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Small Home Offices

September 15, 2009

office-guestroom2

Image:Homes and Gardens

My husband and I have been toying with the idea of downsizing for a while now. We’re still young enough to lead the lifestyle of the healthy and active, but we are actually beyond the empty nester period of life. Our son left home for greener pastures a decade ago.

We now have the luxury of time and the boon of good health, but our house is quite large and two stories. What was once our idea of the near perfect house is now more than we want to take care of. We’re interested in travel, spending time with grandchildren and friends, and enjoying the increasing cultural growth in our city.

After a considerable absence from this house, the past few weeks have found us involved in numerous endeavors devised to reclaim our long empty house. As we’ve painted a peeling bench, swept and power washed the porch and deck, or pulled weeds from the neglected flower beds, we’ve mumbled too one another about downsizing, lower maintenance, a simpler and more manageable life.

As we’ve pitched old clothing, books, deck furniture, and numerous other items we no longer need, we’ve chatted about what kind of house we would like for this next stage of our lives. What exactly do we want in our next house. Perhaps even more importantly, what can we give up?

We now live in a four bedroom house. My office is set up in what would have been a small bedroom, and my husband enjoys a room designated as a gym. Maybe our next house will have an unfinished attic space or basement that can be transformed into a gym. Perhaps there will be a large closet or small nook that can serve as an office space for me. Do I honestly need an entire room? I’m willing to give up a little space to get a one story house that will offer the ease of living we’re seeking at this point in our lives.

This train of thought sent me looking for ideas about space saving home offices this morning. I mean, how much space is actually needed for an efficient office? What is the least amount of space in which I could comfortably and effectively work?  I think I’ll be exploring these questions and more in the not too distant future.

An efficient use of space tucks this home office into a second-floor landing. (Country Living)

office-de

And what about this idea (from Small Places)? What could require less space than housing it all in one piece of furniture?

office03

Office02

A neglected nook becomes usable workspace in HGTV’s Dream Home 2006.office-neglected-nook

And then there’s the clever tuck-it-into-a-guest-bedroom trick. (Country Living)officefurnitureCL2

officefurnitureCL

And last but not least, the old office-in-a-closet idea. BHG

office-in-a-closet

Tips For Home Offices In Small Spaces

  • rolling bins under the couch or bed
  • a wheeled cart that hides under the desk
  • a dresser or credenza with room for office supplies and visitors’ belongings
  • leather- or fabric-covered boxes, pretty file holders
  • woven baskets on a bookshelf to house rolled-up towels, bath salts and magazines for guests
  • two-drawer filing cabinets covered with fabric that double as side tables and nightstands
  • purge every thing you can do without and then purge some more
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. enambered permalink
    September 15, 2009 7:02 pm

    These are all lovely and creative ideas. I especially like the office in the closet trick. Good thinking!

    • BMA permalink*
      September 16, 2009 10:03 am

      Thanks for stopping by, Enambered. I hope you’ll come again.

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