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small apartment design

15 Clever Home Office Ideas for Small Apartments

When it comes to decorating small apartments, one of the most common dilemmas is finding a way to make room for a home office. And, with more people working from home now, a home office has shifted from a nice-to-have to a must-have, even in a small apartment.

When it comes to small apartment home offices and work-from-home spaces, the most important thing is to make sure your office takes up minimal floor space. That means choosing small apartment furniture and decor that help you maximize square footage, such as a bookshelf that doubles as a computer desk or stacking floating shelves that utilize your vertical wall space. It also means you’ll have to get creative with your interior design approach, whether it’s having your bedside table double as a desk or creating a corner in your living room that has a table and chair setup that’s fit for work and for meals. From there, you’ll want to work in functional storage, such as baskets and boxes that can be stowed away easily.

If it all sounds a little daunting, don’t worry. We’re here to help. No matter your space, we’ve got plenty of small studio apartment decorating ideas for your work-from-home space to be! Read on and get inspiration from some of our favorite tiny home office design ideas and pick up clever small room desk designs along the way. These are all great ideas for where to put a home office without an extra room!

small apartment designA Place To Create

If you live in a one-bedroom apartment, one of our favorite small apartment home office ideas is to integrate your workspace in the bedroom instead of in your living room.

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Why This Design Works:

  • The desk and workspace occupies its own small zone along a wall but stylistically it still ties into the rest of the bedroom furniture, giving the space a cohesive look.
  • The wall shelves make for functional storage that doesn’t take up floor space, which means you can add more decorative storage, such as easy-to-move baskets and bins.
  • The desk can also easily double as a vanity or display surface for art when not in use.

The Best Part: It’s especially great if you enjoy having people over on the regular. This gives you a workspace in a private setting that’s totally separate from your entertaining and lounge area.

small apartment designA Double-Duty Station

Need ideas for making the most of your furniture in a small bedroom? Try placing a small desk next to your bed for a workspace that doubles as your nightstand.

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Why This Design Works:

  • Two nightstands aren’t always possible in a petite space. But you’ll get the same amount of storage (if not more) with a desk with two drawers (or more).
  • Curated accents make all the difference when decorating small apartments, so make room for a chic table lamp, colorful artwork, or a cool tapestry.
  • A desk also gives you a huge surface to corral your electronics, stacks of books, and your nighttime beauty products—keeping it all within easy reach!

The Best Part: Think of this as the ultimate two-in-one office setup for a small bedroom. Not only does it save space, but it also adds function as a spacious bedside table with storage!

small apartment designAn Urban Home Office

Looking for studio space decorating ideas? It’s definitely not impossible to create an office in an open space that’s used for living, dining, and working. It simply requires clever furniture arrangements that use both horizontal and vertical space!

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Why This Design Works:

  • This mounted ladder desk next to the bed is perfect for small spaces, as it doesn’t take up a tone of floor space while still utilizing the wall space above for storage.
  • The sleek and minimal appeal of the wall desk doesn’t visually clutter up the room.
  • This is versatile in small spaces in that the ladder desk will look just as good next to a bed as it does alongside a sofa.

The Best Part: If you have high ceilings (and even if you don’t), this setup will make your room feel more open and airy. This trumps any ideas you might entertain of having an actual desk.

small apartment designA Bedroom Corner Desk

For a chic take on the bedside desk look, take a cue from this modern and glamorous room. It’s a functional and fab approach that we see working in any small apartment design.

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Why This Design Works:

  • The Mid-Century style desk next to the bed is vanity first, work surface second, nightstand last. And it serves all those functions with style to spare.
  • Instead of a table lamp, a hanging pendant light takes up no surface space while doubling the lighting for the desk and the bed.
  • Despite all the patterns and accents, the varying neutral tones provide a monochrome palette that makes the small space feel cozy but not cramped.

The Best Part: Lean into the power of a neutral palette, which is calming and comforting in a small space. Start with a white desk and get creative with your color ideas for bedding and art.

small apartment designA Working Nook

Who doesn’t love an office nook? With small spaces, there often will be awkward corners and alcoves that are tricky to decorate. One solution? Make them mini tucked-away office spaces.

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Why This Design Works:

  • The writing desk and chair add instant function to an otherwise unused corner.
  • Without having to make room for an office elsewhere, this setup maximizes floor space.
  • The shelving over the staircase in this nook area is an extension to the office nook and provides convenient storage for books and office supplies.

The Best Part: Any sort of table and chair combination can work. Play around with some ideas, like a round bistro table and a pair of side chairs or even a console table and a stool.

small apartment designA Practical Entryway Office

Small spaces call for innovative design ideas. You can’t beat the convenience and function of small studio apartment decorating ideas like this small home office in the entryway of a tiny apartment!

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Why This Design Works:

  • The office area makes smart use of vertical space, from the desk and wall shelving to the adjacent bookcase. There’s lots of room for storage all around.
  • Bar-height options make great desks for small spaces because they occupy a smaller footprint.
  • Everything also enhances the entryway in that the rug is a durable foundation, the desk can be a catchall, and the bookcase can be used for both everyday and office storage.

The Best Part: This is a great multipurpose solution if you don’t need a dedicated entryway. And if you have other ideas for the furniture, go for it! Just pick tall pieces that are space-saving.

small apartment designA Hidden Home Office

File this under best small space office ideas. This under-the-stairs corner desk nook brings function to an awkward area you might find in a duplex or small apartment design with a mezzanine.

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Why This Design Works:

  • This tucked-away office works nicely as an extension to the living room while maximizing all the square footage possible in the under stairs space.
  • The practical yet industrial workspace in the bedroom turns the workspace into a focal point that’s just as stylish as the rest of the room.
  • It feels like a private dedicated work space with plenty of storage despite being in an open living area.

The Best Part: A small desk on wheels is perfect for small spaces since you can easily move it around to serve other functions when needed.

small apartment designA Hallway Home Office

For a small apartment design consisting of one large open-concept room, try this sophisticated home office set up in the hallway corridor leading in from the entryway. You can even get crafty and use a console table as a desk for small room designs like this one.

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Why This Design Works:

  • This compact home office makes use of narrow and tall furniture, such as the desk and bookcase, which take up minimal wall space that would have otherwise gone unused.
  • The hanging mirror conveniently turns the spot into an entryway catchall.
  • The stool slides neatly under the table and doesn’t block the flow from the entry into the living room. You can also explore other ideas for seating, like garden stools or poufs.

The Best Part: If industrial style isn’t your thing, opt for furniture in a style that suits your taste. Just be sure to stick to slender pieces that line up minimally against your walls.

small apartment designA Collaborative Work Zone

Need design ideas for a small living room workspace? Try this makeshift coworking corner floating desk in your own small apartment. It’s one of our favorite ideas for a small home office for two that’s also a breakfast spot.

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Why This Design Works:

  • You can easily mix and match a cafe table with different chairs to build out this work corner in your small space. Or use furniture you already have!
  • This workspace can be used for different purposes when needed, like as a game table or for a meal.
  • Because all the pieces are so versatile and moveable, it doesn’t take up a ton of extra room.

The Best Part: This is a low-lift approach to a workspace that’s great if you’re not looking to splurge on furniture. You just need a few pieces that you can arrange together as needed.

small apartment designA Floating Home Office

Even when decorating small apartments, floating or suspending your home office area in the living room, like this workspace behind the sofa, can make for a smart and stylish solution.

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Why This Design Works:

  • Instead of a console table, a writing desk behind the sofa adds an instant work zone to the room that always feels organic. Plus the two drawers add extra storage for office supplies.
  • When out of wall space, this is a great way to integrate a functional office spot into a small apartment design, where it’s part of the living and entertaining space.
  • This maximizes the space behind a sofa, another tricky space, that would otherwise be unused.

The Best Part: If we’re talking about ideas for partitioning or dividing up a room into zones, a desk is probably the chicest in our book given it’s practical, space-saving, and totally stylish.

small apartment designA Statement-Making Office

Looking for a bold and elegant way to create an office space in your small apartment? This neutral and studio apartment does just that with a shelf-desk that’s both functional and chic.

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Why This Design Works:

  • The built-in desk on the bookshelf is the ultimate space-saving office hack as it doesn’t take up any additional floor space. These are our favorite desks for small spaces.
  • The pair of tall bookcases are eye-catching and practical at once, serving as stylish displays and wall storage while also offering up a small space work surface.
  • The statement armchair and clean-lined coffee table are the main furniture pieces that stand out in the room. They help balance out the office area as additional focal points.

The Best Part: In terms of small apartment design tips, this is a seamless way to integrate an office space into a studio. It not only maximizes space but also storage with the bookshelves.

small apartment designA Home Office With A View

One of the best things about decorating small apartments is that you’re forced to only shop for furniture and designs that are top-notch for you. That’s exactly the case with this alcove office.

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Why This Design Works:

  • Despite being sparsely furnished, this office space, with the small writing desk by the window, is a nice extension off of a living room that feels warm and inviting.
  • You can easily turn the console table into a display when not in use as a work surface.
  • The key interior design element is the row of windows, which lets tons of natural light in the room as well as serve up an amazing view of the outdoors.

The Best Part: You can easily rearrange this space into a living room by simply adding a coffee table and another armchair. Swap in other small furniture and experiment with layout ideas.

small apartment designAn All-In-One Studio Space

Think of this as the ultimate studio apartment space where every square footage needs to be optimized for living, sleeping, or working. It’s one small apartment space that needs to do it all!

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Why This Design Works:

  • The high top table and chairs setup is a smart work surface here since it’s slender and has a small footprint and easily fits into a corner or off to the side of the room.
  • This is an ideal dining room office design for small or studio apartments. Because, when not in use, the office area can be used for dining.
  • With the raised profile, you can squirrel baskets or a file cabinet under the table for added storage.

The Best Part: This space spotlights the pretty small things instead of the furniture. So, if you’re debating what to get in your small space, skip the coffee table for the cool floor lamp.

 

Want more home office inspiration? Check out the most common home office design mistakes many people make and learn how to fix them!

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How to Design A Living Room With Low Ceilings

We recently dished out our best tips for how to decorate a room with high ceilings. But what about the opposite problem? Rooms with low ceilings?

Just like high ceilings, it can be a challenge to decorate a room with low ceilings. You don’t want to overstuff it with furniture and the wrong decor, which will make your space feel cramped and even claustrophobic. And that’s definitely not what you want, especially these days when we’re spending so much of our time inside our homes!

All that said, there are some easy decorating ideas that can help make your room with a low ceiling appear taller and more spacious. From curtains to tall mirrors, here are our best designer tips for solving the low ceiling dilemma for any space in your home.

 

decorate a room with low ceilings

Tip #1: Add Reflective Surfaces

In rooms with low ceilings, using reflective furniture helps bounce light around and visually open up your space. It’s the easiest way to create the illusion of a more spacious room.

Consider all furniture and accent pieces in reflective materials and finishes, like mercury glass decor, mirrored tables and chests, and even antiqued glass pieces. And don’t rule out clear furniture either, which can minimize the visual clutter in a room.

In this low-ceilinged living room, an acrylic side table and a glass-top coffee table help to anchor the room while opening up the space with an airy, open vibe. It’s also a great idea to work in these hacks to make a room seem larger!

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decorate a room with low ceilings

Tip #2: Mix In Small-Scale furniture

Low ceiling rooms come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, low ceilings are part of the home’s architecture that you have to work around, like a sloped or A-frame attic room. If that’s the case, you’ll want to lean into small-scale furniture that fits into your space without it looking cramped.

Try pulling in pieces with low profiles, which will in turn accentuate the height of the ceiling versus the size of the room. Small-scale furniture that’s proportional to your space is key.

In this attic nursery, the open-base dresser and crib bring an openness to the space. By hanging a large tapestry high up along one wall also helps draw attention to the vertical space instead of the compact, cave-like feel of the room. If you’re not sure what’s considered small scale in relation to your room, check out our guide to scale and proportion!

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decorate a room with low ceilings

Tip #3: Hang Tall Wall Decor

An entryway with a low ceiling can easily leave a claustrophobic impression. One way to make a ceiling look higher in a busy spot like the entryway is to hang wall decor high up, which will draw the eye up and elevate the focus in the space.

Center a tall mirror on a wall in your foyer to instantly add to the height of your walls and create the illusion of higher ceilings. Additionally, tall sconces that shine light upward or in both directions are also great for elongating your walls visually. Hang these accents closer to the ceiling, as in this entryway, to play up the vertical space in your entry and give it a more open look and feel.

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decorate a room with low ceilings

Tip #4: Keep To Minimal Patterns

Bedrooms with low ceilings are one of the most common challenges we tackle for Modsy homeowners. The trick is to minimize the focus on the size and height of the room, which means keeping colors and patterns to a minimum and finding furnishings that play up comfort.

Draw attention to the floors with one big neutral pattern and skip colorful prints everywhere else. In this bedroom, the geometric rug helps draw attention to the floor instead of the low ceiling. Meanwhile, the tall floor mirror reflects light, gives the look of more vertical wall space, and opens up the room as a whole. If you do want to add some color, go with two to three pops of soft neutral shades to avoid overwhelming the space.

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decorate a room with low ceilings

Tip #5: Paint A Dark Accent Wall

Similar to a room with high ceilings, an accent wall can change the perspective of size and space in a room with low ceilings. But the key is to always stick to a darker shade, like a black or deep gray, which will lend major cozy vibes and a spacious look.

The best way to balance a dark accent wall in a room that has a low ceiling is to mix in small-scale furniture. Small means it will feel more proportional to the room size and also work well in a space that already has a cozy dark accent wall. Keep to lower streamlined seats and pieces that are less bulky, like a deep reclining accent chair or a Mid-Century sofa. This will also prevent furniture from blocking light streaming into the room. If you’re working with an odd-shaped living room, start here with our awkward living room design solutions.

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decorate a room with low ceilings

Tip #6: Put Up Long Curtains

Low ceiling, long curtains. It’s a foolproof trick that always works. And it’s the easiest decor trick to make a low ceiling look higher. The key is to find the right length curtain that goes full floor to ceiling.

Start by hanging floor-to-ceiling curtains higher above your windows and closer to the ceiling as a way to draw the eye up. What this does is make the room appear taller and have more ceiling height than there actually is. The long curtains will also help elongate the walls and draw the focus upwards in the room.

Good tip: Be sure to hang your curtains at least 3”-4” above your window frame if you’re going for this look!

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Tip #7: Work In A Tall Bookcase

It might sound counterintuitive, but a bookcase that spans floor to ceiling is a great way to open up a small room with a low ceiling. Why? Just like a tall mirror and long curtains, it directs the focus vertically rather than horizontally, so it distracts from the size of the room.

Try a modern and more streamlined bookcase that’s almost ceiling height. The minimal style will keep the space from appearing cramped or bulky and it will create a more airy, open flow look in the space. Contrast your tall bookcase with smaller furniture. This way, you’ll have pieces that are proportional to the largest piece in the room, creating perfect visual balance. Check out our small space furniture guide for some tips on how to decorate compact spaces.

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Also, check out our gallery for small living room design tips!

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small room ideas

Space-Savvy Solutions For 5 Tiny (and Tricky) Spaces

small room ideasDesigning and furnishing a small space is no walk in the park. Your space may be small, but the number of things to consider is countless! How do I arrange the space? What furniture should I buy? Can I even fit a sofa? Where am I going to store all my stuff? Any and all small room ideas welcome…

Let’s not forget that many small spaces are not only small, but can be kind of awkward. This means you’ve got a tricky layout to crack, making these pint-sized rooms even more of a design dilemma

Every small space comes with it’s own slew of challenges. But with a few clever and creative tricks up your sleeve, you can design a functional and stylish space.

We’ve rounded up 5 of the tiniest (and trickiest) spaces we’ve seen, and break down how our designers tackled them. Take a peek below for some inspo and small room ideas from our designers.

Ready for a crash course in our best small room ideas? Keep scrolling to see how these 5 tiny spaces met their match.

 

1. A Recessed Living Room Nook

small room ideasThe Challenge:

More like a nook than an actual room, this tiny living space needed furniture that fit with a precision worthy of NASA engineers. Luckily for these homeowners, trying out sofas in 3D saved them lots of time and backaches. The priority was to find the right-size pieces and make the most of every square inch of floor space.

small room ideas

The Solutions:

  • Find a sofa that perfectly fits the small space. Consider your options, like which side you want the chaise to be on.
  • One of our best small room ideas, try a rug with an organic shape, like a cowhide. This creates a sense of flow in the space and draw attention away from the size of the room.
  • Choose a coffee table with storage, which is great for small spaces. Even better? Tables with hidden storage.
  • Pull in a chair with an open, airy frame that won’t add visual weight to the room. It also helps to break up the boxiness of the space.

Struggling with a small living room? Try these 5 essential design tips.

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2. A Small Office for Two

small room ideas – officeThe Challenge:

This small spare room needed to work as an office for two with space-saving storage options. It also needed to have some sort of relaxed seating.

small room ideas

The Solutions:

  • The L-shape arrangement of the desks uses the corner and wall space too it’s full potential. All without cluttering up the room.
  • Don’t be afraid to try two different desks—one with plenty of storage and the other with a slim base for fit.
  • Add a petite, armless sofa makes for ideal seating that isn’t bulky.
  • Opt for a C-shape side table that can function like a lap desk for working on the sofa. You can also easily move it next to your desk for a place to put your coffee or drink (no more desk spills!).
  • Hang up wall shelves to take advantage of vertical wall space for storage.

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3. A Compact Bedroom

small room ideas bedroom

The Challenge:

The good: this tiny bedroom gets lots of natural light (insert prayer hand emoji). The space needed some design help to keep it cozy but uncluttered. The bad: There’s not a lot of closet space to speak of, so finding ways to incorporate extra storage is essential.

small room ideas bedroom

The Solutions:

  • Fill out the space at the foot of the bed with comfy and functional accents, like a bench and/or a pouf. They’ll also make the space feel less utilitarian. Because your bedroom can be more than “just a place to sleep.”
  • Lean a floor-length mirror to make the space feel bigger and more open. Have limited floor space? Try a series of mirrors for the same effect.
  • Pick narrow storage pieces. They can snuggle into corners and along walls without feeling bulky.
  • Layer rugs, like a colorful one paired with a cowhide or fluffy shag rug, to add lots of cozy texture in any small bedroom.

Trying to design a pint-sized bedroom? Here are 7 more small room ideas to try.

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4. A Narrow Nursery

small room ideas nurseryThe Challenge:

Given this room’s narrow shape, the furniture needed to be arranged in a line along one side of the room. The crib had to be in clear sight at all times and there needed to be space for a changing table.

small room ideas nursery

The Solutions:

  • Stagger the crib and changing table down the narrow hallway to preserve the walkway. This also centers the crib in the center of the room between two windows.
  • Have a dresser do double-duty by adding a changing table topper. This is also a great way to design for now and later!
  • Add sconces rather than table and floor lamps. They’re a great way to add lighting without taking up floor space—not to mention they’ll be out of baby’s reach!
  • Tuck in a daybed that provides an adult nap spot that can also easily make for a guest bed in a pinch. Choose one that has an open base and comes without arms or a back so that it doesn’t add visual bulk.

Need some nursery style inspiration? Here are 4 stylish nursery designs from Modsy customers.

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5. A Shoebox-Sized Studio

Small room ideas – studio apartmentThe Challenge:

This long studio had the trifecta of tiny apartment challenges. It had to function as a living space and bedroom and also provide a little area for dining and small gatherings.

small room ideas – studio apartmentThe Solutions:

  • A floor mirror helps open up the space while making use of a tricky corner by the window.
  • In tight apartment spaces, clever use of corner spaces can be a space (and life) -saver. Think hanging shelves, sconces, and tall, slender bookcases that maximizes vertical wall space.
  • Add comfy and moveable seating, like one or two poufs. They can also double as foot rests and side tables if needed.
  • A chair can take advantage of the unused space at the foot of the bed, making for a comfy place to watch TV, read a book, or wind down with a drink at the end of the day.
  • For easy-to-stow dining seating, bring in bar stools with open, airy frames.

Looking for more studio apartment layout ideas? Here are 2 clever arrangements for one tricky space.

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Struggling to design a small space in your home?

In case you missed it, all of our designs are done virtually, by real designers, in an accurate 3D model of your exact room. If you’re struggling with a tricky, tiny, or just plain awkward space, we can help find design solutions tailored to your exact space.