How to make a small office look bigger — 7 easy-peasy effective tips

Our design pros know all about how to make a small office look bigger

Learning how to make a small office look bigger is useful. Here is a white home office with white walls, a blue cabinet with plants and decor on it, a white desk with a computer and white mug on it and black legs
(Image credit: Desired Designs)

Working out how to make a small office look bigger will make your space feel much more comfortable to work in. 

We've spoken with interior designers who all have experience in styling offices to find out what they do when faced with a smaller space. This includes everything from illusion tricks, to clever furniture pieces.

For those looking for small office ideas, making the space look expansive is a key part of making it a stunning place to thrive in.

How to make a small office look bigger

For those re-arranging their small office layouts, you may find it useful to find out how to make appear bigger at the same time, too.

Our experts have recommended useful products throughout, so where possible we've found matching buys.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article.

1. Start with a lighter color scheme

A white home office with a gray wall art print, a wooden bookshelf, a white leather office chair, a light wood desk with flowers and a lamp on, a white rug, and a white armchair

(Image credit: Malak Bellajdel)

If you want to make your small space look airy, bringing in the best colors for small offices is a wise idea.

“Opt for light, neutral colors to enhance the feeling of spaciousness. Soft hues on walls and furniture can visually enlarge the room while adding a touch of elegance,” says Jakecia C. Durham, principal designer and owner at Desired Design.

A picture of Jakecia C. Durham, a woman with brown hair wearing white glasses and a blue shirt with white and pink flowers
Jakecia C. Durham

Jakecia C. Durham is owner, founder, and principal designer of Desired Designs. Jakecia is an NCIDQ certified designer who received her Bachelor of Science in Interior Design at the University of Cincinnati. Jakecia enjoys designing both residential and commercial spaces. Her personal design passion is working with small business owners and on small commercial projects. 

In terms of specific colors and shades, our experts recommend going for Scandi-style off-white and wooden textures.

“Cream, with its soft and light tone, serves as an ideal base, creating an illusion of spaciousness and enhancing natural light,” says Ana Coddington, lead interior designer at Archival Designs.

A picture of Ana Coddington against a gray background
Ana Coddington

Ana Coddington is the lead interior designer at Archival Designs. She has over 10 years of experience with consultations, CAD software, and space planning. Her goal is to provide clients with thoughtfully designed homes that reflect their architectural tastes and lifestyle.

She continues, “When you pair it with light wood — like birch or maple — you've got yourself a beautiful match that perfectly complements each other.”

This combo is a game-changer for smaller spaces, providing the perfect balance of light and warmth.

2. Choose multifunctional furniture

A white room with white walls with a white wall art print, a navy blue rectangular chaise longue with white and blue striped pillows, a window, and the corner of a desk

(Image credit: Desired Designs)

In your small office, every single inch of space counts, which is why it’s a good idea to fill it with useful furniture.

“Imagine using pegboard ideas for storage (this Skyfoost Pegboard on Amazon is Amazon's Choice) that also makes a cool visual statement or a desk that has hidden compartments for all your different items,” says Malak Bellajdel, interior designer at Malak Bellajdel and designer at Pet Portraits.

A picture of Malak Bellajdel, a woman with long brown hair wearing a white jumper with her arms folded, in front of a road with a lawn and a cherry blossom tree
Malak Bellajdel

Malak Bellajdel is an interior designer who graduated from The Academy of Art University with a B.ARCH In Architecture. She has worked with homeowners, real estate developers, business owners, contractors, and visionaries on a wide variety of projects and with great success.

Jakecia agrees, adding, “You could also get a desk with a pull-out extension for extra workspace (we like this Homsee Home Office Desk on Amazon) or a filing cabinet that doubles as a side table.”

This versatility maximizes functionality while minimizing the footprint of furniture in the room.

3. Change where your work zone is located

A white home office with white walls, a blue cabinet with plants and decor on it, a white desk with a computer and white mug on it and black legs, and a blue and white rug

(Image credit: Desired Designs)

This is a useful trick for those who are looking for quick ways to transform their small office. 

Malak explains, “Think about placing your work zone so you can see the door without being right next to it, as this will make the room feel bigger right away.”

Once you've worked out how to fit a desk in a small office, Malak recommends choosing a desk that lets you stand or sit during the day. For example, this tall 17 Stories Cylan Adjustable Height Desk on Wayfair would be ideal.

“It changes up the energy and keeps you feeling good,” she adds.

4. Go for a variety of lighting

A home office with dark brown walls with two wall sconces and a white wall art print, a brown leather chair, a brown wooden desk with a gray laptop and green plant on it, and a white rug underneath it

(Image credit: Malak Bellajdel)

Brightening up your home office with small office lighting ideas will make the space look brighter, which will in turn make your small office look bigger.

Malak explains, “Lighting is everything! A nice lamp can do wonders, making your office feel warm and cozy.”

Jakecia suggests going for a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting to create a well-lit and inviting atmosphere.

She adds, “Also, consider installing dimmer switches to control the brightness levels based on the time of day and task at hand.”

We like these Bestten Dimmer Switches on Amazon, which come in five different hues so you can coordinate them with the best colors for small offices.

“Pick something that makes you smile and lights up your space in a way that feels just right,” Malak says.

5. Bring in a mirror

A home office space with a beige wall with a circular mirror, a wooden desk with a laptop and black desk lamp, a black metal chair, and a light gray rug underneath it on dark wooden flooring

(Image credit: Malak Bellajdel)

One of our favorite ways to make a small room look bigger is by adding a mirror.

Ana explains, “They reflect light, giving the impression of more space than there actually is. For best results, choose large mirrors with simple frames that can easily blend in with your overall design scheme.”

If you'd like to achieve a similar look to the picture above, this Hearth and Hand Wood Framed Mirror from Target would look so stylish in any home office.

You can also experiment with different mirror placements — for example, placing a mirror on the opposite side of a window can reflect the outdoor view and make your office feel bigger.

6. Utilize natural light

A home office with a large window with white folded blinds at the top on a white wall, with a white desk with a silver computer to the right of it and a blue seat with a pillow on to the left of it

(Image credit: Desired Designs)

As well as bringing in lights, you can also change how big your small office feels by making the most of natural light.

“Instead of relying on artificial lighting, consider adding windows or skylights to bring in more natural light,” Ana explains. 

Along with this, you can also rearrange your furniture to allow more natural light to enter your office. 

“For example, position your desk near a window or move bulky furniture away from windows to let the light flow freely,” Ana adds.

Natural light is also said to help improve productivity and mood, so it's a win-win for both aesthetics and functionality.

7. Finish with natural elements

A home office with a white desk with a black keyboard and mouse, gray office chair, onlooking a dark blue cabinet with a green spiked plant, orange bowl, and orange and brown books on it

(Image credit: Desired Designs)

Distract from the small size of your space by adding a few of the best indoor plants to your small office.

Jakecia explains, “Bring elements of nature into the home office with potted plants or succulents to improve air quality and add visual interest.”

She recommends choosing easy care house plants that thrive in indoor environments and placing them near windows or natural light sources for optimal growth.

Choose a variety of plants of varying heights to maximize the effect of these. We like this tall Costa Farms Yucca Plant from Walmart, which will also add a fun tropical touch.

Keep these tips in mind when you’re redesigning your small office space and you’re sure to create a place you enjoy being in.

Malak finishes by saying, “I believe a great workspace, even if it’s small, is about creating a spot where you love to be that helps you work better and feel great doing it.”

For more ways to improve this space, you may enjoy finding out the things people who work from home always have in a small office space.

Eve Smallman
Staff Writer

Hi there! I’m a staff writer at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses.