Feeling unmotivated by your current small home office setup? We feel you. It can be tough to get into productivity mode when you’re not totally satisfied with your immediate work environment, and that goes double when that environment just so happens to be right in the middle of your living room (or the middle of your kitchen table).
But small or not, there is so much that you can do to bring more style and functionality to your home office space. And to prove it, we’ve gathered 14 of our favorite small office looks, with plenty of inspiration for turning your WFH setup into a place where you actually want to, well, work. So whether you’ve got a designated office or just a corner of your studio apartment, here are some of the best ideas we’ve found for making your small home office all your own.
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Make Use of Unused Space
If you’ve got two walls with nothing in between them, you’ve got space for a home office. Case in point: this minimalist look from Whittney Parkinson Design, which manages to turn an empty corner into a totally functional home office with the simple addition of some floating shelves and a desk.
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Get Color Happy
Embrace color in your work from home space for an instant burst of joy and creativity every time you sit down at your computer. This colorful office creation from Rikki Snyder Interiors does a great job of blending together bold, bright shades, using fun accessories and art to turn an otherwise plain desk space into something so much more.
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A pretty plant could be your best WFH co-worker. Plants have a proven ability to help us feel more focused and satisfied at work, with one study finding that plants improve our productivity by as much as 15%. They’re also an easy, affordable, and low-commitment way to spruce up your small home office. Some of the best office plants include aloe, snake plants, and oxalis to name a few.
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Make Minimalist Magic
Easily create a cohesive space by sticking to a minimalist, modern approach, like this inviting home office from Jules Interiors. What this office lacks in square feet it more than makes up for in buttoned-up brilliance, including a limited color palette and just a few functional accessories. It’s balanced without being distracting, leaving more time to focus on the tasks at hand, and the built-in desk drawers make it easy to store away anything that doesn’t belong front and center.Continue to 5 of 14 below.
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Incorporate Some Creative Contrast
Where most of us might have seen a too-narrow nook, the designers of Arbor & Co. saw an opportunity for more. We’re huge fans of this deeply-contrasted small office space, which manages to be completely separated from the rest of the home stylistically, while also blending effortlessly into its surroundings.
See if you can carve out your own little office space where you might not assume it belongs, then take a cue from Arbor & Co.’s playbook and paint it an unexpected hue to further establish it as a space all its own.
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Don’t Skimp on Storage
Just because a space is small doesn’t mean that it has to be short on storage. This home office from Cathie Hong Interiors includes multiple storage vessels that are useful for staying organized and keeping items off the desk, including a bookshelf, baskets, file folders, and under-the-desk drawers. With everything in its place, you get less clutter around you—and a greater ability to focus on your to do list.
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Co-Opt a Closet
There’s a way to turn a closet into your home office without making it seem like you’re actually working out of a closet. For example: this stunning closet office interior from Goldalamode. There are a few super smart additions here, including that bright and fun wallpaper providing a much better alternative to staring at a blank wall. We also like the use of hanging storage, since while you may lack room to move around in your small WFH office you’ll almost always have plenty of vertical space to work with.
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Construct a Classic Corner
It’s pretty amazing what a few well-placed pieces of decor can achieve. Designer Katie Hackworth managed a perfect blend of classy and edgy with this corner home office, and she did it without have to make any major upgrades to the space. Look for a statement piece to add to your small home office—such as that eye-catching light fixture—and then keep the rest simple. It will feel more put together without the need for a complete overhaul.Continue to 9 of 14 below.
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Face a Window
Natural light is essential for reducing eye strain when you’re staring at a computer all day and can help improve your mood and keep your energy up. This home office look from House Nine uses the window as the focal point and then builds out from there, keeping the rest of the space nice and basic so that the eyes are naturally drawn outside. So if you’re feeling blah in your WFH setup, move it directly in front of a window and see if it changes your mood—and your ability to stay on track.
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Keep It Comfy
You’re going to be spending a lot of time in your desk chair, so may as well make it comfortable! We’re enamored with this plush velvet chair, which in addition to providing plenty of cushion for a long work day also offers a much prettier take on standard office chair solutions.
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Make a Mood Board
Your home office should foster inspiration, but sometimes it needs a little bit of help getting there. So while there’s a lot to love about this small home office from Anne Sage, it’s that epic mood board that really caught our attention. Clear up some wall space for a magnetic or bulletin board and pin up things that help you keep your eye on the prize. It’s a small addition that can make a big difference in your ability to stay on track.
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Welcome in Some Wanderlust
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can’t get a taste of the outside world. We’re getting major travel vibes from this space from Black & Blooms, which uses art and decor to offer an instant escape from what is, ultimately, a corner of the designer’s guest bedroom. Some of our favorite touches include those colorful floral prints—a perfect match to the tropically-inspired wicker pieces added in throughout.Continue to 13 of 14 below.
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Big and Bold
Size doesn’t matter when it comes to letting your personality shine through in your décor. No inch of space was wasted in this home office from JLA Designs—which is infused with bold choices like the metallic gold ceiling and that unexpected geometric wallpaper lining the back of the bookshelves. It’s a good reminder that small or not, your WFH office is all your own and there’s no reason not to have some fun with it.
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The Perfect Fit
If there’s one theme worth reiterating here, it’s that no space it too small for an effective home office. Just look at this nook desk from White Sands, a Southern California-inspired corner carved out of the small space in between a built-in bench and the wall.
By scaling down the accessories (see: those super cute succulents and planters) you can maximize available space and create an area that’s perfectly suitable for getting to work.