Decor & Styling

How to Seamlessly Incorporate an Office in a Small Space


Working from home is more prevalent than ever, and let me just say: THANK GODDESS. Answering emails in my pajamas with Postmates on the way is one of the greatest simple pleasures in my life.

But lest we forget, it’s called working from home for a reason. And as tempting as it is to prep for that Monday meeting under the comfort of my duvet and fluffy pillows, it certainly doesn’t make for the most productive work week.

So what’s a gal to do when she’s got only a few hundred square feet to call her own and no spare room to create an office? Today I’m going to show you how to seamlessly incorporate a work space in your living room or bedroom, without sacrificing style or functionality.


1. Don’t Limit Yourself to “Office” Furniture

The biggest rut mistake that I’ve seen my past interior design clients make when designing their own office space in a main living area is shopping from strictly “office furniture” stores. Choosing a traditional table lamp instead of a task light or using a dining table instead of a standard office desk goes a long way in making your office nook feel intentionally designed and cohesive with the rest of your home. Selecting well-designed pieces that provide function but that don’t sacrifice form allows your work space to be a focal point instead of an eye sore.


2. Choose Pieces That Can Multitask

It’s especially important when designing in a small area that your furniture pieces can serve dual purposes whenever possible. Choose a desk that can serve as a buffet for a dinner party, or an upholstered chair that can serve as overflow seating for guests in your living room to make each designated space seamlessly flow into the next.


3. Incorporate Textiles That Blend With the Rest of the Room

Keeping color and texture consistent between your main living space and in your office area is key to ensuring the whole room flows effortlessly and easily from one zone to the next. Ideally, find an area rug that’s big enough for your entire living space and your office area, or, alternatively, make sure that the textiles in both rooms complement each other. When you work from the same color and texture palette, your whole space will feel intentional and thoughtfully designed, no matter how many purposes it serves.


4. Keep Cords and Wires at Bay

Nothing puts a damper on a well-designed room faster than a bundle of tangled cords and electronics. In an office space, these are necessary, but in a living area, they’re unsightly. You can conceal or manage this necessary evil with items like woven baskets, storage boxes, dressers, etc. In fact, we’ve rounded up a slew of ideas for how to get a handle on them right here.


5. Plan for Open and Closed Storage

There’s nothing more stressful than peering over from your couch during wine o’clock to see a stack of paperwork piling up on your desk.  Make sure to include both open storage (think open shelving with color-coordinated storage boxes or baskets) with closed storage (desk drawers or mini file cabinets) to ensure things like snail mail, post-its, pens, and receipts remain tidy, organized, and in their place at all times.


Do you have an office space in one of your main living areas? Share your tips on making it work for you in the comments below!