Small Home Office Design: 19 Ways To Create Your Dream Workspace

Japandi Living Room

As an interior designer based in New York, I’ve witnessed the dramatic shift in how we perceive our living spaces, particularly since the pandemic. With the rise of remote work, many of my clients seek home office designs that are practical, stylish, and retain a sense of comfort while reflecting their personal preferences.

This work transformation highlights the importance of thoughtful home office design. By carefully considering design elements, you can create flexible living areas that seamlessly blend the demands of both professional and personal life. The trend of setting up a “bedroom office” or utilizing spaces like the guest room for a workspace exemplifies this fusion of personal taste and practicality. The concept of an “office bedroom” further emphasizes this by combining a workspace with a sleeping area, highlighting the multifunctionality of modern living spaces.

In my practice, a key goal is to collaborate with clients to create dedicated spaces that maximize productivity and comfort. Here are 19 ways to achieve that perfect balance.

7 Ways to Create Your Dream Small Home Office Design

Define Your Needs

Before diving into design, assess your workspace needs. How much space do you require? How much storage will you need for office supplies and equipment? Will you be hosting video conferences? Answering these questions will guide your design decisions. (Being a New York interior designer, I know how important space availability is. This is a crucial first point to consider.)

Dedicated vs. Multifunctional

Do you have a spare room to dedicate solely as a home office? Or, will you be incorporating a workspace into another room like a bedroom or living area? Consider your lifestyle and available space. 

Embrace Natural Light

Prioritize natural light whenever possible. It not only brightens your space but also contributes to a sense of well-being and increased productivity. Position your desk near a window to maximize natural light. 

Smart Furniture Selection

Invest in smartly selected and ergonomically designed furniture to maintain comfort and well-being during long work hours. A stylish office desk and the right desk chair are crucial for creating an efficient and contemporary home office.

Storage Solutions

Incorporate storage solutions to keep your workspace organized and functional. Consider filing cabinets, shelves, or built-in cabinetry to ensure clutter doesn’t impede your workflow. (If you’ve followed my story over the years, you’ll know that a minimal and “non-cluttered” environment is something I support, and discuss in other blogs such Decluttering Your Home and a recent one on Japandi Style.)

Think Outside the Box

Don’t be afraid to get creative! Move beyond traditional office furniture and explore unique pieces that reflect your style. A vintage desk or a reclaimed wood table can add personality to your space.

Technology Integration

Modern office design demands seamless technology integration. Ensure your workspace is equipped with the necessary electrical outlets and cables to support your devices and internet connection.

4 Ways to Harness the Power of Natural Light

Being an interior designer in Manhattan and Brooklyn has taught me that available natural light may be in short supply.  But these following ideas can help for most situations.

Window Placement

When choosing office furniture, consider window placement. Ideally, position your desk such that natural light falls on your non-dominant side to minimize glare. 

Light-Diffusing Window Treatments

Opt for light-diffusing window treatments like sheer curtains or roller blinds to soften harsh sunlight while still allowing natural light to filter through. 

Strategic Lighting Placement

Supplement natural light with strategically placed task lighting for focused work and ambient lighting to create a calming atmosphere. Consider desk lamps, floor lamps, and recessed lighting options. 

Mirrored Touches

Incorporate strategically placed mirrors to reflect natural light and create a feeling of spaciousness, especially in a smaller home office.

4 Ways of Selecting the Perfect Desk Chair

Ergonomics Are Key

Invest in a comfortable and ergonomically designed desk chair with adjustable features like lumbar support, armrests, and seat height. This will help maintain proper posture and prevent discomfort during long work hours. (If you are going to work from home, it can’t become drudgery!) 

Consider Your Needs

Choose a desk chair that accommodates your specific needs. If you spend a lot of time on video calls, a chair with a headrest might be beneficial. For those who prefer to stand and work occasionally, a standing desk converter can be a valuable addition. 

Material Matters

Select a chair material that complements your overall design aesthetic. Leather chairs offer a luxurious feel, while mesh chairs provide breathability. Consider fabric options that are both stylish and easy to clean. 

Style With Comfort

Don’t compromise style for comfort. There are many stylish and ergonomically designed desk chairs available on the market. Find one that complements your home office room design and provides the support you need.

4 Ways to Transform Your Guest Room Into a Productive Workspace 

The rise of remote work has led to the clever repurposing of existing spaces in the home. The guest room, traditionally used for visiting friends and family, can be seamlessly transformed into a functional and inspiring home office. Here are 4 ways:

Embrace Multifunctionality

Key to considering a guest room when coming up with home office layout ideas lies in embracing multifunctionality. Invest in furniture that serves multiple purposes. A Murphy bed, for instance, folds up into the wall when not in use, revealing a dedicated workspace underneath. Ottomans with built-in storage can provide additional seating for guests while doubling as storage for office supplies.

Space-Saving Solutions

Since guest rooms are often smaller than dedicated office spaces, prioritize space-saving furniture solutions. Opt for a compact desk with built-in shelves or a corner desk that maximizes available space. Consider a floating desk to create a sense of openness in the room.

Maintain Guest-Ready Touches

While transforming the space into a home office, remember it might still be occasionally used by guests. Include a comfortable chair or futon that can accommodate visitors. Stash away office supplies or equipment when not in use to create a more inviting atmosphere for guests. 

Separate Work and Relaxation

It’s important to establish a clear division between the workspace and the sleeping area, especially in a guest room converted into a home office. Utilize room dividers, curtains, or strategically placed furniture to create a separation between the two zones. This will help you mentally switch off from work when the day is done and ensure a restful night’s sleep for guests. 

Of course everyone’s home space is unique.  And there are other issues to consider to make your home office ideas work. But the ones I mentioned above are critical to foster both productivity and personal well-being. I’ll revisit this theme in future blogs. So stay tuned for tips on color palettes, incorporating plants, and fostering creativity in your home office design!

About Jarret Yoshida

Jarret Yoshida has worked in the New York interior design world for more than two decades. With a varied portfolio of projects including residential and commercial spaces, he draws inspiration from his Asian interior designer heritage to create stylish, welcoming, and sophisticated design solutions.

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