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Small Home Office Layout Ideas

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If you have a small room that you want to use for your office, these small home office layout ideas will help. Whether you like a traditional desk arrangement, an L-shaped desk configuration or want to set up an office for two, there’s a home office layout design for you.

Small home office layout ideas

This week, I’m doing some more planning for my home office mini makeover.

After gathering up a lot of small home office pictures for inspiration, I’m ready to start to figuring out how I want my office to be laid out.

But before I begin, I always write down 3 lists of what I want from the room:

  • Must-have functions
  • Nice-to-have functions
  • Furniture I’m keeping, along with their measurements

It helps to make sure I’m happy with the way the room works when I’m done. (I know that I’ll never be happy in a room that looks pretty but isn’t functional).

So here are my lists:

The Must-Haves

  • the obvious part – a desk for my computer and a comfortable desk chair
  • somewhere to sit and read
  • closed storage space and drawers
  • a hidden spot for my printer and other computer supplies
  • some way to hide most of the cables


  • an extra work area where I can spread out papers and write
  • additional shelves for all my books – I already have the built-ins but I wouldn’t mind having some additional shelving…I have a lot of books!
  • an exercise space (not like a home gym, but somewhere I can do some stretching)

Furniture That’s Staying

  • desk (54″ wide by 24″ deep)
  • desk chair (21″ wide by 26″ deep)
  • either the love seat (57″ wide by 33″ deep) or the armchair ()
  • area rug – 72″ x 72″

How To Draw Room Layouts

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Empty small home office layout

First, I made a to-scale drawing of my room. (Which is a necessity if you want to be able to accurately plan your room layout.)

The room for my home office is basically a 10′ x 10′ square (almost 100 square feet) with a large window on one wall, a built-in book shelf on the opposite wall and the door on a third wall.

That doesn’t leave me with a ton of open wall space. But it’s definitely enough to work with!

Room Layout Software

To do this, I use this software* that lets you create your room layout and then see what it looks like in 3-D.

You can upload pictures of rugs, fabrics or colors you want to use to see how they will go together in the room. (Or use the furniture and material options that come with the program.)

Which is really helpful for visualizing the end result before you buy anything, or move all the furniture around.

This program does take a little time to get the hang of it, but they have really good help videos. And it works well (a lot of these home design programs don’t…I’ve tried a bunch of them!)

I can’t tell you the number of times it has saved me from doing something that I would have hated!

I have the Professional version, which is a little expensive. If you’re interested but want a lower-priced option (that doesn’t have quite as many features), you can try this one (their least expensive version)* which should be fine for most people

Room Layouts By Hand

Having said all that, you can also do this step with a pad of graph paper and a pencil.

Use 1 square on the paper to represent a foot and it’s pretty easy to draw out a diagram of your room by hand.

Next cut out shapes that represent the furniture you want to put in the space (use the squares on the graph paper to get them the right size).

Then you can arrange your layout by moving the furniture pieces around the room outline you drew on the paper.

Now we’re ready to start creating some small home office layouts!

Galley Desk and Workspace Design

Galley desk and work space small home office layout

The first home office configuration puts the desk front and center when you walk in the room which makes sure that it is the focal point.

Adding an extra work surface behind the desk gives you an easily accessible space for spreading out. And provides extra space under the surface for drawers and closed storage (which would be a great place for a printer).

3-D rendering of the galley home office

The bookshelves on either side become the backdrop to the focal point (your desk) by adding height and interest behind it.

I also like this configuration because it allows you to face into the room when you’re sitting at the desk. I don’t like staring at a wall when I look up. But some people find that helps them to focus…so that’s a decision you’ll need to make for yourself.

Home Office Layouts With An L-Shaped Desk

L-shaped desks often work really well in small home office arrangements because they add a lot of surface space without taking up too much floor space.

And they make sure that you have an easy-to-access extra work space within an arm’s reach.

Corner Desk With A Couch

Small home office layout with an L-shaped desk in the corner and a couch

The easiest way to set up an L-shaped desk in a home office design layout is to position it in one corner of the room.

Since I don’t like facing into the wall, I would put my chair and computer facing the window. (But you could face the wall, if you prefer).

You can add the L-shaped extension to an existing desk by putting a slab door over two filing cabinets.

3-D rending of a small home office layout with a oouch

With this layout, I still have room for my love seat sofa (where I like to sit and read). And a big enough space in the middle to do exercises.

In this space, the love seat becomes the focal point since that wall is what you see first when you walk in.

Facing Into The Room

Small home office layout with an L-shaped desk and a sitting area

Another way to create a small home office layout with an L-shaped desk is to have part of the desk extend into the room.

This is somewhat similar to the galley layout from the first example above, without the extra book cases. The desk is front and center in the room layout.

3-D rending of an L-shaped desk and a sitting area

It doesn’t leave enough room to put in a couch, so I used a chair and table for the reading area.

This home office setup would also work well if you meet with clients, since they could pull up the chair to meet with you at your desk.

Traditional Desk Home Office Arrangements

A traditional desk arrangement involves one single desk that is the center point of the room.

For the purpose of my small home office layouts, I also included two additional chairs that can be used for a sitting area or a reading area.

With Extra Work Space

Traditional small home office layout with 2 chairs and an extra work space

This small home office design layout adds the extra bookshelves I wanted along one wall, as well as an extra work space area to the side of the desk.

The desk itself is placed in the middle of the room in front of the window.

3-D rendering of a small office with 2 desks and 2 chairs

Then two chairs in front of the desk can be used as a reading area or a sitting area for clients.

The one issue with placing the desk like this is that the light from the window can make it hard to read the computer screen. So if you are using this home office layout design, make sure you have blinds that can act as a light filter.

Home Office Library Configuration

Small home office layout with bookshelves, a traditional desk and a sitting area

A similar desk and chairs arrangement can be used to create a home office and home library rolled into one.

Simply line all of the walls (except the window wall) with bookcases.

small home office layout with a desk, two chairs and lots of bookshelves

Then add the desk and sitting area in the middle.

The shelves do make the room look a little smaller, but it definitely has a cozy, library feel to it.

Diagonal Home Office Arrangement

Small home office arrangement with the desk and sitting area on a diagonal

If you want to make your small home office feel bigger, put the desk and sitting area on the diagonal.

With very little extra furniture in the room, this layout makes the room look like it has a lot of open space.

3-D rendering of a small home office layout on the diagonal

Add some pretty chairs to make it feel more cozy.

U-Shaped Desk

U-shaped desk with two work spaces

If extra work space is your number one priority, then a U-shaped desk may be your best.

Like the L-shaped desk, it provides a lot of surface area that is easy to access.

You can create your own U-shaped desk by using 2 desks on the sides. Then add the middle extension by putting a slab door over two filing cabinets on the ends.

3-D rendering of a U-shaped desk in a small home office layout

This small home office layout can also be used if you need to provide a work area for two or even three people.

T-Shaped Desk For Two

T-shaped desk in a small home office configuration

A T-shaped desk is another small home office layout that provides a lot of work space, and is perfect if you work with your spouse. Or have an employee who works out of your office.

In a small office, it won’t leave you much room for other furniture (like a sitting area).

3-D rendering of a T-shaped desk in a home office design layout

But it will provide two distinct, separate work areas.

For a DIY option, use slab doors over filing cabinets for the long surface in front of the window. Then add a desk to create the perpendicular part of it.

That’s it for all of small home office layout ideas. Now all I have to do is decide which one I like best!

Other Home Office Ideas You Might Like

What is your favorite small home office layout? Tell us in the section below.

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One Comment

  1. Collin James says:

    The article is detailed, clear and easy to understand, providing useful knowledge about desks
    Thanks for your helpful article