Whether you have a home office or an office away from home, given the amount of time you will be spending in the space, it's worthwhile to make it attractive, functional, and comfortable. This can be particularly challenging, however, if the square footage is small.
In this article, you will learn how, with some careful planning and some space-saving and space-magnifying tips and tricks, you can turn your small office space into a welcoming place of productivity in no time. Keep reading for interior design and DIY decorating ideas for your office.
Sizing Up Your Office Space
The first step in coming up with office design ideas for your small office is to size up the space so you can start planning how to organize the furniture and which decorating strategies will work best.
Your Small Office Workspace
Keep in mind that there are three dimensions to any office space: the length, the width, and the height. We often think of space in terms of just the first two and consider only the floor space; however, vertical space can be used strategically, as well.
In addition to measuring the floor space, measure how high the ceiling is so you can plan for bookshelves and wall storage. Make note of the location of windows because you don't want to obstruct access to natural light.
If your office space is outside your home, part of a larger building, or in a rented space, make sure you are aware of any rules or regulations about what changes you can make and if there are any aesthetic restrictions.
Home Office Spaces
Home office spaces come in all shapes and sizes. If you're lucky, you may have an entire room to use. Often, home offices end up existing in the corner of your home's living room or dining room, or perhaps it's a repurposed walk-in closet. Mark out what the exact area is that you will call your home office area and make a clear delineation between your office space and the rest of the room it's in. This will make it easier to plan.
If your small home office nook is part of a larger room, you should also consider how the office decor will flow with the rest of the room. Take note of the aesthetic of the surrounding space when planning so you can ensure that paint colors and other decor ideas match up and don't leave a strange contrast.
Floor Space vs. Desk Space
Once you've mapped out your floor space, consider your desk space. Perhaps you already have a desk but, if not, take some time to determine how large you want your desk to be and how much space you would like there to be around your desk.
In other words, consider the ratio of your desk area to your floor space. If you have a tiny office space, it might be that the desk covers half the floor space. You need to make sure there is still room for your chair and the ability to move around the desk as needed. At the same time, you need to make sure your desk space has enough surface area for your computer monitor, keyboard, and other materials.
Choosing Office Furniture
The furniture that fills your office space must be chosen both for form and for function. You need space to work and to store documents and other items, but you don't want the furniture to dwarf the size of your office space, take up too much room, or be filled with extra bells and whistles and decorative flair that do nothing but get in the way.
Your Desk and Chair
Your office desk and office chair are likely going to be the two most important furniture items in your office. Consider sleek and stylish desk options, including desks that come with drawers for storage. A computer desk with a roll-out keyboard tray also helps to save space and can be ergonomic.
A small desk saves space, but you don't want it to be so small that it fails as a work area. Consider a floating desk that simply attaches to the wall and doesn't have supports taking up floor space. This opens up your small office space even more and provides additional floor storage if you need it.
Your desk chair should be functional and supportive. Especially if you work on your computer or at your desk a lot, you should consider the comfort and ergonomics of your chair choice. If the space is particularly small, don't opt for the largest, most luxurious office chair. Find one that is sleek in design, while still providing comfort.
Shelves and Storage Space
Because you may have lots of documents, references, office supplies, or other materials that you'll want on hand in your office space, the next thing to consider is storage. This is where considering vertical space comes into play.
Shelves can be placed on the wall, above your desk, or even below your desk in some cases. Look for lightweight or floating shelves that take up minimal space while allowing for maximal storage space. If the room allows, you might invest in a quality filing cabinet for keeping important papers organized.
As you choose shelving and storage options, keep in mind that you don't want your space to become too cluttered with furniture pieces that take up more space than they need to. Going for a sleek, minimalist design will open up your small office and make it appear larger.
Pegboards, Chalkboards, and Markerboards
Many people like to have some wall space devoted to notes, ideas, and random thoughts. This might come in the form of a pegboard with push pins that you can tack up important reminders with, or you might opt for a chalkboard or markerboard. To save space, you can mount these items on the side of a filing cabinet or purchase chalkboard or marker board paint and create a space directly on the wall itself.
Making the Most of Small Spaces
The key idea to keep in mind as you plan out your small office is to maximize the functionality of the space without making it look cluttered. Choosing the right furniture is just one part of this. The rest comes with the right choice of lighting, colors, and decor.
A well-lit workspace is not only easier on the eyes but it can make the space feel larger and more inviting. If you have a window in your small office space, organize your office furniture so that you maximize the amount of natural light coming in.
Overhead, ceiling-mounted light fixtures are one way to keep the space bright without using up precious wall, desk, or floor space. However, sometimes a quality desk lamp or corner standing lamp can add both illumination and style.
Lighter and more neutral tone colors can make a space appear more open. It's generally a good idea to avoid painting the walls dark tones unless you want to feel like your office is a small, cave-like space.
Make sure the colors you choose match well with your office furniture and with the rest of the room if your office space is situated in a larger area of your home. Also, while lighter colors are almost always the way to go when decorating small spaces, sometimes choosing one wall for an accent color can provide a nice contrast. You might, for example, paint three walls white and one wall a deep blue. Consider looking at pictures of similar spaces online for more ideas.
Minimalist Decor Ideas
Once the functionality is in place — you have your furniture and storage selected and arranged — it's time to consider decor. With small spaces, minimalist decor is best, not only because there simply isn't room for more but because you don't want a sense of clutter in your workspace.
Think of adding accents rather than main pieces. A colorful piece of art on the wall or a colorful houseplant on the corner of your desk can go a long way. You can also spruce up the space with a well-chosen rug.
Sometimes, a touch of color and flavor can come in the form of your office supplies themselves. Purchase themed sets that match your color scheme and then add a framed family photo to your desktop.
Learn More About Starting a Small Business From Skynova
If you're starting your own small business, Skynova has resources that can help you learn the ins and outs of accounting, invoicing, taxes, and more. Once your office space is put together, you're ready to go.
Skynova has accounting software and templates that can get you sending invoices and receiving payments from clients right away. Learn more on our learning page, read articles on our blog, and check out our variety of software offerings for entrepreneurs like you.
Notice to the Reader
The content within this article is meant to be used as general guidelines and may not apply to your specific situation. Always consult with a professional to ensure that you're meeting the relevant standards.