Offices in Closets & Small Spaces

By May 20, 2010 7 Comments
from Paula Prass (love her colorful blog!)

A friend of mine lives in a great but tiny apartment with an incredible view of the city (if you call Salt Lake a city).  She’s considering turning a closet off the main living area into an office.  I’ve seen some great office-to-closet conversions so I was excited for the chance to do a post for her.

A common theme in all these photos is the use of wall space.  Whether it’s shelves, fabric-covered bulletin boards, colorful clipboards, or peg board, don’t forget how useful walls can be in areas where you don’t have a lot of room for desktop space.

These old filing cabinets were given new life with spray paint.

source unknown (sorry anonymous lady with super fun office!)
Organization is key, and cardboard storage boxes can be a very inexpensive way to get organized.

from flickr
I love the bulletin boards here, and the stacked drawer units.
from flickr
A simpler desk space.  The black & white look great, though there’s not a lot of “hiding” space here.
The pegboard and floating shelves are functional, and I love the wallpaper on the back wall.

from Country Living via The Inspired Room
This photo isn’t great, but I like the candy jars!

Another example of the of organizing with cardboard magazine boxes, which minimize clutter by hiding the various colors of magazine stacks.

More beneficial bulletin boards and peg boards.  The mirror is interesting too, though I’m not sold on it yet.  I guess it probably gives that illusion of more space, but I’m hesitant to use mirrors in areas where it can also give the illusion of more clutter.

I love the clipboards and color here (had this image saved specifically for my own office).  I’m guessing you can use wallpaper, fabric, or maybe scrapbooking paper to cover boring old clipboards.

source unknown
The picture ledges (I assume from Ikea) also make great ledges for office accessories.  I love the chalkboard paint here too.

source unknown
I like the use of these canisters (or mailing tubes?) and an old shutter with binder clips for mail organization.

source unknown
For slightly larger spaces, the Ikea Expedit units are a great (and inexpensive) way to keep things organized.
Jen, I hope you’re inspired.  Let me know when the project starts – I want to help!

Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • Christa Pirl says:

    I love this idea and wanted to do it in my place, but I have too many clothes!

  • Nicole says:

    A project like this does require a spare closet, and not too many people have a closet to spare!

  • mrs. stanford says:

    okay, can you now do a post for your friend who wants to hide her husbands ugly tv (oops, almost typed ugly husbands tv) in her otherwise lovely living room?

  • Nicole says:

    That's a million dollar question! How about above the fireplace hidden by a piece of artwork on a fun sliding track? Sorry, having seen your living room, that's all I got. Would be happy to do a post if you decide something above the mantle is acceptable, even though it's not ideal viewing height.

    Of course there's always the basement. 😉

  • This is so helpful. I've been wanting to redo my office space. I'm always running out of storage in there. Thanks

  • Tiana says:

    Hi Nicole –

    This is a little off-topic, but I have a closet nightmare that needs organization. I really need small drawers, but how do you avoid the run-of-the-mill plastic stacking drawers that you find and every box store without paying a fortune?

  • Nicole says:

    Hi Tiana! Actually, it's not off-topic at all, as drawers are key in an office area. I hate to say it, but Ikea is an affordable step up from the plastic rubbermaid units you're talking about, and you'll find several drawer options there. (If you buy a small kitchen cabinet, you'll be surprised how nice their metal drawer boxes are. They're made by Blum, which most high-end cabinet manufacturers use.)

    Another option – hit up DI or online classified ads and look for a used file cabinet that you can spray paint (or wallpaper, which I've seen done too).

    Hope this helps! Let me know what you end up doing!