Regardless of whether you run a business from home or run the household, having a dedicated space to work and pay bills is essential. Yet finding the square footage to set up a study can be a challenge. Having a designated home office to take calls and answer emails (or write the next Harry Potter series while the kids are at school) is certainly ideal. But for those with limited space, we’ve got some simple study nook solutions to help you get organised.
No one wants the eyesore of a hunkering old ‘bankers’ desk taking up precious real estate in the living room. Not only is it impractical for those looking for a little peace to do the paperwork, in the central hub it will become a free-for-all magnet for miscellaneous bric-a-brac, like dirty mugs and Xbox controllers. Add to that the feng shui factor: seeing messy paperwork, piling bills and visible cords is a buzz kill when you’re trying to relax in the evening. When it comes to carving out a savvy space for a workstation, think of an out-of-the-way space you can pop a slimline desk without interrupting the flow of your floorplan.
If you have a spare cupboard, installing a study nook within is a very practical solution. Best of all, you can close the door at the end of the day and hide away the clutter. Take careful measurements before you buy a desk to allow for installation. It may fit in the space, but can it get through the doors without having to take them off the hinges? Maximise the dimensions by building or installing shelving all the way to the ceiling for storage. Pair your desk with a small chair or stool that can be tucked away under the desk when it’s time to close the doors.
It doesn’t get much more Harry Potter than a hidey-hole under the staircase. This ‘dead zone’ is a hidden gem and a wasted opportunity in many homes. Once again, consider your dimensions. You don’t want to risk knockin’ your noggin against the sharp underside of a step every time you get up to make a cuppa. So position your desk beneath the highest end of the staircase and use the shorter side for storage, such as boxes of files and books. Don’t forget a quality lamp if natural light is limited.
Think outside the box to find an unused niche or alcove in your home. A wasted space at the top of a staircase landing could be used for something more valuable than the clotheshorse. Even a narrow nook off the kitchen could be put to work with a smaller desk and pinboard to provide a space for google-scrolling and bill-paying, while making it easy to keep an eye on the kids. Speaking of which, an open-plan study nook off the kitchen also offers a great space for kids to do their algebra in earshot as you prepare dinner.
Finally, choose complementary accessories for a tidy, streamlined look, such as a matching timber bookshelf positioned nearby. And don’t forget a decent power point for the computer, printer, lamp and device charging — you may need to splash some cash in this department and hire an electrician, but it’s well worth the little luxury of having your simple study nook solution. Get more study nook ideas and inspiration on Pinterest. And if you’re looking to set up a larger space to work from home or run a business, check out our guide to making your home office a haven.