What a time this is for us all. In light of current world events surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), many people are faced with the new reality of working from home. Working from home isn’t a new phenomenon, but with so many people taking measures to practice social distancing, it has definitely become a new part of many people’s lives.
And with many families also facing the new reality of homeschooling kids, our homes now need to function in many different ways, all at the same time.
And if you’re one of the many people able to work from home during these unprecedented times, you might find yourself in need of some home office ideas. But not everyone has a spare room that they can dedicate to a workspace. If you’ve been clocking in from your sofa, consider incorporating an office space of some sort into your living room.
To help inspire you, we’ve rounded up 10 clever ways to design a home office in your living room. Have another clever idea for creating an impromptu workspace? Tell us in the comments!
1. Place Your Desk Behind The Sofa
Putting a desk behind your sofa is a great option if you have an open floor plan where your sofa “floats” in the middle of your room. Instead of using that space for a console table, bench, or nothing at all, have your sofa’s back and use that empty space as a home office set-up.
This is also an easy way to work in a homework station for kids, especially now that many families are working and schooling from home.
2. Make the Most of an Unused Nook
Ever heard of the “Cloffice?” With whole households working from home, many people are turning to their closets as impromptu office spaces. You can use your closet as a quiet space to take a call, a place to take a few breaths, or even a full-fledged workspace if needed.
Here we transformed an unused nook area into a mini office set up. This is a clever hack that you can use in any awkward nook, corner, or closet in your home. Just add a desk or table, a chair, and ample lighting and you’ve got a simple office arrangement that will blend in seamlessly with your living room while taking up little space overall.
3. Consider a Mini Work Desk
If you don’t need a large office set-up, consider tucking a small desk or even a cocktail table into an unused corner. This will give you an easy dedicated place to set up your laptop and get to work that isn’t the sofa.
This is a great option for busy living spaces or family rooms. You can use it as a designated homework zone for kids or set up close by to keep an eye on the action while still having a place to focus.
4. Put Built-Ins to Work
If your living space has built-ins, consider incorporating a home office into that set-up. Consider skipping the cupboards in one of the units and install a desk instead. You could even place a desk in front of the built-ins in a pinch and use the shelving space above for extra office organization.
5. Maximize Forgotten Spaces
Try designing a compact office in your living room’s forgotten spaces. This could be anything from an unused corner or the space next to your sofa. The areas, which often go unused, make great spots to sneak in a workspace.
If you have a side table there currently, consider swapping it out and using that space for a desk instead. This is a great hack because you can still use the desk as a table when you’re not working, so it won’t be as disruptive to your living room’s regular functions.
6. Make an Office Work With Your Layout
Small space or apartment living often means making the most of your limited square footage. But this can also be true of any multi-purpose space—like a living room that doubles as a home office.
Consider incorporating an office into your main seating area by pulling a desk into your current layout to a seamless live/work space. Here we placed a desk between two bookcases (normally where the credenza or TV stand would go). This preserves the current layout, adds a home office, and can still function as a stand for TV viewing when you’re ready to clock out for the day.
8. Sneak a Desk Into a Pass-Through Space
If you have an open living space, chances are there are walls or pass-through spaces that are going under-utilized. Put these passageways to work by placing a desk there!
Try one with wall-mounted bookcases to increase your storage space as well as adding a workstation. This is also a great way to get the function of built-ins if your space doesn’t have any.
9. Optimize Shelving As a Working Spot
If you’re particularly tight on space, skip the hassle of making room for a full desk. A compact wall shelving unit works as both a laptop workstation, a side table, and a bookcase—a triple threat!
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.
10. Put The Space Under Your Stairs to Work
Got an open staircase? Put that awkward wedge of space to use as a home office! This is a great way to increase your home’s functionality without taking up any extra square footage (as this is a space that would likely otherwise go unused).
Place your desk on the farthest side and work additional storage under the lower clearance. You can also use this as a semi-secluded study spot for kids who are schooling from home.
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