No space for a home office?

home office

The battle for the one office space in our home lasted just five minutes.

I lost—or should I say willingly relinquished? As a professor, my husband can fill an entire room with his books, binders and research. There’s no doubt, the office should be his. However, I’m now working remotely several days a week and need a functional space too. Here’s the challenge: The only option for my office is the living room.

As a rather visual person, I’m not willing to permanently “ruin” the look of our much-loved living space. I also hate clutter. The thought of papers, notes and a computer perpetually on display in our clean, crisp room makes me cringe. I’m even compulsive about my bookshelves.

So, I did some research on small space planning, thought long and hard about my needs, and found a lot of helpful information. If you’re in a similar dilemma or are planning a home office, keep reading!

Writing Desk, Amazon | Shag Rug, Overstock | Similar Lanterns, Pottery Barn | Similar Art, Wayfair | Similar Mid-century Modern Sofa, Overstock

–Home Office How-To–

1. Assess the shape of your room

Take careful measurements and look at your space from every angle. You need to know exactly how much room you have to play with before furniture shopping.

  • Is there a small alcove where your desk can go?
  • Is one spot less intrusive than the others?
  • Can you nestle a workspace in a corner?

2. Find a petite desk

A home office in a living room will only work with the right desk. Do NOT buy the largest desk your space can accommodate. Big, heavy furniture pieces will make your space feel cramped. You also don’t want your desk butting up to a window or other furniture. Make sure your pieces have space to breathe.

  • Search for the smallest desk you can find that also fits your functional needs. (a.k.a work demands)
  • Look for a piece that has a “light” feel. (i.e. airy legs and elegant lines)
  • Does it have a drawer large enough to store your laptop and other essentials?
  • Think about the items you use daily. Can the desk accommodate them on top or below?

I really love this petite desk for small spaces. First, the rustic gray color is gorgeous. It has a slight industrial vibe, but brings a touch of elegance with the X support beams. And can we talk about the top? Such pretty wood detailing! I was pleasantly surprised, considering the affordable price (under $230).

Perfect size for laptops

The drawer is just large enough for my laptop, pens and post-its. I don’t want my computer out all the time, so this allows me to “tidy up” quickly.

The slim lines let the desk meld with its surroundings. Additionally, the size couldn’t fit the room more perfectly. At 30.04″h x 47.48″w x 23.5″d, the dimensions are very manageable.

If you need a lot of storage, this might not be the best option for you because there is only one drawer. However, if you are a minimalist like me, you’ll love it. I keep most of my files electronically, so I don’t need too much space.

3. Try bench seating or desk chair alternatives 

You can minimize the footprint of your office by opting for a comfy bench or ottoman, instead of a traditional desk chair. Both will slide conveniently out of sight. You want to find something that is both beautiful and functional.

  • Consider a bench or ottoman
  • Like a modern look? Try a ghost chair with arms or without. Clear seating will blend with your existing decor and won’t weigh down the look.
  • You can also utilize a beautiful dining chair that is pretty from all angles.

4. Select beautiful desk accessories & organization systems

My office is still a work in progress, so I haven’t gotten to this step yet, but I’ve found plenty of great options to share. Because my desk will be visible all the time, I am looking for office accessories that have an artistic edge. I love the geometrical angles of this storage unit. I’ve also been super impressed with Target’s Nate Berkus line. This letter sorter and gold pencil cup will add just the right flair.

  • Consider the items you will be keeping on your desk. How can you store them in a stylish way?
  • Metallic desk accessories are like jewelry for your office, use them to “finish” the space.
  • Add at least one decorative “just for fun” item.
  • Don’t forget the greenery!
  • Finish with beautiful art. (A set of prints offers more impact that a single piece.)

Your decorative item will be a mood-booster for your work station, something that makes you happy every time you sit down . For me, it’s a beautiful lantern set from Pottery Barn. I just love how it glows. Mine is no longer available, but here’s something similar. Greenery is also imperative. It adds color, texture and a sense of life to your space.

–Shop the look–

–More petite desk options–


 Wayfair deskBallard Designs DeskBallard desk option


perfect home office deskliving room home office

Writing Desk, Amazon | Shag Rug, OverstockSimilar Lanterns, Pottery Barn | Similar Art, Wayfair | Similar Mid-century Modern Sofa, Overstock

Do you have a space-saving office strategy to share? I’d love to hear about your project!






  1. danielle | 30th Jan 18

    I enjoyed!

  2. | 30th Jan 18

    Love it!!

  3. Barbara | 30th Jan 18


  4. Barbara | 30th Jan 18

    Yes, thank you for your tips!

  5. Emily Fata, | 30th Jan 18

    This is such a greta idea for smaller spaces! I’m planning on moving to a condo in the next year or so, so this would be good to have for a much smaller space than I’m used to living in now. 🙂

    • laveremis | 31st Jan 18

      Thanks Emily, best of luck on your new move. Sometimes a smaller space in the right location can be even more enjoyable!

  6. Nelly Kungu | 30th Jan 18

    Finding an office space especially in a rental apartment can be very trying. This tips are sound and will help one feel at ease and plan better. Great read.

    • laveremis | 31st Jan 18

      Glad to help Nelly! My husband and I have moved a lot due to our professions and lived in many, many apartments. I guess practice makes perfect!

  7. Kylie | 31st Jan 18

    I recently had the same struggle (small room, and not enough space) and I ended up learning the hard way! If only I found your post a few months earlier! That desk is to die for!

    We are planning to return to Paris next year, I’m sure I’ll definitely need to refer to your post then for some inspiration!

    • laveremis | 31st Jan 18

      Ooh a trip to Paris! How exciting! I can only imagine what a Parisian no space office would look like… A view of the Eiffel Tower perhaps?

  8. Shell | 31st Jan 18

    I really love this idea for a no space office! I love how super cute it is yet also functionable!

    • laveremis | 31st Jan 18

      Thanks so much Shell, it has certainly worked well for my purposes.

  9. Drake Conan | 31st Jan 18

    Such a brilliant idea for small spaces. Glad I found this, I am planning to have a little change with my workspace at home and this will really help.

    • laveremis | 31st Jan 18

      Wonderful! So glad I could help. Best of luck with your office set up.

  10. Alicia Taylor | 31st Jan 18

    You’ve done a great job putting together your office space! Thankfully, I have more room than that, but I do love that desk! It’s small, but looks so posh

  11. Elizabeth O | 31st Jan 18

    This post was so helpful, I really could use a little space for my at home office and you gave me some really good advice to take on board, I am about to online shop for small desks right now!

  12. Luci | 31st Jan 18

    That is a really great idea for those who have a small house. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Lisa Rios | 1st Feb 18

    Since we moved we have an office now, but before, we dedicated a bit of a corner to be working space. You have to make do with what you have, right?

    • laveremis | 2nd Feb 18

      Glad you have more space now! Enjoy!

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