The key to the fun in this space is color … and what a glorious color it is! The keys to its function are simplicity and attention to how the office must perform.
In most home offices, I design custom built-ins to maximize storage and add elegance, but this home office was in a rental unit so I couldn’t change the structure nor did the cost of custom cabinetry make sense. With this in mind as well as a very tight budget, I wanted to maximize the small space, but also make it fun and inviting so it’s a pleasure to work there!
I found the chair first and thought it made a fun contrast with all of the dark existing furniture pieces we already had to use. I then matched the paint on the focal wall exactly to the chair (this one is Dunn Edwards’ Plum Passion).
I chose the credenza to match the dark stained wood of the existing lawyer’s bookcase and placed these two pieces at the focal wall/entry end of the room. The rest of the storage units went to the back of the room and whatever wasn’t already black was painted black to tie the units together for a cohesive look.
I selected the two stainless steel work tables taking a clue from the silver nail heads on the chair. The steel was then repeated in the lighting and brushed nickel hardware. The only real color in the room is on the chair, the focal wall and in the artwork…..everything else is beige, black, dark wood and brushed steel. Not only does this make the color “pop”, it also makes it so the room isn’t too distracting so you can actually get some work done! It is an inviting, uplifting room, but it isn’t overpowering as this color (or any other color of your choosing!) could be if overdone.
As far as workability, a credenza is a great choice instead of a desk in a small workspace, especially if it is placed up against a wall. The silhouette of a credenza has a much narrower depth than a desk, but as they come in wider widths, there is still plenty of room to spread out, and they have a lot of storage space as well.
In the center of the room, behind the credenza is one of the steel work tables which matches the second under the window. Having two work tables provides flexibility as they can be used separately as shown, or they can be pushed together to accommodate larger projects. As shown, the table behind the credenza can function as a second desk or as a convenient place to put files when working at the credenza. The table by the window can easily hold a printer and houses two file cabinets beneath. The key is to have flexible furniture pieces that function for your needs, while leaving the space as open and uncluttered as possible….think multi-use. The other neat trick here is that we utilized the interior space of the room as well as the perimeter.
Notice there is ample open and closed storage, but that much of the open storage has baskets, bins and containers so the room doesn’t feel too cluttered. Having a place for everything will help keep you working efficiently. Notice the 2 rows of silver magazine holders? These actually hold catalogs organized by type, so that when a new catalog comes in, the outdated one is easily found and replaced….a great way to keep materials current so you’ve got what you need when you need it.
The armoire was painted and re-purposed for this office and is a stylish way to store office supplies. It also looks like a built-in with the two Office Depot shelving units flanking either side.
I hope these tips give you some ideas for some very low-cost ways to outfit a small home office while still having it look professional, feel spacious and be fun and inviting. Now get to work!