Creating a Home Office/Writing Nook in a Very Small Space

If you’ve ever wanted a home office but were convinced you didn’t have enough space, today’s post may give you hope — and you may also want to check out our Pinterest board on the theme of offices for small spaces or the article that we wrote for the The Daily Muse on the same topic.

After years of blogging about offices, last month we finally took the plunge and created a  home office of our own.  You can see that we weren’t working with much space at all, but space isn’t one of the five elements that we here at Office Envy believe are necessary to make an inspiring office.

before and after

It all started about a month ago when we decided to create a writing nook so we could get back into writing a novel after putting it down for about five years.

Taking a look around our small apartment it became obvious we’d have to be smart about using the space, since there was barely any unused space to work with.

But look! In front of the right window pane we saw some space that could be used more efficiently.


before use 3

So the junk pile would have to go. Once we cleaned up the clutter, the space looked like this. It measured 2 1/2′ wide and a little over a foot deep. Yes, it was small, but with the natural light filtering through the window and a little nook already carved out between the wall and the A/C unit the space had real potential.

before 3

So we went online looking for small desks. Eventually we decided on this little (and we do mean little) Ikea Micke desk. It comes is several colors but we liked the white best.


After a night of trying to assemble it unassisted (which is really a story for another time), we eventually got some help turning the pile of pieces into a desk.

But a desk does not a home office make and now it was time to add the five critical elements of an inspiring home office.

1.  Start with light. In this case we were lucky to find some space positioned next to a window so we have plenty of natural light during the day. If you don’t have natural light in your own nook, look for a desk lamp. Avoid florescent lighting if possible.

natural light

2.  Next, define the space by adding a rug.  We chose this purple runner just to add a pop of color.

purple rug

3.   Flowers: Fresh or silk, it matters not, but indoor foliage, particularly indoor flora, is a must.  If you needs some ideas on how to work flowers into your office decor, check out our Pinterest board on the theme of flowers in offices.

For our writing nook we chose some long stemmed Pottery Barn faux flowers and placed them in a West Elm vase we’ve had for years.  The flowers aren’t available on the Pottery Barn site now, but they have some other varieties available.


4.  Add some books. We love books in offices – they reveal so much about the person working there and lend real character to any workspace.  For our novel-writing nook we chose some on-topic tomes to start with.

The books we chose are all on the topic of advice for novel writers and they are:

Stein on Writing              Writing a Breakout Novel        Techniques of the Selling Writer

stein on writing

writing a breakouttechniques



5.   Finally, add an icon or something symbolic and meaningful to you. We love the idea of an animal as an icon and we recently adopted the peacock as ours.  So naturally we were thrilled to find these Peacock bookends. If you don’t have an animal that inspires you, consider adding in a symbol of a favorite place, a reminder of a favorite saying or memorabilia from a favorite book or movie to add some depth and a point of interest to your workspace.

Put them all together and you get our new little home office/writing nook.

finished product

How do you you think we did utilizing the small space?

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  1. Robyn says:

    Books and flowers; the perfect combo for a cute office set-up!

  2. office desk says:

    Small spaces can make ideal home offices for those lacking square footage. We just need to be little creative like this home office which is created so nicely!

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