A small home office desk setup

13 Creative and Practical Home Office Setup Ideas for a Small Space

Unlock the secrets to a stylish, ergonomic setup that’s big on inspiration and productivity — no matter the square footage.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
Home Office IdeasSmall Space Setup

Who says small can’t be mighty? When it comes to home offices, it’s all about working smarter, not harder.

Let’s take a trip around the world and sneak a peek at how every nook can be turned into the ultimate work-from-home haven.

Whether it’s a cosy corner or a garden retreat, these real-life setups from the pros show us the ropes of crafting a small home office that punches well above its weight.

Expand your home office setup upwards

Maximising a petite area starts with smart vertical designs. PJ in Manila, the Philippines, has nailed using height to his advantage.

A home office setup with a large monitor flanked by a smaller vertical screen and a laptop on a wooden desk. The desk also has a keyboard, a mouse, a DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Converter), a headset hanging on the side, and a desk mat. There’s a mesh office chair in front of the desk and patterned curtains on the window to the right
Photo by PJ Manalo

“I took inspiration from my neighbourhood of high rise condominiums,” he says. “I built vertically with as few compromises as possible”​​.

Take a cue from PJ’s home office setup and invest in tall shelving units and monitor arms that let you reclaim precious desk real estate.

Stack your storage — think floating shelves and wall-mounted cabinets to stow your stuff out of the way but still within reach.

Add a touch of tranquility

Rochelle in Georgia, United States, transformed a tiny room into a zen zone for focused work.

She suggests, “Design a tranquil and organised environment where you could fully concentrate”​​.

A tranquil home office featuring a grey upholstered swivel chair at a desk with a laptop, a lamp, and decorative items. Above, white open shelves display books, plants, and ornaments. On the left, artwork adorns the wall, and a potted plant sits in a white basket on the wooden floor, complementing a patterned grey rug
Photo by Rochelle McNally

Pick calming colours and keep your setup clutter-free. A wall-mounted desk gives you legroom, and a comfy chair that tucks under will save space.

Decorate with items that soothe your soul, like Rochelle’s cherished England mementos.

Bring the outdoors in

Nothing breathes life into a small space like a bit of nature. Indoor plants not only purify your air but also boost your mood.

Position your desk by a window to soak up the view and the natural light. It’s a simple move that can transform the vibe of your confined work area.

5 Tips for Adding Plants to Your Home Office Décor
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Craft your backyard office pod

Turning your small outdoor space into a productivity haven like Petar in Perth did can be a game-changer.

He found peace away from the home hustle by setting up a WFH garden pod. “I needed a sanctuary to focus,” he shares in his desk tour​​.

To create your backyard retreat, consider a shed or a pre-fab pod. Kit it out with essentials like an ergonomic office chair, a sturdy desk, and don’t forget insulation for those cooler days.

A person sits at a desk inside a modern garden office pod with large glass doors, visible through the glass from the lush greenery outside. The office has a contemporary design with wooden slat walls and a flat roof
Photo by Peter Ceklic

Learn flexible storage tricks

For your small home office setup, look for storage that’s flexible — pieces that can move around as your day shifts from work to relaxation.

Rolling file cabinets, storage ottomans, fold-down wall desks, and even pegboards will keep your space tidy and versatile.

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Embrace minimalism for maximum effect

Emmie’s architect workspace boasts clean, minimal, and moody layout. Located in the Philippines, his setup is a reminder that less is more.

With a focus on space-saving and sleek design, Emmie has chosen furniture and accessories that complement his need for a streamlined and neat environment.

A modern, minimalist home office setup with a large monitor centered on a white desk, flanked by speakers and a plant. The desk has a keyboard, mouse, tablet, and a water bottle, with a comfortable office chair in front. The room has dim lighting focusing on the desk area
Photo by Emmie Villegas

Minimalism helps Emmie to concentrate on his work. “I prioritise only the essentials and meaningful items to keep my space minimal and clutter-free,” he says.

Choose pieces that are functional and fit the minimalist aesthetic to replicate this approach​​.

Invest in a comfort chair for a small home office

One essential piece of advice from a Singapore-based product designer Kiboorou is to never skimp on a good chair.

“Invest in a good chair, especially if your job requires you to sit for hours each day. After suffering from back pain, I regretted not investing in a proper chair that could support my posture”. Hop over to Kiboorou’s space to see which chair won a spot at their desk setup.

So, make sure your first upgrade for the small home office is a high-quality chair that offers excellent back support.

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Find a home for everything

Alex’s workspace is all about focus and functionality. His Portugal home office setup includes a dedicated area for each task, whether it’s for work, gaming, or creativity.

“I store most gadgets in my drawers — including headphones, microphones, game controllers, lights, tools, and gimbals — to keep my desk clear and ensure that I work with purpose,” Alex shares.

To achieve this in a small space, utilise desk organisers and multi-purpose furniture pieces.

Loft your bed, expand your workspace

Raymond’s loft bed setup in his Australia apartment is a genius way to use vertical space. By elevating his bed, he has created ample room for a full-sized desk and workspace underneath.

“This is my bedroom. I have divided my room into two halves. The far side features the loft bed and desk setup, and the near side features the couch, PlayStation 2 and CRT television,” Raymond says.

If you’re tight on space, consider a loft bed to open up the area for your home office​​.

A cozy room with a loft bed above a workspace, which includes a desk with a computer setup and an ergonomic office chair. To the left, there’s a couch with a large plush toy and a small side table with a glass and a book. The room has a window, striped rug, and a standing lamp

Infuse your workspace with personality

Gerwyn’s cyberpunk-themed RGB desk setup in the Philippines is a vibrant example of personal expression in a workspace.

His setup’s got mood lighting and gaming gear that scream “this is me” louder than a gamer at a winning streak.

A vibrant gaming setup with neon lights, featuring multiple monitors, a gaming chair, and decorative figures. The room is bathed in purple and blue light, creating a dynamic atmosphere
Photo by Gerwyn Manuel

“Since I’m there for 8-12 hours a day, the aesthetics of my setup is very important to me. My battlestation is what I see most of the time,” Gerwyn shares.

Make your desk a reflection of what you love. Adding LED strips and personal collectables can make your space uniquely yours.

Innovate with space-saving furniture

Chris’s drop-leaf desk in his Virginia home is a smart solution for tight spaces.

When not in use, the desk folds away, freeing up the area for other activities.

“The desk itself is called Bjursta from IKEA. What I love about it is that it mounts to the wall and folds down when I’m not using it,” Chris remarks.

Look for furniture that can transform or tuck away when you need more room​​.

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Maximise your bedroom’s potential

Bram’s small bedroom setup in the Netherlands showcases how to balance sleep and work in the same area.

With a compact desk that fits snugly into the corner, he makes the most of limited space.

A neat, multifunctional room with a single bed covered in a black and white patterned comforter next to a window with blinds. In front of the bed is a black desk with a white keyboard, tablet, and lamp, complemented by a black office chair
Photo by Bram van Duijvenvoorde

“The small size of my bedroom was definitely a challenge. Yet, I managed to make it work by measuring pretty much everything I got before buying anything,” Bram says.

When it comes to designing small home office setup, it’s all about measuring. Take precise measurements of your room and choose furniture that will slot in snugly.

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Cosy up your small home office with pre-loved chic

Shekinah from New Zealand has skillfully blended functionality with a dash of nostalgia, creating a cosy studygram setup that’s as photogenic as it is practical.

Her secret? A mix of second-hand finds and personal trinkets.

“My desk items are mostly second hand that I found on the Facebook marketplace. I don’t like buying expensive items. The desk and chair are both pre-loved, except for the gadgets — I worked hard to buy them,” Shekinah shares.

Follow her lead by snagging some chic, pre-loved gems for your little study corner or home office setup. Toss in a few framed snapshots and those quirky little treasures you just can’t part with.

The goal is to build a desk setup that’s got heaps of heart and does its job without draining your wallet.

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Home Office IdeasSmall Space Setup