Design Recipes: Essentials for a home office

Cathy Hobbs
Tribune News Service

For many homeowners, it is not unusual for spare bedrooms to be used as home offices. In fact, with so many working from home, the influx of virtual meetings and telecommuting, home offices are no longer considered to be an extravagance, but a necessity.

Office solutions

What if you don’t have a spare room or large extra space in your home? These days home offices can range from a simple chair and desk to space to truly spread out.

Small home office solutions can include:

■A long wall in a bedroom, spare room or even along a hallway

■A kitchen niche

■Under a stairwell

■A closet

■Small alcove

Office necessities

When it comes to outfitting your small home office, function and efficiency are key. Instead of crowding your small home office with unnecessary extras, be sure to focus on the necessities.

When creating an efficient, small home office, here are some necessities to include:

■Workspace. This can be a small table or desk.

■Comfortable chair. If you are especially tight on space, consider a foldable chair option that can easily be stowed away.

■Storage. Keeping items hidden can go a long way to create a clean, streamlined look. File cabinets, drawers, top cabinets, even stackable boxes and bins, are good solutions.

■No paper. Instead of having your work space crowded with papers, going paperless will help to keep your workspace clutter-free.

■Lots of light. Lighting can help make your small workspace feel larger and brighter.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit her website at