When I grew up, my mom was self-employed and had her own home office with a large desk in the basement. Meanwhile, my dad, who had a regular job, turned the broom closet into a tiny office for himself. The closet-office was the highlight of every house tour. While Dad eventually moved to a basement office, the broom closet, with its small corner desk, remains the place where my parents store their paperwork until this day.
Desks have this tendency to take up space, they easily gather clutter and generally don’t blend in well. When you are short on space you have to be creative. If a home office desk isn’t a major priority and if you don’t happen to have a broom closet, room in the basement, or an unused nook in the kitchen, you might want to look at some of the options below.
Sitting carries a bevy of health risks, and standing desks may totally benefit your health. Plus, it turns out a stand-up desk can also help you save space. For an inexpensive yet functional standing desk, check out the Spark by Ergodriven. It’s comprised of durable cardboard and folds into a desk topper standing desk using origami principles. At under $50, the Spark by Ergodriven is a top choice as a standing desk.
Alternatively, the ApexDesk Elite Series is excellent as a dedicated standing desk. With its dark finish and massive 71-inch wide tabletop, the Elite Series boasts tons of space and loads of adjustments. As such, it’s the perfect desk for users of all heights. As an alternative, consider the Jarvis Bamboo standing desk.
If you’ve got almost $2,000 to spend on a desk, check out the LifeSpan TR1200-DT7. This treadmill desk offers not only the benefits of a standing desk but a treadmill deck as well. Though it’s easily the priciest standing desk available, the TR1200-DT7 allows walking and working. If you’re able to multitask well, LifeSpan makes a superb, and unique, standing desk option.
How it saves space:
- no chair needed
- requires less depth
- can be installed like a shelf on the wall
- can help improve your health
- some easy and affordable DIY models available
- switching from a sitting to a standing desk takes time getting used to
Wall Mounted Desk
A wall-mounted desk is the ultimate space saver. Without the legs in the way, your room looks more spacious and cleaner. Now you only need to hide your nasty cable clutter.
If you are into recycling, you will love a DIY fold-up pallet desk. You will find shelves in any home improvement store and they can be adapted to whatever space is available in your home. Be sure to choose sufficient depth for a sitting desk.
The Southern Enterprises Bingham wall mount desk is another excellent choice. With its espresso finish, two drawers, and an organizer, it’s a phenomenal desk perfect for small spaces. At a mere 37 pounds, the desk supports an impressive 40 pounds on its desktop and 10 pounds per drawer.
Another fantastic wall mounted desk is Prepac’s floating desk. There are a fold-down desktop and plenty of storage nooks around the sides and top. Plus, its floating structure keeps floors free of clutter.
How It Saves Space:
- no legs in the way
- can be adapted to any space, including corners
- can be designed as a fold-up desk
- floats above ground and eases cleaning
- requires tools and handicraft skills for mounting
A small space often demands flexibility. If your home doesn’t allow for a permanent desk installation, consider getting a desk you can move around the house. Your options include a tiny laptop table, a small desk on rolls, or a compact leaning desk that can be placed wherever you have wall space.
Unfortunately, the website which originally featured the DIY laptop desk pictured above was taken down. For now, you can access instructions here, courtesy of the internet Archive‘s Wayback Machine. There are several pricey commercial versions of this desk, such as the Quello Table by Phil Procter or the Wallflower Desk by Jonas & Jonas.
The Koloro Desk is a designer piece from Torafu Architects. Basically, it’s a box on an improved sawhorse. The piece is modular, meaning the box can be set up on any surface. Add rollers to its feet and you can easily move around the entire desk.
While the Coaster Contemporary computer workstation spruces up spaces with a more utilitarian vibe, it’s nevertheless a functional, portable desk. Moreover, the Coaster Contemporary computer workstation truly captures the magic of the TV cart which you likely recall oh so well from the days of old which signified classroom movie day. Complete with its built-in casters, this is a solid portable desk option.
Alternatively, the e-Joy mobile computer cart presents several configurations in a small form factor. The stand includes wheels for ease of portability, and a section for a laptop or keyboard, and monitor. Plus, lower sections allow for placement of a desktop and even peripherals such as a printer.
How It Saves Space:
- small form factor
- can easily be moved out of the way
- no installation required
- some models can be built for cheap
- constant struggle with cables
- no permanent space for desk accessories in some models
Flexibility is great, but it isn’t necessarily convenient. If you desire a desk with ample space to store work utensils, a small office hidden in a cabinet (also known as a secretary desk) might be just the thing.
The Flat Mate Desk is an ultra-thin modern secretary desk that takes up only 0.09 square meters when closed. Due to its folding design, you can expand a respectable desktop, which provides sufficient space for your work. Hidden in its lower back is a slim storage space, accessible via side flaps.
This playful interpretation of a secretary desk leaves more room to play for your kids. This interpretation of the classic secretary desk offers a generous amount of desk space while looking like a regular cabinet when closed. I would choose a slightly more comfortable seat, though.
Interested in a retro-inspired secretary desk? The Winsome Wood walnut desk masquerades as a fine piece of furniture. That’s not to say it isn’t, but this secretary desk appears as simply a lush cabinet. But opening its top-drawer exposes a spacious desktop inside a unit which neatly closes in on itself.
Similarly, Bowery Hill’s secretary desk in a regal estate black seems at home as a dresser or wardrobe. Yet it unfolds to expose a surprisingly roomy workspace.
How It Saves Space:
- cabinet form factor
- desktop folds up when not in use
- conceals clutter
- potentially offers space for storing ring binders and accessories
- desktop might not be as robust or durable as that of a regular desk
- desk needs to be cleared for folding up
As a freelance writer and editor, my home office probably gets the most use of any room in my house. Crucial to the aesthetics and function of my home office is the desk. Since I’m short on space, a desk that balances space saving without sacrificing form is essential. There is a creative desk solution for every home, regardless of its size. Which compact home office is best depends on the physical space, as well as how much desk area you require. If you benefit from a dedicated home office, a more traditional desk or a secretary desk is an excellent idea.
When decorating small spaces to perfection, you might want to go with a fold-up desk to conceal the potential clutter. To stay flexible, a stylish file cabinet on wheels paired with a mobile desk could be a great solution for a mobile home office. Wheeled laptop or computer stands offer loads of functionality and portability. Alternatively, a desk topper wields the power to transform any home surface into a work environment, plus these typically afford standing desk benefits.
What is your favorite desk and what does your desk look like right now?
Image Credit: [seemann]/MorgueFile.com