With many tiny homeowners maintaining an active profession remotely, a home office definitely comes out a necessity. But with such a small space, this often feels like a farfetched luxury.
What if we told you it was possible?
We often get asked: can you fit an office in a tiny house? The answer is definitely yes! With careful interior design, intentional planning, and flexible furniture, you can make your small space work and transform it into a haven of productivity.
In this article, we feature some amazing examples of tiny houses that have made the home office dream possible in under 500 square feet. Read on for inspiration, design hacks, and furniture ideas.
Home Office In a Tiny Home: Is It Even Possible?
Home offices are no longer what they used to be. Instead of dedicated rooms, you see multifunctional spaces and convertible furniture transforming into a productive area when needed. Modern homeowners have realized that having a spare bedroom is no longer a prerequisite to creating an office space at home.
Designing a conducive home office environment is all about designating a space for work. Instead of having to cram a big bulky desk, homeowners have become more creative in hiding their work area in plain sight.
The same is true for tiny houses. Assigning a work space in a house that’s under 500 square feet can be challenging, but not at all impossible.
Tom and Shaye of DIY Housebuilding prove that having a dedicated area for work in a tiny house isn’t a pipe dream.
By utilizing the extra space between the kitchen and living room, they were able to set up a desktop computer, allowing the couple to work from home. The solution was simple: set up a table with a small footprint and use minimal furniture to avoid making the area bulky.
Fitting a Tiny Office In Under 500 Square Feet
If you can’t do what Tom and Shaye did, the good news is that there are other ways to incorporate a working tiny office in your teeny-tiny house.
Take inspiration from these five awesome tiny houses that were able to add a dedicated work space in their little home:
1) Just Put It There
If your tiny house is on the larger end of the scale, you’ll have more room to play with, which means you can probably get away with designating a separate home office without much problem.
This 300 square feet, 2-bedroom tiny house has a dedicated office space strategically placed near the end of the trailer, which also serves as a patio. The space doubles as a changing room, which doesn’t really take away from how private this space feels. Because it’s situated away from common areas, there are fewer distractions and the feeling of separation is maximized.
Opening the doors opens up the office further, effectively extending it to the outdoors. It’s a great way to incorporate inside-outside spaces, while still having a quiet place to read and write.
2) Make It a Separate Space
Nothing says “dedicated workspace” better than, well, a dedicated workspace.
If there’s absolutely no space in your main interior to build an office, look beyond the four walls for a creative solution. Instead of cramming it inside a single tiny house, this homeowner combined two tiny homes to create a dedicated work environment.
Parked right next door to her main home is another building that doubles as a home office and a lounging area. By doing so, she was able to place a full-sized desk that would have otherwise not been possible in a smaller home.
Having a separate space act as your home office also allows you to quite literally bring your business with you. The Tiny Community Center is a tiny house on wheels designed to serve as a functional community space for artists. The entire house works as a classroom, workshop and everything in between.
3) Use the Corridor
When fitting a home office in your small home, look for unconventional areas where you wouldn’t normally think to place a desk. Even in under 500 square feet, there are other areas in your home besides the living room that could potentially fit a great office.
Take for instance this 192 square feet traveling trailer built by Wind River Tiny Homes. The corridor is often overlooked and used as a storage, closet, or something else altogether. They used this empty wall to build an open home office that provides plenty of surface space.
In this photo, you could see that all they really did was place a piece of wood along the length of a wall, which instantly transforms it into a desk. With this open design, your home still gets a dedicated working area that doesn't make your space feel cramped.
The space underneath is a great storage area for a small ottoman. Simply pull it out when in use and push it back to avoid getting in people’s way.
4) Make It Float
Does this photo look familiar? This floating tiny house office is one of the most popular design inspirations out there, and it’s easy to see why. The imaginative design of this “millennial home” replaces the mattress for a sizable desk and legless chair. The builders opened the space below the loft to support a natural sitting position.
The gap is accessible and fully-functional even from the kitchen. The hole serves as a connecting area between the home office and the area below, making it easy to transport items from the living room to your desk. It also serves as a functional storage space for books, knick-knacks, and other items.
If you don’t want to leave an open hole on the other side of your loft, you can still replicate this look by relocating the desk near the loft entrance. Install the desk parallel to the wall opening, and let your feet dangle down as you work. You can either build one with more specific dimensions or you could easily buy one online. You could get a foldaway desk like this on Amazon.
5) Plan Around It
No, the photo isn’t deceiving you with smart angles; this unique office really has enough headroom to sit, stand, and walk around.
This amazing design replaces the living room with a dedicated office space with plenty of open space (even bigger than some little cubicles you’d see in New York!)
To make this work, you would obviously have to plan the interior design process deliberately to ensure that other areas of the home aren’t compromised. For this build, a significant part of the floor space may have gone to the office loft, but the space certainly wasn’t wasted.
Naturally, the homeowner wanted to make the most out of this design compromise. Aside from the hidden storage area, she was also able to fit a cozy nook right under the loft, which effectively opens up her home to guests.
6) Consolidate Your Storage and Surfaces
This air-stream-turned-tiny house offers a great space-saving solution, while still incorporating a small home office. Instead of having multiple storage spaces, they used a long cabinet that serves as a dedicated working desk, storage, dresser, and countertop.
The best thing about this solution is that you don’t have to have a particularly big space to make it work. As long as you have an open layout, you could custom build a multi-functional piece of furniture, pick a wall, and make the space work for you.
Tiny Home Office Dos and Don’ts
How to Stay Productive In Your Tiny Office
The challenge of fitting an office in your teeny-tiny home is just phase one. Now you actually have to work in it. From endless foot traffic to bothersome ambient noise, many things could bring down your productivity levels in a small space.
Here are some tips that will help you stay productive and keep you in the zone:
1) Set working hours
Working remotely means you have the flexibility to designate your hours. However, living without structure can cause your work to bleed throughout the day. Before you know it, it’s 6 PM and your partner is desperately trying to get your off your desk slash kitchen counter.
Just like you would in a normal office setting, setting working hours is a great way to get your brain to buckle down and focus. This also serves as a “do not disturb” time you can impose on your family.
2) Use noise-canceling headphones
Using noise-cancelling headphones is the easiest way to make a shared space feel more private. Simply put them on and play some white noise to effectively tune out your background.
3) Work in front of a wall or window
In most of the designs we shared, you would notice that even the most open layouts are facing a wall or window of some sort. In such a small space, it’s impossible to miss every movement your partner, pet, or kids make.
Facing a wall eliminates visual distractions, ensuring that the only thing your brain is focused on is your computer screen.
4) Define your productivity zones
Multipurpose spaces are what make tiny houses function seamlessly, but it won’t play out as well if we’re talking about keeping your productivity levels high.
It’s important to define areas where you work so your brain can easily transition from hustling to relaxing just by sitting on a different piece of furniture.
After all, you don’t want to associate your entire home with projects and deadlines.
Which Tiny House Office Design Did You Like Best?
Use these examples as inspiration but also remember that your workstation should be specific to your home and no one else’s. More importantly, it should be compatible with how you work.
Take the time to hash it out with your builder (or privately, if you’re a DIYer) to make your home office dreams come true.
Hey, there! We're Ivan and Manuela from Croatia, and we're crazy about tiny houses. We don't own one (yet).
This website is a result of our passion to share all the knowledge, photos, tips and tricks that we were able to learn while studying everything possible about the tiny house movement.