Embracing some creative minimalist small office ideas is the key is to transforming your workspace. This not only looks modern and stylish, it helps create a functional and productive work-from-home set-up that is clutter-free and professional.
From neutral colors to sleek office furniture, there are so many ways to create a minimalist aesthetic for your workspace, whether you have a dedicated home office or a desk in your bedroom or living room.
We asked design experts for the best small office ideas to makeover a drab room. Up ahead, we share their ideas to help spark some inspiration, plus our favorite minimalist buys for your small office.
8 minimalist small office ideas
Minimalism is a great style to embrace in a small office as it helps keep clutter to a minimum. You won’t have to buy many items, so it’s a handy way to makeover a small office on a budget. See our suggestions for implementing this modern style in your home.
1. Go for neutral colors
One of the best ways to establish a minimalist small office is to choose neutral colors for your space. White, cream, beige, tan, light gray, and natural wood are all excellent starting points and can help you curate a room that feels coordinated and stylish while remaining functional. This light Threshold wooden desk from Target is a great place to start.
To elevate this color palette, consider adding an accent color for decorative pieces — whether it be a desk lamp, vase, or bookends — such as black, sage green, or soft pink. These agate stone bookends from West Elm make a real statement on a desk or bookshelf.
“A light color palette is the first step towards a minimalist home office as the room will look cohesive and relaxing,” says Lucy Searle, Content Director, Real Homes.
Lucy Searle has written about interiors, property, and gardens for over 30 years, starting within the interiors departments of women’s magazines before switching to interiors-only titles in the mid-1990s. In 2018, Lucy took on the role of Global Editor in Chief for Realhomes.com, taking the site from a small magazine add-on to a global success. She was asked to repeat that success at Homes & Gardens, where she also took on the editorship of the magazine. Lucy is now Content Director across Homes & Gardens, Woman & Home, Real Homes, and Ideal Home. Lucy is a serial renovator and also owns rental properties in the UK and Europe, so brings first-hand knowledge to the subjects she oversees.
2. Maximize storage for a clean look
It’s no secret that small office clutter can feel overwhelming. Instead of displaying supplies like tape staplers, paperclips, notepads, and pens, opt for a desk with plenty of storage space that allows you to keep your necessities organized while also keeping them out of sight.
When choosing a desk, go for options with cabinets and drawers to keep a sleek look, but try to avoid excessive hardware. This wooden writing desk from Target comes with two drawers and no outer hardware for a clean look.
Hannah Kirk is an interior designer and owner of Kirk’s. She offers interior design services including home renovations, niche styling and retail store design.
3. Consider a standing desk
If your office is on the small side and you want to keep things minimal and functional, a versatile standing desk can do the trick. These don’t usually have storage and, therefore, don’t appear as bulky as other small space furniture.
Plus, having a standing desk means you can keep your seating situation minimal and opt for a stool instead of a bulky office chair. Plus, you can use your standing desk for other activities. If you store it in the bedroom, you can use it as a place to get ready in the morning. And if you store it in the living room, it can act as a great small space dining table.
This adjustable standing desk available on Amazon is well-loved by customers with over 11k reviews.
4. Try a monochromatic look
If you want to add some color to your office, consider pale hues like a like sage green, like this light green color from Lick, or soft gray-blue tone, like this pale blue color from Lick. Painting your walls, desk, and shelving the same color can also create a monochrome look that feels minimal without looking too bare.
The color you choose can also help determine your overall aesthetic so, if you are going for a more traditional minimalist look, you might opt for white or cream but if you want something that feels a little more eclectic or bohemian, a soft pop of color can help you achieve the look.
5. Invest in a coffee table with laptop stand
if you’re stuck in a small one-bedroom or studio apartment, you may not have the luxury of a devoted home office. That means you’re going to make to make the most of your living area with furniture that doubles as a work station and relaxation space.
To achieve this, consider investing in a coffee table with a laptop stand and storage, like this clever wooden coffee table from Wayfair. During the day, it functions as a work desk and in the evenings it folds down to a normal coffee table to eat dinner off of or prop your feet on.
“I work at home from my living room and I’ve really been eyeing up a laptop-stand coffee table to make things easier,” says Emily Lambe, Deputy Editor, Real Homes. “It’s just the perfect solution I’ve been looking for so I can have a desk without storing an additional piece of living room furniture.”
6. Opt for a long entry table
If you need a lot of room to spread out, a traditional desk might not cut it — plus, larger desks are one of the things you should never have in a small office space.
Instead, opt for a long entry table with waterfall legs for a sleek and seamless look, like this wooden Threshold console table form Target. These tables don’t take up as much space width-wise but are large enough to fit your necessities while allowing you a little more room in the length to work.
All you’ll need is a small storage chest to tuck underneath to keep all your office essentials out of the way.
7. Create a built-In look
No matter what your design aesthetic is, when working with a small office space, the key is to make it feel intentional. Creating a built-in look can help you achieve this.
If your office has a small nook, consider adding a floating tabletop and installing floating shelves, like these acrylic ones available on Amazon, that extend to the length of the nook and make it look as if it’s built in.
“Floating shelves above a desk in a living room is a great solution because you can store all your office essentials while still creating a place for displaying decor items you may already have in your room,” says Lucy Searle, Content Director, Real Homes.
8. Add texture
When working with a minimalist small office, you want to keep your color palette clean and neutral. To elevate the overall aesthetic, incorporate some textures into your office space.
We love the look of this minimalist office nook. Not only does the striped fabric material on the wall serve as a chic wallpaper alternative, it’s also highly functional and doubles as a pin board. To recreate the look, attach cork tiles, like these tiles available from Amazon, to your wall and secure a piece of fabric over top. Finish it off by adding a floating shelf to create a built-in look.
If you’re stuck in an apartment and want to pull off this built-in look, don’t worry. Making rental renovations to your apartment can still be possible if you plan ahead and get approval from your landlord.
“I made a few improvements to my one-bedroom rented apartment,” says Emily Lambe, Deputy Editor, Real Homes. “I just wrote down exactly what I wanted to change and sent it to my landlord in an email. She gave full approval and I was able to install some extra shelves.”
Emily Lambe is the deputy digital editor at Real Homes. She graduated with a degree in journalism from Rochester Institute of Technology and has been writing ever since. Emily writes about all things decor, fragrance, organization, and other home essentials.
Best minimalist small office buys
Bay Isle Home Dyani Coffee Table
The Bay Isle Home Dyani Coffee Table is both functional and stylish. This coffee table features a laptop shelf, interior storage, and a rattan accent cabinet for a trendy touch. On top of that, is has a bottom cubby shelf that you can use to store your favorite coffee table books so that they’re a little more out-of-sight for a less cluttered look.
The East Urban Home Desk from Wayfair is a sleek office furniture piece that is minimalistic and functional, thanks to its hardwareless cabinets and drawers. This desk also comes in a beautiful natural wood hue that would work well with a neutral color palette, too.
Set of two
Homeforia Rustic Farmhouse Floating Shelves
Whether you’re creating a built-in look or need some additional storage, floating shelves are a small office must-have. The Homeforia Rustic Farmhosue Floating Shelves come in a set of two and feature a light, natural wood finish. Plus, they’re available in three different sizes, allowing you to customize your storage.
How do I make my office minimalist?
To create a minimalist office space, storage is one of the most important things to consider. In addition to storage, Kirk also says to avoid any wall art or decor that could be interpreted as maximalist. “For instance, instead of a gallery wall, I encourage one singular large piece of artwork.”
How do I set up a home office with no space?
Not having a lot of space to work with can get tricky, but it’s not impossible to create an at-home office space without an extra bedroom. Kirk recommends concerting a closet into a working surface by removing the doors and transforming it into an office nook.
This not only gives you the space you need but also helps create a separate workspace to ensure boundaries between life and work in the home.
“Corner desks are also a great opportunity to minimize your office footprint in a shared space,” she adds.
Creating a minimalist small office is all about the right colors, textures, and, of course, keeping things minimal. Since offices tend to require a lot of stuff, choosing office furniture — such as small bedroom desks, cabinets, and coffee tables — with hidden storage can help ensure everything has a place and nothing is out in plain sight, creating clutter.
For an easy minimalist aesthetic, consider going for a more monochromatic look with your paint and desk colors, or choose light, natural wood pieces to accent a white and cream look.