We’ve all discovered the joys of working from home over the past couple of years. And while many workers have returned to the office full-time, remote working is here to stay. 78% of people who worked from home during the COVID-19 pandemic said that doing so gave them a better work-life balance, while over half said they had fewer distractions and completed work quicker, according to the Office for National Statistics. It’s no surprise that 84% of workers have decided to continue some form of remote working.
A more regular version of remote and hybrid working means many of us are looking for ways to incorporate a home office into our existing space. And while you may have been working with a temporary solution, you might be wondering how you can ditch the dining room table for a more permanent office space.
You don’t need to have a whole spare room to dedicate to your workspace. Any small nook, alcove, or cupboard can be transformed into a cosy home office space that includes everything you need. Hidden home office desks are the perfect space-saving solution for small rooms. These can be built into almost any space and you can close the door at the end of the day, to fully switch off.
At InHouse Inspired Room Design, we’re experts at making the most of any space. We’ve put together our favourite ideas for incorporating a home office in a small space, including:
Nook and alcove office ideas
Any small, unused area of your home can be transformed into a cosy nook office. In fact, this is a really useful way to make use of awkward spaces in your home, such as those alcoves next to your fireplace or a small area at the top of your stairs.
The key to the perfect office nook is to build upwards rather than outwards. A small space-saving desk and some floating shelves should give you plenty of space for your daily tasks. Opting for fitted furniture is a guaranteed way to make sure your desk fits perfectly in your space.
Use colour to create zones
With the basics out of the way, you can focus on decorating. An alcove office lends itself nicely to a bit of creative décor. Playing with colour and patterns can help create a boundary between your work and living space, so you feel less like you’re living in your office.
Decorate your nook office in a colour palette that’s different but complementary to the one already used in your room. A lick of paint in a new colour or a patterned wallpaper at the back of your alcove will help define the area as a separate space but ensure it’s in keeping with the rest of your room. You could also choose to go for blackboard paint, which will give you plenty of room to write your important notes on the wall, so you’ll need less space to store your stationery.
Create an under-stairs office nook
The area underneath the stairs is often overlooked but can be a goldmine for storage and office space. The hallway can be the perfect room for working and you can easily transform this space into a multipurpose hub.
Playing with height is key with an under-stairs office nook. With space at a premium, you can make good use of the highest point by installing a tall cabinet for your work essentials. As your hallway office will be a central spot in your home, you can also use this space to store extra linens, shoes, and coats. Fitted desk furniture and shelving can be cut to fit the awkward angles under the stairs, so you can make use of every inch of space. Consider installing a folding door on either side, which will take up minimal space but will help you make that break once you finish work.
Your hallway office nook may be a little dark tucked away under the stairs, so plenty of layered lighting is crucial. Install task lighting under overhead shelving to illuminate your workspace. If you have the time and budget for a more major change, you can brighten up the space even more by switching your closed tread stairs for open riser stairs. These will let the light flood in from the rest of your hallway and will make the space feel much less claustrophobic.
Living room office ideas
As your primary living space, your living room may be a natural choice for your home office. If a living room office is an option for you, it’s important to zone your areas to prevent your workspace from creeping into your relaxation space. But how exactly do you hide an office in your living room?
The old adage “out of sight, out of mind” comes into play here. If you can’t see your office space, you’re not going to be thinking about it come five o’clock. An office nook can work particularly well in living rooms if you’ve got an alcove space. You can even install a curtain to hide your workspace at the end of the day. Or invest in a ‘hidden’ office like that pictured above from next125, which uses sleek sliding doors to hide away desk and storage space.
Use your existing furniture
If you don’t have an alcove, you can still have a hidden home office desk in your living room by placing it behind other pieces of furniture. Positioning your desk behind your sofa ensures you won’t be looking at it while you’re settling down for the evening.
Another clever solution is to install your desk in a corner, separating the space with a divider, like a freestanding screen or shelf unit. This will create a faux wall which will help divide the spaces. Adding a small rug to your small home office space will help accentuate this boundary even more.
Hide it out in the open
If you don’t have the space to hide your office behind other furniture, consider hiding it in plain sight. Choosing a desk that blends in with existing furniture will make it feel like just another part of the room, so you’re less likely to be focused on it in your downtime. For example, choose an integrated bookshelf and desk combination, such as those available in our Colombini Casa range, to help your workspace simply blend into its surroundings.
Alternatively, install long floating shelves up the wall, transforming the lowest shelf into a desk. Surround your workstation with plants and your favourite décor to disguise your workspace and make it feel like a feature.
Kitchen office ideas
Your kitchen is an action-packed hub full of creativity, so it makes sense to utilise some of this inspiring space for a hidden desk for your home office. While designing your dream kitchen, you may want to factor an office space into your plan, and there are a couple of ways you can do this.
Split your worktop
One route you could take is the split-level worktop. Dedicate a small area of your worktop to your home office, playing with levels to create distinct zones. Use the same materials for your worktop and cabinetry to ensure your workspace blends in seamlessly with the rest of the room.
Build an alcove into your units
Another particularly clever way of hiding your home office in the kitchen is by incorporating it into your cabinetry and creating a built-in alcove. Floating drawers can double up as a desk surface while giving you plenty of room to store your stationery and other essentials. The empty space underneath also helps make the area feel open and uncluttered.
Overhead shelving provides even more storage for files and books and installing an electrical socket higher up provides a place for your printer. Baskets will keep all small items organised and you can neaten the look by adding doors to your shelves.
To separate the area even more, consider adding folding doors to your small office space, so you can close it off when it’s not in use. You can read our kitchen office ideas for more decorating tips.
Bedroom office ideas
If you’re really short on space, your bedroom or a spare room can be the perfect place for your home office. This area of your home is both quiet and relaxing — the ideal place to get some hard work done. To keep your home office from overtaking your sleeping area, there are a few clever tricks you can try.
Add a wardrobe office
Your bedroom is your sanctuary, so it’s understandable that you’d want your bedroom office to take up as little space as possible. Incorporating your desk as part of your fitted wardrobe interior is a great way to do this. To keep the space feeling open, choose sliding door wardrobes that won’t encroach into your workspace. This will prevent your office from feeling cramped while you’re in it, and you can hide it away with a simple slide of the door. A wardrobe office works particularly well in awkward spaces, such as under eaves.
Consider a pull-out desk
A pull-out desk can be a great space-saving bedroom office idea. These are available in a wide range of designs, from hidden desks that fold up flat to the wall, to small units that extend. Those available in our Colombini Casa bedrooms range include a floating unit that has a pull-out desk hidden inside. You can utilise the main unit as a dressing table, bedside table, or floating shelf, and bring out the desk space whenever you need it. Our space-saving inspiration includes even more useful ideas for small bedrooms.
An office space is now a staple of the home and these hidden home office desk ideas are perfect for small spaces. Even if you don’t have a spare room to transform into a workspace, you can make use of the tiniest areas in your home. With these space-saving hidden home office ideas, you can incorporate your workspace into any room, without it taking over your relaxation areas.
No matter the size or shape of your room, you can create your very own office to suit it. With our fitted furniture, you can utilise every inch you have and our design experts can help you choose the perfect options, from finding the right cabinet fronts to adding innovative storage solutions.