You know, I have to admit something today. I rent out a 550 sq.ft. apartment in Mumbai and whatever you see in my home is either optimized for rentals or space. And out of that 550 I am guessing our bedroom is not more than 110 or 120 at the maximum. So when my wacom tablet and spine demanded a dedicated workplace I had to turn my balcony table into a desk for my small home office. The concerns were real- because we already had a desk in our bedroom which is my husband’s and a linear layout with another desk could very well have looked crammy but I turned around a few things which helped a full size desk sit right next to each other without making the room look suffocating. As a matter of fact, it almost looks like an extended side table to my bed!
Not space. Proper utilization
You know, thanks to instagram and the internet in general we are often oohing and aahing and lusting on beautiful big homes, and rightly so. But let’s get real. When you are living in Mumbai, space is luxury. I for one cannot afford so much space- whether in terms of buying or even renting. It’s a different thing that my husband and I both love cozy, small spaces but often Instagrm worthy homes are not quite affordable. Not to me atleast. I have 0 disposable income to invest in new furniture all the time so you’ll need to work around it, cleverly. And if you utilize spaces properly and wisely, you’ll see how you wouldn’t need that much space either. Your decor and storage solutions need to be functional, aesthetically appealing enough to look good in plain sight and also justify the size of your home. If you buy everything checking these three points, you’ll see how beautifully organized your small space can become- let alone a small home office.
This is also the exact reason why I started this blog. To document that you can do a lot of things on a small rental with easy and stylish storage and decor options without much compromise at all. There will be a bit of work…like you might need to move a chair perhaps while opening the window or do an extra step to fold the bed back when not in use but I think that’s not too much to ask.
So here’s what I did
I didn’t have room to buy one more table and I am not fond of the regular computer tables we generally get at all. I did not want to invest on a full study for my small home office at this point of time because I thought it would be completely overkill when I can make some of my furniture do double shifts. I also wanted something with a bit of a legspace and something simple and old school.
I removed a drawer that used to be one side of the table so I can have more leg room. You can see how I got the table home last year from a second hand shop here
For Illusion of space
I had previously coloured it seafoam which didn’t look very coordinated in this area. So I coloured the table the exact shade of white that I painted my husband’s study with and my wardrobe with
For Double Role-ing
I did not invest in an chair because we don’t have room for this in our tiny bedroom. On the other hand, my husband barely uses his desk unless on weekends. So I use his executive regular office chair and use a fur rug on it for both comfort and for it to look good. When we both want to work, I use one of my dining chairs and keep it back when not in use.
I needed more storage option near my study but I by any means did not want plastic. Keeping with my home and my love for neutrals, I picked up little terracotta flower pots for my small home office in which I neatly stash my colours, pens and sd cards.
As for the books and journals and sketchbooks, I stack them on top of another and flank it with a cacti or two- in similar flower pots- because cactus need very little water, I don’t have to water them everyday. Just take them out and water once weekly. That’s it.
To balance the black elements, I added a few houseplants in black planters that offset the huge black speakers in my room and also the chalkboard entryway key hanger.
I love candles and they really perk me up so a few candles are placed through out my desk and shelf. They make the space smell fantastic.
I needed to make the area look like one unit. And to do that an idea of scale is important. Because the chalkboard and shelf was already there, I hung two placemats as wall decor from ArtnLight keeping the top margin same with that of the chalkboard and the plant top on my shelf.
I also placed the two study side by side without any gaps so it looks like a singular unit and not two completely different tables put together. The colour helped them bind.
And how much space do they occupy?
5 ft 4″ in length and 1″6″ in width. Very linear, very functional as well as good looking. Space is only so much. What really matters is how you are utilizing it and how happy the space is making you.
As for me my small home office is bae!