Interior Design

7 ingenious hidden desks – small home office ideas meet clever, creative thinking

Make working from home (almost) invisible

Hidden desks and small home office ideas
(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

Working from home is the new normal for a huge number of us now – but many of us have yet to really have the time to consider how we tackle the sticky issue of finding a dedicated space, just for ourselves, away from other members of the family who are also working – or studying – at home. 

But it's not just about finding space – the other factor is not wanting to be able to even see the office paraphernalia at the end of the day. It just makes it so much harder to switch off, right? 

So if you don't have a separate room with a door you can close at 5.30pm, it's time to get creative. But stylishly – and these hidden desks and clever small home office ideas are H&G's favorite ways to do so.

See: Home office ideas – ways to decorate that are smart, practical and stylish

1. Build a hidden desk into little used floor space

Hidden desks and small home office ideas

(Image credit: TG Studio)

This extraordinarily clever idea by Thomas Griem's London-based TG Studio shows how work can be carried out in the smallest of spaces if you're creative. This built-in, slide out desk surface offers plenty of work surface space and storage beneath, with very little impact on the floor space. 

'You don't need a lot of space,' says George Saumarez Smith, partner at ADAM Architecture in London. 'My office is 2.9m x 1.8m, and is a kind of nerve center for work. It stops work taking over the home.'

And, of course, with the idea above, when home working stops and you return to the office, this storage and desk space can be easily repurposed as clothes' storage and as a dressing table, with make up and jewelry hidden beneath.

2. Turn a showpiece antique into a hidden desk

Home office ideas bedroom

(Image credit: Studio Indigo)

If aesthetics are important and your only option is a freestanding piece, why settle for a conventional desk and run-of-the-mill office storage when an extraordinary piece of furniture can be adapted perfectly well to suit your needs?

This hidden desk space was created by Melissa Hamilton of Chelsea-based Studio Indigo. 'For this scheme, we wanted to create a private study for the owner of the house,' says Melissa, who chose a warm, neutral wall color to set off the deep, rich shades of the furniture. 'It takes the form of a delicately hand-painted chinoiserie bureau in the master bedroom suite...[a] much loved antique found on [the owners'] travels.'

Although only used for correspondence, it's easy to appreciate how much storage there is available to hold everything needed for a small home office. Melissa is also at pains to point out that when a study area is included in another space, such as a bedroom, it is crucial to factor in how it will impact the wider scheme. 'Even when this desk is not in use, it is a very aesthetically pleasing arrangement,' she says.

3. Divide an open plan space with doors

Hidden desks and small home office ideas

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

If your existing office is part of an open plan layout and you simply can’t get the peace and quiet you desire, then consider closing off the end you are working in with doors. 

Sliding doors take up less space than hinged designs and if you choose ones that are full of character they will add a design statement as well as being practical. 

Painting the office area in a darker more dramatic shade also zones it and makes it clear that it has a purpose compared to the rest of the scheme. 

See: Home office paint colors – and the shades that may make you less productive

4. Hide a desk inside fitted wardrobes

2LG Studio x Floor Story

2LG Studio was founded by creative duo, Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead. They design bold and beautiful residential and commercial interiors and naturally, their home is the epitome of cool and colorful design. 

‘This is our home studio space; we live and work from here so it has to work hard for both of us. By day all the doors are open to our sample library and computers and by night we can tuck it all away neatly, close the doors and entertain,' says Jordan. 

They chose a dramatic shade of electric blue for the interior which pops perfectly with the Floor Story rug that blends perfectly when the doors are open. 

Image: Megan Taylor for 2LG Studio

5. Reconsider windowless spaces you'd dismissed

Home office ideas

(Image credit: Flower Michelin)

Have a look around your home with fresh eyes – where is there spare space that you had previously dismissed as unsuitable, perhaps because it had no natural light? It may even currently be an enclosed cupboard with a stud wall that you can remove – or the back half of a long kitchen/diner and living space.

Rather than setting up the space as desk only, go broken plan, with glazed interior walls – and door – that allow natural light in, but keep noise from others out. 

For this homework station, architect Chantal Michelin of Flower Michelin natural light was borrowed from a glazed extension. This smart space includes a desk that slides in to allow access to the cupboards below, thereby increasing storage possibilities. Plugs, the router and cabling are all hidden within the cupboards, along with a small printer. 

6. Pick mirrored furniture to make your desk disappear

Hidden desks and small home offices

(Image credit: OKA)

You've heard the phrase 'smoke and mirrors' and that is precisely the trick you can resort to if you are hiding a desk in a bedroom. 

Elegant mirrored furniture, kept tidy and used carefully, will look beautiful, enhance your bedroom and won't take up visual space where you either want to disguise a study area – or in a small home office that relies on as much clever furnishing as possible. 

And, of course, in a bedroom, a neat mirrored desk, like this Versailles desk by Oka, will look more like a pretty dressing table than a workhorse.

7. Invest in a purpose-built, standalone home office

Hidden desks and small home office ideas

(Image credit: The Dormy House)

This all-in-one option by The Dormy House is the very quickest way to create a hidden desk. 

Doors closed, it looks like a smart piece of furniture – and you can have it painted and choose door furniture to suit your scheme. Doors open, and it's a perfectly functional small home office. 

The clever bit is that the doors are double hinged so they can wrap around the sides and you can use them as a pinboard too. It comes with adjustable shelving, pull out shelves and the standard hole to hide all your wires. Storage underneath is key, so look for a design that gives you enough space for a printer and stationery.