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4 Ways to Maximize Space In a Small Home Office: Ideas and Design Tricks

Small Home Office Ideas and Designs: How to make the most of your space

There is always a way to fit in a home office space. Have you seen a home office fitted into a closet? Did you know that using a mirror can help make a space feel larger?

Here are small home office ideas that will help you create a great space to work in.

1. Creative Locations For Your Home Office Space

If you have a small room in mind for your home office, then you can skip this part. Here are just some creative ways you can fit a home office into your home:

  • See if you can clear out a closet that you don’t really need. This might sound strange, but a closet is a pretty effective way of creating a home office. You can check out the post I wrote on how to do this here: Creating a Workspace at Home: Closet Office Ideas
  • The bedroom is not the best place to have a home office if you can avoid it. You want your bedroom to be a relaxing, stress free space. And this is hard to do with your work on a desk nearby. But there are some ways to get around this. For example you could create a DIY room divider (use curtains, or a bookshelf) to hide the home office space when you are done for the day. Have a look at my post here for more bedroom home office ideas: Bedroom Home Office Ideas, Tips, and Designs.
  • And for ideas on how to create a home office in the basement, have a look at my post here: Ideas for Turning a Basement Space Into a Home Office

2. Creating Desk Space

The desk is the first thing to tackle in a small home office. Depending on your home office layout, you might need a corner L shaped desk, a thin desk, or a fold up desk. You might get lucky and be able to buy the right size/shaped desk at somewhere like IKEA. Or you might need to get all DIY, and build your own desk to make the most use of your small space.

DIYing your own desk doesn’t have to be a complicated and grand endevour. You simply need the right sized table top, and a way to prop it up. Most hardware stores (like Home Depot) will cut a sheet of plywood to your custom measurements. An old door, nailing pallet boards, or reclaimed wood can also be used as a tabletop. An old surfboard also works.

  • For more ideas and pictures, have a look at my post here: DIY Desk Ideas

When it comes to the legs of the desk, you could go with hairpin legs from Amazon or desk legs from IKEA. You could also build your own out of 2x4s. Or how about getting two draw units, or small filing cabinets that you could use as a base for your desk.

3. Design Tricks to Make Your Home Office Space Feel Larger.

Color Choice: Painting and decorating your home office with light colors will make your home office feel larger. Go with white, mint, or light grey.

Then again if you want to create a cozy feeling home office, look for a dark color to decorate your space.

Lighting: You’ll want to have your small home office space well lit. Try to have all of the corners in the room brightly lit, as this will make the space feel larger. A modern home office design will use recessed lights, as these are fitted into the ceiling hiding the light fixtures.

If you don’t plan on doing any remodeling, just make sure you have a bright desk lamp. If you are really limited on space, you can find desk lamps that clamp to the desk freeing up desktop space (you can get one in the Amazon window above).

And add some floor lamps if you have space, if not put another lamp on a shelf.

Mirror and Glossy Surfaces: See if you can hang up a mirror in your small home office. A mirror makes a space feel larger because not only does it create the illusion of more space, but the light bounces off of it making the room feel larger.

The same applies to using glossy surfaces. If you have cabinets, repaint them with glossy paint. Or if you are getting a desk, look for a top with a glossy surface. Or better yet, use glass – as this also makes a space feel larger.

One Large Decor Piece: In a home office, it is ideal to have a mini gallery wall of inspirational framed art and design pieces. But if you really want to make the room feel more spacious, it is best to hang up one large framed piece – as this creates a less cluttered and more streamlined look.

4. Storage Ideas For a Small Home Office

When it comes to storage for small rooms, you’ll want to make the most use of your walls. This means having shelving going all the way up the walls.

Some other creative ways of adding storage space to a small room include:

  • Hang a shelf above the door frame
  • Using over the door hangers and organizers. These can be put over the door to the room, or over any closet doors
  • Use the inside of your closet doors – screw in some hooks or railings

If you need to store anything out in the open, try and get good looking containers. This way your storage pieces also act as decor pieces in the room. Some examples of good looking storage containers include:

  • Wicker or wire baskets
  • Galvanized buckets
  • Wooden trays
  • A wicker hamper

For more home storage ideas, have a look at my post here: The Command Center: Home Office Organization and Storage Ideas.

Here are some other home office posts to get more ideas from:

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April 27, 2016 in Home Office, Small

Color Guide: Grey Basement Ideas

Grey Basement Ideas: Color Style Guide

The first question you need to ask yourself is “how much grey do you want”? And the second question to ask is “what shade of grey?”. These are the two questions we will be answering when going over the grey basement ideas below.

How Much Grey?

When most people think of a grey basement, they will imagine grey walls (and how about a grey ceiling?). This is one way to design a basement.

But there are more toned down options to consider.

How about painting one of the walls grey, and all of the other walls white – creating a feature wall. This one grey wall will really stand out against all of the other white walls.

There is the option of dividing up your wall. The bottom half or third could be covered in white wainscoting, while the top section is painted grey (The Finishing Touch: Wainscoting Ideas and Designs).

Or you could paint all of your walls white. And decorate the space with grey accent pieces. Imagine a white walled basement, and there is a grey couch, or even just a grey area rug. These main pieces in the basement can set the color scheme for the room, if you have a neutral color (white) for your walls.

In the section below, Grey Basement Pieces, I go over the different pieces in a basement that can help set the overall color scheme.

What Shade of Grey?

The shade of grey you decide to decorate your basement with will have a big impact on the way the space feels. Dark grey shades will create a cozy and secluded ambiance. While light grey shades will create a bright, airy, and spacious feeling space.

If you really want to create a strong grey color palette for your basement, then you will need to take out any colored pieces in the room. You don’t want to have a yellow trashcan, red pillows, and a blue area rug when you are trying to style a basement grey.

This doesn’t mean you can’t add colors. It just needs to be planned out. Stick to adding only 1 – 2 other colors; otherwise you lose the overall grey color scheme. A good way to add color is to use natural materials like wood for warm brown tones, plants to add greenery, metals, or stone.

Grey Basement Pieces

Whether you go for all grey basement walls, or opt for the all white walls option – there are main pieces in a basement that can add shades of grey into the space. Here are some ideas:

  • Add a grey area rug
  • Repaint your media console, closet, and cabinet doors grey (DIY Challenge: Give Your Closet Doors a Makeover: Ideas and Design Tips)
  • If you have any curtains in the space, these could be grey
  • The seating area is a main focal point in a living room basement. See if there are ways to add shades of grey here. Whether that is by getting grey seats, or just by using grey cushion covers, or a grey blanket.
  • See if there is a way to add grey to your coffee table area. Either by getting a metal or grey coffee table, or by getting a grey tray to put on top of the table to group together clutter items
  • A grey lamp shade
  • Hang up a grey art piece. Or use a large grey frame to hang up a non-grey art piece or photograph

Here are some other basement posts to get more ideas from:

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April 26, 2016 in Basement, Color Palettes

Classic: Black and White Living Room Ideas and Designs

Black and White Living Room Ideas: Style Guide

When most people think of a black and white living room, they will imagine white walls and a space decorated with black and white pieces. But there is also the bolder option of going with black walls – just like in the living rooms in pictures (4) (5) and (6).

But to add some style to your living room, you don’t want to just have flat plain walls. Instead try and infuse some design elements.

Making Your Walls Do More in the Room

Here are some ways to avoid flat plain walls:

  • Use wainscoting. You can either go with white wainscoting and black walls or vice versa. Or have the walls and wainscoting the same color (white or black).
  • Use trim. Adding trim to your walls gives it some depth and style – just like the black wall in picture (6)
  • Add textures. Whether you go for white walls or black ones, there are different ways you can add a subtle texture to them. Wallpaper is one idea; find one with a subtle textured pattern. Or use anaglypta wallpaper, which is a 3D wallpaper that can be painted over or left white.
  • Add crown molding. The crown molding can be a the opposite color of the wall (black vs. white) to create contrast (4) (5), or it can be the same color
  • If you have shelves on your walls, the backs of them can be painted the opposite color of the walls. Say you have white walls, then paint the back of the shelves black.
  • If you have a hard time doing any of these remodeling ideas, then a simple alternative is to hang up a gallery wall of black and white photographs just like the living room in picture (1).

Balancing the Black and the White

Some people might want a more white living room, decorated with a few black pieces. Others might want their space to be equally balanced with blacks and whites, and then there are living rooms that are more black heavy.

Below is a list of black and white living room decor items that will help you create the right balance in your space. Use black or white versions of the pieces listed to create the balance you want:

  • Area rugs
  • Curtains (black curtains on white walls makes for a good contrast, or white curtains hanging down from a black curtain rod just like in picture (3))
  • There are different ways you can play with the colors of the seating and furniture (black couch with white pillows, or vice versa. Or have the pillows and couch the same color)
  • Hang up some black and white photos in black frames (or how about gold or silver frames if you have a black wall)
  • See how your coffee table could balance out the black and white in the living room. A black coffee table could have a white tray on top of it to group together clutter items, or vice versa.
  • Have a look at the hanging pendant light in picture (3), and see how the black lamp shade makes a statement in the mostly white room.

Here are some other living room posts to get more ideas from:

image credits 1/2/3/4/5/6

April 26, 2016 in Color Palettes, Living Room

Color Style Guide: White Kitchen Ideas and Designs

White Kitchen Ideas: How to style a kitchen in white

When it comes to designing a white kitchen, you want to try and avoid creating a sterile look. The white kitchen ideas in this post will show you how to add warmth and texture to your space.

Add Warmth

A completely white kitchen can look a bit sterile. You can always add in some color through the feature and decor pieces. Blue and white, black and white are some good color combinations.

Here are some ways to add a pop of color into a white kitchen: hang up a colorful art piece (seen in picture (1)), use a colorful area rug, or hang up some colorful hand towels.

Another way to spice up a white kitchen design is to infuse it with natural materials, such as wood and stone. Look for bare wood cabinet doors, or countertops. The chairs you use could be wooden, bringing in shades of brown into the kitchen. Or how about using wicker and wooden storage containers (Kitchen Storage Ideas and Organization Tips). The window frames for the kitchen could be unpainted wooden ones, just like the kitchen in picture (4).

You can also add pops of green and other colors by placing potted plants around the kitchen.

Add Texture

See if you can add some subtle texture to your kitchen surfaces and walls. For example marble has a subtle grey texture to it. This can be used for countertops, backsplashes, tiling, or even shelving – check out the marble shelves in the post here.

Even using white subway tiles creates a subtle pattern on a wall.

Quick Design Tips

  • If you have a small kitchen look to get cabinets and countertops with glossy surfaces. Theses glossy surfaces bounce the light around the kitchen making the space feel larger
  • For a more modern kitchen look, try and avoid handles on the cabinets. Instead have cabinets that push pop to open, or have a groove handle carved out.

Here are some other kitchen posts to get ideas from:

image credits 1/2/3/4/5/6

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April 26, 2016 in Color Palettes, Kitchen