13 small home office ideas – make the most of your tiny work space

WFH not quite working? Check out these fab small home office ideas and create a space that works for you

Ikea small home office ideas
(Image credit: Ikea)

Looking for small home office ideas? We get that for most people working from home, the reality is not a large room dedicated solely to getting stuff done it's a tiny desk and a spare dining room chair in the corner of your living room. But just because space is short, that doesn't mean you can't create a fab inspiring home office, just keep scrolling to find out how...

Plus, we've got loads more home office ideas if you're in need of more inspiration

1. No office, no problem: create an office 'zone'

Ikea desk in an office space of a living room

(Image credit: Ikea)

Turn an area of your living room, guest bedroom or hallway into a small office using simple home office storage and an attractive office desk. You can get desks in every size and style, so it is not hard to find unobtrusive office furniture that will match your room and your existing furnishings.

2. Think dual purpose small home office ideas

Pale pink mid-century inspired office

(Image credit: Made.com)

When space is at a premium, it’s difficult (if not impossible) to be able to dedicate a whole room to a home office, so it’s worth thinking about how you can create multiple uses for your space. Here, it's achieved with a Mid-century style desk in a vintage-feel bedroom – the perfect homework spot.

Guest bedrooms are great place to start as they are frequented less often. You could add a small desk and sleek chair that won’t be obtrusive should you have guests come to stay. Add shelves above the desk area, and invest in some matching storage files to keep your work materials organised and avoid any embarrassment should you have any surprise visitors.

When it comes to multi-purpose furniture, a desk could easily double as a dressing table in a master suite with the addition of a freestanding mirror.

3. Choose a storage wall unit

String mid-century modern office

(Image credit: John Lewis)

This is another great option for multifunctional spaces. Fill a wall with modular shelving including a desk. To make the space feel less utilitarian, keep office supplies in pretty storage boxes, and use the shelves to display your favourite possessions too.

4. Opt for a loft bed 

Stuva loft bed combo with desk 3 drawers and 2 doors

(Image credit: Ikea)

Space is often tight in children's bedrooms. Save floorspace by using the area under a bunk bed for a desk. It is the perfect place for a homework station.

5. Make the most of underused spaces

home office in unused corner space

(Image credit: -)

No one said that home offices had to be self contained spaces. Thinking outside of the four walls concept is a great small home office idea! If you have any wasted space (under stairs, large landings, hallways, kitchens or dining rooms), this could be the ideal place for your home office. You could even consider using paint, flooring or rugs to zone the different elements of the space so it feels more intentional than makeshift.

Find more clever uses for your under stairs space.

6. Build an alcove office

Create an alcove office

We love this small home office idea! Alcoves are another commonly underused space. Sometimes too small for a wardrobe, TV stand or chest of drawers, if you can't squeeze in a small desk, you can easily use the walls to support a work surface and create an alcove office.

7. Consider hideaway options

A hidden office in a cupboard with shelves from Elfa

(Image credit: Elfa)

If you don’t want your small home office area to be visible 24/7, then consider what you can create behind closed doors. This hideaway approach will be a bespoke option, but it would be perfect for those who hate clutter, or those who only occasionally need a home office set-up, and will help maintain the clean lines of contemporary spaces. 

8. Create an 'invisible' office in an open-plan room

Home office in listed cottage

(Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

If you want your small home office space to be unobtrusive, a glass desk is a great option that will seemingly disappear when not in use. You could paint your desk or use coloured or patterned contact paper (there are some great marble-effect contact papers available) to give your desk an individual look that complements your existing decor. Spray paint is also a great way to ensure any new home office elements work with your existing space.

9. Go for a slimline desk

Opt for a slimline desk in a small offiice

(Image credit: Ikea)

Plenty of desks incorporate storage, but in a small space you will want to find a slimline one which doesn't dominate the space. Go for a console desk with shallow desks right under the table top, or pillar storage in place of legs. You should also look for cable channels to hide unsightly wires away.

10. Or choose a bureau for an all-in-one office

(Image credit: Cotswold Co.)

Stick a small bureau in the corner of your bedroom, in the hallway or under the stairs and voila, instant home office. This one from Cotswold Co. has plenty of desk space for a laptop, pigeon holes for storing the essentials, plus a really spacious cupboard underneath. The best part is once you are done working you can fold the desk away to save on even more space. 

11. Use dead space to create a small home office

Home office ideas

(Image credit: Carpetright )

Those strange ‘dead’ spaces we all have in our homes – next to the wardrobe, under the stairs, alcoves beside the fire – are all potential temporary (or maybe permanent) office spaces. This spot next to this window is perfect, you just need it to be wide enough to squeeze in a desk! Add in a stool, desk lamp and some cosy carpet (this one is called Twickenham), and you are good to go! 

For more tips on how to make an alcove office head to our step by step guide. 

12. Get creative with your storage 

Ikea storage ottoman with desk storage

(Image credit: Ikea)

Yes that is an ottoman being used as home office storage. If your home office is just your kitchen table but you still need space to keep your papers, stationery and tech, using an ottoman that can just sit at the end of your bed is an easy solution. Just fill it with desk organisers and use the lid to pop your notes and calendar. 

13. Add a warm glow with metallic paint 

Home office ideas

(Image credit: Crown)

Metallic paint will help a small space feel larger because it bounces light around. it has come on leaps and bounds and this Striking shade from Crown has great coverage. Use it to zone a wall that you can pop your desk against and create a pinboard for inspirational images and quotes. The calming blush colour works really well with metallic – accessorise with gold, silver and pink stationery to tie the two shades together.

Looking for more home office inspiration?

2. Add a warm glow with metallic paint 

Hebe Hatton
Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer. As a renter, she is always looking for creative ways to make her flat feel like home. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration.