Home Office Setup – Hooray! You work at home: No more exhausting commute; dress-for-success in your pajamas; snacks and distractions at the ready. Uh oh — the laptop-in-the-bed isn’t going to cut it for productivity. You require a dedicated area larger than a wing chair to make this work. The good news is that you don’t need a spare guest room for your home office. You can carve a functional office out of extremely limited space.
White and navy blue home office features a sputnik chandelier hanging over a white crosscut desk topped with computer and brass desk lamp
Home Office Setup Ideas
Cheap and Functional
Don’t invest a fortune in a home office layout; all you need is a work surface, good lighting, display or storage space and a supportive chair. You can get those qualities with reclaimed junk that has charm and comes cheap. Cut the legs off a beat-up fold-up table and mount it securely on the wall for a desk. The hinged leaf folds down when your “office” is not in use, and the salvaged table is shabby chic-style cool. Recycle an old bedspring into a memo board mounted to the wall over the table; keep notes and drawings in place with pinch clothespins or metal clips, and add a clip light to illuminate the desktop. A swivel stool with an adjustable back tucks into the corner or slides over to a breakfast bar for extra seating. Cast-off kitchen items and mason jars hold pencils, rulers and office junk — er, necessities.
Home office with blue gray paint color, Benjamin Moore Smoke, paired with JCP white grommet curtains flanking CB2 Acrylic Leaning Wine Rack
A breakfront with a fold-down serving panel is an instant home office layout that hides your magnum opus when you’re not working. The drawers below hold office supplies, a printer and other large gear. The cubbies or small drawers in the fold-down section keep smaller items handy and can be wired for chargers. The glassfront top displays your research and necessary books and media, photographs and maybe an award or two. Fold up the panel with your laptop behind it when it’s time to check out of work for the day or clear the space for entertaining guests.
Home office features an accent wall painted grey lined with built-in desks paired with green task chairs flanking built-in shelves
Laptop in the Library
Your book collection has your back when you borrow a desk-height occasional table in front of a wall of bookshelves for a home office layout. Dedicate a shelf in the bookcase — with or without a hinged door to hide contents — to storage for a computer and the Wi-Fi router. Choose an attractive lamp for the small table to double as task lighting when you are working. Keep your research and reference materials on the bookshelves. Select a wheeled chair that is ergonomic for work and cushy enough to be a padded addition to the furniture in the rest of the room. Now you have a sleek home office using no extra space at all — simple as that.
Fabulous masculine home office with built-in bookcases with backs of shelves lined with wood panels flanking sunny window with white woven grosgrain
On the Landing
There is no better purpose for that useless space on the stairway landing than your clever and compact home office layout. Hunt for clear polycarbonate furniture to preserve a sense of openness — a clear sofa table might make a comfortable desk; a translucent ghost chair will tuck under a work surface to become invisible. Define your day-labor nook with a small area rug and go up for storage and display: Mount shelves and a bulletin board over the desktop, using wall studs for secure weight-bearing. If you’d prefer to keep notes and other memos out of sight after work hours, two reclaimed shutters or double decorative canvases hinged to close over a bulletin- or whiteboard hide the wall clutter. For landings with limited space, work in a chair without wheels and slide it beneath the desk when not in use.