2020 was a year of many changes, one of which being more people than ever shifted to working from home 100% of the time. So if you didn’t have an office already, you had to get really creative with your newfound workspace. From dining tables to closet offices, there were many ways for people to create an office with very little space, but creativity helped them adapt to a new normal! Here are a few of our favorite creative ways to create an apartment office space.
If you can spare one corner in your apartment to put a desk, try utilizing the entire space and install a corner desk or large hutch. A corner desk essentially becomes a makeshift, open-concept office nook. Rather than feeling like you’re just sitting at a table in the corner, you can utilize both surfaces, extra desk space, shelves to store books and decor, and really make it feel like a separate space to work. If your corner desk has cabinets or drawers, it can double as extra storage for your apartment.
A ladder desk takes up very little space and takes advantage of vertical storage instead. Ladder desks may or may not have back legs to support them against the wall, but you can secure the top to the wall with some screws or nails for extra security from tipping or moving.
These work great for just a laptop setup, or maybe one monitor and a small computer, but there is no desktop space for much else. However, your shelves above the deskspace can house plants, notebooks, and other fun decor or your extra office supplies.
If you don’t have a lot of room for a desk, try making it multi-use. For example, if you have one in your bedroom or guest room, use your desk for both a nightstand and a desk. Or, if your desk has drawers, make it into half sock drawers and half workspace. You can also make your desk a part of your living room or foyer and use it for extra counter space for lamps, putting your keys, plants, or other decor items. By utilizing one large piece of furniture for two to three things, you can save a ton of space.
Like a double-use desk, a floating office or floating desk can be easily integrated into your apartment’s style and decor. You can make a desk out of a floating shelf that doubles as shelving for your living room. You can also have a literal floating office, meaning it’s not stationary. Find yourself a small, lightweight, foldable desk that you can move to your living room, bedroom, your outside porch, etc., for a new change of scenery whenever you need it.
If you are looking for more privacy for your workday and want to “transport” yourself to your office, a room divider can give added privacy in your smaller space. Room dividers are 3 or 4 paneled half walls that fold out to create a divided section of your room.
If your apartment has a great room, a good place to put your room divider is in the corner of the room or behind a centered sofa. You can hang lights, place a small area rug, and other decorations to separate your “office” from the rest of your home. Plus, room dividers are never permanent so if you want to open it back up or move your office space—feel free!
If you’re lucky enough to have a two-bedroom apartment that you use for other uses like a guest room or activity room, this is the perfect opportunity to build your actual multi-purpose room that is a guest room + office combo, or craft room, music room, whatever use you want! But your second bedroom never has to be dedicated to just one thing. In fact, combining your office with a room meant for creativity can boost motivation, inspiration, and cultivate a creative environment for both work and play.
Your large foyer can sometimes be a waste of useful space. Maybe you have a shoe rack or small entryway table that is just there to hold some keys and some decor, but why not make that area something more useful? It could be a little weird sitting so close to your front door, of course, but if you make it cozy enough with an area rug, some bulletin boards, pictures, and make it your own little office nook, you can escape into the tiny space.
One way to have plenty of desk space without sacrificing your apartment’s space is getting yourself an expandable desk. These can come in many forms. Often, fold-down desks will attach to the wall and pull down into a dining table or desk, so it can be lifted back up when not in use while hiding some shelving inside. Other desks will pull out like an accordion, displaying one or two added desktop levels as you pull it out. This means you can easily push it back against the wall when not in use.
Again, this kind of desk works great for laptops and not so much larger computer monitor setups. Lastly, they can also fold outwards, kind of like a switchblade shape, to create a corner-shaped desk. All of which gives you the ability to have the desk space you need and desire without taking up any extra room in your apartment.
Setting up your home office in your apartment doesn’t have to be complicated—it just requires some creativity and willingness to be flexible in your apartment arrangement. These desk styles can get you the best use of space and give you the control to have an actual dedicated “office,” whether it has four walls around it or not.
How your space is set up matters and directly affects productivity and motivation. Working from your couch or your bed is never going to work long-term, and you deserve to have your own office space no matter what size of your apartment. For more ideas, check out these 15 great options for small desks for your apartment, plus helpful tips on working from home.