Now that I’m planning a mini home office refresh, I’ve been spending a lot of time searching for small home office interior design ideas. From closet offices to home office nooks to built-in desks (and more), here’s all the inspiration I’ve found for my home office makeover.
Last week, I said in my email that I had decided to do a mini home office makeover. (Don’t get my emails? Click here to subscribe.)
Well, guess what I’ve been doing for the last week?
If you guessed spending hours and hours searching on Pinterest and Google for some home office design inspiration, you’d be right.
That’s always my first step to updating any room (even if this is just a mini-refresh). Because you never know what kind of good ideas you might find.
My office room is a fairly small space (10′ x 10′) and it’s almost square (with the exception of a weird angle in one corner…I’ll post some room layouts next week so you can see).
And I’m not planning on re-painting, so the color scheme will remain black and gold.
I also have built-in bookcases all along one wall.
Which means I was searching for interior design ideas for small, square, black home offices with bookshelves.
Needless to say, I didn’t come up with too many options that exactly matched my criteria. But I did find a lot of inspiration!
So here’s my favorites of the small home office interior design ideas I found.
Some of them I’ll use in my room, and some of them I just liked…and thought you might, too.
Before I Start…A Note On Pinnable Images
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Since most of the images of the individual rooms on this page are not mine, you won’t be able to pin them directly from here.
If you want to remember an idea for later, please do one of the following:
- Pin one of the images for the whole list available at the top or bottom of the page, or
- Visit the original website for each individual image by clicking on the image (or the link below the image) and save the picture from there.
Small Home Office Ideas With Built-In Bookshelves
As I mentioned above, my home office room has built-in bookcases all along one wall. So I was looking for small home office ideas with bookshelves.
Most of the rooms I saw seem to be arranged in one of three ways.
1 | The Desk In Front Of The Shelves
Having the bookshelves behind the desk makes a clear focal point in the room.
I love the bright colors in this home office design from Ariel at PMQ For Two.
And I really love that she painted the backs of the shelves pink which makes all the accessories stand out.
I also saw a lot of home offices with bookshelves that had a section of the shelves cut out straight behind the desk.
This allows for a statement piece of art behind the desk (that focal point again), and provides a little extra work space.
(This office picture doesn’t look particularly small, but the same idea would apply for a small room.)
2 | Desk Perpendicular to the Bookshelves
Installing the desk perpendicular to the bookshelves makes it easy to get into your chair and start working.
It can also facilitate having two people work together at the desk.
Which would be useful if you ever need to work together with someone else.
You can also create an L-shaped desk surface by widening the shelves at desk height.
That gives you more room to spread your stuff out…and I’m all about being able to spread out my mess 🙂
Having said that, I really love all the drawers they have in this office. Lots of places to put the stuff away where it can’t be seen. (I’m definitely missing that in my current office).
3 | Built-In Desk and Shelves
Building a desk right into the bookcase uses up the least amount of floor space, making it the best home office design option for small spaces.
Sarah from Making Joy And Pretty Things did this by using IKEA cabinets with a countertop as the desk, and then installing extra trim to make the whole thing look like custom built ins.
And I love the pretty wallpaper that really turns that desk wall into a focal point in the room.
4 | Industrial Shelving Home Office
One thing I forgot to mention…my office does have a bit of an industrial twist to it (in a glam sort of way).
So I really like the idea of this desk and shelving unit made from industrial pipe…although those chairs look really uncomfortable 🙂
I don’t think I’ll go for a whole desk set up like this (no drawers!) but I might see if I can use the idea somehow in my home office design.
Small Offices With Large Windows
One of the problems with small home office spaces is they can feel a little closed in. Especially if you’re sitting facing the wall.
5 | Desk Facing Window
Positioning your desk to face a window can take away that claustrophobic feeling.
Especially if you have a window that is at least as wide as your desk is.
Which is what Cindy at DIY Beautify did with her desk. She says she loves to be able to see out while she’s working.
I have to agree with her.
This is also how I have my office set up currently. And I do really like having the desk in front of the window.
So this is a part of my home office interior design I may keep.
6 | Bay Window Home Office
If you’re lucky enough to have a living room or den with a bay window, that would be a beautiful spot to make a small home office.
A desk should be able to fit in there perfectly and you would have a panoramic view of the outdoors.
I would be happy to go to work in this space every day 🙂
Small Home Office Nooks
7 | Bedroom Nook
How’s this for fitting a home office into a really small space?
Morgan and Sean at Charleston Crafted built this U-shaped desk to fit into a small nook in their bedroom.
She even uses one side of it as her vanity to put on makeup. Multi-function furniture is always a good idea when you don’t have a lot of space!
8 | Under The Stairs
If you happen to have a stairway that has an open side, using that extra space for a small home office is a great interior design idea.
Medina from Grillo Designs did just that with this tiny study area that makes efficient use of space.
She used IKEA cabinets to create the desk and I love how the wood slats add extra interest to the walls.
9 | Small Wall Home Office
If all else fails, you can always create a home office space by setting up a desk on small wall somewhere in your house.
To make the most efficient use of the work space, try to keep as many things off the desk as possible.
Emily from Small Stuff Counts used a floor lamp (instead of a table lamp) and mounted her monitor on the wall. Which both help to free up space on the desk.
Closet Office Ideas
While I’m not planning on creating a closet home office at the moment, I do think it’s a great idea for small spaces.
10 | Desk In Open Closet
If you already have a desk (or can find one that you love) and a closet, then you can easily create a closet home office like Sarah from She Holds Dearly did.
Add a chair and some accessories and you’re done!
11 | Shelf In Closet
If you’re willing to put in a little more work, this closet home office from Kati at Houseful of Handmade is perfect for getting some work done and having your craft supplies close at hand.
I love the painted stencil above the desk, and she did the whole thing (plus the rest of her room) for under $100!
Hidden Small Home Office Interior Design Ideas
To take a closet office one step further, you can make it into a hidden home office. Simply close it up and the mess is gone!
12 | Lighted Shelves
Of course the easiest way to make a hidden home office, is just to keep the doors on your closet home office.
Then you can close them when you’re done.
I also like the idea of having lights installed under the shelves, like you would under cabinets in the kitchen. It definitely helps to brighten up an enclosed space.
13 | Storage On Doors
If you’re going to have doors on your closet office, then making use of that extra vertical space makes a lot of sense.
Hanging pegboard on one side and bulletin board on the other gives you a lot more (organized) storage space.
14 | Sliding Barn Doors
This closet home office is hidden by sliding barn doors when it’s not in use.
I think this caught my eye because I just converted the bifold doors in my office to barn doors (see that project HERE).
And I kind of like the embellishments on these doors. So I may have to add a few upgrades to mine 🙂
15 | Armoire Turned Home Office
Since we’re talking about hidden home offices, I figured I would bring up the home office I made from an armoire a few years ago.
I’m still using it and like it a lot. Everything is contained in one spot, and I can just close the doors when I’m done so no-one can see all the papers and charging cables.
Small Home Office Ideas For Two
If you and your spouse both need to work from home, or you have an employee who works at your home, creating a small home office for two may be in your interior design plans.
16 | Bonus Room Long Desk
Taking advantage of the sloped ceilings in a bonus room to create a nook home office is a great idea!
Carmen from Living Letter Home did just that when she created this long desk for two.
I love how the color of the cabinets is carried over into the wallpaper. And the DIY marble chair mat is an awesome idea if your office has carpet in it.
17 | Built-In Bookshelves Desk For Two
You can also expand on some of the other ideas we’ve seen.
Amy at White Cottage Home and Living created two desks out of the built-in bookshelves in her home office.
This built-in unit gives plenty of space for both people to work while only using up one wall of a room.
18 | Two Desks Facing Each Other
If you have enough space for desks in your room, position them facing each other for the most efficient use of space.
Not only did Sheila from Maison de Cinq have the desks facing each other but they are right beside a large window. So both people get a view while they’re working as well.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to set up a home office in a small area, try out one of these DIY desk options.
19 | Door For A Desk
Placing a door on top of two filing cabinets is a super easy and inexpensive way to make a desk with a large surface area and lots of storage.
Add a few desk accessories or a gallery wall to make it more inviting and your home office is ready to go!
20 | Countertop Desk
For a similar (but more permanent) option in a small room, install a countertop along one wall.
Add filing cabinets underneath with a comfortable chair and you’ll love going to work in the morning.
If you don’t have any room or the budget for a new workspace, you can make tables you already own do double duty.
The trick to this is to have a filing cabinet, drawer or some other closed storage nearby. That will give you an out-of-the-way place to put your office supplies when you’re not working. Which will prevent your work from taking over everything.
21 | The Console Table Desk
If you have a console table in your front hall or even behind a sofa in the living room, pull up a chair, add a lamp and voila! You have an instant home office
22 | The Dining Table Desk
If you have a dining table that you don’t use very often, turning it into a desk will give you a large work surface that’s usually at a pretty good height for working.
For maximum comfort, bring in a proper office chair rather than sitting in your dining chairs all day. Your back will thank you!
There you have it…all of the small home office interior design ideas I’ve found so far. Hopefully, you can find at least one that will work for your small space!
Other Home Office Ideas You Might Like
- 10 Girly Glam Home Office Ideas (ORC Office Makeover Week 1)
- 8 Desk Organization Hacks That Will Boost Your Productivity
- How To Create a Home Office You’ll Want To Work In
Have comments or questions on our small home office interior design ideas? Tell us in the section below.
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This post was originally published on February 28, 2020 but was updated with new content on February 16, 2023.