Do you dream of having your own workspace to start a small business, devote time to writing, or just keep your bills and paperwork neatly filed? You don’t need a lot of space or a large budget – just a bit of creativity.
A home office doesn’t have to be centred on a traditional desk and chair. In this small living room, a teak sideboard tucks neatly against one wall and serves as the home office for a high school teacher. Neatly labelled storage boxes take the place of a filing cabinet, and the centre drawers hold office supplies and a laptop computer. In the top drawer, inexpensive plastic cutlery trays keep pens, pencils and other necessities neatly organized. The lounge chair is the perfect spot to read students’ essays and assignments.
If you have an open-concept home or apartment, consider hiding your home office in a piece of furniture. This petite secretary is the perfect all-purpose office, providing just enough space to file mail, pay bills, and write letters. A vintage toast rack holds mail and receipts, and a small drawer and shelf provide extra organization. The large drawers can hold a laptop computer, small printer, and other office accessories to be used as required. Asian bowls and mugs provide a beautiful and inexpensive way to organize pencils, paper clips, and other office supplies.
Unused or awkward spaces are a great place to create an office nook. This retro-modern office is tucked under a staircase in an entrance hall, and serves as both office and landing strip. Small shelves and storage boxes help make use of every inch, while keeping the space clean and organized. A mirror reflects light and provides a spot for last-minute touch-ups before heading out the front door. Original artwork and family memorabilia turn a plain white wall into a miniature gallery, and a tall plant brings a touch of nature and tranquility to the space.
With a bit of creativity, you can decorate your office for less than the price of a latte. In this bright and busy workspace, a string of magazine clippings, memorabilia, and photos provide both decoration and inspiration. The display was made by stringing fishing line between two small nails on opposite corners of the wall. Fold-back clips hold everything in place, making it easy to change the display on a whim. A corkboard above the desk holds reminders and to-do lists. Hot pink Post-It notes and colourful push-pins cost a little bit more than their plain counterparts, but add an instant sense of fun for just a few dollars. Cans covered in retro-printed paper hold all manner of office supplies and the can lids, also covered in paper, keep small items in plain view. To avoid damaging the surface of the desk, a green cutting mat provides a workspace for arts and crafts.
You can repurpose cups, bowls, cans and just about any other kind of kitchen container to accent your home office. Are you a gardener? Steal a few flower pots from your shed to use as desk-top accessories. Do you have a basement workshop? The same pegboard that holds tools can also hold scissors, tape, and other office necessities. Try mounting a 24” x 36” square of pegboard above your desk for instant vertical storage space. Make sure your workspace is well lit, with either natural light or a task lamp. Garage sales, church rummage sales, and thrift stores are great places to find old desks, chairs, and lighting. With minimal investment and a bit of creative repurposing, your home office will be open for business.