In today’s fast-paced world, working from home has become the norm for many. Whether you’re a remote worker, a freelancer, or a student, having a dedicated home office can significantly boost your productivity. But what if you live in a small space and can’t afford an entire room for each person who needs an office? Don’t worry – it’s entirely possible to create a functional and aesthetically pleasing DIY home office for two even in limited square footage. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore creative ways to maximize your space, utilize natural light, establish a beautiful color scheme, and make the most of your small office in your living room or spare room. Here are the before and after pictures of our DIY home office transformation:
Before, Side View:
Making the Most of Your Small Space
Declutter and Organize
Before you start planning your home office, it’s essential to declutter your chosen space. The less clutter you have, the more room you’ll have to work with. Sort through your belongings, and decide what to keep, donate, or store away. Invest in smart storage solutions like shelves, cabinets, and bins to keep your workspace organized.
A clutter-free environment not only creates a sense of space but also promotes mental clarity and focus, essential for a productive home office. This topic alone can be explored in great detail as part of your organizational strategy.
Choose the Right Furniture
In a small office, the choice of furniture is crucial. Opt for space-saving and multifunctional pieces. Consider a compact desk with built-in storage, wall-mounted shelves, or a fold-out table that can be stowed away when not in use. When selecting chairs, go for comfortable but not oversized options to fit your space well.
There are various types of space-saving furniture available in the market, such as wall-mounted desks, folding chairs, and built-in storage options. It is important to find the right balance between functionality and aesthetics.
Utilize Vertical Space
Maximize your small office’s storage potential by using the vertical space. Wall-mounted shelves, floating desks, and pegboards can hold your essentials without taking up precious floor space. This not only adds storage but also creates an open and airy atmosphere. We were able to use some wall mounted DIY plumbing pipe shelves to really maximize our work space.
Embracing Natural Light
Position Your Desks Strategically
When designing a home office for two, think about desk placement. Arrange the desks near windows to take advantage of natural light. This not only reduces the need for artificial lighting but also provides a refreshing and inviting work environment.
We have some great bay windows in this room which provide us with some amazing natural light. We repositioned our desks so our back was no longer to the window. This was helpful to give us easier access to looking outside, but it also helped with zoom meetings as we are no longer backlit.
Use Light-Colored Furniture
Light-colored furniture, like white or light wood, can help reflect natural light, making your small office feel more spacious and inviting. It also creates a clean and modern aesthetic that enhances the overall atmosphere of the room.
We really tried to make the overall feeling of our office light and inviting. Our goal was to make it a place where we wanted to be. We chose this tabletop from Ikea. It comes in several different colors and many different options (including a standing desk option). We also opted for some drawers that the tabletop sits on top of, which gave us some extra storage. The chairs from Ikea were also a hit and come in many light color options.
Turning Your Spare Room into a DIY Home Office For Two
Blend with Existing Decor
If your small office is in your living room, it’s important to blend it seamlessly with your existing decor. Choose furniture and accessories that complement the room’s style. This way, your home office will feel like a natural extension of your living space.
Explore the concept of design cohesion and discuss how to select furniture and decor that harmonizes with your living room’s existing style. Offer insights into different design styles and how they can be integrated into a multifunctional space.
Create a Visual Divider
To distinguish your home office from the rest of your living room, consider creating a visual divider. This can be achieved through the strategic use of bookshelves, room dividers, or area rugs. These elements help define your workspace without the need for physical walls.
We have really enjoyed the cabinet between our two desks. It has provided a natural and functional break between our double desk. This is from IKEA in their BESTA collection. We store our printer and files inside this cabinet which has been aesthetically pleasing (hides clutter) and very functional.
Incorporate Personal Touches
Since your small office is part of your living space, personalize it with your favorite artwork, photographs, and decor. Make it a space that inspires and motivates you, and makes you feel comfortable while you work.
This is where I got really excited! I’ve been wanting to create a gallery wall in my house for some time. With the desks moved to the other wall, this was the perfect space for my new gallery wall:
This was a great way to make the space my own with pictures of my family and inspirational quotes that I want to keep top of mind. My main goal for the office was to make it a comfortable inviting space to be. Our family spends so much time in this room now…mission accomplished!
Designing the Perfect Color Scheme
Select a Harmonious Palette
When it comes to choosing a color scheme for your small office, go for a palette that promotes productivity and relaxation. Calming colors like soft blues, greens, and neutrals can create a serene work environment. Combining these with a few vibrant accents can add energy to the space.
Consider Your Personal Preferences
Your choice of color should also reflect your personal preferences and the kind of work you do. If you’re a creative professional, you might opt for more vibrant colors, while those in more analytical fields may prefer a more muted palette.
We opted for a lighter more muted palette with some pops of color in the wall decor.
Use Color to Define Zones
If your home office for two is in a spare room, use color to define different zones within the space. You can paint the wall behind each desk with a different color or use colored accessories to designate each person’s work area.
Color zoning is a practical application in a multifunctional space. We did not use this concept in our design, however it can be a great way to create a visual border between the two workspaces.
Making the Most of Your Small Office
Keeping your small office organized is essential for productivity. Invest in desk organizers, file cabinets, and labels to ensure everything has its place. A clutter-free environment can significantly improve your focus and creativity.
Our dividing cabinet as well as the drawers were the perfect choice for storage. We are mostly paperless, but this provided just the amount of storage and organization we needed.
Invest in Ergonomic Furniture
Don’t compromise on comfort when setting up your small office for two. Ergonomic chairs and adjustable desks are crucial for maintaining your health and productivity. Make sure both workstations are comfortable for long hours of work.
Manage Cables and Wires
In a small office, cable management is crucial to maintain a clean and organized look. Use cable clips, zip ties, and cable sleeves to keep your wires under control and out of sight.
We used some trays from Ikea that mount underneath your table for our cable management. This was so helpful in keeping all of our cables hidden and organized. We also used tabletop pictures to hide routers and electronic hubs (our router is hiding behind the picture with the triangle).
Another great addition we have made since taking these photos is we have added dual screens and docking stations to each desk. This gives us the ability to plug any laptop into the workstation and have multiple screens. Our teenagers love this because their school issued laptops are so small and difficult to work on.
This is my favorite monitor stand from VIVO. It mounts easily to the Ikea desk and has adjustable height. You are also able to swing the screens for easy screen sharing and adjusting.
It is also important to get the right docking station. I made the mistake to buying an inexpensive one, only to realize it did not charge my laptop. This was annoying as I now had to have two chords going into my laptop. I later purchased this docking station from Anker which has been amazing and even allows 3 screens if you so choose.
Creating a DIY home office for two in a small space is all about efficient planning and smart design choices. Maximize your space by decluttering and using the right furniture. Embrace natural light by positioning your desks near windows and using light-colored furniture. Blend your office seamlessly with your existing decor and incorporate personal touches to make it truly yours. When it comes to the color scheme, choose one that promotes productivity and relaxation while reflecting your personal preferences. Finally, stay organized, invest in ergonomic furniture, and manage cables and wires for a functional and aesthetically pleasing small office.
With a little creativity and the right choices, you can turn your small space into a productive and inspiring workspace for two. The tips and strategies covered in this guide will help you transform your limited space into a well-organized, harmonious, and comfortable home office that enhances your productivity and work-life balance. Remember that a well-designed home office is not just about the physical space but also about creating an environment that supports your well-being and success.
Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and believer in creating your best momlife the way you see fit. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, my hope is you’ll find something here to make your life a little better/easier. Let’s be friends on social!