Home Office Setup: Maximizing Limited Space

how to set up a home office with no space

Working from home can be challenging, especially if you don't have a dedicated office space. However, with a bit of creativity and planning, you can set up a functional and stylish home office even in a small space. From utilising unused corners, closets, or nooks to creating vertical storage solutions and choosing the right furniture, there are plenty of ways to make the most of your space. By incorporating your personal style and ensuring a comfortable and organised setup, you'll be well on your way to a productive work environment at home.

Characteristics Values
Location Quiet nooks, corners, closets, under the stairs, laundry room, kitchen, living room, bedroom, basement, attic, dining room
Space-saving furniture Fold-out/collapsible desks, floating desks, L-shaped desks, wall-mounted desks, secretary desks, standing desks
Storage Vertical storage, shelves, floating shelves, filing cabinets, cubbies, plastic storage tubs
Privacy Room partitions, curtains, bookshelf dividers
Comfort Ergonomic chairs, adjustable armrests and backrests, lumbar support, neck and eye support
Lighting Natural light, task lamps, indirect lighting
Organisation Digital storage, decluttering, cord management


Make use of awkward spaces

Making Use of Awkward Spaces

Awkward spaces are small or oddly shaped areas that can be difficult to furnish or decorate in a functional or aesthetically pleasing way. However, with some creativity and careful planning, you can transform these spaces into stylish and functional home offices. Here are some tips to help you make the most of those tricky spots:

Closets and Alcoves

Consider converting an empty closet, built-in nook, or recessed space into a cosy home office. These enclosed areas already provide a sense of separation from the rest of your home. Simply add a desk, a comfortable chair, task lighting, and storage solutions like shelves or cabinets. You can also install a sliding barn door to conceal the workspace when not in use.

Under the Stairs

The space underneath your staircase can be transformed into a charming home office. Set up a small desk and chair, and add storage solutions to create a functional workspace. Make sure to keep the area clutter-free and well-lit to make it feel inviting.

Bay Window

Bay windows provide beautiful natural light, but the angled area inside can be tricky to utilise. Place a small desk and a chair in this spot to create a home office with a view. This setup keeps the rest of the room's floor space clear while giving you a dedicated workspace.

Awkward Corners

Corners, nooks, and unused spaces in your home can become productive work areas. Tuck in a sleek desk, add some storage, and you've got yourself a quiet and private home office. If space allows, include a small cabinet or shelving unit for added functionality.

Entryways and Hallways

Wide hallways and entryways can be turned into functional home offices. Set up a small desk and utilise floating shelves or storage units to keep your work essentials organised. If privacy is a concern, consider adding a room divider, partition, or screen to create a designated office zone.

With a bit of creativity and flexibility, you can transform those awkward spaces into productive and stylish home offices.


Create a cloffice (closet/office)

A cloffice is a great way to create a functional home office in a small space. It's a simple concept: transform a closet into a workspace. You can use wooden shelves from a hardware store, or even wall-to-wall planks, to create a sleek and stylish office area.

If you're worried about feeling claustrophobic, you can add a fold-out desk to create more space. You can also spruce up the area with removable wallpaper, adding a nice colour pop to the small space. If you want to be able to hide your office area when you're not working, consider adding a curtain or a sliding door.

  • Utilise vertical space: Install shelves above your desk for extra storage, or opt for a ladder desk with vertical shelves.
  • Lighting: Ensure your cloffice has good lighting. If possible, position your cloffice near a window to benefit from natural light. You can also add a task lamp or indirect lighting to reduce glare and strain on your eyes.
  • Comfort: Choose an ergonomic chair that provides proper support for your back and neck.
  • Cord management: Invest in a cord management system to keep your cloffice tidy and safe.
  • Privacy: If your cloffice is in a shared space, consider adding a privacy divider, such as a traditional floor divider, a curtain, or a bookshelf divider.
  • Organisation: Keep your cloffice organised with desk organisation products. This will help you stay productive and efficient.
  • Make it your own: Add some personal touches, such as your favourite accessories or artwork, to make your cloffice an enjoyable space to work in.
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Use vertical storage

When setting up a home office in a small space, it's essential to make the most of your vertical storage options. Here are some tips to maximise your storage without taking up too much floor space:

Install Shelves

Instead of relying on floor space for storage, opt for wall-mounted shelves. You can install shelves above your desk to hold files, books, stationery, and other office essentials. This not only saves space but also keeps your supplies within easy reach. Floating shelves or shelves with minimal brackets will also give a sleek and modern look to your home office.

Opt for a Ladder Desk

If you'd prefer not to drill holes in your walls, a free-standing ladder desk is a great alternative. These desks usually come with vertical shelves that provide ample storage space for your office supplies. They also maximise floor space and lean securely against the wall. You can find ladder desks at various retailers, including West Elm, Wayfair, and CB2.

Custom-Made Storage

Make use of awkward spaces in your home by investing in custom-made shelves and storage solutions. For example, narrow storage boxes can be added to slanted ceilings, which are perfect for storing paper and other thin items. You can also utilise the space under the stairs by installing custom shelves or a simple desk setup.

Bookshelf Dividers

Another creative way to incorporate vertical storage is by using bookshelves as room dividers. This not only creates a separate space for your office but also provides ample storage for books, files, and decorative items. The IKEA Kallax bookshelves are a great option for creating a private home office while maximising storage.

Loft Beds

If you're really tight on space, consider getting a loft bed and utilising the space underneath for your home office. This works especially well in studio apartments or small bedrooms. By raising your bed, you free up valuable floor space that can be transformed into a functional work area.

By implementing these vertical storage ideas, you can create a stylish and efficient home office even in the smallest of spaces.

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Choose a space with natural light

When setting up a home office, it is important to consider the lighting of the space. Natural light is ideal, as it can help boost your productivity and is better for the environment. If you have the option, choose a space with windows that can provide natural light.

If you are working with limited space, consider setting up your office near a window in a quiet corner of your home. This could be in your bedroom, living room, or even in a closet! A window in your office space will provide natural light and maybe even a view to help you take a break and relax your eyes.

If you don't have access to natural light, don't worry! You can still create a well-lit space. Invest in the right kind of lamps to illuminate your workspace. Overhead lighting may cause glare on your screen or desk, so consider using a task lamp with a solid shade that can direct light where you need it. Indirect lighting with lamp shades or diffusers can also help soften the light, creating less glare and making it easier on your eyes.

Remember, lighting plays a crucial role in your home office setup. Whether you choose to work near a window or rely on artificial lighting, ensure that your workspace is adequately lit to promote productivity and comfort.


Invest in a standing desk

If you're setting up a home office with limited space, investing in a standing desk can be a great option. Not only do standing desks help you avoid the health risks associated with sitting down all day, but they can also improve your productivity and energy levels.

Standing desks come in a variety of options, from custom-built desks to adjustable standing desks that can be placed on top of your existing furniture. If you're handy, you can even make your own! The important thing is to ensure that your setup allows you to work comfortably while standing.

One of the main benefits of a standing desk is the positive impact on your health. Studies have shown that standing desks can lower your risk of weight gain, obesity, and type 2 diabetes by increasing the number of calories you burn throughout the day. For example, standing for three hours can burn an extra 24 calories, which may not seem like much, but it adds up over time. Additionally, standing desks can help reduce blood sugar spikes after meals, lower the risk of heart disease, and improve back pain, according to various studies.

Another advantage of standing desks is their potential to boost productivity and energy levels. In a study of 60 young office employees, using a standing desk for four hours each day had no impact on typing speed or accuracy. Standing desks were also found to reduce stress and fatigue while increasing vigour and energy throughout the day.

When setting up your standing desk, it's important to ease into it gradually. Start with 30 to 60 minutes a day and gradually increase the duration to avoid any discomfort or pain. Additionally, it's recommended to split your time evenly between standing and sitting to get the optimal benefits of the standing desk setup.

Frequently asked questions

If you have no extra space, you can set up a home office in a quiet corner of a room, in a closet, or in an unused space such as under the stairs.

You can use a privacy divider, such as a traditional floor divider, a curtain, or a bookshelf, to separate your home office from the rest of the room.

You should use a desk that maximises space, such as an L-shaped desk that fits in a corner, a floating desk, or a wall-mounted desk.

Focus on vertical storage solutions, such as shelves above your desk, rather than storage that takes up floor space.

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