The number of people working from home has soared drastically in the last decade with more than 1.5 million of us choosing this over the standard 9 to 5. Is it a surprise? No, not really. It’s hard not to notice the benefits of working from home. But there is also a one minor issue. And that is finding an appropriate home office space. Which really isn’t an issue if you have a spare room or two. Unfortunately not everyone has. And that including me! We’re lucky enough to have three good size bedrooms (all of them are doubles). But we’re also lucky enough to have two kids to fill them with (and one for us obviously) . And that leaves us with zero(!) bedrooms to turn into an office space. Not ideal! But I’ve been known for squeezing more than possible out of every inch there is available. If you live in a small house you just have to learn to do that. Luckily for me I’ve learnt that long time ago so when it came to creating my small office space in the corner of our bedroom I was up for a challenge.
My small office and some tips for your small office too!
The heart of every office space is a desk. Mine is against one wall of our bedroom leaving just enough space to walk around the bed. But that’s only when the chair is not in use. When it’s pulled out, it meets with the end of the bed. But as I only work here when no one is in the house or if everyone is in bed, it is not a deal breaker.
Always remember! When working with a very small space be flexible with your furniture and your expectation. Ideally with both. Don’t be afraid of compromises as long as you’re still comfortable with that space. Often out of compromises come out the greatest designs. But remember to never compromise on style! Small spaces especially need that little bit extra.
If you think you can’t fit a desk into the space – THINK AGAIN!
There are smaller pieces out there. Or if you can’t find one, search for console tables or dressing tables – they tend to be long enough but not as wide as most of the desks. Or how about designing one yourself? Going bespoke doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think, it’s always worth asking!
And just to prove that compromises can lead to good things, here’s my desk… I bought it from Ikea (yey, good old Ikea) just because it was very narrow compared to others. As it turned out, it was actually too narrow for me to work on it! So I’ve added a picture shelf at the back of it. Now I wouldn’t have it any other way! The picture shelf adds enough space for working comfortably at the desk. But more importantly it creates a perfect place to prop my books and notes against the wall without them constantly sliding off. And to have all my necessities in the “elbow-free zone”.
Add storage to your small office space!
It doesn’t matter how small is your office, it will always get caught up by the clutter bug if you don’t have enough storage. If you can invest in a slimline cabinet or a bookshelf.Or use little shelves and baskets like I did. The key to success is to be organised and keep your stuff in groups so that you always know where to find things.
Remember that small spaces get cluttered very easily. If you don’t stay on top of it the whole space will look messy and you will start looking for reasons not to work!
Add some colours
If your desk is facing a wall make sure your wall is rather cheerful. You don’t want to be staring at an empty magnolia wall for eight hours!
Add pictures, photos, quotes that motivate you or anything else that will help you work effectively. Try colours that help concentration, like green, yellow, blue or even red! They can stimulate your productivity (but remember to choose the right shades, as some of them can even have the opposite effect). If possible move your desk closer to the window. When working in a small space you can get tired much more quicker. So look out of the window every 30 minutes or so, even if you don’t have the nicest view!
Less is more
It actually pains me to say it but when it comes to small office spaces “less is more” approach can work wonders. Simply as that! But because I am “more is more” person at heart my “less approach” is only applied to my desk exclusively. So there’s only a pen holder, little box, my laptop, a desk lamp and a very green plant to cheer me up when I’m working (plus another million things that come and go during a day, like this pretty radio). And obviously there is always a space for my favourite mug full of camomile tea (or any tea to be honest, I’m a huge tea drinker).
If you want to know how to style your house with plants, read my post here.
Obviously bedroom is not the only place where you can create your small office space. If your living room is a decent size, try incorporating it there. Or in the kitchen (we have a little desk in our kitchen that kids sometimes use during the day and in the evenings it becomes a gaming station for Mr Call of Duty). Or how about your under the stairs space? That’s where our little family desk is going in a couple of months, during a major renovation downstairs, so stay tuned for even more inspo.
And to prove how small is my office space there it is as a reflection in the mirror. And the bed, you might ask? Well… we’ve been sleeping on the mattress for the past couple of months as the bed is in the making and I removed it from the room in order to take photos (that’s how small this room is).
I hope you enjoyed it and that I’ve inspired you to create your own small office space in your home. And if you want some tips on how to create a relaxed bedroom go here.