36 Desk Ideas That Are Perfect for Small Spaces

Front view of a small desk against a wall

The Spruce / Marty Baldwin

Whether you moved your work from an office to your home or just need a place to web-surf, pay bills, or scan emails, you will be more productive with a well-designed office workspace. But what if you don’t have room for an actual home office? It won’t be a problem if you’re equipped with smart desk ideas for small spaces.

To offer you inspiration, here are some great small space solutions that’ll creatively turn corners, nooks, and unexpected areas into suitable workspaces.

  • 01of 36

    Multi-Tier Shelf Desk

    shelf used as small desk

    Cathie Hong

    Small spaces often require unique solutions. If you don’t need a ton of surface area, using the lowest shelf of a bookcase, like in this room by Cathie Hong, can be a perfect solution.

  • 02of 36

    Midcentury Modern Style

    small desk midcentury modern

    Ann Living

    Low-slung, midcentury modern furniture works in small spaces because pieces like these do not carry much visual heft. This wood desk in a Scandinavian apartment decorated by Ann Living is a terrific example. Its beautiful wood finish and compact design made it a chic fit for the small living room. The plush yellow chair completes a perfectly functional home office space. 

  • 03of 36

    Tiny Alcove Workstation

    small desk in an alcove space

    Arbor & Co.

    Making every inch count in a teensy dwelling can be tricky. In this rustic home, interior designer Arbor & Co. rises to the challenge by filling an empty alcove with a tiny built-in desk and additional shelves for storage. 

  • 04of 36

    Custom Style Desk for Kid’s Room

    small vintage desk for kid's room

    Emily Henderson

    In small spaces, including kid’s rooms, large pieces of solid furniture can be oppressive, so why not opt for something different?  This one in a room designed by Emily Henderson captures a vintage style with two iron cast legs that sit at the perfect height for your little one to do schoolwork or read.

  • 05of 36

    Thin Features

    minimalist desk

    Nude and Novice

    By choosing a desk with slim features, like in this apartment by Instagram account Nude and Novice, you can still have a stylish home office setup without taking up too much space.

  • 06of 36

    Adjustable Desk

    adjustable desk

    Domm Dot Com

    It’s essential to get a desk that can work with you—especially if you’re working in a smaller space. This adjustable one from IKEA can have its height changed from a sitting to a standing desk. Domm Dot Com claims that even the smaller version of this at 45″ is still plenty of space to get work done.

  • 07of 36

    Flat Surface

    flat desk/table in bedroom

    JC Designs

    Adding a desk to your bedroom will certainly take up some space. Choosing an option with a flat surface, such as this one seen in JC Designs‘s bedroom, can serve as a table when not in use as a workspace.

  • 08of 36

    Repurposed Vintage Table

    vintage repurposed desk

    Mary Patton Design

    We love cheap, vintage pieces loaded with character. Here, an old wood desk in this apartment decorated by Mary Patton Design is a perfect fit right next to the window.

  • 09of 36

    Use a Basic Table

    small table as desk

    Kateryna Gonchar

    Rather than purchasing an actual desk, choosing a basic table can still serve the purpose of a home office without breaking the bank. This apartment from Kateryna Gonchar incorporates a simple table that can work as a place to display decor or a place to get work done, without taking up an unnecessary amount of room.

  • 10of 36

    Blend It In

    small white desk in entryway against white wall

    Laquita Tate Styling and Designs

    If you worry about a desk being an eyesore, then trying to tone it down can be a helpful approach to take. Laquita Tate Styling and Designs matched this white desk to the exact same shade as the wall behind it—making it look almost invisible.

  • 11of 36

    Desk in a Closet

    desk/craft tableSara

    Design: Emily Henderson Photo: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    Thanks to inexpensive, wall-mounted shelving, this closet featured on Emily Henderson conceals a small desk and storage shelves. Your home office vanishes simply by closing the sliding closet door. Home storage retailers and home improvement centers offer a variety of products that can be adapted to create a desk like this. 

  • 12of 36

    Desk With Crossed Legs

    folding desk

    Jenn Pablo Studio

    Desks come in plenty of different shapes and sizes—meaning you can find a selection that will work well in any space in your home. This desk in a room designed by Jenn Pablo Studio features a set of crossed legs that give the appearance of a sleeker model.

  • 13of 36

    Glass Top Desk

    glass desk with silver legs

    Jenn Pablo Studio

    Looking for another way to create the illusion of a smaller desk? Glass top versions not only have a chic, elegant feel but can give appear almost invisible at times. In this living room by Jenn Pablo Studio, the combination of a glass surface and thin, silver legs looks as though you can see right through it.

  • 14of 36

    Go Long

    long black table serving as desk in small space

    Kirsten Diane

    Sometimes a smaller space requires a different approach. Rather than choosing a desk that is smaller, you can choose a table that stretches longer but thinner across the surface, such as this space from Kirsten Diane. This can depend on space but can work well to ensure you have plenty of room to walk around rather than choosing a smaller yet bulkier choice that won’t be as practical in the long run.

  • 15of 36

    Floating Nook Desk

    shelf desk

    Latham Interior Design

    This nook sure is pretty, but its size could easily deem it wasted space. Enter Latham Interior Design, who turned this funky spot into a functional work area with a custom-built floating desk shaped to fit the space. Odd angled corners like this are awkward fits for most commercial furniture pieces, and a custom-built hanging desk like this one is the perfect solution. 

  • 16of 36

    Open and Airy Furniture

    small desk in hallway

    Britt Design Co.

    Sometimes the perfect space is right in front of you, even if it seems unconventional. This small nook in between rooms, in a home designed by Britt Design Co., is the perfect size for a simple desk, which is exactly what it is used for. While the nook may seem small, its position in the hallway still allows for plenty of space so as to not feel cramped and contained.

  • 17of 36

    Floating Shelf Desk

    floating shelf desk

    KJ Design Mortar and Styling

    Another take on the floating desk concept, KJ Design Mortar and Styling used thin gold braces to mount a dark piece of wood to the wall, creating a simple, elegant setup.

  • 18of 36

    Between the Built-Ins

    small desk in between built-ins

    LeClair Decor

    Making use of the space between built-ins is incredibly underrated. This setup by LeClair Decor includes a small surface with drawers, as well as a few floating shelves, in between large cabinets, creating an all-inclusive workspace.

  • 19of 36

    Every Nook and Cranny

    small desk in bedroom nook

    LeClair Decor

    Another stunning example of putting a nook to good use, this corner by LeClair Decor doesn’t waste any space—a wood desk, a pair of spacious drawers, and floating shelves that stretch to the ceiling make an ideal home office out of a small space.

  • 20of 36

    Build Around It

    desk extended into built int

    LeClair Decor

    A unique approach to the usual small space dilemma, LeClair Decor didn’t opt to cut down this desk to fit between other furniture. Instead, the piece of wood extends all the way down the wall, where a set of cabinets are built around the piece. The results are unconventional but stylish.

  • 21of 36

    Use The Wall For Support

    half desk using wall for support

    LeClair Decor

    Small spaces don’t always leave room for a full desk. The solution? Use the wall for support instead of an additional leg. LeClair Decor took this approach, using two pieces of wood to form a desk, but mounted the top piece to the wall for stability.

  • 22of 36

    Leave Room for Only The Essentials

    small thin desk


    Realistically, selecting a desk for a small space may come down to…getting a small desk. As long as it has room for all your essentials, a small desk can work exceptionally well, as COTTAGE + SEA proves here.

  • 23of 36

    Wraparound Desk

    corner desk wraparound

    Mary Patton Design

    Mary Patton Design proves that having a small space doesn’t mean you have to scale down your options. A corner desk can help work with the length of your room and still leave you with plenty of space for all your office supplies.

  • 24of 36

    Go The Minimalist Route

    floating desk

    Michelle Boudreau Design

    Truly, a small space may require just the basics, like this small office from Michelle Boudreau Design. A singular wood surface serves as a desk, holding only a lamp, computer, and small plant.

  • 25of 36

    Choose a Desk With Rounded Edges

    rounded edges small desk

    Ashley Montgomery Design

    Rather than a rectangular desk with sharp corners, try choosing a desk with rounded edges instead. This can work great in smaller spaces, like this home office by Ashley Montgomery Design. The desk is angled away from the wall, and the curved edges make the surrounding area appear more spacious.

  • 26of 36

    Build a Floating Desk

    White Eames style chair by window desk

    Tyler Karu

    In nooks that aren’t big enough for a full-blown office space, but are certainly large enough to house a workspace, try implementing a floating desk like this one. It can double as a makeshift office and a place where you settle down with a good book on weekends.

  • 27of 36

    Complement the Surrounding Decor Theme

    Small wooden desk

    @ann.living / Instagram

    When you’re trying to maneuver a desk into a small space, it helps when it matches its surroundings. The small wooden version seen here works wonderfully with the picture frames and the board behind it. When materials are cohesive, your workspace won’t feel intrusive or stick out like a sore thumb.

  • 28of 36

    Store Items and Study in One Spot

    Nook desk area

    Arbor & Co.

    Make the most of a small desk area by implementing storage space around it, too. Whether it’s to hold extra office supplies, decorative objects, or something else unrelated to work, don’t forget to take advantage of the vertical space that often frames a small nook like this.

  • 29of 36

    Create a Cutout

    Small desk area

    @cottageandsea / Instagram

    To help designate a work spot in your home without deeming an entire room your home office, you can carve it out with wallpaper, a divider, or a splash of paint. This room doubles as a dining space and a work room, which is perfectly punctuated by the striped divider.

  • 30of 36

    Look to the Windows

    Colorful small desk area

    Dazey Den

    The space beneath windows is prime real estate for a desk setup and it’s normally not taken up by other furniture items. Measure the area before bringing in a table and then curate a comfortable work space—extra design points if you pick a window with a good view.

  • 31of 36

    Incorporate a Foot-of-the-Bed Desk

    Desk at the foot of the bed

    JC Design / Instagram

    When your bedroom also serves as your office, it’s smart to really separate the two (and prevent your bed from becoming a workspace). While many desks go up against a nearby wall, this foot of the bed configuration is a nice change. This set up shows how even in smaller bedrooms you can still successfully place a desk.

  • 32of 36

    Opt for Desks That Double as Decor

    Vintage desk by window

    Rikki Snyder

    Don’t select a desk based on utility alone. You want it to fit in with the rest of your home, so when it’s not in use it doesn’t feel out of place. For example, a vintage-inspired room might be off balanced by an ultra-modern desk or a sleek, contemporary space won’t look right with a distressed wooden table. This special writing desk nicely displays how to pick something right for the room that feels like a piece of decor all by itself.

  • 33of 36

    Plantify Your Desk

    Desk with plants

    @leafandlolo / Instagram

    Desks can be cold, sterile places. To liven up the folders and pen holders, bring in a plant or two (or five in this case) to reap all the benefits they provide while you work. This is a win-win situation for plant lovers who may not have space elsewhere in the home to add to their collection. Be aware if your desk is in a sunny or light-lacking spot, so you can pick plants that work well in that specific environment.

  • 34of 36

    Turn Awkward Spaces Into a Desk Area

    Tropical inspired desk area

    Michelle Boudreau Design

    Once the furniture is in a room, there might be wall space or corners that aren’t big enough to house other pieces, but will perfectly serve as a desk space. This bedroom shows how room left between two dressers can become an ideal spot for your work surface.

  • 35of 36

    Go for Simple

    Small desk by window

    Tyler Karu

    Life extends beyond work, so when it comes to blending the worlds of your career and your home, choose simple pieces to avoid always feeling like you’re sitting in your office on days off. This simple desk and chair configuration is stylish, design-friendly, and not extremely corporate, but it still provides a nice place to buckle down and tick items off your to-do list.

  • 36of 36

    Implement Shelves for Extra Storage Space

    Small desk area with shelves

    Tina Ramchandani Creative

    If you prefer to keep your desk minimally decorated and stocked, look to additional shelving units to make room for other decor bits and work staples. Utilizing floating shelves means you won’t have to find extra space for housing a file cabinet or floor-bound side table.