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Home Office Insipiration for Small Spaces and Tight Budgets

home office inspiration

Alex and I moved to a new apartment. Now we don’t have space for a dedicated study or a desk in the bedroom, so we have to go with a workspace in the dinning/living/TV room (it’s our everything room). Here is some home office inspiration and ideas for small spaces and tight budgets.

He is a web developer and he works with a desktop PC. I now work from home and use a Macbook. Problem: we only have space for one small desk.

So, my challenge is to design a shared desk area in a very reduced space, that blends in with the living/dinning/TV room area atmosphere. This is especially hard because Alex is obsessed with ergonomics and has a black chair the size of a mammoth. I tried convincing him it was too big for a living room workspace, but I lost the discussion and he got to keep the chair (which, I have to admit, is very comfortable). It has to be functional and mess-free.

Basic needs for our home office -to-be:

1. Good Working Lamp

On the left side of the desk so that the shadow of your hand doesn’t cover what you’re writing (opposite if you’re a lefty)

2. Desktop Storage

We need something with a drawer so that he can put away his keyboard, mouse and headphones when he is not using them.

3. Wall visual organization and planning tools

I make lists, I need visual organization and inspiration. To-do lists, moodboards, notes, etc. Wall clock and calendar for planning and keeping track of time.

4. Shelving and wall storage

A couple of shelves with boxes for clutter-free extra storage, decoration and visual inspiration objects.

We also need a way to put the screen on the wall at eye-level, to both leave more free surface on the desk and for ergonomics.

Inspiration for small home offices:

Home office Color Scheme

I love this color scheme: white, light natural wood and green plants. I’m definitely going with this color palette, maybe adding some bright color accents with accessories.

workspace color scheme

Tiny Ikea Desks

A couple of ideas for tiny desks from Ikea for small workspaces. The Micke desk (40€. 50x75x75cm) and a combination of Linnmon top (10€. 60x100com) and Krille legs (10.50€ each). The drawer in the Micke desk is a plus, but I love the look of the Krille legs and the versatility of a rolling desk.

tiny Ikea desks for small workplaces

Floating, Extensible Desks

Floating shelving and desk systems are also a great idea, but fitting a PC screen in there and leaving space for wall organization will not be easy. Plus, weight is an issue if you need to store books or other heavy items.

floating shelving and desk systems

Cheap Ikea Shelves

Ikea has many options for cheap shelves. My top picks are:

1. Ikea Lack (top left, 8€ each). Pros: floating gives it a clean and modern look. Cons: weight is an issue.

2. Ikea Ribba (right, from 5.50€). Pros: great for displaying books and picture frames. Cons: not enough deep for storage boxes.

3. Ikea Ekby (bottom left, from 12€). Pros: different size, color  and combination options. Cons: can’t think of any right now.

More interesting options: Enudden, Fabian, Bekvan… and going up on price Väden.

Great addon for shelves and space optimization: the Observatör hanging basket.

Ikea shelving cheap options

 Wall Organization Ideas

Magnetic whiteboards, cork boards, steel cable and clips, clipboards, washi tape, post its, calendar, moodboards, wall clock… combine and conquer. Boost motivation and productivity with wall organization and visual planning elements.

wall organization and visual planning

Desk Lamp Love

Some desk lamps I fell in love with while seeking inspiration and ideas.

desk lamp ideas


Even in a limited space, a functional and beautiful home office can be accomplished with a tight budget. Later, when I’m done, I will write before and after post to show you my transformation.

Share your workplaces with me too!

PS: I so want an iMac again :(

Image sources: theultralinx.com / ikea.com / pinterest / mundadaa.blogspot.fi / weekdaycarnival.blogspot.se



  1. Lesley says

    I’ve just moved into a shared flat and I’m trying to achieve the same thing but in my bedroom! Love the floating, extensible desk. Great space saver!

    • lentil says

      Great space saver if you don’t need any more storage space (drawers, etc.) and makes cleaning so much easier. If you want, send me pics of your room and I’ll help you figure it out. Do you have an Ikea nearby? I send you a tight hug!

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