroundings. Instead of using a more utilitarian desk chair, opt for one with elegant details that complement the rest of the room's aesthetic.

white minimalist built-in office shelves midcentury chair ikea rolling units
Edmund Barr

6. Work with White

Good news for those who have a home that's a haven of white walls, doors, and ceilings: Your small office can nearly disappear if you employ the same palette. When the desk, storage shelves, filing cabinets, chair, and even accessories are the same color, they all fade into the wall effortlessly. What's left is a clean, crisp look that creates the feeling of more space. Hang floating shelves with white brackets for additional storage. Consider starting the shelves midway between the ceiling and the top of your desk to avoid making the space feel cluttered.

blue-gray office hexagonal wall cork board tiles shelves mint green desk
Marty Baldwin

7. Use Adjustable Storage

When you're working with a small office design, flexibility is key. Track storage makes it easy to adjust each shelf for the ideal height. Your needs will change the more time you spend in your home office, so being able to adapt what you have rather than finding another solution that will likely involve a trip to the store and an additional swipe of your credit card is almost always preferred.

closet-turned-craft storage organization wrapping paper roll ribbon string
John Granen

8. Customize Small Office Storage

Not all home office requirements are the same, so before you begin decorating, give thought to exactly how your space needs to function, what you'll need readily accessible when you're at your workstation, and what kind of workspace you need.

Storage is key in this tucked-away closet, which features dedicated space for ribbons, tape dispensers, wrapping paper, and more. Labels on the outside of each container keep things perfectly organized and efficient so there's no hunting for what you're after. One thing to keep in mind no matter how you'll be using your small office is lighting. Here, a simple task light is a perfectly adequate choice though requires an outlet. If you're converting a closet into an office, keep in mind that you'll likely need an electrician to add an outlet. However, this is usually a relatively simple (for the pros) and inexpensive (for you) project.

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