Short on Space? Try These Compact Home Office Desks!
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home office desks When I grew up, my mom was self-employed and had her own home office with a large desk in the basement. Meanwhile my dad, who had a regular job, turned the broom closet into a tiny office for himself. It was the highlight of every house tour. Dad eventually joined the basement office, but the broom closet with its small corner desk remains the place where my parents store their paperwork until this day.

Desks have this tendency to take up space, they easily gather clutter, and generally don’t blend in well. When you are short on space you have to be creative. If a home office desk isn’t a major priority and if you don’t happen to have a broom closet, room in the basement, or an unused nook in the kitchen 3 Ways To Install a Computer In Your Kitchen 3 Ways To Install a Computer In Your Kitchen Installing a computer in the kitchen is a brilliant idea. Not only does it deliver cooking tips and recipes right where you need them, you can also maintain your digital and cloud-synced shopping list or... Read More , you might want to look at some of the options below.

Standing Desk Your Backbone Will Thank You: 6 Great Standing Desk Designs Your Backbone Will Thank You: 6 Great Standing Desk Designs Sitting can kill you or at least cause serious health issues. Unfortunately, many jobs require us to sit at our desks for many hours a day. While it's tough to change what you do for... Read More

We have previously written about the health risks associated with sitting 4 Serious Health Issues From Sitting Too Long & How To Avoid Them 4 Serious Health Issues From Sitting Too Long & How To Avoid Them When you work at any job that requires long hours sitting at a computer - programming, accounting, writing - it is very easy to stay in that one position for eight to nine working hours... Read More and how standing desks can benefit your health From Sitting To Standing While Typing: Why You Need To Change Your Working Habit From Sitting To Standing While Typing: Why You Need To Change Your Working Habit Writing full-time keeps me sitting at a desk nearly eight hours a day. My office chair is not one of those Lexus ergonomic models designed to take away the pain of sitting, and though I’ve... Read More . Turns out a stand up desk can also help you save space.

home office desks

How It Saves Space:

  • no chair needed
  • requires less depth
  • can be installed like a shelf on the wall

Bonus Points:

  • can help improve your health
  • some easy and affordable DIY models available


  • switching from a sitting to a standing desk takes time getting used to

Wall Mounted Desk

A wall mounted desk is an ultimate space saver. Without the legs in the way, your room looks more spacious and cleaner. Now you only need to hide your nasty cable clutter 5 Ways To Clean Up Computer Cable Clutter Under Your Desk 5 Ways To Clean Up Computer Cable Clutter Under Your Desk Cable clutter is one of technology's biggest annoyances. Today we show you how to organize and arrange the cables under your desk. Read More .

office desks

If you are into recycling, you will love this DIY fold-up pallet desk.

office desks

This floating corner desk is another DIY project. You will find shelves in any home improvement store and they can be adapted to whatever space is available in your home. Be sure to choose sufficient depth for a sitting desk.

How It Saves Space:

  • no legs in the way

Bonus Points:

  • can be adapted to any space, including corners
  • can be designed as fold-up desk
  • floats above ground and eases cleaning


  • requires tools and handicraft skills for mounting

Mobile Desk

A small space often demands flexibility. If your home doesn’t allow for a permanent desk installation, consider getting a desk you can move around the house. Your options include a tiny laptop table, a small desk on rolls, or a compact leaning desk that can be placed wherever you have wall space.

office desks

Unfortunately, the website which originally featured the DIY laptop desk pictured above was taken down. For now you can access instructions here, courtesy of the Internet Archive‘s WayBack Machine. There are several pricey commercial versions of this desk, such as the Quello Table by Phil Procter or the Wallflower Desk by Jonas & Jonas.

compact office desk

The Koloro Desk is a designer piece from Torafu Architects. Basically, it’s a box on an improved sawhorse. The piece is modular, meaning the box can be set up on any surface. Add rolls to its feet and you can easily move around the entire desk.

How It Saves Space:

  • small form factor
  • can easily be moved out of the way

Bonus Points:

  • no installation required
  • some models can be built for cheap


  • constant struggle with cables
  • no permanent space for desk accessories in some models

Secretary Desk

Flexibility is great, but it isn’t necessarily convenient. If you desire a desk with ample space to store work utensils, a small office hidden in a cabinet, aka secretary desk, might be just the thing.

compact office desk

The Flat Mate Desk is an ultra thin modern secretary desk that takes up only .09 square meters when closed. Due to its folding design, you can expand a respectable desktop, which provides sufficient space for your work. Hidden in its lower back is a slim storage space, accessible via side flaps.

compact office desk

This playful interpretation of a secretary desk leaves more room to play for your kids.

home office desks

This interpretation of the classic secretary desk offers a generous amount of desk space, while looking like a regular cabinet when closed. I would choose a slightly more comfortable seat, though.

How It Saves Space:

  • cabinet form factor
  • desktop folds up when not in use

Bonus Points:

  • conceals clutter
  • potentially offers space for storing ring binders and accessories


  • desktop might not be as robust or durable as that of a regular desk
  • desk needs to be cleared for folding up


There is a creative desk solution for every home, regardless its size. When decorating small spaces to perfection, you might want to go with a fold-up desk to conceal the potential clutter. To stay flexible, a stylish file cabinet on wheels paired with a mobile desk could be a great solution for a mobile home office.

What is your favorite desk and what does your desk look like right now?

Image credit: Office Desk via Shutterstock

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  1. Brenda tress
    September 3, 2013 at 2:46 am

    Need more ideas for computer desk built inside the corner entertainment ctr for park model to hide away when not in use. Pls help me find some ideas ASAP. I ordered the park model to be built but ...cant find anything useful to store office supplies, printer, and laptop I want something where i can pull out the table for laptop and push inside to close with a cabinet door to keep it private from guests. Small living space 400 sq. ft for bedroom bathroom, kitchen, dining/living space.

  2. Jenna of wolfconstruction
    July 9, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Great idea! Love the Flat Mate Desk. It looks chic and saves a lot of space. Keep those ideas coming!

  3. Onaje Asheber
    June 21, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I love the, Flat Mate Desk the most! All were good ideas, anyway!

  4. Rhealyn Bracero
    June 21, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    I like the Koloro Desk. :)

  5. Daniel Escasa
    June 21, 2013 at 6:04 am

    Re: cable clutter. MUO's written several articles about this, one of them suggesting the use of binder clips.

    Bottom line: it shouldn't be an issue, e.g.,

    The Koloro Desk is a designer piece from Torafu Architects. Basically, it’s a box on an improved sawhorse.
    constant struggle with cables