Shop Etsy

Video Tutorial: How to Transform a Small Space Into an Inspiring Home Office

Aug 18, 2020

by Rachel Mosely

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Having a separate office can make all the difference for those days (or weeks, or months) when you’re working from home—but what if you simply don’t have the space? For Los Angeles-based decor and style influencer Janea Brown, who lives with two roommates, a dedicated room for handling her day-to-day affairs just wasn’t in the cards. So what did this ingenious interiors guru do? She transformed an unused closet into a DIY workstation—and today she’s demonstrating how you can too.

Even if you don’t have a closet to spare, with Janea’s practical, space-saving tips and a bit of creativity, you can easily revamp any neglected nook or ho-hum corner into a motivational work zone all your own. “It’s important to make the space you’re spending so much time in as comfortable and inspiring as possible,” Janea says. Click play to watch her closet-to-office makeover come to life, and then read on below for a step-by-step guide to recreating the look at home.

Step 1: Invest in a desk

A custom floating desk from Endless Furniture on Etsy, accessorized with some of Janea's favorite home office finds.
SHOP: Custom floating desk from Endless Furniture, $275

A made-to-order floating desk can be fitted to whatever size space you’re working with (Janea had hers cut to match her closet length exactly) and mounted on the wall, creating instant elbow room. The natural wood provides a solid foundation to build upon, but won’t be too cumbersome thanks to its minimalistic design. “It really does maximize the space in my closet, because I have so much storage room underneath,” says Janea.

Step 2: Set some boundaries

Janea accents her curtain wall with a hanging plant.
SHOP: Tie-top linen curtain from Magic Linen, from $74; hanging planter from Little Love Home, $32

“Because my office space is in my bedroom—and I definitely want to be able to step away from work—I wanted to create some sort of divide,” says Janea. A handmade linen curtain helps preserve that precious work/life balance by drawing a physical line between the two. Follow Janea’s lead and hang up a sheet in a soothing neutral hue, and accent with decorative touches like hanging plants to enliven your backdrop during virtual calls.

Step 3: Opt for unexpected storage

A collage of wooden storage solutions available on Etsy
SHOP (clockwise from top left): Pegboard shelf from Made Mod VB, $165; portable laptop stand from Stood, $37; wooden milk crate from WAAM Industries, $71

You’ll need a practical place to arrange all your essentials, but you don’t have to sacrifice style for substance. A compact pegboard is a modern alternative to more traditional wall cubbies, and can be customized to store stationery and display knickknacks of all sizes. And for a clever prop for your laptop, Janea recommends a lightweight, collapsable stand. “I’ve seen these before, but they’re usually plastic,” she says. “I loved that this one was wood, and it’s super easy to put together.” Really want to get creative? Slip a matching wooden crate beneath your desk for simplified file storage.

Step 4: Get organized!

A collage of organizational home office items available on Etsy.
SHOP (clockwise from top left): Concrete desk organizer from SURPOINT, $48; leather cord holders from Cord and Satchel, from $20 for a 3-pack; match holder and striker from Avesha Michael, $32; weekly notepad planner from The Lamare, $15

A busy day can translate to a busy desktop. But thoughtful, space-maximizing pieces will help you avoid a jumble. Concrete catchalls streamline your supplies, and leather cord holders keep an organizational headache at bay. “It’s no fun detangling cords all the time,” says Janea. “These are not only super cute, but also very functional. You can easily just wrap your cord around and snap it closed.” As for decluttering your mind? A weekly notepad planner will do the trick nicely.

Step 5: Add your personal stamp

A collage of decorative desk items available on Etsy.
SHOP (clockwise from top left): Cedarwood soy wax candle from Land and Sea Soul, $29; rope basket from Little Love Home, $28; gratitude journal from The Lamare, $24; miniature potted cacti from Tierra Sol Studio, $17 each.

Now that you’ve nailed it on function, it’s time to add some flair. Pepper in small decorative accents—plants, candles, tiny desktop treasures—to deliver mini mood boosts throughout the day. And for a refreshing final flourish, you can’t go wrong with a touch of greenery. “While you’re deep in work, you can have a little bit of the outside world inside,” says Janea of her leafy potted friends. “It’s a great way to let the outdoors in.”

Photographs courtesy of Janea Brown (JnayDaily).

Shop more inspiring home office ideas

custom desk|wood desk|kids table|suspended desk
custom desk|wood desk|kids table|suspended desk
$275.00 USD
Tie top linen curtain panel, Various colours. Semi-sheer window, shower or door curtain. Custom rod drapes with ties
Tie top linen curtain panel, Various colours. Semi-sheer window, shower or door curtain. Custom rod drapes with ties
$74.00 USD
6inch Hanging Planter Basket, for a hanging plant, indoor plant, hanging plant holder, plant hanger
6inch Hanging Planter Basket, for a hanging plant, indoor plant, hanging plant holder, plant hanger
$31.64 USD
Pegboard Shelf : Medium Square 24" x 24"
Pegboard Shelf : Medium Square 24" x 24"
$165.00 USD
ECO Laptop Stand, portable, made of Wood (FSC certified packaging - EU beech wood)
ECO Laptop Stand, portable, made of Wood (FSC certified packaging - EU beech wood)
$36.87 USD
Standard Browser Wooden Milk Crate // Vintage Inspired Milk Crate // Replica Milk Crate
Standard Browser Wooden Milk Crate // Vintage Inspired Milk Crate // Replica Milk Crate
$71.00 USD
Concrete Organizer Coffee / Desk - Tray - Catchall - Key / Wallet Holder - Birthday Gift - Housewarming
Concrete Organizer Coffee / Desk - Tray - Catchall - Key / Wallet Holder - Birthday Gift - Housewarming
$48.00 USD
Leather Cord Organizer - 3 Pack
Leather Cord Organizer - 3 Pack
$19.99 USD
Embark: Weekly Notepad
Embark: Weekly Notepad
$14.95 USD
Gold accent match striker matches holder or succulent planter
Gold accent match striker matches holder or succulent planter
$32.00 USD
Cedarwood 8oz Soy Wax Candle
Cedarwood 8oz Soy Wax Candle
$29.00 USD
Rope Planter, Planter Basket, Plant Pot, catch all, rope basket storage, hamper
Rope Planter, Planter Basket, Plant Pot, catch all, rope basket storage, hamper
$27.69 USD
Grateful Heart: Gratitude Journal
Grateful Heart: Gratitude Journal
$23.95 USD
Mini Cactus and Pink Mini Planter - Lino Mini Cactus Kit, Handmade Ceramic Planter, Mini Cactus, Cactus Plant, Cactus Planter
Mini Cactus and Pink Mini Planter - Lino Mini Cactus Kit, Handmade Ceramic Planter, Mini Cactus, Cactus Plant, Cactus Planter
$17.00 USD
leather strap hanging file storage organizer file holder for wall storage wall hung magazine holder office wall decor wall mail organizer
leather strap hanging file storage organizer file holder for wall storage wall hung magazine holder office wall decor wall mail organizer
$59.89 USD
Handpainted handmade porcelain Pencil and paint brush holder
Handpainted handmade porcelain Pencil and paint brush holder
$30.00 USD
Hexagon Wool Felt Mouse Pad
Hexagon Wool Felt Mouse Pad
$17.00 USD
Arch Vessel in White or Black Stripes- MADE TO ORDER!!..Please read listing for details
Arch Vessel in White or Black Stripes- MADE TO ORDER!!..Please read listing for details
$168.00 USD
Odette Vessel // Figure 03 // Handmade Porcelain Ceramic Vase
Odette Vessel // Figure 03 // Handmade Porcelain Ceramic Vase
Sold
desk lamp, brass table lamp, walnut lamp, night light
desk lamp, brass table lamp, walnut lamp, night light
$189.00 USD

65 comments

  • NICKRAFTO

    Nikos Raftopoulos from xylophos said 31 days ago

    amazing ideas thank you once again... i clean my space and i try to make some of your advise and one of my tea holder is ideal for this concept thank you again

  • fwhrnqxw

    Richard Gourhan from LemonBirdArt said 31 days ago

    Thanks for the inspiration! I live in a small home and am always looking to get the most out of each space.

  • snbfybs7

    Constance said 31 days ago

    I love how organized and sufficient your work area is! I especially love the nice 👍🏻 clean look and it’s not cluttered! Very nice choices indeed. Thank you 😊!! Constance.

  • zykzgkbs

    Tatiana Pavlova from KnittedLoveFinds said 31 days ago

    Great tips! I love decorating my home!

  • kotskulich

    Tiana Kotskulich Precious Embroidery from TianaHandmade said 31 days ago

    Amazing solutions! I love to use wicker boxes to rganize my threads and stones for jewelry making

  • branda

    branda Moreno from branda said 31 days ago

    Fantastic!! Congratulations!! :-) :-)

  • gg16xhkr

    Anna from SublimationDesignsAn said 31 days ago

    Wonderful. A good solution for a small apartment

  • gilliannorthcott

    Gillian Northcott from esanivintage said 30 days ago

    Beautifully done.

  • dpb0cz7v

    Tanya from YashchirkaClothes said 30 days ago

    thanks for this tips! for small workplace is perfect !

  • p4w6j7pt

    Fabio said 30 days ago

    Formidabile estro e professionalità fantastici 👍

  • hazewuhazewu

    Haze TRO from AloeThereStudio said 30 days ago

    What a great set of ideas. I love decorating my workspace like that too. Thank you for sharing. :)

  • nov1bu

    nov1bu said 29 days ago

    Thanks, Jenae! I dedicated the day to creating an office wall oasis because of YOU!

  • fx8vdyfn

    DRAW FUNNY from TrendHeo said 29 days ago

    Cảm ơn bạn đã cho tôi một ý tưởng tuyệt vời!!!

  • fx8vdyfn

    DRAW FUNNY from TrendHeo said 29 days ago

    Cảm ơn bạn nhiều !!!!

  • x8qnpozo

    Anna from LissiKids said 29 days ago

    I love the floating desk! Great ideas for saving space in small apartments.👍

  • 9vavb65g

    Yelena from Elenatoyspattern said 28 days ago

    Thanks for the ideas! I don't have much space and I think it will come in handy.

  • 4SassyDaughters

    Sasha Bradley from MyWoodElf said 28 days ago

    I love the tiny plants and candles! Bringing the outside in can definitely add some needed stress relief to the home office. Thank you for the ideas!

  • hm4jje2p

    Viktoria from LazyToy said 28 days ago

    I love it. I am just decorating my small workplace and these tips will be useful to me. Comfort is in the little things! Thank you ;)

  • 5ftjjt0a

    Nina from OriginalJewelrByNina said 27 days ago

    Прекрасные советы! Очень понравилось, спасибо!

  • HempandWire

    Becky Roach from StitchedandStampedCo said 27 days ago

    Love these tips and inspiration! I particularly love the plant suggestion. I brought plants into my workspace and they make me so happy :)

  • JackieBlue14

    Jackie Land from JackieLandDesignCo said 26 days ago

    Love These Ideas, Thank you!

  • 24vdxpeh

    Agnieszka from Makramianki said 26 days ago

    Awesome ideas, lovely items and charming woman. :)

  • soyluv

    Ayanna said 26 days ago

    Very cool and I got some amazing ideas!

  • svsazxjr

    Cat from OpulenceAcres said 26 days ago

    That was fun! Love your sttyle and energy Janea!

  • jtxrpdwo

    Maria from EcoLinenShopArt said 26 days ago

    very cozy and beautiful) and most importantly, a lot of eco material

  • oo7cynna

    Cynn said 26 days ago

    Thank you. Your video was succinctand helpful. Great choices for maximizing your space, while still keeping it comfortable and eye appealing. I'm definitely going to order that pegboard and note board for my kitchen and guest room. I look forward to more videos from Jenae, you've earned an instant follow.

  • pqguyqwo

    Vlada from BeeNovaShop said 26 days ago

    Thanks for the inspiration! ❤️ This is so important for me now ✨

  • Narcissusjewels

    Pinelopi Digoni from NarcissusJewels said 26 days ago

    Very Inspiring great ideas. Thank you !!!

  • uhcycvcj

    Noemi said 26 days ago

    It’s absolutely beautiful! I love I’ve love the peg board shelf! I need those pronto! For those of us on a tight budget any tips for that &up cycling?

  • 5hstugjo

    Watts DryGoods from WattsDryGoods said 26 days ago

    Love the curtain!

  • venicebeachvideoblog

    venicebeachvideoblog from EyeGlassChainsDesign said 26 days ago

    Great ideas and presentation. Especially the computer stand. Thank you

  • nanditark

    nandita singh from nanditasinghdigitals said 25 days ago

    Thank you for these amazing tips!

  • kalbereraldinha

    aldinha kalberer from AldasAttic said 25 days ago

    Loved it Janea!

  • TreasuredMemoryLane

    Sujata from TreasuredMemoryLane said 25 days ago

    Amazing ideas! Thank you for sharing!

  • xraymd

    xraymd said 25 days ago

    I loved watching this as the space evolved item by item. What a joy! My question today is what did you do (if anything) to add more lighting - anything beyond the lovely brass table lamp with the braided cord?

  • jaspercup

    Geri from JasperCup said 25 days ago

    I'm inspired! Lovely presentation ... and item choices.

  • ku9pdpon

    Jane Cottingham said 25 days ago

    I want the flip black/white numbers calendar

  • madtemptations

    Melissa Delgado from PolyCreativeMamiPR said 25 days ago

    Love this one. Great ideas that I will be able to use around the house, especially in the kids rooms.

  • indysmami

    indysmami said 25 days ago

    Way cute!

  • pinksnakejewelry

    kim rhodes-thomas from pinksnakejewelry said 24 days ago

    Love the Natural wood decor within the clean minimalist space!!! Plants are a beautiful addition to any space as well.

  • vhxrsw66

    Nada from OniHorns said 24 days ago

    Grrrrrrr, I love it ! what a wonderful way to utilize small spaces !

  • jkierstein

    Judy Kierstein said 24 days ago

    I love your stuff...I’ll be ordering for the holidays!

  • Penmagic

    Brenda from Penmagic said 23 days ago

    It looks so clean and lovely. I have had my business for 10 years on Etsy and have saved so much 'stuff' that I don't even use any more. I love alot of these ideas. This is a great inspiration to 'clear the decks' and make my office more inviting. Thank you Janea and Rachel! Brenda at Penmagic Designs

  • leannetran

    Leanne Tran from leannetran said 22 days ago

    Loved the wood styling! Thanks for sharing :D

  • h0x3kygx

    Betsy from RelixForHer said 22 days ago

    Great ideas! Thank you 😊

  • j55yxsvp

    Elke Zamorano said 22 days ago

    Great, really helpful ideas. Thank you for this. Your space looks really nice. Can't wait to try this to make the most out of my limited space. Stay safe and healthy. :)

  • hawaiibobsgardenarts

    Bob Hawaii from HawaiiBobsGardenArts said 22 days ago

    Love the closet idea!

  • PamelaAmela

    Pamela Fuller said 22 days ago

    I love her office nook. It is inviting and functional. I especially like the idea of a curtain, so at the end of the day, one can just pull the curtain and hide any paper clutter. Great idea--hanging the satchels (large paper sized and strong) on the wall. That way, one project can go into ONE satchel. I'm a lawyer...and think I may adopt that idea since everything doesn't fit in my file cabinets... Very creative and great result! Thanks - (In Hoboken!!))

  • bijubrill

    Sorina from BijuBrill said 21 days ago

    This gave me some motivation t reorganize my messy work space :-)

  • bckfabrics

    BCKFabrics Koni from BCKFabricCollection said 21 days ago

    This is awesome. Thank you for sharing. I have a small space, so this helps a lot.

  • footdoc71

    Janice Clark said 21 days ago

    These are very good ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  • carolinarose38

    Rose Jackson from RozillazCollectibles said 21 days ago

    You did a superb job of transforming your closet space into a very comfortable office space for working from home. You are excellent in expressing your ideas and very wonderful for sharing all the items you purchased from other sellers on Etsy. Nice job :) I really enjoyed watching the video.

  • kaydeedee14

    Peach Print Goods from PeachPrintGoods said 21 days ago

    I loved this! Makes me want to redo my space. Great ideas and the look really came together!

  • llolatte

    Lorain Lolatte said 20 days ago

    We have two children who have moved out. I also have moved my office to the kitchen table during social distancing. And with sales activity dropping, it made no sense to leave the house daily. It's getting a bit cumbersome with 1/2 the kitchen table full of computers and office junk. Last night my husband suggested I make a small office in one of the bedrooms... but I really don't want to give up my bedrooms since I have saved my parents and my husband's grandparent's bedroom sets for those two rooms. WOW the next day I see adorable you and your fabulous idea. So my husband isn't getting the closet in my son's room after all ha ha ha ha ha! Be careful what you wish for right? Closet office it is! MUAH thanks so much.

  • igl6alzo

    Shatokhina Maria from WasabbiDesign said 19 days ago

    Wow so simple and beautifull. I feel the vibe of this work place. Inspire on a good work in peacefull place.

  • xm7ybf2l

    Elena from Cosyhat said 19 days ago

    Thanks! I will use these simple and ingenious ideas to organize my workplace. I suffered so much that I did not have a separate room for work, but thanks to this article, I see that nothing is impossible!

  • lucyyana50

    Lucy Yanagida from LucysStudioArt said 19 days ago

    So adorable! Great video. And you are as cute as you can be Janea!

  • sayhellonature

    Ashley Griffith from HelloNatureShop said 19 days ago

    I'm always looking for new ways to make my desk feel more inviting and inspiring - love these ideas! The floating desk is such a cool idea, too. Time to rework my work space!

  • kjonesphx

    Kevin Jones from ModernPrintableShop said 17 days ago

    What a great guide and love her aesthetic!

  • carolanne112

    Carol Anne Williams from 16thAvenueCreative said 17 days ago

    So many great ideas! Thanks for the inspiration. I'm just about to turn a spare bedroom into my office. And I really loved a lot of the items you used to turn your space into such a fantastic place to work! I love those round memo boards! Those are terrific!

  • ai848vtb

    Anastasia from YourAdventureInGlass said 15 days ago

    I like the idea with curtain: office is closed or office is opened! Great!

  • h17zqazo

    Felicia Lucas said 14 days ago

    Creative idea

  • b8wcphkn

    Varinia said 13 days ago

    I love the floating desk! Great ideas for saving space in small apartments.👍

  • gfkqsemu

    Kristina from PatternCrochetToys said 12 days ago

    I liked the curtain that covers the workplace from strangers thanks for the idea!

  • ryonohip

    Nikki B from Apt1708 said 11 days ago

    These tips were super helpful as I am definitely struggling with finding a space that’s all my own where I can work away from everyone else. Thank you so much for the great tips!

Sign in to add your own