People are starting to work from home now more than ever before.
For a lot of people, the dining room table and a laptop are enough to get their work done. But not every home is equipped to be dual-purposed as a home office.
You might require a few furnishings for your new home office – but do you have room for them?
If you’re living in a studio apartment, or if your home is already filled with furniture and belongings, you might not have the space for a desk, shelves, cabinets, etc.
So let’s look at some solutions to this problem, and figure out how to squeeze in a functional office into a space that is already crammed with stuff.
We’ll break these down into four categories:
(You can click on each category to jump ahead to that section)
- Dual purposing furniture
- Portable and/or foldaway items
- Items for organization
- Optional esthetical items
If you’re turning your bedroom into an office, you’re bound to have space issues. In order to get as much functionality as possible, multi-purpose furniture is the best solution.
By turning two (or more) items into one multi-tasking piece of furniture, you can get the most out of whatever amount of space you have available to you.
This set of solutions will allow you to use one set of furniture for both home and office use.
A dresser desk
If you’re working out of your bedroom (or a studio apartment), you’re still going to need some type of storage for your clothes.
And if you also need a desk – and you probably do – a dresser desk, like this one from Ameriwood Home, combines both together into one functional unit.
The one shown above is the Espresso color, but it’s also available in Distressed Gray Oak, and White.
For our purposes here in this article, we were just concerned with multi-purposing a dresser and a desk, but this dresser desk model is basically a 4-in-1 furniture set.
It provides the dresser and the desk, but also squeezes in a 2-shelf bookcase, as well as a media compartment and stand.
A Loft Bed
Whereas the dresser desk combines two pieces of functional furniture, a loft bed basically consolidates all of your furniture into one centralized unit by taking advantage of empty vertical space.
In a bedroom, the bed usually takes up the largest amount of space. By placing the mattress higher up and out of the way, it frees up a considerable amount of area – for a desk/office.
You can find loft beds with various combinations and accessories, like a sofa, or dresser underneath. But for a home office in your bedroom, we prefer a desk loft bed like this one from Bellemave.
The “office” portion of this loft bed provides you with a desk, a space-saving shelf for your keyboard and mouse, and a few rows of vertical shelving. Add a chair, and your office is complete.
Alternatively, if you already have a desk, you could also purchase a plain loft bed – one without accessories – and place your existing office furniture underneath. With the mattress out of the way, you’ll free up about 20 square feet – perfect for office accessories like a desk, filing cabinets, etc.
Portable and/or foldaway items
If you don’t want to change out your current furniture, but you also just don’t have space to incorporate something large like a desk, portable or folding desks are the next best option.
You can pull them out of a closet (or from under your bed) when you’re ready to work and stow them away when you’re done working.
Let’s take a look.
Folding computer desk
The cornerstone of any office is the desk. Whether you do paperwork, computer work, or any other type of task, you’re probably going to need a desk.
Unfortunately, desks do take up a large amount of space – which you might not have available.
This scenario calls for a folding desk. One that can be hidden away in a closet or under your bed when not in use. Something like this folding desk from Coavas.
When standing upright, this table measures 39.4″ x 19.7″ x 29.5″. When folded flat, however, it only has a depth of about 3″, which means you can store it practically anywhere – even in a small studio apartment.
This table from Coavas isn’t actually a true folding desk though. It’s a “disassembling” table. You can easily take it apart and put it back together anytime.
Assembly for this desk is pretty simple – it’s really just one step. You click the desktop portion on to the legs, and you’re ready to go.
Unless you use multiple computers at once, a small desk like this enough for the majority of people. On the other hand, it might even be too large for some people.
If that sounds like you…
A lap desk
If you don’t have too much paperwork to deal with, a lap desk might be the better desk option.
As the name would suggest, a lap desk is a desk that sits on your lap – or around it. Some models are basically a padded tray, others have legs.
Either way, they are usually wide enough to accommodate a laptop computer and allow you to work from any chair, couch, sofa – even your bed.
If you get a lap desk with legs, it can even be used as a standing desk when you’re tired of sitting.
The convenience of a lap desk is that it takes up very little space, can be used anywhere, and it doesn’t commit you to a new furniture setup either.
They are particularly useful if your work is primarily confined to a laptop, with little or no paperwork involved.
Items for organization
Most home offices will need some type of organization.
Whether it’s physical paper files and folders that need to be organized and separated or hardware and wires that need to be coordinated – we’ll need something to keep everything tidy and in order.
Let’s take a look at some options that take up minimal room while also being super functional.
Hanging file and folder organizer
Like most of us, you probably have paper files and folders to keep track of. But a traditional metal or wood filing cabinet takes up a lot of room. And they’re also not the prettiest thing to look at.
Instead of an ugly space-consuming cabinet, our choice is a hanging file and folder organizer.
This type of organizer can be hung using the provided hooks – generally from a door – which keeps it tucked out of the way while using up very little space.
The model in the picture above has room for 20 folders, but you can also find models with 10 and 30 slots as well.
When not in use, either let it hang from the door, or roll it up and stash it away.
QI Wireless charging mouse pad
Because wires are a nuisance and just lead to more clutter!
We all have a phone. Many of us use air pods. And you might also be using a wireless mouse. All of those things need to be constantly charged.
And you might also need a mouse pad.
So it only makes sense to combine all of those charging cables into one by using a QI wireless charging mouse pad.
In case you’re wondering – yes, you can buy a wireless mouse that is QI wireless charging capable.
The more devices that you have that need to be charged, the more a charging pad like this makes sense. The fact that it doubles as a mouse pad is a welcomed bonus.
Optional esthetical items
The functional office transformation is complete at this point.
Some people, however, need to video conference with co-workers, clients, students, etc. And your bedroom might not be the best backdrop.
Needless to say, you probably don’t want your bed or other personal items as part of the background when you are video-conferencing.
If this is a concern, you might need some decor that lends itself to a professional ambiance. In which case, you might want to position your desk so that solid curtains or some elegant wall art are on the opposite side.
For the occasional video chat, this should be suitable enough.
On the other hand, if you’re planning on video-conferencing frequently – and you need to present an ultra-professional appearance – you might want to invest in a backdrop stand.
Backdrop stands are affordable, and can also be broken down and stored away when not in use. They are available in multiple lengths – commonly from about 6 feet to 10 feet wide.
If you have trouble finding a suitable backdrop, you can always hang a flat sheet as well.
Putting it all together
We focused on items here that either consolidated multiple items into one, or that added a necessity while being minimally invasive to your bedroom – which is probably already low on available space.
Squeezing an entire office into a bedroom isn’t the easiest thing to do, but if you focus on the essentials, and combine items wherever possible, it’s very doable.
You’ll still need a few knick-knacks like table organizers, stationary, etc., but hopefully, this list will create a framework for you to fill in.