A small space can hold big ideas
Many companies forced to adapt to work-from-home arrangements in 2020 are keeping the new system in place, which means employees have had to rethink their living spaces and see it as their office, too. If you’ve woken up with your laptop in bed after burning the midnight oil or found an important report torn apart by your Labradoodle, it might be time to build a dedicated home office space. A home office doesn’t need to be huge, and there’s a way to build one without having to rework too much of your existing layout. Enter the cloffice.
Working from home is quickly becoming the new norm for many employees, and many are struggling to find enough space for an office. Out of necessity, a solution has appeared: some remote employees have modified their underused closets to become offices, leading to the portmanteau cloffice.
The beauty of the cloffice is that, depending on size and needs, you can maintain the space as a storage unit while also modifying it to meet your requirements as a workspace. In addition, you can simply shut the doors at the end of the workday, keeping the computer and paperwork out of sight, which helps delineate the hours you work and the hours you play.
Tips for Designing Your Dream Cloffice
If you’re considering a cloffice, you’re likely already struggling with space at home. Here are some tips to make your small space work for you and build a cloffice that is both functional and beautiful.
1. Think Beyond the Traditional Desk
If you don’t have room for a traditional desk, consider mounting plywood, medium-density fiberboard, or a butcher block to one wall with brackets; voila, now you have a floating wall desk! You’ll want to install the shelf around 28 or 30 inches above the ground, which is the average desk height. Once you’ve figured out the right height, you might consider attaching your computer monitor to the wall to save space on your newly installed desk.
2. Choose Minimalist Seating
Since you might want your closet door to close completely and conceal your workstation, choose seating that can stow away without requiring much floor space. A small swivel chair or stool that can be tucked beneath your desk when not in use is a good choice.
3. Keep Things Organized
When you’re working with smaller spaces, and especially if you’re combining two spaces into one, you’ll want to keep everything tidy and organized for easy location—no one wants to fumble around for a pen or notepad in the middle of a Zoom meeting. Use desktop organizers or clear boxes with labels to stow office supplies, and consider adding additional shelves to minimize floor space use. If you think your cloffice will be a permanent fixture, consider investing in some custom shelving solutions from an office supply store or hiring a closet designer to help you strategize.
4. Go Green
A few potted plants that don’t mind low-lighting conditions can bring a lot of life and character to a space. ZZ plants, snake plants, and silver queen plants are three varieties that do well with very little sunlight.
5. Go Doorless
Perhaps hiding away your computer and office accessories just isn’t your style, and you want to show off your newly-designed cloffice. Some people with cloffices choose to forgo the door altogether or opt for a room designer to provide more flexibility depending on how much you show and when.
6. Be Smart About Lighting
You should strategically install lighting to create a well-lit cloffice, even during those less sunny winter months. If you don’t want to rewire, there are many inexpensive options like puck lights, which give off a warm glow and typically come with a remote control and adhesive for mounting. There are also plenty of battery-operated desk lamps for more concentrated task lighting.
7. Add a Mirror
A mirror can create the illusion of a much larger space, and choosing one with a decorative frame will add an extra touch of design flair. In addition, it suggests the idea of a window, which might boost your mood if your cloffice lacks windows.
8. Make It Yours
Ultimately, your cloffice will likely be a space you work in for eight or more hours every day. Design it in a way that inspires you to do your best work and be creative: if you need calming neutrals, pick a beige, white or grey color scheme. If a loud wallpaper inspires you, go bold! Make design choices that make you excited to open the door to your cloffice.