7 narrow office ideas that will help you style an awkwardly-shaped workspace

We quiz design pros on the narrow office ideas they always use

Narrow office ideas are useful to know. Here is a colorful home office with yellow curtains, wooden wall shelf with decor, pink patterned wallpaper with wall art, a navy blue office chair, a dark gray desk
(Image credit: Wayfair)

Finding narrow office ideas will help you decorate your space, even if you have nothing but an aisle to work with.

We've asked interior designers for their top tips for decorating home workspaces without much square footage. Multifunctional furniture and mirror magic are just some of their favorite fixes for this space.

If you're looking for home office ideas and have a space lacking in width, finding ideas for narrow-shaped rooms is the way to go.

Neat narrow office ideas

These tips, tricks and small office ideas will help make yours a more inviting place to be productive in.

Our experts have suggested stylish, specific buys throughout, so we have sought these out for you.

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

1. Change the layout

A home office with light gray wall paneling, a framed pastel wall art print, a white wooden desk with three tiers of shelving with plants and books on, and a light gray velvet chair with a white faux fur throw

(Image credit: Antipodream)

You don’t necessarily need to splash any cash to change your narrow office. Simply refreshing your small office layout ideas can make it work better for you. 

“Carefully consider the layout of your narrow office to maximize efficiency and flow,” says Nina Lichtenstein, principal designer and founder of Nina’s Home Design.

“I recommend positioning your desk along the longest wall to create a focal point and make the most of the available space,” she adds.

You could also consider room dividers to zone out areas and create visual separation without sacrificing space (this Beachcrest Home Genoveva Room Divider from Wayfair even has handy shelves).

2. Use multifunctional furniture

A colorful home office with yellow curtains, wooden wall shelf with decor, pink patterned wallpaper with wall art, a navy blue office chair, a dark gray desk with a laptop and papers and books on it

(Image credit: Wayfair)

One of the keys to maximizing space in a narrow office is choosing furniture with more than one function.

“Use slim furniture that works hard, like desks with inbuilt storage (we love this Martha Stewart Shaker Desk from Wayfair) or foldable surfaces,” says Artem Kropovinsky, interior designer and founder of Arsight.

It’s also a good idea to think of the pieces beyond your desk that help you maintain a streamlined space, such as the best storage ottomans (this Lavish Home Storage Ottoman from Amazon has over 4,000 five-star reviews).

3. Make it adaptable

A white home office with brown shelves with files on them, a white desk with a silver computer screen and chair next to it and window above it, a wooden table with a storage box on it, and a wicker bin

(Image credit: Future PLC / Jonathan Jones)

If you know you might need your narrow office for other purposes, keep it as versatile as possible.

Nina suggests, “Embrace flexibility in your narrow office design by incorporating movable workstations that can be rearranged to accommodate different tasks and activities.”

To do this, consider going for modular furniture such as mobile filing cabinets (how cute is this colorful Inbox Zero Krahn Cabinet from Wayfair?) you can easily reconfigure.

This will allow you to adapt your workspace to whatever you need it to be — whether that be your office, home gym, or anything in between.

4. Utilize mirrors

An office area with white and beige flowery wallpaper, a white circular mirror, a wooden desk with blue books, a white photo frame, and white file holders, with a white chair in front with a white shirt on it

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Harness the power of mirrors to make your small room appear bigger to the eye and enhance natural light. 

“Install a large mirror on one wall to create the illusion of depth and reflection, making the space feel larger and brighter,” Nina says.

Not only this, but it will also serve as a useful spot to check you don't have anything on your shirt before any important video calls.

Be sure to choose a chic frame that complements your decor style (this Regina Andrew Plaza Beveled Mirror from Saks is seriously striking) and serves as a decorative accent.

5. Install a sliding door

A rectangular glass table with a French press, coffee cup and jug and a plant on it, with a light blue rug underneath and a light blue seat next to it, with a white glass sliding door in front of it

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Homeowners, this is a game-changing trick which is also one of the sleekest, space-saving modern small office ideas.

“Having a sliding door instead of a traditional swing door conserves narrow space and adds a stylish touch to the office entrance,” explains Ornella Guerrero Bianco, home improvement expert at Fixr.

This is something you could DIY yourself if you’re handy with a hammer or can bring an expert in to help out with.

6. Get organized

A home office with mint green walls, two white wooden shelves with colorful wall art and books on, a white desk with plants and a laptop on, and a pink and gold lamp over the desk with a spiky green plant below

(Image credit: Pooky)

Being organized is super important in a narrow office space to maintain productivity and minimize mess. 

Nina suggests, “Invest in clever organization solutions such as wall-mounted shelves, desktop organizers (this Comfyroom Desktop Organizer is Amazon's Choice), and cable management systems to keep your workspace tidy and efficient.”

If you’re looking around your office and feel like it needs a clean, learn how to declutter a small space and give it a spruce up.

7. Paint with lighter colors

A home office with greige walls with a black desk with a lamp, vases, and pink leaf wall art on it, a white boucle office chair next to it and a tall leafy plant in a rattan basket to the right of it, and a white rug

(Image credit: Cult Furniture)

Whether you’re looking for neutral small office ideas or not, choosing a light and airy color palette will help create a bright, inviting atmosphere. 

Nina says, “Choose neutral hues like soft whites, light grays, or pale pastels for the walls to make the room feel more spacious.”

You can always add pops of color with vibrant artwork, decorative accents, or the best indoor plants (this Costa Farms Pothos Plant is highly-rated on Walmart) to inject personality into the space without overwhelming the room.

With these clever narrow office ideas, you can transform even the most challenging of spaces into a functional, stylish place to thrive. 

Nina finishes by saying, “Simply by maximizing vertical storage, embracing multipurpose furniture, and utilizing light and airy design, you can create a narrow office that feels inviting.”

If the office isn’t the only awkwardly shaped space in your home, you may also need dreamy narrow bedroom ideas.

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.