Working from home is becoming more common, but not everyone has a spare bedroom or office to dedicate as their workspace. However, a surprising variety of nooks, corners, and odd spaces can transform into quiet, private home offices with a little creativity. Here are tips for setting up a functional home workspace in a small, challenging, or unconventional spot.
Closets and Alcoves – creating a ‘cloffice’
Do you have an empty coat closet, built-in nook, or other recessed space? These enclosed areas already provide separation from the rest of the home. Just add a desk and chair sized to fit the footprint, adequate task lighting, and storage cabinets or shelves mounted on the walls. A sliding barn door can conceal the workspace.
Attics and Basements
Finish all or part of your attic or basement to create a private home office retreat. Pay attention to important factors like temperature control, lighting, and noise insulation. Built-in storage helps maximize the usable area. Use decorative touches to hide pipes and make the space feel polished.
Garages and Sheds
The garage or garden shed can morph into a detached home office getaway. Make sure to insulate well for comfort. Run electricity and internet/phone lines if needed. Install windows and lighting. Custom shelving offers storage without clutter. Paint the floors and walls to elevate the aesthetic of your home office and add a space heater in cold months.
Carve out a home office niche in a spare bedroom or other shared living area. Place the desk facing the wall for privacy. Bookcases, screens or movable partitions create boundaries. Conceal office clutter when not in work mode. Lighting zones differentiate office from living space.
Don’t overlook a tiny spare bedroom. Add a wall-mounted drop-leaf desk and a murphy bed or built-in fold-down desk to save space when the office isn’t in use. Maximize vertical storage with shelves. Have adequate task lighting. Draw the eye up with wallpaper on the top half of walls.
Under the Stairs
Tuck a desk, chair, and shelving under a staircase for an out-of-the-way workspace. Pay attention to ergonomics in the angular space. Make sure lighting is sufficient. Add a sliding curtain or door for privacy. Finish walls attractively to feel put together.
Let In Natural Light
No matter the location, natural light always improves workspace comfort.strategically place your desk near a window if possible. If there are no windows, consider adding a skylight or solar tube to let daylight in. For nighttime or spaces without windows, provide ample and well-placed task lighting.
Section Off Part of a Room
In wide-open basements, attics, or other shared living spaces, use room dividers, screens, or partitions to carve out a designated office zone. Floating bookshelves, folding screens, and room dividers with an office-appropriate finish can create separation without major renovations.
Incorporate Multi-Functional Furniture
For tight spaces, look for furniture that serves multiple purposes. A storage ottoman can provide extra seating for meetings while housing office supplies. A nesting table offers surface space that can be stashed out of the way. A wall bed, pull-down Murphy bed, or fold-down desk can be concealed when not in use.
Unlock Potential in Even the Most Awkward Spaces
Have an underutilized, awkward space in your home? Don’t let it go to waste. Transform it by creating a bespoke home office in areas you never thought usable. Turn what has always been a flaw into a feature, and convert a weakness into a strength for your home.
Use colours and Zone Your Lighting
To differentiate the office portion of a multipurpose area, install targeted task lighting at your desk rather than uniformly lighting the entire space. Use dimmers, smart bulbs, or lighting zones to control the ambiance. Uplights behind a monitor provide eye-friendly illumination. Employing stark color contrasts between variously utilized spaces is another impactful design practice. Just remember to harmonize the furniture with the walls for a cohesive look!
Design for Privacy
In shared family spaces, privacy is key for concentration. Face your desk toward a wall rather than the center of the room. Shelving, screens or partitions placed perpendicular to the desk act as barriers. If you can’t add permanent dividers, a folding screen can cordon off workspace when needed.
Opt for Wall-Mounted Fixtures
For tight quarters, choose wall-mounted desks, shelves, and storage units to preserve floor space. A floating desk or fold-down wall desk frees up room when not in use. Wall-mounted monitor arms save surface area. Vertical storage keeps items off the desktop.
Make Use of Corners
Take advantage of wasted space in corners by fitting desks and storage neatly into the angular voids. A corner desk maximizes your footprint. Floor-to-ceiling built-in shelving, cabinets, and closets make use of awkward angles.
Embrace Standing and Walking
Standing or treadmill desks allow you to alternate positions, boosting comfort and energy. In open-concept offices, create a standing workspace adjacent to your main desk area. Mark a treadmill area on your floor using tape or an area rug.
With some measurements and planning, even the most unexpected space in your home can transform into a quiet retreat for productive work. The bonus? When you shut the door at the end of the day, you can leave your work behind.
Don’t be limited by room size or shape – focus on crafting an office tailored to your needs and don’t hesitate to ask for advice. Why don’t you book a free design visit with us today?