Ideas to Create a Small Home Office or Creative Space

Did you know that studies show that an aesthetically pleasing environment can help you improve concentration and creativity? Makes complete sense, whether you are working a real job from home or just want a hobby area. I’m going to share ideas to create a small home office or creative space with added personal style.

creative home office space

Creative Spaces Increase Productivity

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that a cute home office space will make you more creative! Imagine trying to feel inspired and free in a dark and cramped area, no thanks. I know when I am in an environment that I love, I am relaxed and my best ideas flood in.

flower vase on desk in home office

Creating a workspace at home, where you feel comfortable and inspired, can be the ideal place to get your creative juices flowing and tackle that to do list. Add ‘home office ideas’ to your list and get started on creating office spaces to feel inspired in.

executive desk

What Makes an Ideal Workspace?

An ideal workspace can be any place where you can feel relaxed and comfortable. It would provide practical areas to accomplish the work or play that you do. Home offices aren’t just for the actual work part, you should add areas for your creative endeavors as well.

comfortable place to sit in a home office

Start by writing down your home office ideas wish list. What would you do there? How would it look?

Just brain dump out everything you would want in a home office, even if you only have a small space. You can come back and edit later.

sewing table in a home office

Ideas for Where to Carve Out a Small Home Office

Not everyone has a separate room to make into a home office. If you do, then hooray! and we can discuss making it all your own.

If you are struggling with space, here are a few ideas for where you can carve out a creative home office:

the dining room

This option is best with the help of a large armoire cabinet that can store all of the essentials for your crafting or office supplies needs. Simply open it up, spread out on the dining table and get to work. Downfall, you may need to clean up each time you work.

space under the stairs

A nook under the stairs can work whether opened up for more space, or kept cozy for privacy.

finished basement

Basements provide such great extra square footage in homes, and may often have a rarely used spare room. Snag one for yourself and create the home office of your dreams.

unfinished basement

As long as the area is dry, has good air quality, and provides proper lighting, it can be made into a stylish office space. Creative and fun decorating ideas can make it feel personal.

the family room

This may not be ideal, because it is generally shared with other family members. Depending on your room layout, a small desk and built in storage in the space can provide an area needed for work.

desk in a family room area

a guest room that needs to remain for guests

No problem, we can share! Create a minimalist workspace that can easily be tidied when guests come to stay. Although, your office will be displaced when they are using the space.

she shed

A she shed is the ultimate place to inspire creativity! You are limited by the climate, and might need access to electricity and internet. Otherwise, these individual spaces are known for their personal style of the ‘she’ who claimed the shed!

corner of the master bedroom

A home workspace can easily be found in the primary bedroom, as most people don’t hang out there during the day. Many offices have snuck their way into these bedrooms, where all you may need is a desk area.

attic space

Like basements, attics provide extra space that might not otherwise be used. Converting one to a home office space will require some construction, and a definite check on air quality, but can be made into an extra living space. And being up higher with a birds eye view, might be the perfect spot for that stunning picture window you’ve always wanted to work near.

convert a closet

Closets can provide the perfect vertical space for storing supplies. Even within this small space, you can provide file storage, wall shelves, and work space to suit your needs.

office made from a large closet
This built-in desk and home command central was built into an old coat closet that was no longer needed.

How Can I Make My Home Office Unique?

Let’s start by focusing first on what you are passionate about. If you are lucky, this coincides with what work you actually do, but that is not necessary.

What we want to do is focus on those things that excite you and that you enjoy. Pinpointing what you love is an easy path to creating a home office that is unique and full of personal style.

desk made personal with vintage print drawers
The back of this desk was given personal style by adding vintage print trays to cover a utilitarian back that
was not suited to floating the desk in the room.

Mainly, I would stay away from “office furniture”. Anything that feels too clinical will not be inspiring. And you don’t need to hire an interior designer, you simply need to curate what you love and what makes you happy.

deer head on a vintage wallpapered home office wall

Visual Inspiration

Being creative has always been my literal oxygen. If I’m not creating, I slowly die inside. So having a creative home office with natural light, vintage furniture, and things I love around me definitely adds to my creative process.

For you, figure out what sparks your creativity. What items do you love and would provide visual inspiration? What colors feel inspiring, and what would you want to look at while you daydream or brainstorm? Think of what stirs your soul, not what is on trend.

vintage doll dressers in home office

How Do You Create a Fun and Functional Home Office?

I love that the word FUN is actually the first part of the word functional. Because if something doesn’t actually work, it’s not very entertaining, is it?

So let’s begin by establishing what you actually need. A home office layout is important to get right in order for your work space not to become cumbersome.

comfy chair and pillow

Function First

When I was setting up my current home office, the space came with a corner desk that was counter height. I planned on just refacing the cabinets with reclaimed barn wood and vintage architectural pieces to make it more my style, even though a built in desk wasn’t ideal.

After creating a more aesthetically pleasing space, I found that it wasn’t any better. I simply couldn’t sit at that height on a barstool chair (as comfortable as it was) for any length of time, or stare into the corner of the room. I would have to make a change.

corner desk with barstool
Although I was making this space my style, the desk did not work for long term comfort.

If you spend any time staring at a computer screen, your desk space will need to first be functional.

After moving my space around a few times, the floating desk worked best for me where I could see who was entering the room. This also gave me the best vantage point for the natural light that comes into the room.

A few tips to get the function right the first time: grab a desk chair, and move it around your space. Make a list and write notes how you feel when looking at each vantage point.

The desk placement or workspace area in your room will be an important decision. Refer to your list of feelings when coming up with your office design. The space that offers the least inspiring view is probably perfect for storage.

comfy desk chair in home office

Paint an accent wall in your home office

Choose the best wall that would draw your eye into the room. Paint an accent wall to suit your style.

If this is a room just for you, this is where you can really have some fun! Don’t leave your office space with bare walls.

You can add a gallery wall, floating shelves, or even cover an entire wall with natural wood. Do what speaks to you and will set the stage for the feeling you want in the room.

vintage high chair with basket of collected vintage brushes

I always consider how guests and family member will live in a space. But in a room of my own, I can focus on all the crazy stuff I love!

This is the one room in the house that doesn’t need to match the rest. Read about how I created the gingham accent wall in my home office.

gingham accent wall

In a creative space, add unique lighting fixtures

You need more than a desk lamp in your office, especially if natural light is limited.

Think a variety of overhead lights, lamps, sconces, and/or small desk lighting. Choosing a few unique fixtures will really add personal style to the office space.

When needing a light fixture, it’s just as simple to choose something cute as it is to choose basic.

office and creative space

In a small office, keep clutter behind closed doors

Clutter is never inspiring, especially if working in a small home office.

If using a spare room, utilize the closet to hide all the clutter and supplies you need. You can even consider built in shelves or open shelving that can display inspiring items and art.

These shelves can house containers to hide clutter, like baskets and vintage boxes.

inside a hutch

Add colors that speak to you

Your office space should make you feel comfortable and creative. Ask yourself, what feelings do you have when you are around certain colors? Or are you more moved by no color at all, and just textures? Do what speaks to you and brings about feelings that feed your creative soul.

vintage cat bank

Interior design in a creative space

When the space is just yours, add what you love. Framed art, photos, vintage collections, books, rugs, and decor that is personal.

Display mementos on a bulletin board, and design the room for only your taste. Let the space be your laboratory for design where you can try a variety of looks. Mix and match to your moods.

sitting area

Make your space private

Have you seen those hilarious videos during the pandemic? They show some super important high-ranking individual on a news channel via zoom and their kids or dogs show up in the background doing something embarrassing.

Although those are super entertaining, they do beg the question about home workstation privacy.

Consider how to provide your work privacy in your space ahead of time. Will you need a lock on the door or a privacy screen?

Think of what that back wall will look like when seen on video chats. Incorporate plans for quiet moments in your office design at the start.

creative decor in a home office space

Home Office Essentials

Small home office ideas can get as personal or outlandish as you desire, but you will always need the basics for your space.

home workstation 

Create a workstation for the work that will be done there. Will you just need a desk and desk chair? Or will your room require other working surfaces, such as a counter height surface. Make a list of what activities you will do in your home office and make sure you create areas to accommodate them.

meeting room

Will you need a separate room to meet with clients or will your space be just for you?

filing cabinet

Is this a thing of the past, or do you need a physical place to store files? Use smaller creative storage such as baskets, or wood boxes for files if a full cabinet isn’t needed.

comfortable chair

This is a must in any workspace. Give yourself options to work at when prolonged sitting is hard on your body. A counter height space can provide a great place to do a project or stretch and move while still working on a laptop.

sitting area

surface space for projects

Remember, your home workspace can be for more than just work. An extra craft or work surface will keep your projects out of the dining room, and in a spot where they can be left out if needed.

bulletin board

A board where you can post projects, fabric swatches, or inspirational items can be handy. Keep it ever-changing while you go from project to project.

bulletin board space in home office

Final Home Office Ideas

I hope some of these small home office ideas have you daydreaming about what is possible. You really are only limited by your imagination, and budget of course!

Display items that are meaningful to you. You will feel inspired when you are around items you love.

vintage photo of my parents

Start your office design with the main elements to have your work done efficiently: proper technology, good lighting, comfortable seating.

Sprinkle in a few niceties: basket with healthy snacks, water bottles, back or foot massager.

Finish up with what feeds your soul: great design, items you love, place to visually share growing ideas and daydreams.

Follow me on Pinterest for other design inspiration.


  1. Having a room of your own is such a luxury! Happy decorating, friend.

  2. Perfect timing! I started redoing my office last week. I love seeing all of your ideas!

  3. Heidi, I can’t wait to see how your room turns out. I know it will be fabulous! I’ll grab my pencil, levels, and paint and be over in a snap to do those gingham walls!

  4. Great ideas Jill! This blog post could not have come at a better time since I’m planning my home office now. Thank you for the inspiration, your gingham accent wall is one of my favs. You can come paint my walls gingham any time!

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