Work From Home: 9 Places to Put an Office in Your Living Room

living room design with a seating area and home office set-up

Sometimes, the best place for an office is in the living room. With more and more people needing to work from home on the regular, we here at Modsy have encountered many homeowners asking for help designing their home offices.

The reality, however, is that most people don’t have an extra room to dedicate to a full-time office—especially if you live in a location where square footage is at a premium, like New York or San Francisco. But you don’t need a full room to have a stylish and productive work space.

Instead, most people are opting to incorporate a work station of some sort into their living spaces.

Here, we offer up 9 easy ways to make an office in the living room.

living room design with a desk behind the sofa

1. Set Up a Desk Behind a Sofa

If you have an open floor plan with a seating area pushed off to one side, try placing a desk behind your sofa.

Add a swivel chair and a table lamp and you’ll have a work station that’s tucked into your living space without looking or feeling out of place.

Check out these other ideas for what to do with that empty space behind your sofa.

living room design with a desk in a window nook next to the fireplace

2. Make the Most of an Unused Nook

An unused nook area – like the space directly next to a fireplace – can easily be the ideal spot to fit in a mini office.

Pair a desk with a chair, and even mix in a hanging plant or some art, and you’ve got a simple arrangement that will blend in seamlessly with your living room while taking up little space overall.

living room with a small office set-up in the corner featuring a cocktail table and a single dining chair

3. Consider a Mini Work Desk

Sometimes a small area that’s dedicated to work is all you need.

Rather than a full desk, consider tucking a small round table into an unused corner for a place where you can set up your laptop or go through paperwork.

This is a great option for busy living spaces or family rooms. Adults can get to work while the kiddos play close by, or you can use it as a designated homework zone.


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living room design with a large office. A credenza is placed against the wall and a desk is floating in front of it

4. Create an Open Office Space

If you have a large living area, carve out a space for a home office by placing a desk on its own, letting it “float” in front of a wall or credenza.

This is a stylish way to create a formal office space even if you don’t have an extra room.

Stylist Tip: Add a small rug to help clearly delineate the office from the rest of your living space.

a living room design with a small desk next to the sofa, in place of a side table. The living room color scheme is neutral with pops of blue and yellow and a gallery wall of butterfly art

5. Maximize Forgotten Spaces

Try designing a compact office in forgotten spaces, like the space next to your sofa or even at the bottom of your stairs.

The areas, which often go unused, make great spots to sneak in a workspace.

a living room design with a small desk next to the sofa.

6. Make an Office Work With Your Layout

Apartment living often means making the most of your limited square footage.

Incorporate an office into your main seating area by pulling a desk right up alongside your sofa to create a seamless live/work space. This also allows your desk to double as a side table.

Another great tip? Rather than bookshelves, opt for wall-mounted shelving to maintain storage while saving on floor space.

a living room design with an office for two. Two desks are placed against a wall arranged side by side

7. Line Up a Work Station

Set up multiple desks along a wall to establish workstations that can be used by two or more people in your family.

If you’re a family with kids, this can be a great way to give each person a special homework area that doesn’t take up too much space.

Consider a series of matching chairs and desks to give your “home office” a more designed look and feel.

an open living room design with a small office tucked into the hallway

8. Fit a Desk Into a Passageway

A console can function nicely as a vanity and desk in any living room. They’re often narrow enough to be placed along walls in hallways and passageways leading to doorways.

Try adding a console near an entrance or hallway, as in this living room scenario, to turn a large empty wall area into a simple and functional office spot.

a living room design with a small home office set up. There are two floor to ceiling bookcases and one has a built-in desk

9. Optimize Shelving As a Working Spot

If you’re particularly tight on space, skip the hassle of making room for a full office. A compact wall shelving unit can provide you with just the laptop workstation you need to get work done.

Pull up a chair and fill your shelves with books and office materials and you’ll have an organized space that’s stylish and functional both when it’s in-use and not.

Shop all of our office in living room ideas!

16 replies
  1. Stephanie Hammington says:

    I want to have a small office at my condo. this post gave me an idea on how can I put a small office in my unit. Thank you so much for sharing this.


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