By Charlene Gonzales

A separate office is ideal, but it is not necessary. In fact, most people who work from home tend to do their job in different areas of the house. They migrate from the bedroom to the dining table, to the couch, and back to the bedroom again.

However, working like this doesn’t always work out. Sooner or later, you’ll realize the need for a dedicated home office where you can do paperwork and keep all the important documents. If you don’t have an extra room at home for an office, this article can help you find an alternative solution. Here’s how you can create a small yet flexible and functional home office space in your humble abode.

Conceal It In a Cupboard

Cupboards are cabinets or closets intended for storage. Luckily, you can convert these storage spaces into a hidden study. Open the cabinet’s doors when you’re ready to start working and close them when the day’s over.  

Make the most out of a cupboard office through planning the design properly. First, you have to make sure that the storage and desk fit inside the cabinet space. Then, choose a chair or stool which you can tuck underneath the desk. With that in mind, the doors should open and close without difficulties. At the same time, you can maximize office storage through building shelves up to the ceiling. This way, you’re not wasting any vertical space inside the cupboard. However, if this makes the study table darker, you can install under shelf lighting. These recessed lights illuminate the areas that are not reached by your ceiling lights and provides you with a properly lit cupboard office.

Station It Under the Stairs

Another clever space that you can use as study nook is just under your stairs. You can do this if you live in a two-story home with a staircase that takes a lot of space. Space under the stairs will be more valuable if it’s used as an office with a statement armchair, console table, and custom storage.

Squeeze an Office In the Alcoves

Alcoves or the recessed parts of the walls in a room are a blessing when you’re building your home office. It’s a great spot for a free standing desk or a customized writing bureau. If your alcoves are huge, you can create a cupboard with it and have your office inside.

Place It Near the Kitchen

At first, I thought it wasn’t ideal to have an office near or in the kitchen. Kitchen workstations, if not designed properly becomes a disaster—oily tables and unwanted food residue near our work-related stuff. However, these issues shouldn’t stop you from having an office at home. There are ways to hack a kitchen workstation.

Find a dead space in the kitchen, preferably an area near the walls. Do this so you have room for calendars, cork boards, or chalkboards. At the same time, you can repurpose some of your kitchen shelves and drawers as office storage. High storage space and pull-out shelves protect your stuff from dust and keep it away from children.

Use Dual-Purpose Furniture

Regardless of the size of the house, dual-purpose furniture pieces are great to use in the design. Multipurpose furniture showcases both function and style, no wonder they’re popular in the market. There is a wide variety of furniture designs available, all have different looks and functions. You can also watch out for secondhand or remodeled pieces on flea markets. For your home office, try looking for pieces which serve as table and storage. These can literally save you money and space, compared to buying a separate table and shelf. In addition, you can try salvaging old furniture parts and refurbishing them into your own, original desk-shelf combo.

At the end of the day, the design makes everything possible: Physically, it enables you to create a functional space inside the cupboard or under the stairs. Subconsciously, it helps you compartmentalize work from your private space. Design prevents you from juggling work, leisure, and family all together at home. It’s always up to you to take advantage of it.