Small home office ideas on a budget – Having only a small space to work with for your home office definitely has its disadvantages – especially if you’re on a budget. However, with some tips and tricks, you can design an inexpensive home office that is not only practical and functional, but is also reflects your style and personality no matter how much space you have for your home office.
Small Home Office Ideas
When designing a functional small home office, you first need to consider what space you have to work with.
Are you limited to a small nook or corner in your home for your small office work area?
Are you creating a home office combo in your bedroom or living room?
Will you be creating a shared home office space for 2 or more people?
Do you have a complete ROOM to use for your new home office area?
Are you trying to make a home office with NO space?
Are you more interested in home office ideas for her or for him (ie, more feminine or more masculine)?
Once you know the space you have to work with and the overall decorating concept you want, then you’ll need to think of these 6 things:
- Desk size
- Wall color
Let’s talk about each of these things to give you some great ideas and tips for creating a small home office working space on a budget.
Best Small Home Office Paint Colors
The use of color in your home office space is important – color creates the “mood” of the space. But choosing WHICH color can feel a bit overwhelming.
When starting the process of deciding which color for the walls in your home office, ask yourself:
- Do you want your home office to be more aesthetic – maybe even a bit “trendy”?
- Do you want your home office to be warm and inviting?
- Do you want your home office to blend in with the rest of your home’s decor?
- Do you want your office to be stimulating and conducive to creativity or calm and relaxing?
These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself before choosing a wall color for your small home office.
It is also important to remember that some colors can make the small space appear even smaller while other paint colors can actually make your small office space look bigger.
Here are some wall paint color ideas for a small home office:
- Cool Colors – greens, blues and purples are shown to have a calming affect. If you are easily stimulated, it may be helpful to choose a cool wall color to help you relax and “get down to business”.
- Warm Colors – reds, yellows and oranges give any space a warm, inviting feel. These colors are also invigorating and can help to awaken your creativity. As a word of caution, warm, muted tones should be chosen over bright, bold colors as they tend to be distracting and may not be conducive to productivity.
- Whites – perfect to give your small home office an open spacious feel. However, too much white can be straining on the eyes. A wonderful alternative is to use another wall color, but have white as an accent color or for trim and moldings. This would give your small home office a crisp, clean look.
- Neutrals – earth tones such as charcoal, umber, ochre and sienna would be ideal if your small home office is open to other rooms within your home. A neutral wall color would blend perfectly with other surrounding color choices. Neutrals are also not considered distracting and would aid in keeping your mind centered on the “business at hand”.
Small Home Office Desk Ideas
When you’re working with a small space for your office, it obviously would not be practical to purchase big, bulky pieces of furniture. Your office desk is the centerpiece, focal point, and most used piece of furniture in any home office.
There are various options to choose from when selecting the right desk for your home office work space. Two of these options include compact and wall-mounted desks. They are both practical for a small home office and each has its pros and cons, which are largely dependent on your unique style and needs.
Compact Desks are wonderfully suited for your small home office if you have ample space for storage furniture such as a file cabinet, bookcase, or an optional room divider.
Wall Desks are ideal if you desire an all-in-one solution that includes space for both your computer system and office supplies.
Small Home Office Lighting
There are 3 types of good lighting to use in your small home office:
- Ambient Lighting
- Desk Lights
- Accent Lights
All these play a part in striking the right balance between business and pleasure in your small home office.
Basically, ambient lights provide lighting for the whole room. This can be accomplished through the use of ceiling light fixtures, torchieres and table lamps. Ambient light fixtures are a necessity in any small home office as they account for the majority of illumination in the space.
Those on a budget can afford stylish ambient lighting for their small home office by purchasing torchieres or floor lamps. There are a plethora of lighting accessories to choose from in either a local furniture store or on-line. One such on-line store that provides a wide selection of torchieres, ceiling light fixtures and table lamps is LampsPlus.com.
Desk lights are another home office necessity and provide directional or focused lighting for reading, filling out paper work, working on the computer, etc. Many desk lights come with the added feature of an adjustable base that allows you to direct the light where you need it most. These light fixtures help to avoid eyestrain and headaches, thereby, boosting productivity.
Unlike ambient and desk lights, accent lights are viewed as optional. However, they are useful in adding a decorative element to any space. If you want to showcase a particular object or wall hanging, then accent lights are ideal. The use of accent lights in your small home office may be just what is needed to add a personal touch to your office’s decor.
Small Home Office Storage Tips
As mentioned previously, if you choose a wall desk, it includes space not only for your computer, but additional storage for office supplies. This may alleviate the need for additional office furniture. However, you may find that you still need more storage space with a bookshelf and/or a filing cabinet.
If you’re creating a home office “combo” in your bedroom or living room, you might consider getting some sort of room divider as well.
Before purchasing additional office furniture, it is important to measure the area to ensure that you buy pieces that accommodate the space in your small home office. This will help to alleviate the hassle of having to return merchandise when you discover that the piece is too large for the space.
You would also want to consider the arrangement of your furniture pieces in your small home office.
By placing the pieces in an “L” or “U” shape, all supplies would be in easy reach. Some experts purport that arranging your furniture pieces in this fashion would boost your productivity.
Two options that would provide needed storage are modular bookcases and room dividers that have bookcases built right in. The second option serves two purposes in that it lends both privacy and shelving for office supplies, books, etc.
Bookcases are also designed with adjustable shelves, which accommodate oversized books and supplies and those with doors. Those with doors would add a stylish and personalized touch to your home office’s decor.
When deciding on a filing cabinet for your home office, here are a few things to think about BEFORE buying:
- Do you work primarily with legal or letter size paper? Some filing cabinets only accommodate for one or the other. However, some are available that would provide storage for both.
- Is your office space more conducive to a vertical or lateral file cabinet?
- Will you be filing important documents? If you are, make sure that you inquire specifically if a particular file cabinet of interest is fire resistant.
- Do you want to ensure that the file cabinet will not tip over (who doesn’t right)? There are file cabinets available with an internal locking system that will only allow you to open one drawer at a time and those equipped with a safety device that would guard against the file cabinet from tipping if several drawers were opened at once.
This may appear to be a lot to consider, but it is best to answer these questions before you buy as it will save you from having to return or exchange items that don’t work out in your home office space
Work From Home Office Makeover
Take a look at these before and after pictures of a work from home office makeover that was done on a budget – gorgeous!
Small Home Office Organization
One important factor that affects productivity is organization. By storing items you use frequently in an area that is easily accessible would increase what is accomplished each day by decreasing the amount of time it takes to retrieve essentials.
In any home office, it is best if the least needed storage files and items are the furthest away from your workstation in an inactive home office “work zone” and those items used frequently need be close in your active “work zone”
A simple solution would be to have three different storage zones that include items used frequently, occasionally and rarely.
‘Work Zones” are a simple way to make your home office space more functional.
Work Zone One – Frequently Used Items
These items need to be easily accessible. One idea would be to place papers you need on a daily basis in a bin on your desk. If you have books that you use each day, consider locating them on a wall-mounted shelf above or near your desk. Another solution would be to designate the shelf in your bookcase that is most easily accessible as the area to place books you use frequently.
Work Zone Two – Occasionally Used Items
These are items used from time to time but not on a daily basis. You would want to keep these items in your “work zone”, but their accessibility does not need to be at “arms length” as is preferable with items used frequently.
For example, you could store these essentials in a file cabinet under your desk. If you had books you use occasionally, you could store them in the highest shelf, or the one directly above the one that is most easily accessible.
Work Zone Three – Rarely Used Items
These are basically the things you use occasionally – like printer paper refills. These things do not need to be in your day-to-day work zone.
For books you rarely use, you could designate the lowest shelf in your bookcase for their storage. This would eliminate the need to bend down often, as you would only need to retrieve these books or rare occasions.
Although it only takes seconds to bend or stoop, over a day’s time, these seconds add up, therefore, decreasing your overall productivity.
Small Home Office Decorating Tips
Decorating your home office space is the fun part – it’s where you can add a few personal touches to make your small home office space truly YOURS.
A few decorating ideas would be:
- Include a few family pictures or create a photo wall – seeing your loved ones around you as you work helps remind you WHY you’re working so hard.
- Add a vase of flowers or a few potted plants for greenery.
- Include a water element, such as a small water fountain or fish aquarium. This would not only aid in relaxation, but would add a decorative touch to your small home office.
Creating the perfect balance in your small home office may not be effortless, but you can create a small home work space that is not only professional but also includes elements that are unique to your personality and style in home furnishings.
To sum up, Practicality + Functionality + Personality = a small home office that is both personal and professional.
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